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It’s that time again. Well it’s always that time actually, but now more than ever I’m filled with that year’s old regret – why wasn’t I there? Why didn’t I stop her? I can’t say that I didn’t know, because I did. I told Sharon to leave her alone and support her instead of constantly badgering her. But Sharon didn’t listen – she never did, and even though I haven’t talked to her for years, I know nothing has changed with regards to that.

I miss her so much. She was so much more than my big sister – she was everything. And dammit, everyone knows I hate to cry, yet here I am – sobbing my heart out, alone in my room, where absolutely no one will hear me or know how broken my heart really is.

There was that morning, long, long ago. It was raining and the walk to school was long. So when that man slowly eased his car to the side of the road and asked if I wanted a ride, I gladly accepted. But Cookie grabbed my arm and held me back, telling the man to leave – and he stared at her for a moment, then said something I didn’t understand, and sped off, his tires splashing puddle water on cookie’s shoes and white stockings. Mom wasn’t going to like that I remember thinking, but brushed that thought aside to complain to her that I had wanted that ride to school. She never answered me, instead pulling me along while I continued to complain.

Years later when I recalled the incident I realized Cookie probably saved my life that day. I also remembered that around the same time a 14-year-old student was found murdered in the school band room. She had arrived early to school to practice her flute and her body was found by another student. The killer was eventually captured, and I wondered if my fate might have been the same had Cookie not stopped me from taking that ride.

She was always saving me from one thing or another – usually it was my mother’s wrath – I have never been the daughter she wanted, and she has never been shy about telling me so.  Now Cookie – she thought Cookie was everything and more, but I never begrudged Cookie for that. I also thought she was everything and more.

Why her and not me? I was a lot more disposable than she could ever be. But that’s not how things turned out and to be honest I’ve turned out not so shabby – I think Cookie would look at me with that beautiful smile, tilt her head to one side and tell me how proud she was and she’d list every single one of my accomplishments as though they were as significant as earning a Pulitzer. But then, she’d tell me I had more to do, adding she had no doubt I would accomplish that as well.

She knew so much, but one thing she didn’t know was the void she would leave behind.

Too pure to be pink?
Coco Chanel
"In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.”
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