My dear dear sister Sarah,
I can’t believe you might actually be reading this. I can’t believe that for the first time ever I might have a voice in your mind. I can’t believe you’re right there, on the bed by the window, reading the words that I have written.
Of course, if you didn’t understand my message on the train, you may never find my letter here under the window sill, but then this would be irrelevant. If anyone reads this letter, it will be you, my sister, and it excites me so much to think that maybe my name could become of some value to you, once you have read this.
I don’t know you, Sarah, my sister. But I think of you. And I think how amazing that even though the words ‘Bridie Domaille’ doesn’t mean that much to you, still you’re out there somewhere, and you have the same home history as I, though we have always been six months apart.
What shall I say? I could honestly write a novel to you, but I really don’t know what to say. How awful is it, that I know next to nothing about my own sister? The teachers never talk about you, my friends don’t know much and I scarcely like to approach people like Felicity and Hannah. I have no inside knowledge of you, so please please don’t be offended if I talk about things that bore you to death. I’d hate so very much to kill you before I’d even received a letter in reply, if you’d do that for me, which I can’t guarantee, especially if it happens that I do offend you.
You know my name and you know my age and I think you know roughly what I look like, unless Jean and Elspeth hide my photo every time I come to Yeighvor. What shall I say? I’m short and skinny and a bit on the flat side. I like running and I play chess, and sometimes I write poetry, but that’s all very boring to you, I expect.
I have a temper like a dormant volcano, some of my friends tell me. Basically I don’t say anything to offenders at the time, but then gradually I get really stressed and suddenly I just explode. Generally in the face of Felix Terrett, but I’ve heard rumours about you and him so I don’t think I’ll say any more.
I desperately don’t want to offend you, Sarah! I can’t believe I’m actually talking to you, as I’ve said a thousand times before up there, and will probably say again a thousand more times below, and if you don’t like anything I say, just scream at me from afar, and I’m sure I’ll hear you.
I used to pretend we had some kind of telepathy. I confess it now, to you and to nobody else, that I grew up holding conversations with you in my head. I had to know you, in some kind of way, but though it was a great game at the time, I never actually got to know you as I wished. I got to know Angelica, your alter ego to whom I was talking, whom I named when I finally realised that we weren’t telepathic.
But Angelica is the most contrary soul I have ever met! Her opinions would change one night to the next! I guess that’s because I didn’t know what you’d reply to anything I asked, and I couldn’t bear to get it wrong in case I really met you someday with a head full of dreams and falsities and terrible misconceptions. I didn’t ever want to get you wrong. Or at times like this, when I might be full of fantasies, which is why I’m so anxious to be good and interesting, but so terrified that I’m being presumptuous. You’re probably getting bored of me saying that. I must not assume anything. Goodness knows the truth of our past shows how we must never assume anything!
I’ve always thought Elspeth was my biological mum, because we’re both dark and skinny, but I never had the courage to ask. Or our dads. I’m reserved like Tony, but short like Colton. Isn’t it horrible not to actually know? And isn’t it horrible that I actually have to write these words? Well I don’t have to.
I’m writing ‘actually’ far too many times to be correctly following the rules of written English. I think I’m getting excited. I shan’t write any more. It’ll just put this in the envelope and seal it tight now, or it’ll only make me more anxious for an answer. And an answer I know I won’t get for at least six months to come. People used to say I was patient. But I know how truly impatient I am, and how awful it is to watch my sin from the inside.
I’ll go away now.
I want to know who I am. I want to know who you are, Sarah. I really really do. Someday we will meet; I promise you that, and I promise myself the same pledge every day.