We shared this hollowed cove of a room. Dimly lit by the last of our functioning bulbs, fractured by the buzz of air that was kept constant and steady. Nightly, we'd shield ourselves under caves of white blankets - she would be on her bed, I'd be on mine - hidden deep in the cocoon of cloth. We'd laugh until two in the morning, tipsy from sleeplessness. Fifteen years spent waking and falling into sleep to the same face.
The room is quieter now. Dust has coated many of the surfaces, and the books that once lined every shelf and filled every drawer are now sparser than before. The white blankets still top each bed, but one will go unused from now on. The stairs below my doorway will no longer hear the familiar footsteps they once did. Pieces of laundry and clutter have been left behind without intent to be washed or straightened up.
We used to fight over who would move out first. We'd argue over our brother's and sister's rooms. Years would escape us, and those rooms would never know us as their residents, still. Nights spent arguing and words used to intentionally damage the other's self-worth. Days spent in silence and petty quarrels concerning unasked for borrowed t-shirts and skirts returned with stains from slips and spills. Living in such close proximity breeds a type of closeness that can't be found elsewhere. We learned each other this way. I know her because of years spent analyzing how she lived, what she threw away and how she managed to fall asleep following break-ups and newly said I love you-s.
She's moved out now. I'm left throwing away old picture frames and unintentionally salvaged price tags and gum wrappers. Now a man will learn her. He'll know her far better than I ever could, even. He'll watch her in ways I never had the ability to, in a manner that was never intended for me. I'd just like to tell him how to fold her clothes and in what way to dress himself in the morning as to keep her from waking.
And now I sit on the floor, barer than it's ever been and marked with messes from projects gone wrong and mud-caked shoes. I'm sad for the days that are escaping. I'm sad for the time we spent idly. I'm sad for the distance that will be felt over the course of our lives. But I'm also anticipating my own move. I'm anticipating the day a man will ask to be the one to learn my ways of sleeping and making messes and cleaning them up again.
This transition pushes us all one step further. Where to is still unknown. I'm beginning to see that just as the burnt out bulbs on my dresser have been replaced anew, my life, too, will again be illuminated.