by Chloe Allen
I don’t remember you.
I should, shouldn’t I? I should see you in my own reflection—in my eyes, my nose, my smile. Does it make me a bad sister, a bad twin, do you think? For not remembering those moments when it was just us two, when you were my world, and I yours? When in our own unborn existence, you were the one I knew better than myself?
Losing the other half of myself ought to have left a mark. A scar. Something broken, at the very least. Don’t you deserve that? A visible cry out to the world so that someone other than me and my parents would feel your absence?
In my head, you’re a girl. I’m sorry if that’s wrong. I should remember, but I don’t remember. We would have shared a room and stolen each other’s clothes and talked about boys and driven each other absolutely insane. I would have been jealous of your nose, and you would have been jealous of my eyes, and you would have told me in high school that my glasses were a bad fashion choice even when no one else would. And our great-aunts would get us mixed up and we would roll our eyes because we aren’t identical—but we wouldn’t ever say anything. And I think you would have been loud. Someone ought to balance out the silence I speak at any given moment. But I wouldn’t have minded. You would have said what I wanted to when I was too afraid to open my mouth.
But instead, everything is quiet. Four siblings, and somehow it isn’t enough.
Did you know that Charlotte didn’t know you existed until a couple weeks ago? You would have been her sister, and she had no idea. Is that my fault too? I should have talked about you more. But what do you say when your other half is a stranger? I wish I knew.
Somehow, in the lottery of life and death, I lived. And you left. I don’t blame you. But that doesn’t change the fact that every day I do the things you never got to. There’s nothing quite like feeling air effortlessly move through your lungs, somehow giving your body strength. But you don’t know that. You never got to pet a dog or go to prom or jump on a trampoline or rollerskate or drink water or scream or tie your shoelaces or run until it feels like your heart is going to explode or go to school or hug our mother or dance. You never got to live, to experience this beautiful chaos we call life.
So, I’ll live for you. You can come with me.
Chloe Allen is an undergraduate at Brigham Young University, where she obsesses over the English language with her fellow editing and publishing majors. She enjoys reading, singing, and watching The Great British Baking Show, and has recently discovered she has an intense aversion to writing about herself in the third person. After graduation, her goal is to become an editor of fiction novels, so that she can read for the rest of her life.
(Art) Phyllis Green is an author, playwright, and artist. Her art can be found at ArLiJo 123, Gulf Stream magazine, Novus, New Plains Review, and soon in CALYX, Aji, I 70 Review, Rip Rap, and Cinematic Codes Review.