I don't think i have ever wrote about my Sister on here before. Well, today would have been her 26th birthday. 5 and a half years of wondering where we would be now, what would we be doing.
She SHOULD have had children, she SHOULD have had her own florist shop, got married and had an amazing life. Charmed everyone with that beautiful smile, lived the life she always wanted to live. But instead, on the 24th April, she and her boyfriend made the same journey to college she did every week to find her exam was cancelled. So they decided to come back home. One of those "wrong place at the wrong time" situations and a lorry ploughed into their car. It was instant. Gone.
You go through the "why her?" "why us??" "why did they cancel the exam?" "what if it hadn't been them..." But that makes it worse. The pain that is so raw, just gets worse.
I have never written down what happened on that day. I have gone through it in my mind, i have told friends the start but not been able to finish, i have had nightmares about it and i have tried to replay it. But nothing is like writing it down. I don't know why NOW i feel like its the right time, i guess i have never actually come to terms with it. I think about it, daily, but i'm not sure its healthy that i haven't written it down.
I used to work in a coffee shop in the middle of town. I made a few good friends and we had a right laugh. I was 16, going on 17 and I was really looking forward to learning to drive. I was fed up with having to get buses and lifts everywhere and finally getting that bit of independance i really craved.
It was a Tuesday, i was on a later shift which meant i helped with closing up the café. Half way through the day my eldest brother called me to say he was going to pick me up. I remember the conversation well as i was really confused as to why he was picking me up. Me and mum had arrangements and she was going to pick me up, with Gemma that evening. I asked why he was picking me up instead and he had no idea. Mum had called him to tell him that something had come up and he must just pick me up. I brushed it off but felt very uneasy. I told a friend at work and carried on with my shift. An hour or so later he rang again and told me Gemma and her boyfriend had been in a car accident. He had no idea what had happened or how severe it was, just that that was why Mum couldn't get me. He knew she had been sent to hospital but that was that. I got off the phone shaking, terrified of what the day might lead to. I sobbed my heart out but was brought back to reality when i phoned my dad upstairs on the roof having a crafty cigarette. "She has probably just been sent in for observation Charlotte, i'm sure she will be fine." "No Dad, i know its not good. Something isn't right, i KNOW it."
My shift ended and James and my younger brother pulled up outside. The car was silent, we went to drive through Mc Donald's and we didn't speak. We pulled into our road and i said to them "It's not good is it?". At worst i thought she had been paralysed. Maybe a broken leg, or cracked ribs. We had NO idea what had happened, who was involved or how serious it was.
We waited around, Mum wasn't answering her phone, John (my step-dad) was away in Quatar on work, i had no one else to call. We waited and waited until mum's friends car pulled in the drive. I looked out the window and watched Mum walk out the car and up the drive. She had been crying. Her hair was messy and her face was red and puffy. She was holding her friends hand and shaking so much. I ran to the front door and she made us all go in the living room and sit down.
Me, and my two brothers. Sitting and waiting for the news we all knew was coming. Sitting and waiting for my heart to sink, to break into pieces and shatter accross the floor. And through tears and heart ache, those words came out. "Gemma died".
I just remember everything around me just collapsing. The whole world around us was spinning, a huge blur of nothingness. I remember screaming "No!" and punching the sofa repeatedly. Shouting "No!" at the top of my voice over and over again. Collapsing into a heap. Not knowing who to turn to, not knowing how the rest of my life would pan out, how would i live without my darling sister? How would us as a family cope with this, how would we work on this? How could we EVER get over this?
The rest of the evening is a mess. I ran to our room and curled up on her bed. The bed she stayed on, the room we shared and the desk next to me covered in her things. The chest of drawers full of her clothes she left there and all our childhood memories, locked up in this one room that i so wished i could bottle up and keep forever. I rang a few people, i don't know why, i didn't know what to say and i didn't know how it would help. But i needed to call someone. Anyone who would pick up the phone, anyone who would take the pain away. That sharp pain that was stabbing through my heart, on a continuous cycle.
That night my little brother, my mum and I all shared Mum's bed. None of us slept and none of us spoke.
The next day was my 17th birthday. Cards filled the porch and texts came flooding in. People who didn't know the excruciating pain our house was feeling, sent best wishes and love.
We all had questions that we needed answers to, we all felt sick to the stomach, we all just wanted it to end. Be over and back to normal, yet we all knew the worst was yet to come. My step dad was flying home from Quatar. I'm not going to go into that because it's not fair on my family. But that minute, 2 minutes, 5 minutes of embrace i felt from him after he had stepped through that front door will NEVER leave my heart and soul. For that moment in time, our family was a unit. It was strong. If we could get through this, we could get through ANYTHING.
5 and a bit years on and we all want to know what life would be like. We sit and have "family" dinners and celebrations yet there is always that piece of our family missing. We want to know how many children she would have, how her hair would look and if she would be a wife yet. Would she still laugh the same? Would she still hug that tight hug she always gave so well? Would she still be horrendous at directions and get lost daily? Would she still have a love for animals and all things pretty? Would her heart still be flooded with euphoria? Of course it would be, all of those things were what made her who she was. All of those things would have carried on, and so many more things would she would've felt and cherished too.
Gem, if in some weird bizarre psychotic way you are reading this. Just know, that no matter what, we will always remember you for the life and soul you were, and we will NEVER forget all the memories we made together. We will always have a place in our family for you because you are STILL our family.
Happy birthday sweetheart Xx