Tell me a story, real or imagined, long or short, about two sisters.
This is my completely fictional attempt:
She wakes up gagging on the taste of blood. Her head is pounding and the vision in her left eye is blurry. And she can feel the fear in the pit of her stomach eating at her like a parasite.
It’s happening again. After the last time, she swore she wouldn’t let this go on. She said out loud for everyone to hear that if this happens one more time, she will end it.
And she will.
She doesn’t bother showering. There’s no time. Still in her nightshirt, she grabs a kitchen stool and drags it to her bedroom, into the closet, climbs atop and reaches for the shoebox. With its contents, she will end this once and for all.
She slips on a pair of jeans, tucks the gun into the waistband and heads for the door. Stopping at the mirror in her front hall, she hesitates to look at herself. This could all be a mistake. Her reflection shows nothing. Her face is untouched, her eye is fine. Yet she can still taste metal on her tongue. It’s not a mistake.
There’s no time to waste and so speed limits and stop signs are merely impediments as she tries to get there before it’s too late. She’s been too late before and it almost cost her sister her life.
Her sister. Her life. Those four words have so much more meaning to her now. The two of them, so intertwined it’s nearly impossible to tell them apart. Even to each other. From the outside, they are the same. And from the inside, they share the same blood, the same heart, the same mind. What her sister sees, so she sees. What her sister feels, so she feels. And what pain is thrust upon her sister with force and rage, such pain is also hers. Her sister’s life is her life.
But no more. They will forever be connected by something inexplicable, something beyond DNA, beyond familial bonds. They are one person separated by nothing but physicality. If her sister won’t end this, then she must.
She pulls into the driveway and doesn’t shut off the engine. She doesn’t plan on taking long. Running up the walkway, she thinks just one thing – no more.
The door is unlocked, so she walks in, quietly. Looking around, she sees that her stomach hadn’t lied. It never does. There’s broken glass on the floor and a chair is overturned, but the whole house is quiet. Still. Cold.
She bends and picks up a picture. She sees her and her sister smiling back at her, through shards of glass. There’s a lump in her throat when she looks in her sister’s eyes. Her sister was always the kind one, the smart one, the one her parents were proud of. Not her. She was the bad one, the rebel, the trouble child. She often thought her parents would have preferred just one of them, and she knew which one they would have picked.
Out of the corner of her eye, on the ground, she sees a drop of blood. The fear returns as she wonders if she’s too late again.
Following the trail of blood into the kitchen, she stops as her heart sinks. Her legs give way and she falls to the ground, sobbing. She reaches into her waistband and pulls out the firearm. Slowly, purposefully, she places it on the ground in front of her without making a sound. With her foot, she pushes it ahead, beside another gun. Identical in every way but the missing round. Crawling along the cold, linoleum floor, she reaches out her hand to touch her sister’s knee, warm and still, bruised and bloodied. The tears come fast and painfully. She was too late.
Closing her eyes, she feels a hand on hers.
“I ended it. No more. I ended it.”
She squeezed her sister’s hand and pulled her to her chest, smoothing her hair, kissing her forehead. Her sister. Her life.