Losing Them

My sister came running through the house screaming and crying. Our mobile home was long and narrow and you could hear the thud, thud, thud of her footsteps on the hollow floor.

“What wrong Presh?” I asked my sister. I’d seen her upset, but never like this. She shook her head, tears streaming down her face and started packing her clothes.

“Mom and Dad are taking me to live with Eddie Daddy.” I couldn’t believe it.  What had my sister done that was so horrible that she needed to be shipped away?  It was a threat my parents had used before but not one that we ever expected them to implement.

My body shook with adrenaline. I hurt on the inside the the way I hurt when I saw my dog run over by a car. I wasn’t losing just a sister, I was losing part of me, my world, my safety net.

The three of us, my two sisters and I, sat in the room and cried.  I don’t remember my parents leaving with Precious, I just remember them being gone, my sister Dena and I alone all cried out.

I had always been a sensitive little boy and my sisters were extremely close to me. The three of us are only a year apart and we always did everything together. Unlike many brothers and sisters we rarely fought. We didn’t have a lot of toys and games, but we had each other and that was enough.

A couple hours later my parents returned and Precious was with them. They had used this little charade to get a point across to my sister but I had been devastated. For two interminable hours it was like my sister had died and then she had been brought back to life. I was elated at her return and furious with my parents at the same time.

That was 24 years ago and for the first time in my life I don’t feel close to either one of my sisters. I love them so desperately, but I feel like I’m all alone on an island screaming at them as they leave on ship taking them to someplace dangerous. They smile and wave from the ships deck laughing gaily not hearing my pleas or the desperation in my voice.  No matter the warning signs of trouble, they are lost in the fog and haze, blind to the reality of what lies ahead. 

I miss them. I wish they’d come back, but some journey’s you have to make yourself…

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