I spent so much time hating her. It was a visceral blinding hate that I’d physically shake with it. I spent so much energy panicked that she would replace me. When the hate of her became irrational in my own head I settled on hating the existence of her, the need of her but not actually her. I hated that she got the Visiting, Well Behaved, Excited to See You guy and I got the eh guy. I hated that she had a tumblr shrine and I didn’t. I hated the comparison of her, and the glaring shortcomings of myself. I hated the idea and application of her but I no longer hated her. I emailed her and she slowly started to wrap herself around me. I suddenly understood the why. Because being around her was intoxicating. When we met I was on my Best Behavior. I tried to be poised and polished so she would be impressed by me and like me. I was told to be myself but I was convinced she wouldn’t like the real me. We had conversations about relationships and finger monkeys and rope. I was pretending but she knew and she reassured and accepted. She was patient with me. We began to text and bits of me spilled out. She held on to my bits. I liked her. I understood the why of her. I was grateful to have a sister in this crazy thing with me. It happened without planning or on purpose but one day I knew that I loved her. And the next day I knew that I was in love with her. It washed over me like a soft breeze, gentle and calming. We planned and schemed and I felt like she and I were experiencing something unique. We were chained together in this Beautiful Thing. We began to share secrets and insecurities. We leaned on each other and compared notes. The fun two smart and sassy brats can have is nothing short of epic and we had fun. Her giggle and soft laugh was addicting. She has an uncertain fearlessness that is such a contradiction you just can’t help but be swept up. Climbing under sheets and extracting a forever promise held such a significance for me. It is one of the most precious memories I own. We had long conversations about our path. We walked and talked. She and I both saw the end of this Beautiful Thing coming. There wasn’t a plan for the future. She held my hand as I ripped out my own heart and my collar was removed. I didn’t know what that meant for us. I was scared that I’d watch her slip through my fingers. Again she was there, soft and reassuring that I would be okay, that we would be okay. She encouraged dates and fun. Her phone calls became lifelines. I made the mistake of not giving her enough credit and deciding what I thought was best for her when I got sick, though. Honestly, everyone that I loved, I pushed away. I pushed hard with her because she’s fierce and stubborn. Then she was gone. But she made me promise I’d give her the big updates. I was so relieved she was gone. I hoped she’d hate me. The fear of dying drove everything. I needed her to hate me. But she never did. Eventually tiny updates occasionally became big life moment updates. She was there quietly in the background when Boo died. If a few weeks went by we would reconnect briefly. Recently this crazy big unbelievable thing happened and one of my first thoughts was to tell her. Her immediate response was a supportive voice in my ear filling the space around me. We talked for an hour. The past and the future were topics of conversation but I soaked in the presence of her. God this woman is phenomenal. I doubt we will ever be in a romantic relationship again. I’m just grateful for the relationship we have now. It’s been a long journey from hating her to just being happy she was mine for a moment in time. I’m searching for my next moment and settling on whatever happens is the thing that needs to happen.