My sister (see this post for more info) came to my house for a visit on a normal Thursday night, March 20, 2008. I lived on the westside of Jacksonville in an old, blue, asbestos-shingled shack. I cooked homemade chicken pot-pie for dinner, a Paula Dean recipe so you know it was gooood!
Afterwards, we drank two shots of cheap tequila and smoked a joint of dirt weed. To get away from my ever hovering high-school sweetheart, we moseyed to the front porch for a couple menthol cigs.
Her company was so genuine. She told me that my boyfriend was greedy with me (he was) and that I could find someone to treat me better (I have). She told me about the weekend ahead and how she was heading to Baxley, GA to see her boyfriend, Mallory and Liana, her best friend in town from Texas. She stayed for about three hours as we gossiped and chirped like chickens.
When it was time to go she kissed my cheek, told me she loved me and pranced towards her car, keys dangling in hand.
As I sat on the front the porch of that old dilapidated, asbestos-shingled house watching her walk away a knot rose in my throat that I could not swallow. “What if something happened to her?” I thought to myself. I quickly paced to her open car door like the bossy, mother-type that I am swinging it further open.
“Brooke- are you sure that you are okay to drive? I mean, we had a nip of tequila and I know the weed was crap, but I would just die if anything were to happen…”
She cut me off, “I am fine, sister. And I love you very much. Call you soon.”
She gave me a quick peck on the lips, a one armed hug and she was gone.
Nothing could happen, right?
But the dread never left the back of my mind and it was the last time that I laid eyes on my little sister alive.
She made it home that night, but died in a car accident on the way to take Liana back to the airport for Texas early Monday morning. Liana and her boyfriend, Joshua, were also killed in the accident on impact. News Article Here
I kept that bottle of cheap tequila and one of the cigarette butts with her pink lipstick print on it.
But it has been eight long, long years.
The liquor has started to evaporate, the butt has yellowed, and the lip print’s once glittery sparkles are long faded.
I never knew how much it could hurt.
I never thought that she could leave like that, never even considered it an option. I remember having nightmares as a child that she died. I would wake in a fury, put my hand under her nose to check her breathing (in the rare case that I couldn’t already hear her snoring) and hold her hand tight knowing that it could never happen to us. She had too many plans. She was going to go to college to be a teacher. And get married and have children of her own…
Then it happened to her.
And life has not ever been the same without her.