it was one of those morning-nights. the sort of night when a tipsy moon must’ve handed out lighters to all the cool stars. hazy in my memories and just as forever never-ending.
she’d been gone for two days, which was exactly two days and maybe an hour of argument as long as my parents hadn’t smiled and my stomach had ached. my sister was a thief that way, stealing our happy when we weren’t watching.
but i wouldn’t make that mistake again, i promised my seven-year old self. i would watch more closely from now on. i promise. so there i waited, at the top of the stairs, for one more chance to watch her again. i’ve never been one to wait, not at seven and not at now. i’ve, however, always been one to sleep away sadness, and it must’ve been my dad’s shouts that shocked me awake. a double-shock, because that guy never yelled.
“i’m gonna to trade you for a dog!”
i’m getting a dog? and just like that, all was well. who cared about my sister? i mean, i’d miss her, but…
“…and then i’m gonna shoot the dog!”
“NOOOOOO!” i flew from my perch, landing in a clump of sobbing me at the bottom of the stairs. “my puppy! my puppy! don’t kill my puppy!”
my sister hiccoughed. steadied herself. then giggled. my dad scooped me up and my mom smoothed my unsmoothable hair, and they all smiled at my tears and delusion. didn’t i remember? i was allergic to dogs.
and just like that, all was well. we would be keeping my sister. not trading her for a dog. not trading her for the world.
this isn’t just a hazy childhood memory. i know this because my sister was a thief her entire life. she stole our happy forever never-ending when she died.
written by karey mackin. one half of t.ruffles. if you haven’t ordered an imaginary friend mini print/note card collection, you should. and if you haven’t read her blog, mackin ink, well, you’re missing out.