She lies there in her beautifully carved mahogany box, as still as a butterfly frozen in ice. She has lost her physical beauty. Her cheeks are pale - not so much of a tint of pink is visible, her lips are cracked and deep dark purple - the subtle bright red has long gone and her closed eyes sit in the middle of sunken black rings. I cover my face with my palms and close my eyes. I try to push that image out of my mind and attempt to replace the soulless face with a cheeky smile, bright glimmering eyes and rosy round cheeks. I try to imagine her laughter, her playful personality, her sweet voice, but all I can picture is a sad lonely girl in a wooden box. As tears fall from my eyes and onto the coffin's edge, I reach down and hold her cool hands.
The gentle whimpering and crying in the background is blocked out as if it seemed to be just me and her now. Just me and my sister. Everything blurs around me and as I feel my feet lift off the ground, I tighten my grip on her hand. I feel her too, lift out of her comfortable wooden box and as we hold onto each other, we spin out of the miserable chapel and through to the clouds where memories float and dance, waiting to be relived.
* * *
It seems like only yesterday. I was back as a 9 year old and I first noticed the blood red stains. I rested my head on her lap and gently swept my lips across her wrists. The stain felt like gravel scratching at my soft lips and uncomfortably, I pulled away with misery burdening my heart. She too, had pulled...