My best friend and I are four years apart in age, have completely different lifestyles, and surround ourselves with totally different types of people. In truth, we couldn’t be more dissimilar. Even now, we live on opposite ends of the city… she in Midtown and I in the suburbs. I’m as straight-laced as it gets. A “Type A,” organized, responsible mother of two who schedules nearly every hour of the day. She’s the complete opposite. She’s easy-going, spontaneous, and thankfully only responsible for four-legged babies.
All differences aside, she is my best friend. She and I have shared a bathroom, bubblegum, a backseat on long car rides, and a sense of humor that borders on disturbing. She has made me angrier than anyone else in this world every could, and at times, sadder than anyone ever should be. But for every tear, there has been abundant laughter. For every unkind word, there have been hours of dreams and wishes whispered in the darkness between the two of us. And through it all, we remain best friends, because she is my sister.
My one and only sister. The only other person in this world who knows what it’s like to grow up with my parents, my memories, my reality. The same person who sat at the top of the stairs with me and held me as we listened to our parents argue at night. I idolized her growing up. I would do her chores for a week straight just to sleep next to her in her bed for a night. When we played house in our backyard, I let her have the tree house as her penthouse apartment and the deck as her loft, even if that meant I was “homeless.” I didn’t get mad when she pushed me into the bamboo when it was finally my turn on the swing, or when she cut my favorite Barbie’s hair. And when she outgrew our playdates, I resorted to eavesdropping and lurking around corners to stay close to her.
As a teenager, I relished being known as her little sister. She was well-liked and well-known for being the life of the party, something I admired as an introvert myself. In high school, I became fiercely protective of my sister, even from my parents. I covered for her, picked up after her, and refused to believe she could do any wrong.
As grown women, we have a different dynamic than we did as little girls. Over time, we’ve experienced a bit of a role reversal, with me taking on the big sister persona. Our relationship is complicated and rich with a history that is not always easy to recall with a smile. But I would not trade it for anything in the world. My love for my sister runs deep within my veins, like the blood we share. She was my first and best friend. She is my sister.