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We Were Sisters


We were sisters, almost exactly a year apart. Naturally, we fought each other like hellcats in our youth. But, we were sisters, and woe be unto he who made my little sister cry. It did not matter that this perpetrator was an adult, a teacher, and we, his students. In fact, it angered me more. He had belittled, mocked, and embarrassed her in front of the class. He had called her stupid. He had tried to get our classmates to agree with him. The room sat in painful silence. She sat at her desk crying. I stood and told her to go to the bathroom to wash her face. She listened. He moved to the door, blocking it, and told her to sit back down. I crossed in front of her and stood before him, then told her to leave once more. He closed his fist. He demanded she sit. I leveled my voice and unshakingly told him to step aside. I told her a third time to go wash her face, then meet me in the principal’s office. He drew himself up and looked me in the eyes, assuming I would look away. I did not. He let my sister pass. He started to speak to me, but I interrupted, promising him, “you will never make my sister cry again.” Then I left the room to collect my little sister and speak with the principal. Never again did he make my little sister cry.

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