I believe in a hidden love. I also have a secret to accompany my belief. Some people, I have noticed, share the same secret. Others, however, are not as fortunate as I. This secret drives my individuality and enables me to live with honesty rather than vulnerability.
Growing up with three older sisters was not easy. In my youth, my inferiority landed me with the last shower, the most chores, and the biggest bedroom. Unfortunately for me, I shared the biggest bedroom with my older sister and my younger brother. In the morning, I would cram into the bathroom hoping to find space for my Bonnebell Lipgloss and an inch of reflection. Sometimes I would get lucky, while other times I would trudge to school with disappointment on my face instead of shine on my lips. Young and naive, I wished to be an only child hoping that one day my ‘real parents’ would come and take me to their mansion.
Now my sisters are in college and I am left with a room to myself and two full length mirrors. But when left, I noticed something missing. Sure, they probably left with a few of my shirts and a pair of my shoes, but this missing entity was unknown to me. Over time I realized that it is my secret; It is a longing. A longing so deep, so painful that I can proclaim it as my hidden love. It tears the emotion from my soul and occasionaly forces tears from my eyes. This fire inside engulfs my senses from time to time, when the silence of the house captivates my memories and the moments I once thought inconsequential become more real to me than anything I could have ever imagined.
What will happen when my sisters leave perpetually? They have already succumbed to bringing their significant other to every family gathering. A moment with them entitles me to a moment with their husband, fiance, and boyfriend. They remind me of elementary school, when best friends would move across the country and visit on holidays. Only, I know that my best friends are a phone call away. But what will happen when they become overwhelmed with their lives? What happens if this longing subsides? The three of them will leave someday, but will phone calls suffice? I panic at the thought of abandonment. I dismiss change as an evil attempt to ruin my life, but I cannot live like this forever. My worst fear is that the hidden feeling of love will never again torment my nerves. I fear their departure, and mine. My achievements and failures are of no conincidence. Whatever I have accomplished, they have accomplished first. Whatever I fail to comprehend, they have already neglected. Their choices are not always my choices, but their mistakes are my gain. I don’t have much to offer them in return except my hidden love.
While only children may find their hidden love somewhere else, it will never amount to the bond between siblings. My life would be much different if my ‘real parents’ came and took me away to their mansion. My clothing would never discreetly disappear and my shoes would never be out of place. I would be alone and without love. I believe in the hidden love siblings give and receive. Without this love, my days would never be complete.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.