A sister’s shadow

Juniper laid on her bed, with her back pressed against the duvet and her eyes fixed on the ceiling fan. The smell of dust, the periodic creaking of loose floorboards and the antique ceiling fan that whined as it spun. This was home. There was, indeed, no place like it. It is the place that you return to when your presence is no longer required in the outside world. It is the place where you feel whole, surrounded by those whom you love. Everything here feels unforgettable. Yet, when Juniper laid on her bed that evening, something felt forgotten. It was like a word that you had at the tip of your tongue, or a dream you had at the break of dawn, it is forgotten. Its absence can be felt, and you can almost hear it laughing at the back of your head at your foolish forgetfulness. But that is the only remaining evidence that it ever existed.

Juniper got up, and examined the perimeter of what was once her childhood bedroom that she shared with her sister. On the wall was an oil painting that her sister had painted when she was about thirteen. Their mother was so proud of her. “This one has a true talent,” she remembers someone saying. She doesn’t remember who it was that said this.“This one has a future.”

Juniper and her sister seldom fought. Her sister being the civil lady that she was and Juniper knowing that she wouldn’t be the one winning. She was envious of her sister, but her love overshadowed her envy and allowed her to disguise her envy as pride for her sister. She would often comment on the many gifts that her sister possessed. She still speaks highly of her sister. It’s easier to hide the envy now that her sister is but a memory. Her body- which one radiated the dazzling rays of youth- is now one with the dirt and worms.

“Who has a future now” Juniper would often smirk, but the morbid thought saddened her more than it pleased her. She often feels that the wrong sister had been effaced from the face of the earth.

When her sister was alive, Juniper was a memory- a forgotten memory, even- one that was so faint that it almost didn’t exist. She knew that she could have been remembered and that knowledge gave her hope when she was a child. It was the kind of hope that fueled her will to live until her entire existence depended on it.

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