For The Love Of A Sister
What if everything you held dear was destroyed, would you keep the will to live and preserve or would you give up and fall into a world of gray, where you don't know who you are anymore? Most of us would like to think we would preserve but we don't know, can't know, until the unthinkable happens...
When the ones you hold dear are hurt, seemingly beyond repair, a part of yourself dies. You have to remain strong for them, but you're breaking down slowly. What can you do now?
Within a month I had reached Senior A, the most advanced group. That same month is when the most wonderful and yet saddest thing happened. I don't know why I keep writing these letters and notes to you Piper, I really don't. You speak now and we talk. You even go to school. And you really should ask Jace out, we all know he's not going to do it. Whenever he tries he becomes as dumb as- well I don't know but it's bad. Just do it Pipes. Or Taylor will set you two up. But you did the best thing and the worst thing and--Piper I'm going to live your dream. For you.
"And repeat!" Coach Will orders in a shout. I am convinced he wants to kill us. It was a 400 butterfly set. That's not right to even make somebody do once let alone twice. Will didn't care though. He was probably a sociopath if we were being completely honest with ourselves.
"Hey Sophie," Andrew Becker, one of the swimmers, says to me in a questioning tone. "Is that Piper over there?"
"What?" I ask him, craning my neck in the direction of his finger. "It can't-- yep that's her," I say, suddenly changing the direction of my statement.
"What's she doing here?" Anna Lynn asks me. "I'm glad to see her and all but I'm just wondering."
I shrug and then my mouth almost drops open. Piper gets out of her wheelchair. And then she takes a step. Without help. Oh there are people close by, ready to catch her if needed, but Piper was walking by herself.
I hear a thundering clap next to me and soon other people join Andrew, the guy who started the clap. They were cheering on Piper, my sister, their teammate, a loved one. Somebody precious and dear. Maybe the driver didn't have that, maybe he lacked something. Didn't we all really?
I duck under the lane lines and find Jace. "Ask her out," I whisper in his ear, startling him as he was so focused on Piper's walk. "She likes you, you like her, just go for it."
"Sophie..." Jace starts.
"I don't care what your excuse is," I tell him. "Get out of the pool." There was another life difference, I had become more assertive because of this. It was a small good thing but still one. Don was amazing really.
And Jace does it too, I wasn't sure if I actually expected him to or not. I swim back over to my lane. I expect Will to say something but he gives me a small smile and I realize, he won't. I'm not even sure if he can bring himself to do it. Not now in this moment.
"Hey Pipes," Jace says when Piper reaches him. "You're doing good there."
"Hi Jace," Piper pants. That walk must have taken her a lot more effort than she let on.
"So Piper, I uh- I uh- well-uh," Jace stammers. "Really like you," he gets out in a low voice. It echoes, bouncing off the walls so we all hear it.
"Really?" Piper asks slowly, forming the word in her mouth. "Me too. I like you too."
Jace beams and Piper gives a small smile some moments latter. Then she and Jace are swept up in a kiss. I don't know how it happened, but it did.
And that's when I realized. This wasn't the end of life. No, it was only the beginning.