I want to reach over and wipe the next tear away but I keep to myself.
She sits across from me in the grass with her legs folded under her. Her sienna hair is pulled into a ponytail at the nape of her neck and her head is tipped down looking at my note clutched in her hands on her lap. The white sleeveless boatneck dress with purple, yellow, and pink watercolor flowers that once fit her perfectly now hangs loose on her frame. She snuffles and draws a few stray strands of hair behind her ear.
“How could you leave me?” she asks, finally breaking the silence.
You don’t understand the freedom it gave me.
“Do you know what it’s like wanting to share something with you but you’re not there?” She lets the quiet hang a moment then continues, “There is so much you’ve missed and it’s only been a month.”
I do miss you. And the family. I want to speak those words to her out loud, but I cannot. I need to let her say what she came to say.
“The pain is unbearable, Kyle. I cry myself to sleep at night. I wake up screaming from nightmares. I have no appetite. I can’t focus on anything. You left a huge hole in my heart.”
It was too painful for me to stay.
Her body racks from sobbing. She hides her face from me with her hands as she rocks back and forth.
“I want to call you selfish,” she stutters between snuffling breaths. “I know it was hard for you. I know you were hurting. I just wish you didn’t think this was your only option, because it wasn’t. It was the one you chose.” She opens the note and flattens it on her lap with her fingers. “You could’ve let us help you. That’s what family is for. You’re my twin. I would’ve moved mountains to help you if you asked.” She swipes her fingers under both eyes. “You missed my wedding. You were supposed to be standing with me, Kyle.” She swallows hard. “Do you know how hard it was to go through with the wedding?”
I hadn’t thought about that.
“It was hard to enjoy that day and be happy with Sam when your absence was the pink elephant in the whole affair.”
I’m so sorry, Kyra. The words feel hollow on my tongue.
She folds the paper along the crease and presses her thumb along the fold. “You left us this,” she says laying it on the grass between us. “Are you really sorry? Or did you write that because you thought that’s what we wanted to hear?” She sniffs and rubs the back of her neck with her right hand. “I’m the one who found it. Next to the chair you kicked out from under you.” Her sobbing begins anew. “I had to watch you just hanging there, limp and lifeless, until the police and paramedics got there,” she cries. “I keep seeing you there. I close my eyes, I see you. I’m driving, you’re in front of me. I open a closet, there you are. Hanging. No life in you when you used to be so full of life.”
I’m free of my pain now, Kyra. I hope you realize that one day.
She continues to cry until she tires. “I love you, Kyle. I’ll always love you. But I hate what you did. You might be free of your anguish now but mine just started.”
She kisses the tips of her fingers and touches them to the granite headstone bearing my name, date of birth, and date of death. “Until next time, Kyle.” She picks up the note and pushes herself to her feet.
I love you, Kyra.
She turns on her heel and walks away without looking back.
©Debi Smith, 2013