I used to watch my sisters as they made pastries in the kitchen. As I looked on, they would create a well in a plot of dough and fill it with strawberries or, should inspiration overtake them, peaches. When I was little, these fruits seemed immense––an unending pile of goodness, bigger than my hand, bigger than the universe.
I’m big enough now that those fruits dwarf in comparison to my palm. My sisters are gone, and sometimes my heart is, too. Drowning in coursework and life decisions, I try to rediscover the meaning I believed the universe had as I stood barefoot on the clean, cold tile, observing my sisters’ fairy-like fingers float between ingredients. They were like goddesses to me, so tidy and precise––deities that I wanted to watch forever and ever.
That was a different epoch, when angels were real, when my sisters were there and I could watch Genesis from the comfort of my kitchen. Sometimes I want to run away and meet them again. Other times I wish I were a fruit––so small, yet larger than everything; I wish my sisters were folding me into soft dough, tucking me in, keeping me warm. I wish they were here to wrap me up in themselves, a soft pastry of love and togetherness; I wish they were here to tell me which decisions are the right ones, to decipher both algebra and fate.
I never ate their pastries. They must have been infused with Ambrosia, or pixie dust or the gold at the end of the rainbow––things meant for my sisters, things that were too good for me.
Every so often, in the middle of the night, I tiptoe across the house and stand in the corner of the kitchen, just inside the door––exactly were I stood years ago––and watch the glittering ghosts of my sisters turn the counters into oracles of their craft. Their hands are still as graceful and effortless as ever, still as ethereal untouched, untouchable; and they still comfort me, even when they are little more than spirits. They are too perfect to be of this world, and that’s why they left it.
I never said that I wanted to be like my sisters, just that I wanted to witness their superhuman beauty.
No, I never wanted to be like my sisters.
No, I never wanted to grow up.
I am a peach, awaiting a sister’s inspiration, eyeing the well that lies ahead. If only Hera or Persephone could coax me, I would have the courage to leap.
I am small, and the strawberries are endless, and we are a pastry, in heaven, together at last.