All my life, I hated being an only child. I envied all the other kids who had siblings to play with, to fight with, and to grow with.
Sure, I had some great cats that I would pretend were my brothers… but it just wasn’t quite the same.
Here’s the catch though: technically I do have two half-sisters and one half-brother. My dad was married to a woman long before he met my mom and that marriage did not end well. The three kids were kept from my dad and they grew bitter and resentful due to the fallout.
I knew the general concept that my dad had kids from another marriage, but I’d never met them, nor did I piece together that they were technically my family too.
One day when I was in first grade, I found out that I was going to meet the oldest woman, who was about 30 years old, and I was told that she was my half-sister! I was beyond elated… my prayers had been answered!
All day at school I was brimming with excitement and could barely contain myself. As soon as the final bell rang, I ran home, flung my schoolbag into my room, and paced around the kitchen waiting.
Finally I heard the knock on the door and ran to answer it as fast as my little legs could take me.
“Hi!” I exclaimed, staring wide-eyed and full of love at this amazing person.
She looked down at me, said nothing, and then came inside to talk to my dad about things that sounded very serious and important.
I patiently waited while they talked and I stared at her the whole time.
She continued to ignore me and eventually went to use the bathroom.
I was still over the moon that she was actually here! In my house!
When she came back to sit down, I couldn’t contain myself anymore. My patience had reached its limit, and the floodgates of love had been opened. I ran over giggling, hugged her, and said, “I’m so glad I have a sister now!”
And that is when she broke my hopeful heart.
She looked down at my little face with disgust, shoved me off of her, and said,
“I’m not your sister. Don’t ever call me that again. I’m not anything to you.”
Then, as quickly as she came, she left.
I still remember sitting on the floor, heartbroken. I remember my mom picking me up and wiping away my tears and telling me she loved me more than a hundred siblings ever could. I can still feel how raw my throat felt from sobbing for the next few hours.
And I know it was over 20 years ago.
And I know I’ve had a wonderful life without her.
And I know that it really doesn’t matter anymore.
Yet, when I close my eyes and remember the story, I can still hear the crack my heart made the first time it was broken.