As children, we were quite rambunctious. We spent many afternoons at a playground, swinging through monkey bars and telling stories on the swings. Once in awhile, one of us would fall and hurt ourselves while playing. I am guilty of crying over every small scrape I earned. My sister never cried over wounds. Whenever she was injured, shew would just giggle. Unlike most children, she was never afraid of the pain or the blood.
“I’m gonna get a band-aid," she would declare, "a pink one!”
As teenagers, I was always the quiet type while she was the one everyone knew at school. She had a taste for boys with reputations. When her first long-term boyfriend dumped her, she laughed and offered me her arm as we made our way home.
“Guess this makes us the hottest single girls at school again?” she whispered gleefully in my ear, making me burst into laughter. Just like that, it was as if she stitched her broken heart together and moved on.
Even in the end, she didn't shed a single tear.
When she started going to the doctor for additional check-ups, we were all panicked. She was excited.
“Maybe I have something totally unknown and they’ll name it after me; how cool would that be?”
The Leukemia was hard on her, but she never complained. We all knew she was in pain. Sometimes, I would cry from seeing her tied up in wires. She’d notice the tears rolling down my eyes and crack jokes at me to make me feel better. We would do nothing but cry by her bedside, but she still managed to smile. Her weak, fragile hand would stroke my cheek, wiping the tears off my face.
“Don’t worry,” she said softly that night, “we’ll meet in heaven. I know it.”
Though I am not a religious person, my sister made me believe in heaven. I believe that someone as strong and pure as she was on this world would walk among the souls who rest in paradise.
I was wrong.
My sister visits me every night. She sobs, quietly at first. The anguish she never showed us. The pain she hid inside.
But then, she lets out an angry, heart-wrenching wail. The sound of someone falling off a cliff, devoid of all hope.
I want to believe in heaven. But if heaven is real, somehow, my sister didn’t make it.
She’s still here.
Hailey Baird is an Entertainment Design student at Cogswell College. She is a writer, artist, and LoL player who enjoys pickles and tormenting her poor roommates, Joseph, Kalyn, and Austin.
"I didn't give you consent to use that bio. I don't torture Kalyn that often"
- Hailey Baird