Her pale hair is stuck to her face in damp streaks; her breathings too tight. I stand frozen in the doorway of my own room, waiting for instructions: Call Daddy. My mother goes so far as to shake a better explanation out of Kate. Its Preston, she sobs. Hes leaving Serena for good. Thats when we notice the. On the screen, a blond hottie gives a longing look to a woman crying almost as hard as my sister, and then he slams the door.
My, sister s, keeper reviews
She holds up a hand, shushing me, her ear cocked to the open doorway. Did you hear that? I didnt hear anything. But she doesnt take my word for it, because when it comes to kate she doesnt take anybodys word for. She marches upstairs and opens up our bedroom door to find my sister hysterical on her bed, and just like that the world collapses again. My father, a closet astronomer, has tried to explain black holes to me, how they are planner so heavy they absorb everything, even light, right into their center. Moments like this are the same kind of vacuum; no matter what you cling to, you wind up being sucked. My mother sinks down to the floor, that stupid skirt a cloud around her. Kate, honey, what hurts? Kate hugs a pillow to her stomach, and tears keep streaming down her face.
She has long dark hair and the fine collarbones of a princess, but the corners of her mouth turn down, like shes swallowed bitter news. She doesnt have much free time, since a calendar is something that can change drastically if my sister develops a bruise or a nosebleed, but what the she does have she spends at m, ordering ridiculously fancy evening dresses for places she is never going. What do you think? The gown is all the colors of a sunset, and made out of material that swishes when she moves. Its strapless, what a star might wear sashaying down a red carpet—totally not the dress code for a suburban house in Upper Darby,. My mother twists her hair into a knot and holds it in place. On her bed are three other dresses—one slinky and black, one bugle-beaded, one that seems impossibly small. The word bubbles right under my lips. My mother goes perfectly still, and I wonder if ive said it without meaning.
Nearly every time kates hospitalized, i wind up there, too. None of which means anything, except that you shouldnt believe what you hear about me, least of all that which I tell you myself. As i am coming up the stairs, my mother comes out of her room wearing another ball gown. Ah, she says, turning her back. Just the girl I wanted to see. I zip it up and watch her twirl. My mother could be beautiful, if she were parachuted into someone elses life.
Audiobook jodi picoult audible
The truth is, i was never really a kid. To be honest, neither were kate and Jesse. I guess maybe my brother had his moment in the sun for the four years he was alive before kate got diagnosed, but ever since then, weve been too busy bibliography looking over our shoulders to run headlong into growing. You know how most little kids think theyre like cartoon characters—if an anvil drops on their heads they can peel themselves off the sidewalk and keep going? Well, i never once believed that. How could i, when we practically set a place for death at the dinner table? Kate has acute promyelocytic leukemia.
Actually, thats not quite true—right now she doesnt have it, but its hibernating under her skin like a bear, until it decides to roar again. She was diagnosed when she was two; shes sixteen now. Molecular relapse and granulocyte and portacath —these words are part of my vocabulary, even though Ill never find them on any sat. Im an allogeneic donor—a perfect sibling match. When Kate needs leukocytes or stem cells or bone marrow to fool her body into thinking its healthy, im the one who provides them.
Ill give you twenty. What did you think? Its worth five times that! Im not the one who needs the money. I pick up the locket, resigned to sealing the deal, and the strangest thing happens—my hand, it just clamps shut like the jaws of Life. My face goes red with the effort to peel apart my fingers.
It takes what seems like an hour for that locket to spill into the owners outstretched palm. His eyes stay on my face, softer now. Tell them you lost it, he offers, advice tossed in for free. . Webster had decided to put the word freak in his dictionary, anna fitzgerald would be the best definition he could give. Its more than just the way i look: refugee-skinny with absolutely no chest to speak of, hair the color of dirt, connect-the-dot freckles on my cheeks that, let me tell you, do not fade with lemon juice or sunscreen or even, sadly, sandpaper. No, god was obviously in some kind of mood on my birthday, because he added to this fabulous physical combination the bigger picture—the household into which I was born. My parents tried to make things normal, but thats a relative term.
My, sister s, keeper, christchurch City libraries
Am I supposed to guess what it is? Swallowing, i pull the locket out of the pocket of my jeans. The heart falls on the glass counter in a pool of its own chain. Its fourteen-karat gold, i pitch. This is a lie; until this morning, i havent taken thesis it off in seven years. My father gave it to me when I was six after the bone marrow harvest, because he said anyone who was giving her sister such a major present deserved one of her own. Seeing it there, on the counter, my neck feels shivery and naked. The owner puts a loupe up to his eye, which makes it seem almost normal size.
What happened to make a person trade in the never Before worn diamond Solitaire? Who needed money so badly theyd sell a teddy bear missing an eye? As I walk up to the counter, i wonder if someone will look favourite at the locket Im about to give up, and ask these same questions. The man at the cash register has a nose the shape of a turnip, and eyes sunk so deep I cant imagine how he sees well enough to go about his business. Its all I can do to not turn around and walk out the door, pretend ive come in by mistake. The only thing that keeps me steady is knowing i am not the first person to stand in front of this counter holding the one item in the world I never thought Id part with. I have something to sell, i tell him.
of course—but they also explained that they chose little embryonic me, specifically, because i could save my sister, kate. We loved you even more, my mother made sure to say, because we knew what exactly we were getting. It made me wonder, though, what would have happened if Kate had been healthy. Chances are, id still be floating up in heaven or wherever, waiting to be attached to a body to spend some time on Earth. Certainly i would not be part of this family. See, unlike the rest of the free world, i didnt get here by accident. And if your parents have you for a reason, then that reason better exist. Because once its gone, so are you. Pawnshops may be full of junk, but theyre also a breeding ground for stories, if you ask me, not that you did.
Like why some mothers only had one child, while other families seemed to multiply before your eyes. Or how the new girl in school, sedona, told anyone whod listen that she was named for the place where her parents were vacationing when they made her (. Good thing they werent staying in Jersey city, my father used to say). Now that i am thirteen, these distinctions are only more complicated: the eighth-grader who dropped out of school because she got into trouble; a neighbor who got herself pregnant in the hopes it would keep her husband from filing for divorce. Im telling you, if aliens landed on earth today and took a good hard look at why babies get born, theyd conclude that most people have children by accident, or because they drink too much on a certain night, or because birth control isnt one. On the other hand, i was born for a very specific purpose. I wasnt good the result of a cheap bottle of wine or a full moon or the heat of the moment. I was born because a scientist managed to hook up my mothers eggs and my fathers sperm to create a specific combination of precious genetic material.
my, sister s, keeper : a novel (Wsp
Monday, brother, i am fire, surging under ocean floor. I shall never meet you, brother—. Not for report years, anyhow; maybe thousands of years, brother. Then I will warm you, hold you close, wrap you in circles, Use you and change you—, maybe thousands of years, brother. —carl sandburg, kin, anna. Wheas little, the great mystery to me wasnt how babies were made, but why. The mechanics i understood—my older brother Jesse had filled me in—although at the time i was sure hed heard half of it wrong. Other kids my age were busy looking up the words penis and vagina in the classroom dictionary when the teacher had her back turned, but I paid attention to different details.