Monday, September 12, 2011



 At the end of my life I'm still wondering how I could have been so mean to you. The only answer that comes is jealousy. Jealousy, you know, can change many hearts. It can be stronger than blood ties. 

 You were the favorite child of our parents. Sonia, the bright, the intelligent, helpful, the most beautiful ... Sonia, the hope of the family. Our parents were counting on you alone to spend their old days in happiness. All the compliments were for you despite the fact that I was the oldest! And in Africa, you do not play with the birthright. I could see it all around me. But in our home, it was different. 

I was responsible for all your mistakes. When you broke a glass or a trinket, when you fought in class, when you felt and injured yourself: 

 "You should have take care of her better . You're the oldest. So you were supposed to give her the example. " 

 And when we grown up. You were brilliant academically. You always had good notes while I my own result were insignificant. 

 "Do like your little sister, she is the best student in her class. Use your head, Adeline.. " 

I ended up asking myself if I had not been adopted. No one, I thought, could treat his own flesh and blood this way. The frustration was my daily routine and my heart was slowly filled with bitterness for you and for our parents. I think that they have their own share of responsibility in all this. If they had not openly shown their preference for you, all this would not have happened. Was I asking too much by wanting their love? Their congratulations, their smiles? An equal treatment for both us us? I know that parents generally do not love all their children the same way. But they do not hate some of them either! 

The last blow was my failure to my High School degree. I heard all sort of insults, criticisms. I was an object of ridicule. As if I knowingly failed. I remember that day like it was yesterday. The very day the vase became so full that it contents spilled on the ground and  carried  away permanently the little love that I had for you. I was on my knees in the living room, arms lifted up. Dad was sitting on the couch. You were lying beside him, your head resting on his legs, smiling. Mom was in the opposite chair. 

 "There is nothing good in you! You're a bad seed! You'll see that next year, your sister will pass the same exam even if she is not in the right class to do so. And she will be successful.I do not even know were you take this stupidity of yours. In my family everyone is smart!" said Dad. 

 "In my family, too, people are intelligent. What do you think?" Mom argued. 

You smiled, as they was trying to find the origin of my idiocy. You smiled. The idea to commit suicide crossed my head. And finally, I decided not to do so. I did not think long to find how I could finally destroy your reputation as the little model girl. I noticed how you stared at John, every time he talked with me at school. Sonia, I was the one who orchestrated your meeting with him. It was me who subtly pushed you into his arms. As for me, maybe I was not very smart in class, but at the school of life, I was the best. 

When you became pregnant, what a joy for me! I finally had my revenge. It was the culmination of all my efforts. I realize now that I was pathetic, but it's too late. I saw you becoming anxious because of your condition. You could not tell the parents. I was jubilant, waiting for the very moment when the news would be known. I could finally stand tall and say that at least I didn't bring any child home! I never thought that your extreme desire to please the parents would push you to do an abortion. I never imagined that death was waiting for you in the bedroom of this medical student. 

I am writing this letter because I want to be free. I want to tell you that I am sorry. But in the church I am attending now, "the mission of the 144,000 redeemed," we were asked to confess our sins on a paper. They will burn the letters after . Mom would have probably said that I attend a sect, but she mourn you to death. She was buried less than a year after you. Dad started drinking. He lost his job and the worst was that I was happy to have destroyed the family. I do not even know if he is dead or alive. 6 months ago, I became born-again. It was as if scales had fallen from my eyes. I saw before me all my sins looking  me straight in the eyes. I cried for hours. I measured the full extent of my wickedness and all its consequences. They were the source of all the difficulties. Nothing has worked for me after your death, Sonia. Now at 45, I find myself alone. No family, no husband, no children, unemployed and sick. All I have is the hope that a better world does exist after death, and that God in His great mercy would allow me to enter in and become a better person. Forgive me! Sorry, sorry! I love you Sonia! See you soon! 

 Your sister, Sade!

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