Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bianca and Bailey

I cried once after Bianca died. Only once, right after we got the call from Mom and Dad at the hospital. Mom was sobbing in the background as Dad quietly explained that the car crashed right into the driver's door. Causing so much damage that she couldn't last through the surgery needed to save her life. As soon as he had hung up the phone I threw myself face down onto my bed and cried. It was one of those cried that seems to take away all of your strength. Great, body shaking sobs that start from the very center of your body. You cry so much, so hard, you can hardly breath. And once you're done you wipe your face and feel dried out, your body hollow.

After I cried I sat up on my bed and just stared at a picture of us taken recently, I think at our brother Ian's birthday party. We were both sitting close together on the couch, looking off to the side laughing. You would think I'd be used to it by now, but it always made me feel a little weird seeing her, looking exactly like me. My twin, my carbon copy. We both had long blonde hair, blue eyes. Our body's built the same: five foot six, not extremely thin, but definitely not fat. Our foreheads and noses crinkled the same way when we laughed. That's all anyone sees when they look at us, our twin-ness.

No one ever really looks for our differences, but as twins, trust me, we did. Like how her nose was slightly up-turned, mine more straight. Her eyes were a deeper hue of blue while mine had a greenish kind of tint to them mixed in with the blue. As a dancer she spent more time inside than I did, so I was tan while she was paler. Her body was tin, less curvy than mine, the way dancer's bodies usually are. I rode horses, so my legs were more muscular, I was just more curvy over all. As we grew older these little differences became so important to us. We tried to separate from each other, detach, distance ourselves. Never did I imagine the distance would become too great. Big enough to separate us completely. But one little crash did it in the span of a few seconds.

While the differences in our appearance may not have been obvious, our personalities were. Bianca had been born first, fearlessly leading the way just as she would in just about everything else. She had always been the more outgoing one. She was the one who made the first friend in pre-school, a girl names Shelby who was timid and shy like me. But where as Bianca made me shrink back and kind of disappear into the background, she made other people more outgoing like herself. She was always surrounded by large groups of giggling friends, gossiping, getting ready to go places, and then disappearing to parties and dates. I preferred to have less friends. Not because I couldn't make them, but because I couldn't stand the constant chatter, all the drama. Same as with boys. While my experience is only limited to two, Bianca had a steady stream of boyfriends from the day we turned thirteen.

It wasn't just that she was more outgoing or personable. She was more lively, defiant. We contrasted, night and day, a bold slash of red and a docile dot of yellow. She was always in motion, from one thing to the next. Always getting in trouble for sneaking out of breaking curfew. I, on the other hand, was back in the shadows, moving silently through life, doing what I was told. I found it easier to let her be the shining star. It was enough for me to just be near her.