Split

I killed her. The thought hits me like a punch in the face. I killed my sister. It feels as if I've killed myself.

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1. Calista

 

Glistening in the moonlight, turning pink as it mixes with the water that drips into the sink like raindrops. Slowly coming off my hands, although I feel they are stained forever. The sight of the blood makes me feel sick. My hands shake uncontrollably as I scrub them, so hard that I peel the skin and my blood mixes with hers.

I killed her. The thought hits me like a punch in the face. I killed my sister. It feels as if I've killed myself. As I stare at my reflection in the bathroom mirror, I see her. We look almost exactly the same. Same features, and same hair, though she grew hers longer and I kept mine short. The only exception is the birthmark I bear that helps others distinguish between us. I look in the mirror again. She is crying crystal tears that create tracks down her blood-stained face.

I didn't have a choice.

I dig out the dirt and blood from beneath my fingernails.

They said I had to do it.

My hands are red and sore from all the scrubbing.

That though she was smarter, I was stronger.

They sting as I run them under scalding hot water.

She would have died out there.

I can still see the blood.

I would only be doing her a favour.

My hands are painted in crimson.

That's what they told me.

But there's nothing there really.

And that's the problem. There is only so long that I can hide this secret, bury it deep within me where no one can find it. But sooner or later, it will rise back to the surface, and I will drown in the emotional turmoil, reminded of my actions. There is only so much that a sixteen year old girl can bear. And murder isn't one of them.

I can't erase the image of her limp, lifeless body as I held her in my arms for the very last time. It is branded in my mind; I see it every time I close my eyes. I cried, but not because I was upset. I was angry. I was angry at our parents, I was angry at her and I was angry at myself. If she was stronger, maybe our parents would have had more faith in her. And if I was smarter, I could have convinced them that it didn't have to end this way, that there were other ways.

Wiping the tears off my face, I dry my hands and numbly climb up the stairs to the room my sister and I share. Just mine now. My body has given up, shutting down as I curl up on my bed, pulling the midnight blue covers over my head. I keep imagining that I can hear sirens wailing in the distance, that they're coming to get me because they know. But that's not possible. I did everything the way my parents told me.

After I burned her body, to dispose of the evidence, I scattered her ashes, staring into the distance as the wind carried them away. Now, as I look up at the ceiling, painted like a galaxy, I feel her presence, watching over me. We're not a religious family. Heaven and God were always myths. But I'm beginning to see things in a different light. She is here with me, an angel up in Heaven because she is the saint and I am the sinner.

"I'm sorry, Allie," I whisper to her, "I had to do it." No response comes, of course, but still, a part of me hoped that something would happen like it does in horror movies - the lamp flickering, the curtains blowing, the door creaking open. Because this is a horror movie, only much scarier. I just can't decide if I'm the victim or the attacker. If I am the predator or the prey. I didn't deserve this, but neither did she.

Maybe she isn't here at all, and the other presence I feel is just my imagination trying to heal the wounds that have scarred me. An emptiness resides in me, a cavity where my heart ought to be. There is nothing there, just absence. The absence of my sister to whom I was bound before birth, when we shared our mother's womb. I was supposed to be her protector. Isn't that what older siblings do? But instead, I was the one who tore the life from her - who submerged her head in the bathtub until she drowned, and then slit her throat to make sure she was really dead.

I'm not just a murderer. I'm a monster.

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