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I know who you are. I know what you are. But, I don’t know why you are. I know things are different now, but then again that’s no excuse, is it? Why would you think you need to do this because of what happened? And that’s when I start to get a bloodcurdling thought: You actually enjoy this and you’re doing this because you want to. It’s really unnerving and I can’t handle it when my mind starts to wander and twist at the thought of your recent decisions. I’ve been watching you, Chelsea.
“How often do you have to buy that twelve dollar bottle of Mabelline New York? You use so much just on the top lip.”
“Oh, shut-up. You’re only jealous.”
Jealous? Jealous? You think that you’re so charming glossing your lips so excessively. I’m not jealous, in fact I am disgusted. You’re such a disgrace to our family now, what left of a family that we have anyways. You’re friends don’t know you and yet you say that they know you better than I. Better than your own sister? You act as though your faultless and you go and you flaunt what our mother gave you. You flaunt it in such a provocative way that when I look at you my spine cringes and I have to get out of the room. Out of town. Out of the state. Out of the country. Out of the universe. Swimming through all the galaxies as if they were the deep blue ocean. You used to love the ocean, but you’re different now. That’s what I wanted to say to you.
“Jealous of you? No, Chelsea. I’m scared of you.”
“Scared of what? The fact that I buy twelve dollar lipstick in this economy?”
We both laugh, just like we used to. Don’t you remember the way the two of us used to be? You probably don’t. You’re so caught up in this new world of yours that you probably can’t tell the difference of reality and you’re little universe that you tell yourself is so great. You’re putting on that strapless top that you got out of mom’s closet now and I want to cry. I hate that you use her apparel for your new promiscuous lifestyle. You act like I don’t know about you and all the abhorrent things that you do.
“So, where are you going tonight? Do you think you’ll be home at a decent time?”
“I’m going out with some friends. And I don’t know, what does it even matter to you?”
That way that you say “you” makes me nauseous. You act like I am from a completely different universe and I speak an unknown language. It matters to me because even you know that I know your ‘friends’ aren’t really friends; they use you just like the people at your ‘work’ do. It makes my stomach turn upside down when I think about the people you associate yourself with. How would mom feel? How would dad feel? Sometimes my pillow is drenched in liquid salt. All I do at night is watch the alarm clock, tick-tick, and cry while waiting for the ‘front door open’ alarm to tackle my distress so I can finally get some rest.
“It matters because I get worried when you’re out passed two in the morning. What could you be doing on a Tuesday at two in the morning?”
“It’s none of your business! What are you trying to say, huh? What are you getting at here?”
I can’t deal with this. The emotional stress you’re putting on me is more than my body and mind can take anymore. I’ve tried for so long and I am not sure how much longer I will be able to hold on before I do something stupid to take all this pain away; permanently. Is that what you want? You want me to die, to kill myself because you never took the chance to put down the eye shadow and ask if I was okay? I feel like that and I have for a long time, Chelsea. Why don’t you see it?
“I wasn’t implying anything. I wasn’t ’getting at’ anything. I was asking you a simple question and you turned this into something more. YOU set yourself up this time! You did it! This is your fault!”
This is just like you, isn’t it? For you to run away from your problems, to look back in fear and let all the mascara run down. You look pitiful right now, like a fallen angel. Remember mom? Remember dad? Remember church? Remember when you used to love me? Of course not. How could you be capable of remembering anything with your psychotic medicinal filled head? I run out the door and I grab your arm and I pull it until I can twist you around and make you face me. I smell your breath, the weed and the alcohol. I drag you inside and I pull you into the bathroom with me where I lock the door and I turn off the light.
“I know who you are. I know what you are. But I don’t know why you are. Chelsea, you used to be my favorite person in the world. I never thought that I would have to say you ’used’ to be. I thought you always would be and I never doubted that you loved me. But, now I do. I know that you remember the car accident and I don’t understand why you try to block it out. Just face it! I have and I’m only fifteen! You’re nineteen and you can’t even handle it. You’re drunk and you’re high! You’re wasting your life! Mom and Dad see you, they watch over you and no matter how hard they try they can’t keep you from making such poor decisions! I try too, but I’m giving up, this is the last time and if you don’t change then there’s nothing left. You’re a drug addict. And you’re a prostitute. You’ve done things that just don’t seem like you. You weigh ninety-five pounds and you talk to random men who are thirty years older than you while wearing a crop-top. Please, please, just stop. I’m looking in your eyes and you’re wearing a mask of glass. I could break it any minute and then what would you be? You’d be the Chelsea that I used to know. Who didn’t wear a pound of foundation and wear eye shadow up to the tip of the brow. Who didn’t get wasted at 12 p.m on a Monday. I love you, but you don’t love yourself. You can’t like the way that you feel. Now, here’s a wet rag.. Take off that makeup and then I will turn on the light and I want you to tell me what you see.”
She took of the makeup and even in the dark I could see the remorseful look in her. I’m scared too, what if she never changes? What if I don’t get the Chelsea that I loved so much back? What if she never gets her life on track…
I turn on the light because the shaky voice says that she’s ready. Said that she knows she can’t be like this forever. Says that she knows it’s time to make a permanent change. As she looks at herself in the mirror I see a sun-kissed face that has beautiful electric blue eyes. I see lips that are creeping a smile. I have not seen my beloved sister like this in awhile. She doesn’t say what she see’s and that’s when I realize it’s my time to tell her what I see.
“Chelsea, just look at you! You’re so beautiful. When I look at the girl in the mirror I don’t see a disguise. I don’t see a girl who’s running and ready to hide. I see the most wonderful person I’ll ever know. This woman is so charming and revered. I love her more than anything in the world. I’m ready to help her grow and mature. I am so happy that I have this lady in my life. She’s absolutely stunning and I can’t wait to show her off to the world. I love you.”
We both smile, just like we used to. I am so proud of her. I know that our diamonds up in the sky called Mom and Dad are watching over us tonight and forever and I know they are smiling with pleasure. We’re both ready to make those two proud.
Ithaca, New York
Arlington Heights, Illinois
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