i’ve always told my sister i’d do anything for her. i know what i need to do now.
i’ll bring her my smiles and laughter, saving my heartbreak and tears for another time when she can’t sense my pain. i’ll keep my eyes locked with hers, listening to her every word of every story, doing everything i can to avoid shifting my gaze to meet his and getting lost in another daydream.
she loves him with her entire heart and my heart is getting out of control. i owe it to her to process these feelings alone. i owe it to her to lie and say everything is fine, and of course i’d love to come over for dinner, and of course i will be in her wedding, and of course one day i’ll be the best aunt to her baby. there’s no one else she trusts more than me. of course i’d never hurt her.
i have to let it go.
i’ll sit with the guilt i feel when i think he deserves more, and rinse myself clean of the feeling that he’d be happier with me. i’ll bite my tongue when she criticizes the parts of him that i know so intimately – the ones i’ve known and loved since before he and i even met. i’ll never tell her how many times i’ve wanted to be alone with him when she’s in the room, or how quickly i fell for all the parts of him she can’t stand. i’ll help her see that those sides of him are worth loving; i’ll never let her know that i loved them first.
i’ll be his friend, just like always. i’ll make dinner with him and drink on the patio and play cards until morning for as long as i live. i’ll never hold his hand, or stare at his lips for too long, or crawl over to the driver’s side and give him the love we’ve both been craving for so many years. i’ll go on dates and fuck other people until someone makes me feel even close to the way he does – so loved, so appreciated, and so deeply understood. i won’t think about how i could give him everything he says his life is missing. i’ll give up the fantasies and the photos and the memories and leave a hole in the pit of my heart and my stomach if it means she will be happy forever. i’ll never tell him what i’m thinking, even if he asks. and i know he will always ask.
i hope he never finds out. i hope she never finds out. maybe there’s a universe in which i’m happy and he and i are together, but i’ll do everything i can to let that feeling go so she can be happy in this one.