Three years after the stork brought me, it came
knocking on flying through our door again. It brought a new bundle and I remember peering into the wraps all day long. At the time, I was fascinated by the gift and the constant cooing and silly faces from the adults around me. The years flew past and each day brought its own lesson. That bundle was not just the second of two girls that Ya would be blessed with. It was to be a companion for the first… in all rights.
I remember our grandmother telling us ‘If your mother had one more child, you’d all kill each other’. This, after giving us a good lashing with her famous banti kirinting when she manged to end our fights. I laugh now when I think of those times and how much trouble we caused together and against each other. We were never the fairy tale description of sisters, but looking back now, I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything. In our earlier years, we would disagree on something, lock horns, shed tears and then make up. The cycle would then start all over again, prompted by arguments silly enough to put us to shame today. Heck, we even argued about who had the best ngenteh, when neither of us could remember what hers was like. Then again, isn’t that what makes us special? As we grew up, the fights had to go and we both know why. While you grew into that round figure, I stayed tall and skinny and it was only to my advantage (read safety) that I called a cease-fire and raised a white flag. I had to mask that under the maturity and ‘I am now a lady’ excuse of course, but still didn’t escape your open taunting.
See, we are peas from the same pod, yet different in more disciplines than one. Where I was bathed with a double dose of melanin,you came shining in all your fair glory. I took up Papa’s height and features, but you went in for that of our aunts and grandparents. Where I’d be shy to meet and interact with people,you would go all out and make new friends wherever you go. Where I am wary of what I say and do at a particular place or time, you throw great caution to the wind and just do as you please. Where I was slow to forgive even when forgetting was easy, you just embrace peace and make up for your relatively quick temper. When people see us, it is hard to believe we are sisters, and even harder to accept that I’m the older one. Recently, I’ve given in to introducing and referring to you as my big sister. You know it’s acceptable when Ya sometimes gives in to people who insist you are her sister.
Everyone who reads Linguere is familiar with my constant praise and appreciation of the women in my life. Of them all, I am most grateful for three, of which you are one. A thought just came to me and made me realise just how much I am blessed to have you. You were and still are the half of the duo that’d take a backseat to see me in the front one (Shouts to Cherry). I am humbled by your sacrifices, inspired by your great spirit and encouraged by your strength. I’ve learnt to appreciate you more of recent, and hope God will see us through with our plans. Like you always say, ‘no-one can share a bond closer than that which we have because we’re all we’ve got’.
I am what I am partly because you allowed me to. I know you’ve got my back and I’ve got yours too. Now run go tell Ya she can’t stop us from seeing each other next summer, while I go plan for the success you hope I’ll bring from here. Stay beautiful, stay true, stay YOU! Je t’aime!
P.S Tomorrow’s letter will be addressed to, *wait for it*… yea you’ll find out tomorrow! Peace!