My name is Ilene Down and on June 1, 2008, I found my younger sister stained with her own blood. It was three years ago but I can still remember the chills that touching her cold body sent through my spine. I recall dialing 911 and praying to God as I held this limp being in my arms. Could I have saved her I wondered. Why would she do something like this? The ambulance came and as they were loading her into the back of the truck, I sat frozen on the bathroom floor. Eventually my eyes began to wonder and I found the suicide letter that she had left behind. I crawled to the last words that my sister left on this Earth and after reading it everything made sense. The countless spoken word trophies that wrapped around her room were just symbols that no one was truly listening to her, not even me.
“The day I live be the day I die,
but before I go I must let this last tear dry.
You always assumed my words to be that of my creation,
your ongoing applause feeding to my undying imagination.
Never once did you think I was actually articulating,
the ropes tightening on my internal enslavement.
Through the years I’ve shared nothing short of my own pain,
still you confused me to have the mind of someone sane.
After today there shall be no more from me to read,
signed and dated in red “ink,” as my left wrist bleeds.”
6/1/1988 – 6/1/2008.
“Two souls in one place and only one is flawed,
two fighting for the same goal and only one gets scarred.
Your first breathe was before mine and yet I’m losing air,
our heartbeats came simultaneously so I feel like you should care.
But you can’t hear me; you are deaf like the rest,
blind you must be to not see the pain in my chest.
Boom, boom, boom, boom,
boom, boom, boom,
My heart is beginning to beat less and less,
soon there will be no sound to ignore,
no soul to bless.”
When Alaina read this the whole crowd uproar with applause and I was a part of it. She was speaking to me and instead of paying attention…I clapped. Alaina and I are twins so when she spoke of two souls she meant us. She was more than my sister, she was my best friend and I failed her. Growing up we spent most of our time together but after we graduated, I went to the military and she stayed behind. I left to protect my country, leaving my little sister unprotected. I don’t know why those two minutes that separated our births mattered so much but they did. I took the role as the older sister then left. It was my fault that she felt this way.
When we were growing up I always felt like Alaina hated me. My mother and I would go out all of the time but Alaina never wanted to go with us. I used to love going to Mia’s, my mother’s best friend, house but Alaina hated it. I just figured that she would do anything to keep me from being happy. Why couldn’t she just like me? I didn’t expect her to love me but she could at least like me as a person. I guess that was just too much to ask, but anyway that was a long time ago. As we grew older, our relationship changed.
By the time we entered middle school we were as close as two people could be. Alaina was no longer an antisocial stranger; she became one of my best friends. I remember the first time that I got pregnant, I had to be about thirteen, and Alaina was the only one I could go to. She was the only one that I could trust not to judge my situation and tell my parents. And although she didn’t agree with me having an abortion she didn’t criticize me while expressing her own views. After I saw how much it hurt her the first time I vowed to never do that again. I ended up getting pregnant two more times after that but couldn’t bear to tell Alaina yet somehow I think that she knew.
I finally got the message and started being more careful, but it was a little too late. The only thing that kept me from returning to a bad habit I had seemed to have obtained was the fact that Alaina was pregnant at the same time I was. I decided that I could go through with it this time. I knew that I would have someone that was going through the same thing at the same time so I would always have someone to turn to. Now look what has happened. My sister, my best friend, my rock is now in a hospital bed, a few breathes away from the grave. She could die at any second and then what would happen? Who would help me then? I guess I could always count on Riley, I mean he is the father.
Heh it’s funny how I ended up getting pregnant by my twin sister’s best friend. When we were growing up Riley was just some geeky pimple-faced kid but after his face cleared up and he had his braces removed he was gorgeous. I kind of thought that Alaina was going to try to date him but she was too in love with Chad, her boyfriend, and she never seemed physically interested in Riley. Chad was crazy about Alaina too though. He was preparing to propose to Lala and honestly I was slightly jealous. Riley and I had been dating longer than them and sometimes I felt like he didn’t even like me anymore. Now thinking back on everything I’m happy that Alaina was at least happy with Chad.
Chad and Riley are both amazing guys though so I feel blessed that Alaina and I ended up in good long term relationships because it gave our father less to worry about. Our dad was always being overprotective of his little girls and when anyone approached us they had better met up with his standards. He would torture the guys that were actually nice to us because he didn’t like them. I always wondered what he would do if anyone ever hurt one of us.
Our father is about 6’7, 350 pounds of muscle and I would have to pray for whoever dared to hurt someone in his family, especially his daughters. He was in the military for fifteen years and was now a decorated detective. Again I say, good thing we both found men that truly love us and would never hurt us.
Damn Ilene told me what happened and I couldn’t even believe it, or maybe I didn’t want to. Alaina and I are best friends so the thought of losing her turns my stomach and breaks my heart.
Alaina and I had been friends since our diaper days. We grew up having a love/hate relationship throughout the years. She was always bullying me because I was the nerdy kid that didn’t really know how to talk to anyone, especially not to any of the females. Even though she did pick and nag she was still my one and only true friend and wouldn’t let anyone else talk about me.
I remember one day when we were in the second grade, one of the bigger kids called me an ugly rat and Alaina was right there to save the day and my feelings. She asked him to apologize but when he refused she reverted to physical ways to make him pay. Alaina kicked the boy in his knee cap before pulling him to the ground and hoping on top of him. I swear that she must have been on him for a good ten minutes just slapping him and pulling his hair until someone finally got the teacher to come and get her off. Not only did the kid end up apologizing but he never picked on anyone in the class again. I guess that he thought once that you get beat by a girl you can’t really be scary to the other people in the room. Alaina was taking boys’ manhood before they had the chance to enjoy it properly.
After that I always said that I was going to marry a girl like Alaina. Honestly, I wanted the girl like Alaina to be Alaina. Not only was she brave and protective but she had this aura around her that drew people in faithfully. She always kept a big circle of friends but never changed from the person that she was when we were kids. Even in high school when the other girls started to give every guy their bodies, Alaina sat back and watched. She said since people had been fighting to steal it her whole life that she would spend her life protecting it for someone who truly deserved it.
Chad Yerlings was that lucky bastard that took Alaina’s attention and her heart. I always thought that since her and I were best friends that we would end up together but Chad just scooped in and stole her away from me. I could tell that Alaina really wanted me though so I just sat back and waited for my chance.
Years had passed and it seemed like I would never get the chance to be with Alaina so I took the next best thing, her twin sister. Don’t get me wrong, Ilene is a great woman but she just wasn’t Alaina. Ilene was gorgeous and smart with a passion for the military, any man would be lucky to have her on his arm and after two years of dating I had truly grown to love her.
Of course when I finally fall for Ilene my chance with Alaina came. We were at a party and realized that we only knew each other but instead of just leaving Alaina suggested that we stay and enjoy ourselves. Alaina and I ended up spending the whole night dancing together and taking shots. Alaina had reached her limit and when she felt she had too much she asked me to take her to the room. Her mouth said that she wanted to be left alone but her body was calling out to me. After twenty-one long years I was finally going to get my chance.
Alaina laid down on the bed and I laid down beside her. When I asked if she wanted me to leave and she said no and that it was fine. She began to drift away so I knew that if I wanted to make my move I would have to do it now. I turned Alaina on her back and began to unbutton her blouse. It sounded like she said no but most girls do at first, they just like to tease. I was so excited about finally being able to do this that I didn’t even bother to put on a condom. When we were done I got dressed and told Alaina that I would wait for her in the car. I must have waited for an hour before going back inside to find out that she walked home.
“Call me crazy but I thought that no meant no,
or maybe I missed the conversation when no became go.
So maybe it’s my fault…
No scratch that, I won’t give you satisfaction,
you know exactly what you did, exactly what happened.
I trusted you and you stole from me,
my security, my dignity, my sanity.
When I screamed no that was not the liquor speaking,
you only heard what you wanted to hear to get what you were seeking.
Your advances were unwanted, mentally disturbing,
you were supposed to protect me from the ones that did the hurting.
And yet you failed.
Failed to protect, succeeded to rape,
I wouldn’t give in so you succeeded to take.
And you come around as if all is ok,
fully knowing what you did that day.
I held you close and you stole something closer,
this child might be yours,
but you’ll never know her”
I was in the crowd the night she recited this, the night she won yet another competition. I could feel her staring at me with every word but couldn’t bear to look up. Maybe if I didn’t acknowledge it then it would make it less true. And maybe if I didn’t acknowledge it her boyfriend wouldn’t know that the baby Alaina was carrying might be mine. Maybe, just maybe, if I didn’t look up I wouldn’t have to face the reality that I raped my best friend and caused her this much pain.