The first time she asked me, I said no:

I didn’t like Vanilla Ice as much as NKOTB. I didn’t want to sleep in her bed that night. I wasn’t stealing her clothes. I didn’t like her friends. I didn’t care what other people thought about me.

No, she couldn’t borrow my Limited sweater for her senior pictures.

No, I wasn’t going to miss her when I left for college.

No, she didn’t have to send me a card when he broke my heart.

No, I wasn’t going to cry in front of everyone at Granny’s funeral.

No, it wasn’t because I didn’t care. It was because that’s how I functioned.

The first time she asked me, I said no. No, he wasn’t worth crying over. No, he hadn’t called. No, he wasn’t in the hospital anymore. No, his injuries weren’t as bad as hers. No, I didn’t think it was fair either. No, I wouldn’t call him and speak my mind. No, even though she believed him to be, I didn’t think he was worth it. No, I wouldn’t get on a motorcycle with anyone that wasn’t safe. Yes, I promised.

I could see it behind her eyes. The pain, the turmoil, and the struggle to find a shiny piece of hope in the mess that was made. The luxuries once provided at home, stolen by another’s stupidity. Her privacy vanished, her heart broken, and her body battered, she yearned to believe the words spoken to her. Yes, she’d be able to walk again. Yes, she could leave the hospital soon. Yes, she survived something that nobody else could understand. No, I wouldn’t leave to go back to school. Not until she was home and mom had someone to help her. She didn’t need to be at the hospital alone.

Then again, years later, the first time she asked me, I said no. No, it wouldn’t happen again. No, he didn’t mean to hurt me. No, she couldn’t talk to him on my behalf. The second, third, and fourth times my answer was the same. No, he’s not abusive. No, I’m not suffering.

A two letter response was far easier than providing the truth. Glimpses of it, seen through my eyes, were enough to prove that my answer was a lie. The pain, the suffering, and the confusion all running a never-ending, exhausting maze behind my eyes. She found the truth there, and never asked again, knowing that I’d lie to her anyway. She rounded corners, hit dead ends, and turned back around, seeking the path that would lead her to the truth.

She couldn’t find it on her own, so she started asking again.

I said no. No, I wasn’t happy. No, my life wasn’t headed where I wanted it to go. No, I wasn’t going to continue down this path. No, I wouldn’t go back. Yes, I mean it this time. No, I really don’t want to talk about it. Not in detail, anyway.
No, she didn’t have to come clean my house while I laid in bed depressed. No, she didn’t need to come back a week later to be sure I did some laundry. No, I wasn’t helpless. Yes, I was sad. No, I didn’t need her to stay.

Time passed. Our wounds healed. Our friendship grew. My sister became my best friend.

No, I wouldn’t trade her for anyone else in the world.

I love you, Bella.


This post was brought to you because of the IndieInk Writing Challenge. My prompt coming from Zee: “The first time she asked me, I said no…” is dedicated to my oldest sister, Bella. She’s an angel.


7 thoughts on “No

  1. What a great sentiment. I’m so glad you and your sister are close. It’s so important to have someone there who knows when you are lying but also knows that you’ll tell her the truth when you’re ready, and who loves you all the same.

  2. What a beautiful accolade for your sister and a lovely testament to your strength (again!). Our life is heavy with “no” and “yes,” they can mean so very much. Your piece captured that brilliantly. I love reading your work Fina.

  3. What a great interpretation of the prompt! This read perfectly like a sibling relationship; the caring and fighting and getting through things while trying each other’s nerves. Great work!

  4. Wow, this was amazing. The connection you describe makes me want a sister even more than I always did growing up. 🙂 Well done.

  5. Pingback: What I Thought Was Awesome This Week | Made More Beautiful

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