Emily's Notes

This story is part two in a series. Part one is “Sociopath’s Notes.”

After they took her I went back to my old name. I cut my hair close to my scalp, gave up milk, became austere. I had lived so long in a parody of boldness.

“You can’t hurt me,” I would shout whenever I caught her behind me on the stairs.

Did it hurt that we looked so much alike? So that I was like a seedling started from the same stock, five years later?

Listen, I never learned to call that presence “sister.” She didn’t share my face, my narrow hips, my belly button nubbin. She wore them, like a tree wears the body of a bird that dies in it.

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