A Letter to the Sister I Ate in Utero

I’m sorry.

I was hungry I guess?

I’m not sure why it happened. You were there in one ultrasound. A shadow person. A double image. The doctor says I absorbed you. Mama says that makes me twice the woman I might have been.

I missed you. I always set out a cup and saucer for you at tea parties. Put a mirror in your seat so I could find you in my corner vision, know what it might have been like to not be so alone.

You were my greatest wish. I wanted you to be whole and real and with me. Not just in shadows or reflections. Not just in Sweet Valley High stories and prenatal memories.

Mama said two is a different dynamic. You become susceptible to rigid thinking, assignment to false dichotomy’s of good versus badMaybe.

Waiting for you to show up to our parties grew tiring. I learned you’d been whispering about me through the vents. It chilled me.

So I drank your tea and I broke the mirror. I swept the glass from your seat. I stretched, reveling in the freedom of one body, one mind and, when I stood with my back to the sun, footsie with my natural shadow.

While my mother did actually tell me I absorbed my twin in utero, I think she was kidding. This flash fiction piece was inspired by Day 10 of the 30 Day #LinkYourLife Challenge.

Shawna Ayoub

Shawna Ayoub is an essayist, fiction writer, poet and instructor with an MFA in creative writing from Indiana University. Some of her work has been published in The Manifest-Station, Role Reboot, [wherever], The Huffington Post, The Oxford Review and Exit 7. Her writing explores the intersections of race, place and survivorship. She writes with honesty about her own experience in order to transform pain.

2 Discussion to this post

  1. Stacia says:

    I love this, Shawna! I like how it starts funny and ends on a sad note, and how despite “absorbing” this possibly fictional sister in utero, you still kind of had a relationship with her…good stuff. xo

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