In Truth I Die
Writer's Digest Writing Prompt
She looks at me with tears streaming down her face, her dramatics on full display. "How could you smile?" She says through her whimpers. "That doctor just gave you the worst news of your life," her voice hitching as her sobs drown out my laughter.
"Oh, the irony." I grab my sister's hand and wait for her crying to subside. Grabbing the box of tissues beside my bed she wipes her face rubbing off the little mascara that manages to survive her ocean of tears. "What does heaven mean for you?"
She looks out the window. "It's a happy place. One where we can all be free. One where tears have no purpose." Looking down at her dampened tissue she continues, "One where we can all be well," her last description causes her pouty lips to upturn. A smile that I haven't seen in a while. A smile that, until now, I didn't realize how much I miss.
"Sissy," a nickname I haven't used since we were kids. "Imagine being told that place you described only accepted some people." She looks at me and her chest heaves, but before her sobs return, I say, "Just listen." She nods in agreement. "Imagine being told that no matter how much good you've done, that place, is off limits to you. That place won't accept you. Won’t accept you because of the person you decided to love.” She begins to shake her head, but I continue because she has to know why I’m at peace. "Over this past year, I have come to grips with the fact that I've done all I can do here on Earth. God knew my expiration date the day he put me in mom's stomach."
My sister leans against me, "But bitty." Her nickname for me, one she's never let me outgrow. When I told her I was too old for it, she answered my protest with snark. Telling me it was her way of reminding me that I was her little brother.
I slap her wrist and say, "I told you to listen. Considering I'm on my deathbed." Waving my hand over the bed she was now crowding I say, "For once, let me finish." A small chuckle escapes her. "I finally understand that just as He knew my expiration date, He also knew my heart. More intimately than anyone I've ever shared it with. And despite my haters wanting to damn me to hell because I love a man, I'd still push through and do my best to serve my purpose."
Her eyes examine me cautiously, and I know from our experience together that she was about to burst at the seams if I didn't let her interrupt, but I gently tapped my finger to her hand reminding her that I am not finished. "I'm happy because I'll finally be able to be where not many said I could go." A single tear rolls down my face.
She mouths, "Always have to have the last laugh."
I hunch my shoulders and say, "And if it doesn't happen, if I don’t make it. I'm fine too." She looks at me with a pained look in her eyes, and I shake my head saying, "The queens throw the best welcome party, and they won't let a little heat ruin the fun." Sissy gathers me in her arms, and I'm glad she understands me.