~Every morning I wake up and forget just for a second that it happened. But once my eyes open, it buries me like a landslide of sharp, sad rocks.—Sarah Ockler, Sisters
I haven’t written you a letter since you died, but it’s about time I did. I mean, I have so much to tell you, so much to say. For example, Mike killed you. I suppose you already know that though. I believe he was always going to kill you. From the very beginning of that first encounter when you were 17 years old.
There hasn’t been a day I haven’t thought about your face, that beautiful face, that face I’ve familiarized myself with for so many years. Sometimes I awaken in a cold sweat and I can’t reach you. You’re flying through air with your auburn hair floating behind you like a jet stream. I call out your name, but you don’t answer me. Why don’t you answer me?
I got the call at 5:15 PM on May 26, 2010. That call changed my life, my entire existence. No warning. No warm blankets. No poetry or prayers or memo, just- “Did you hear the news? Mike killed Kay.” I fell to the ground. I stopped breathing. I shattered into a million sharp pieces. “Mike killed Kay. The police are surrounding the house with yellow tape.”
Shut up. Shut up. Shut the hell up. I’m not ready for this shit.
I don’t remember driving to the hospital, but I remember seeing dad sitting in the pale green waiting room whispering, “He did it. He finally did it.” Kay, that is the first time I saw dad cry.
He murdered all of us in different ways, didn’t he?
I stared at you sprawled out on the stiff, silver table. The room smelled of Chanel perfume and strong antiseptic. You had mascara on your lashes, a high pony tail, and faded crimson lipstick was smeared on your mouth. You were already gone, already rising. How can that be? I talked to you hours before and now you had no voice, no smile, no life.
I need to tell you I didn’t take your death the way a normal person might. I sort of went insane. I sort of went all Sylvia Plath. I sort of drowned inside my own body and blood and tears. When the doctor said you were brain dead, I screamed and kicked air and cried out somewhere deep inside my insidious core, “No. No. No. Son-of-a-bitch. Mother-fucking-bastard. Nooooo.”
Did you hear me, darling? Did you hear my cries in the shadows? I thought I was unbreakable.
I was told I read e. e. cummings at your funeral, but I don’t recall. I was told I stood at the podium repeating, “My sister. My sister. Oh, god, my sister,” but I don’t recall.
Sometimes it’s better to forget. E v e r y t h i n g.
I looked around at the blurred, nondescript, pathetic faces thinking, “What the hell are you all doing here?”
I wanted to ask you this: did you know he was going to kill you that afternoon? I called your cell phone a hundred times, but you wouldn’t answer. He must have already shot you by then. Did you feel the hot metal at the back of your head? Did he apologize before he pulled the trigger?
Afterwards, I asked Dave, “Did that ghastly man really kill my sister?”
He hesitated, then answered, “Yes.”
“Then how am I still walking, breathing, living? How is the world still revolving? Please bring me a bottle of wine immediately.”
No, I didn’t take it well, my darling sister. At. All. And the thing is, I always knew he’d do it. I always knew he’d put you inside a cage, inside his personal abyss. In the back of my mind, someplace in the darkest corners, I knew he’d follow through with it one day. But what could I do? How could I protect you? Oh, dear god, how could I protect you? Should I have broken all of his stupid, murderous fingers?
Every night before I close my eyes, I pray that I will dream of you, that I can be with you.
We could go on one of our long walks on the Waterfront Trail to discuss world events, politics, God, books, and reveal secrets only sisters should know. We could stop at that old picnic table near Karvina’s, pet all the stray cats, and carve our names one more time in the soft wood.
Kim & Kay
Sisters Forever and Ever.
But he killed you before we had the chance.
—-Dear, Readers, NEVER stay silent about ANY kinds of abuse. Help is available. You are worthy, valuable, capable, beautiful, precious, and amazing. You deserve IT ALL. xx
Call The Domestic Abuse Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
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