Désirée: An Open Letter

It was summer, I think, when I met you. James had introduced me to your brother and we were standing by your front steps when I noticed these two little boys fighting down the street. The one little boy with the cornrows beat down the other kid then pulled his pants down and left him crying in the street. I looked over at your brother and said, “That your little brother?” He kind of shook his head in exasperation, “No, that’s my little sister.” You were ten years old.

I remember you. Sarcastic. Acerbic. Funny. Mean as a snake. All of those things. Living down the street from my grandmother. Running wild with the other neighborhood kids. For reasons I’ll never understand, you adopted me, the way people take in strays. You fed me laughter and sunlight. You were my friend. You were my family. Batman and Robin, and, more often than not, you were Batman. Between the two of us, you were the brains of that operation. Full of questions. Bursting with answers. And I was a goner. I loved you.

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