My shoulder drenched.
The mucus coagulating.
Like an exorcist I patted.
Granting the demons freedom.
Her shoulders buoyant with fury.
My sister who never cried.
The one who scorned weakness.
Turned to me, me…the family weakling.
What could this mean?
At that instant, it meant everything.
That her heart was as weak as mine.
That our souls were threaded by more than blood.
The currency of pretense, dismissed.
And respect, born.
She sobbed for minutes.
Hours. It didn’t matter.
I didn’t care.
We didn’t bother.
She cursed and hit me.
She let the demons on me.
“Thank you for trusting me”, my heart screamed.
Thank you for letting me.
Mother questioned the strange noises.
The guttural muffling.
My lie made no sense.
My honor depended on it.
Mother couldn’t bring my door down.
Martha stopped hitting.
My shirt was torn in many places.
But on her heart…worse bruises.
She rose from my arms.
Or so I thought.
“This time, I’m done. Come, let’s pay that idiot a visit”.
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