chicks, pants, showing it all, dancing


See the Shadows of Innocence and Sanity

a shadow of the day

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chicks, pants, showing it all, dancing
From Nix.

When we met, I realized just how much we are alike. How much we look alike. From the hair to the eyes and mouth… even our heights matched, and I stared her right in the eye. For all I knew, we were twins, separated at birth when our mother could not care for both of us. I had a sister no one told me about. A real, living, breathing sister that I could call my own.

I ask her to tell me about herself, and she said her name was Phoenicia, like the land in ancient days. Our mother had a thing about names starting with a ph, she had said with a laugh. There was a younger brother, named Philip, just turning 14 this year. Phoenix, Phoenicia and Phillip.

Did you know her long, I found myself asking, or did she give you up too? I imagined my sister and brother in any number of situations, all of them destitute and all of them disheartening. Yeah, she said with a wave, she is fine. Busy with work and taking care of Philip when he gets sick, which is often enough, but she is wonderful.

Wonderful? I parrot the word back as I see my vision go red at the edges. Wonderful? Phoenicia does not hear me, or does not acknowledge it, and carries on. Absolutely wonderful, she says. Kansas is great for that. Open flat land as far as you can see. No real city for miles. Just a Wal-Mart superstore. And a Target, depending on what town you travel through at the time.

Kansas? My mother is alive and well in Kansas? I am beginning to think my vision will never clear. I have family. A sister and a brother and a living mother in Kansas. I ask Phoenicia to tell me why my mother never bothered to come to get me, once she had stabilized herself? Why would she leave me, and start another family so far away? I asked her to tell me why my mother never wrote to me or told me that I had something to call my own? Did she think I did not want to be with her? I was just a baby! I needed my mother!

Phoenicia gave me a little smile then, sad around the edges, and waning in the middle. She shrugged and shifted her coffee around on the table, eyes downcast and voice soft. Phoenicia promised that no one had ever spoken of me to her, of there ever being anyone else. Not until I had won an award for costume design in that one play everyone had been talking about. Not until she had remarked on how much we looked alike.

She looked up at me then. That is why she wrote to me, to let me know that I was not alone. She had heard my acceptance speech and how I said that it was how I had not had anyone in my life to call family until college, and how thankful I was to be so blessed now. She said she wrote to me to let me know that I had a family that was more like me than I could imagine.


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