Energy radiates off of her body, casting spells on you; you feel intoxicated with magic. You know that feeling when the ball drops on New Year’s Eve? How the anticipation builds up inside, and then the sphere’s gravity becomes dominant, pulling down its mass. In that particular moment, when confetti escapes from its cage pours down from the sky, your heartbeat stops? These moments with her become memories. She has this incredible effect on you, as if she looked you straight into your eyes and imprinted your soul. The energy inside her is untamed; the beautiful beast screams with electrical movements and euphoria. I realize I needed to spread her heart with others. I invited her to my personal happy place called BLINC (Building Lives Incorporated), a group formed at Nordhoff High School. It’s a safe haven where young adults and teenagers can express themselves through free writing and slam poetry. I took her under my wings and guided her through an experience of a lifetime.
There are some personal traits you should know about my younger sister. Although she is awfully small, she is mighty. She is almost five feet tall and weighs eighty something pounds. Her fragile body can run long distances. She will not stop until her body gives out on her, and she becomes unified with the earth. Her name is Elenna. She is self-motivated, independent, and courageous. Elenna is my heroine. Her hair is one of her most prized possessions. As long as it is and as wavy as it is, you could mistake her for a mermaid that had just walked upon land. Her hair color is the same pigment as medium roast coffee beans; it gently slopes down the groove of her spine, tickling her lower back. Her peppered, airbrushed freckles tell an untold legacy of the history of her ancestors and the secrets they kept. I could almost make out constellations under her eyes. Her skin was sworn to be sun-kissed by the rays of a goddess. Her native appearance shields her with confidence and independence. My sister’s eyes are the color of when dawn reaches mid-Autumn nights. A rusty orange around the pupil fades into an earthy solid brown. Her “hand me down” clothes are too big for her petite frame, giving her a tomboy appearance. Her welcoming smile has yet to disappoint me.
There are many unique and exquisite talents and traits about Elenna. Her artistic brain is the most beautiful and inspirational mind I have ever encountered. If you hand her blank paper and a writing instrument, she will make art become reality. Her home is where her heart is, and my home is where my heart is. In this particular case, our home was with BLINC. In BLINC, Elenna and I have shared an infinite amount of laughs and tears. We wanted to be beautiful in ugly places. This was out personal sanctuary, and we were the misfits of our generation. We called ourselves, “The Perks of Being a Misfit.” We had voices that desperately needed to be freed from our throats. The room where BLINC is held was in the cafeteria of all places. The heavy doors felt as though they didn’t want us to pass through them. But once we push through the entry way, the spotted tile was more inviting to the magical energy it consumed. It provided us a place to rise our octane levels so we could deliver our untold stories of emotions. When a voice arose, it bounced off every surface, like a firefly’s dance in the middle of summer nights. The aroma of wet ink, soggy pizza, and teen spirit filled the air. The stage felt worn out from the warriors who were brave enough to vocalize their raw emotions, who poured their hearts into the crowd of unknown reactions. This was a playground for us.
Now that you can imagine what my sister and BLINC are like, I can explain her sacred rules that you must abide by:
- The secret password is not a made up handshake from your childhood, or a bunch of nonsense words smashed together. It is a simple yet powerful action – a true, meaningful, hug.
- Don’t tell her how to write, ever. Trust me, you will not win this game.
- Do not speak to her while a writing instrument is in use, or if her eyes are glued to the pages of an open book. You may not, under any circumstances, interrupt an artist at work.
- There is no such thing as “impossible” when it comes to writing. Your possibilities are endless.
- Always carry a personal journal and writing tool with you at all times. No exceptions.
- Love yourself, unconditionally.
Rule number six reminds me a distant memory. It was a school night, and a Monday of all nights. I opened the front door and allowed her to step into the night before me. I shut the door behind me, and we began to walk side by side.
“Paigen. Do you love yourself?” asked Elenna in a soft whisper. Curiosity filled her eyes.
“No. Do you?” I answered without any confidence.
“Of course I do. You have to love yourself before you can love others,” she responded with her head to the night sky. Mist began to attach itself to her face.
It was wet and cold out, and our hot breath attempted to show off in a dance between our facial expressions. The night kissed our lips, slowly drying them and fading their colors from soft pink to royal blue. This reminded me of when we used to walk to the gas station to buy blue slushies that stained our mouths. Our teeth rattled as our bodies began to coil. We began to walk heavier and faster towards our destination. The somewhat private road drags on in silence, mimicking our non-existent voices. I break the surface of peace.
“So I heard about this group called BLINC,” I said interrupting the sweet nothingness. “I have been attending for a while now. Would you like to join me?”
“Will it help you love yourself?” she asked with purity in her eyes.
“If you join me, you can help me.” I responded with more confidence this time. “Let’s go find out.” I suggested with a Cheshire cat smile.
Was she disappointed before? I couldn’t tell. With all of her innocence in the cruel world, I wanted to so desperately protect her. With that smile, I couldn’t begin to imagine how much sadness has haunted her for the way she felt about how I felt about myself.
When you look at my sister, you can’t help but smile. My sister is one of the most important people in my life, because she is the sun to me. Her exhilarating personality and unconditional compassion for not only me, but others, is truly remarkable. I want to be just like her when I grow up. My little sister is seventeen years old. Although she is young she carries an old soul, just like me. I will always hold her close to my heart, and I will always be there for her. I am a lot stronger now than I used to be, and now I am her heroine. I hope one day we can adventure out into the world together and spread our voices and love with others.