You Don’t Have any Sisters

You don’t have any sisters, which means no matter what, you know there is a small hole. A tiny bond you missed out on, that no one can replace, they tell you, which is fine, you try to tell yourself, it’s just different.

You only have brothers, so your barbies become your confidants. That is, until your brothers rip their heads off, and pull down their shirts to expose their chests and laugh at their nakedness, and you are left with headless barbies, full of your secrets who are now disconnected from the shame of their naked, perfect bodies, and it’s only recently that you’ve started to wonder if that’s when you started to feel self conscious about the cross over between living in your own skin and sharing your feelings.

You don’t have any sisters, so your cousins and friends become sisters, and you share clothes with them when you become secure enough in your body to believe that you can. And they come over and help you re-head and redress your barbies. And when you get older you live with them in spaces that are too small. And you learn to be discerning when you choose sister friends, because you need to trust that they will tell you honestly whether you look good in that outfit and if your boyfriend is sub par, because you know when push comes to shove they will never be his true sister in law. And you get comfortable enough to fight with them, and you make up with them, except when sometimes you don’t, and you’re not even sure why, but sometimes you break up with them, and it hurts so hard, that there’s a forever hole in your chest, more than a breakup with any guy, but you tell yourself that if you can break up, it must mean they were never truly your sister.

You only have brothers, and they no longer torture you, so now they become confidants, and they give you advice about things like jobs and boys even when it’s awkward. And they try to set you up on dates, because they sense that you’re lonely. And you don’t share clothes, but you share other things like laughs and dinner. And advice. Even when they’re your baby brother, because somehow he gives the best advice. And their wives become your sisters, except they’re not allowed to fight with you like sisters, but they can give advice and love like sisters.

You don’t have any sisters, so your mom becomes a blurry line between best friend and mom, which means sometimes she knows too much, but usually she knows just enough to drive over a bridge when you break up with your boyfriend just to hug you and lie in bed with you while you cry.  It also means you’ll talk about almost anything in front of your dad, and maybe it’s because he’s a doctor, but you think it’s because he makes you feel safe, because you’re his baby girl.

And so you don’t have any sisters, and maybe there will always be a small hole, but right now, it doesn’t feel that way. And you can’t help but wonder, what it is exactly, they say you are missing out on.

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