There is something different about her. She tries to hide it but I can tell. It is in the little things.
The way she uses more makeup than she needs.
The way she walks more carefully, as if every step is a risk to be carefully considered.
The way she smiles. She used to smile without thinking. Now every smile is forced and an afterthought
The way the joy has left her eyes.
The way she stares at nothing and then pretends that there is really something fantastic about the wall décor.
The way she lies lifeless in my arms when I hold her.
Everything is different about Sewa. Everything, especially her heart.
“Do you think I will ever find love?” My sister asks me when I remind her to eat the cold food that has lain in front of her for a while now. She had ordered well-done quail.
“If anyone deserves love, it is you.” I tell her, my heart breaking for her.
“I asked if you think I will find it. Not if I deserve it.” She snaps.
Tears fill my eyes and I want to whip the latest man that has led her to this.
“I am sorry, Emma.” She apologizes and reaches for my hand.
“You are becoming soft in your old age.” She teases.
“I am not that old!”
“Well you are definitely older than me so that makes you an ancient of days in my book.”
We laugh together and I catch a glimpse of the girl I love.
“We should get going. You have an early morning meeting tomorrow.” I tell my sister.
“What? Are you tired of catching up with me already? It’s been only a few hours.” She says, rolling eyes that look exactly like mine.
“You can so lament eh.”
“Yeah, yeah, tell me something I don’t know.” She retorts as she takes my arm and we walk down the road to her apartment.
Norwalk is beautiful in summer. All around us are couples luxuriating in the warmth of summer and the joy of their love. I feel Sewa tighten her grip on my arm as if to defend herself against whatever disease they might be spreading.
We have to walk past the river to get home. I wait till we are as close to her apartment as possible. I want her to remember this moment every time she walks past this river. I stop her from walking any further and we face the water together.
“Do you doubt that the sea will be here tomorrow?”
“Shuo, which kind of rhetorical question is this one?” My sister laughs. It is an empty sound, deprived of all gladness.
I say nothing and wait. She takes her time, staring at the water, considering answers, right and wrong.
“No, Emma; no, I do not doubt that it will be here tomorrow.”
“Then why do you doubt our Father’s plan for you? If He planned for the beauty and continuity of mere water, why would taking care of all that concerns you be a problem for Him? You, His child; you, His joy; you, the very Image of Him.”
The tears come. They dislodge the mask and makeup she has so bravely put on. We find a bench and she tells me all about the last one. He was perfect and then suddenly he wasn’t. I listen and then I walk her home and tuck her in.
In the morning, she will remember none of this. She will wake up with a tear-soaked and mascara-stained pillow. She will wake up with a peace that only the Son can give. She will walk past that river on her way to work and be reminded that her Father still has her. In the world I created, they call this kind of occurrences, dreams.
But this is my reality.
‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’
Song of the day: The Script- Six Degrees of Separation