Sisterhood Is A Many-Splendoured Thing

Me and my little extension.
Me and my little extension.
My sister turned 29 a few weeks ago. It’s an impossible thing to me. I still haven’t quite reconciled how she is no longer hanging by my hem and waiting for me to play with her and teddy, let alone understood that she is a mother. A fully formed human bean actually came out of her. My baby sister who used to jump on the bed with her floppy bolster declaring “I am a prefect! I am a prefect!” whilst I chased her around in exasperation to get my tie back. She was my duty, my roommate and my special brand of nuisance. She was never supposed to be an adult, not before I was.   

Being an older sister has been many things. Is, many things. Besides the often-heavy robe of shepherding, there is also the delicate heartbreak of watching this guileless bird stretch her ungainly wings to join her own summer starlings. We can’t be more different, and yet, when I see her chew on her lip or peel the sides of her finger absently, it’s an unsettling mirror.

A couple of years back, when we were at my late grandmother’s for Chinese New Year, I was on the sofa and she came. Wordlessly, she sat next to me and threw her legs over mine, texting away on her phone like I wasn’t there. I stared at her legs, wanting to say “I miss you” back. Instead, I sat very still, staying invisible for as long as I could.

These days, whenever we get to see each other, I linger on her face for a little while, trying to remember that heart-shaped face as much as I can before the next impossible thing.  
wei lin
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