Television always depicted older siblings to be a guardian, a protector, even a hero to their kin. I wish that was the case with Angie, my sister.
I’ve always been the one to take care of and more importantly listen to my sister. Our mother always assumed she just wasn’t as mentally caught up with her age. It’s why mom took her to get tested, but they proved the opposite, which is what makes me credit what she’s only kept between us as truth.
Being seven years older than I was, she suffered a slight panphobia, a medically unregistered fear of everything, or at least that’s what it resembled. So, I awkwardly played the role of big brother, despite our difference in age.
She often crawled into my bed in the middle of the night trembling and murmuring to herself that she knew something was there, she just couldn’t see it… ,but she said she could hear it. I tried to always reassure her it was the house settling, stretching it’s imaginary legs.
“It’s older than both of us. It’s going to make some noise,” I said warmly.
That repeated excuse always seemed to comfort her no matter how much I overused it.
“It’s just taking a breath. It’s older than us AND mom put together!”
A light faint giggle, then she was fast asleep.
I’ve never been comfortable telling anyone this because I thought it was weird to sleep next to my older sister in the same bed, clinging to me almost pulling my arm from it’s socket. It became routine, but I was just glad I was helping in some way.
Whatever she heard must’ve really scared her.
She committed suicide two weeks ago today and I’ve never understood why.
Until tonight, when I swear I heard her voice say sobbingly,
“I’m so sorry… I made myself a promise to always look after you… …to protect you.. …and I broke it…”
My preconceived notions of our relationship were false, she really was my older sister because I’ve heard now what it has to say…
…and I’m slowly starting to understand why she did it.
Credit To: Timothy Benson