“2018’s going to be awesome, 2018’s going to be awesome, 2018’s going to be awesome,” she said in a mantra of sorts as she backed her way out of my bedroom door, and left me smiling through the tears, cross-legged on my bed.
“Just keep telling yourself that, Mandy. 2018’s going to be awesome!”
“I know,” I whispered as she gently hauled the door closed behind her.
That “her” is my sister, Julie. I almost wrote “my little sister, Julie,” but with the kind of personality she has, the word little is quite simply not an adjective that I was able to use just now.
She came up from her downstairs bedroom to hug me, she’s leaving to fly back on a 4am flight. She’s sad to be leaving. I’m sad that she’s going. But she’s got to get back to her job just outside the big city of Toronto, and I, well, I have to get back to mine.
I was reading about broken engagements before she walked into my bedroom, trying to find some comfort in the stories of others. And as though she knew I needed her, she came into my bedroom. She needed her sister. I needed mine. The curious thing about sisterhood, is that somehow, you both know when the other needs you most.
I wasn’t crying until I saw a tear roll down her cheek. Until she told me she was going to miss me. I wasn’t crying until she told me how proud she was of me. And how everything is going to be okay. Words I threw at her a couple times along this crazy road we call life.
And so we’d hugged each other sitting cross-legged, directly across from each other on my bed. Cheek to cheek. Tear drop to tear drop, and I asked her, if she thought if we stayed like that could we be transported back in time. To when we were both little girls.
To a time when things just seemed so much less complicated. And we laughed through the tears. And sat back and talked about our lives for a few minutes. And then, she hugged me again, stood up and made her way to the door.
I told her she could sleep with me if she wanted, but I gave her the nod of approval, as we both knew her boyfriend was waiting for her in the room down below. She just left him down there with the words, “I need my sister,” and came to find me. And so she sails away, to the depths below, to her love.
And I sit crying, alone, in silence. All I can hear is my own sobs. Until through those sobs I hear her little steps on the stairs. Pitter-patter. She’s back. She’s got two hours until her flight. So we cuddle into each other like how we did when we were little, and we laugh and cry.
Two working women, in our now late twenties, talking about this insane life and taking turns being the big spoon.
And then she tells me she needs to get some sleep.Her boyfriend told her so. And I agree. She’s got a day of travelling ahead of her.
“Love you, Julie”
“Love you, Mandy.”
Mom said she was sure we’d find ourselves in bed together, as we always do. I was thinking that perhaps this time would be different. But nope, we found ourselves back where we started.
In the little pink bedroom across from the bathroom, in our little house in L’Anse au Loup. Only now there’s a bathroom in our room, and Lanse au Loup, is Humber Valley. But as much as things change, the important things, it seems, at least stay the same.
Like having a sister you know is there for you no matter what…
Like having a forever friend that you didn’t even have to choose. That one special person who will be there for you forever…
“2018’s going to be awesome,” I heard her whisper in my ear, as she hugged me goodbye this morning, and slipped out into the early morning hours.
“I know,” I whispered after her.