I don't remember life without her, she came into being on the 20th month of my life and has been a constant participant in my life since. Sometimes a constant nuisance, other times a constant supporter and defender of her big sister, but always a constant. I cannot for the life of me understand this strange relationship I have with her, my sister. All I know is that I must call her everyday as we reside in different countries now, but that when I do, I am annoyed by 50% of the conversation, so what do I do? I don't call her the next day to give myself a break, only to miss the crap out of her silly conversation. What is it about the conversations that annoys me you ask? Oh, I can't pinpoint one thing specifically; it varies from her disagreeing with my opinion on Nicki Minaj to her constantly talking about how beautiful and nice the girlfriend of a guy I find attractive is. I mean, there's a wide range of reasons but my annoyance with her antics started a very long time ago.


I think it started when we were like four and five and she enjoyed hitting, only to cry when I hit her back, leading me to get into trouble with my parents. Or perhaps it happened when my parents made me take her everywhere I went, making it a stipulation that the only way I could go was if she went and I had to look out for her, because as they put it, "she's your little sister." I remember going to concerts and football games in my teens and having to take her along and being even more pissed that everyone knew her and was so happy to see her. Was I jealous of her popularity? It is most probable that I was. Now, as I look back, I dare say I was jealous of her easy going way. She got along with everyone, and she wasn't shy or uneasy about being around new people as I was. She didn't obsess over whether people didn't like her like I did. She was unabashedly herself: confident, demanding, funny, loud, loving and boldfaced -- she was Anya.


Anya landed in Miami two weeks ago and instantly announced that she was hungry. She had come for Miami Carnival which meant I had about 5 days of big sister duty to do. When asked why she didn't get anything to eat at the airport, she stated without any qualms that she only ate Caribbean food and wanted some stew chicken and rice or roti, which she got after picking up our gorgeous costumes and running a ton of errands. But I still didn't really understand what I was in for.

You see, years of living in different countries had dulled my sense of her quirks. I had forgotten how demanding she could be. After we got home, and I thought I could finally relax after driving her around, she firmly planted herself in my bedroom on my side of the bed and informed me that if she is to chill in my room, I would have to share the TV. As I stood in awe, I couldn't utter a word. She was after all, a guest, and I wanted her to be happy, but oh, how I longed for the solitude of my bedroom.


I thought she would want the solitude of her room as well, since I had made the guest room comfortable for her arrival, but no. The next few days were a blur of parties, liming (hanging out), eating, sleeping and constant chatter between Anya and my daughter. I didn't have time to think and there is something to be said for that. She took me outside of my little world of myself and dragged me into the life going on around me. She ignored my signals to be by myself and made me live in the moment, engage in life and the people around me.


When she was getting ready to leave, it hit me that this woman I call my little sister, who was the source of torment for the last few days, was actually a source of love and encouragement in her own way. When she fussed about my carnival make up and helped me put on my wire bra, when I looked out for her on the road because she tends to linger behind, when I stayed with her in the band as my friends went to check out another band, I realized that she will always be my constant and I hers. No matter what happens, we will always be there for each other, no matter the circumstance, and I take great comfort in that. With all her flaws and all my flaws, we love each other. She is probably the only person on this planet, besides my mother, who knows me the longest and knows all the struggles and experiences I have had. Sisters, you see, for all the bickering, sibling rivalry, polar opposites and annoyances they encompass, are blessings. One blessing that I am so grateful for.