Heterotaxy syndrome. A rare birth defect that involves the heart and other organs. The beginning of the word (hetero-) means “different." And the end (–taxy) means “arrangement.” My little sister Sydney Gray has a different heart. It's arranged differently the way people would not understand. Not even myself.
The light in my small bedroom flicks on and I groan and pull my covers on top of my face, and I hear my mother's slow footsteps walk across my room to my bed. "Caroline, it's 10:30.", she says in a whisper, "I've let you sleep in longer then usual, get up." I feel my fluffy blue covers being yanked off and I curl up and hold my legs to stay warm in my freezing bedroom. "But it's Summer..." I say with a yawn. I open my eyes half way and catch a glimpse of my mom walking towards the door. "Well you have work today and I don't want you to be late again." she says her back turned to me.
"I hate you, you know that right?" I mumble. She turns and then puts a hand on her hip and smirks. "Whatever," she says then rolls her eyes, "Just get Sydney dressed when you get up." She then turns back to the door and walks out
I groan again and roll off my bed and fall to the floor with a thump, that always seemed to get me up somehow. I sit up and rub my face sleepily then stand up and use my dresser for support. I quickly open a drawer and take out some jeans and a t-shirt that says, "The Silver Diner." I unzip my penguin footies and slide on my jeans and my shirt. I then walk to the closet to get my favorite Converse shoes, but notice they're not there. "Mom!" I yell, "Where are my Converse?!" She doesn't answer and I roll my eyes.
I grab a hair-tie and put my straight hair in a pony tail and walk out of my room in my pink socks. Just as I'm about to walk through the hall to the kitchen I hear a small voice singing a song.
"Baby you light up my word wike obady else." I smile and remember what my mom said earlier. I turn around and walk into Sydney Gray's room and lean against the doorway and watch her from the back, singing her favorite song to her baby doll. I walk over quietly and then bend down start to tickle her arm pits. She stops singing and starts laughing loudly and falls back giggling, "Stop It!", she says between breaths, "Stop!" I take my hands away and look at her upside down from above.
"It's time to get you dressed Sydney, Miss Karly will be here soon." I say picking her up and standing her up in front of me. Miss Karly has been Sydney's speech therapist for a while now and Sydney has fallen in love with her.
I stand up and open her closet and grab a little pink ruffly shirt, and a pair of shorts. I turn and bend down and Sydney is humming her song again with her baby doll in her arms. I take it from her and look at the baby doll for a moment then set it down beside me. Just like all the other baby dolls in the house, it has a feeding tube in the right corner of the baby's belly. The only reason that is, is because when Sydney was born, and all the tubes were being shoved down her throat, she wasn't able to eat like any other baby. So my mother would blend up a special recipe and feed it to her during the day. But Sydney's feeding tube was taken out when she was four, and she's able to eat normally now.
I pick up the pink shirt and slide it over her chest covered in scars, then slide on her shorts. I then notice her staring at her wall with a single poster taped to it, with her favorite band,One Direction on it. I move my head in the middle of her stare and grin. "Whatcha thinking Syd." I say. she then looks me in the eyes then back at the poster.
"Which is your boyfwend Caroline?" She asks with a serious expression.
I turn my head to take a look at the poster for a minute. "Um, I don't know Syd." I turn back to her and shrug, "Maybe you should choose for me."
She smiles and rushes over to the poster of the five boys sitting on a bench with huge grins on their faces. She then points to a boy with dark hair and tan skin and arms covered with tattoos. "Zayn." She says with a nod. I tilt my head to the side an smile at her.
"Okay," I say with a smirk, "Which is yours?" Without hesitation she points to another boy with blonde hair and a gorgeous white smile. "Oooohh." I say mockingly then stand back up and walk over to her pick her up with a big hug. I feel her bury her face in my t-shirt then she lifts her head up again.
"One dway I will see dem." She says hopefully. I set her down and kiss her forehead.
"Yes you will." I say with a smile.
Suddenly the door bell rings and Sydney immediately perks up and rushes down the hallway exclaiming, "Miss Karly! Miss Karly!" I turn off the light in Sydney's room and walk out closing the door behind me. I hear the front door open and Miss Karly greeting Sydney. I walk out of the hallway and Miss Karly waves to me and they both go to the dining room table as I walk into the kitchen.
My mom in our tiny kitchen leaning against the counter sipping her coffee in a mug that says, I Hate Mondays. I open the fridge and take out left over pizza and start to eat it cold. My mom looks at me funny, "Aren't you going to heat that up sweetheart?" I shrug and sit on the counter and take another bite. My watch then beeps announcing that a new hour has arrived. I look at my mom who is taking another sip of her coffee and she gestures me to the door. I nod and hop off the counter the pizza crust hanging from my mouth and grab my car keys hanging on a little hook. "Wait!" I hear my mom call behind me, "I found your shoes!" I turn and run to where my mother is pointing and slip on my white Converse. I then finish my pizza real quick then call out, "Bye Sydney, bye mom!" I hear them say bye behind me as I walk out the door to my car.