Meredith Grey never had it easy. She worked twice as hard as others and experienced more heartbreak than one did their entire life. She kept her calm exterior, amazing people at her ability to move on. But she struggles to hold the few years of memories she had with her baby sister.
Sometimes, when she couldn’t sleep, she could see Lexie’s face, eyes full of hope, as the soft voice asked “Are you Meredith Grey?” She would bite back a smile as she remembered her own response and how Lexie had refused to get out of the way. “I’m your sister.” The voice always sounded a little different because as hard as Meredith tried to remember exactly how her kid sister sounded, time always got in the way.
She thinks back to the time Lexie had performed the procedure and had been furious at Meredith for letting her kill a man. But even if Lexie had performed the perfect procedure (she nearly did), the man would still have been dead. Sometimes when she stares at her reflection in the hospital bathroom, she can see herself in light blue scrubs, Lexie barging in and delivering her speech. How, if she had the chance, she would grab her little sister’s wrist and pull her into a hug and whisper “I’m sorry” and “I love you too” in her ear.
Lexie would have chosen neuro. Meredith knows that Lexie's love for saving lives was the best part of her personality. So, her little sister would have been the best Neurosurgeon at Seattle Grace (Derek would never admit this, but he knew he could never beat the young Lexipedia. Plus he enjoyed the playful banter at their Holiday Dinners, where all of their friends would laugh and joke). But when she's washing her hair and remembering Lexie's sheepish smile when Meredith had barged in on her in the shower, she pauses. Lexie loved life. She loved making others happy. Maybe Lexie would have chosen pediatrics. Or maybe she would have become an OB/GYN. Meredith nearly snorts at the second one, remembering the innocence that swept over Lexie Grey. But Meredith is sure about one thing: Alexandra Caroline Grey would have owned several Harper Avery Awards before she turned forty.
Meredith always smiles fondly at the picture of Mark, Lexie, Derek, and herself on the couch in the living room. Lexie was looking at the camera, as was the other couple, but Mark was staring at Little Grey with pure love. It would have been a big wedding. Mark would have proposed with the help of everybody at the hospital, asking for her hand in front of all the patients and all the doctors. Lexie would have had tears streaming down her face as she bent down to his height and cupped his face before whispering yes. Meredith would catch Cristina with tears in her eyes (who denied the allegation) before being pulled into a tight hug. "I'm getting married." The innocence in Lexie's voice would have made the two hug tighter while Derek and Mark embraced each other.
At the wedding, Lexie's father walked her down the aisle, her wearing a breathtaking gown, while Mark would resist the urge to kiss her senselessly. Cristina would allow herself to cry and Meredith would beam as her little sister went off in the limo with the love of her life. Derek would give a cheesy speech about Mark always wanting to be first at everything except for marriage. He would close it by saying that there was no one better for his best friend than Lexie. Meredith would make her speech short and simple, making sure that Mark knew that if he did not treat her little sister like a queen, she would be at his throat. The others would laugh, knowing that Meredith was only half joking.
In the sixth grade, Zola wrote a paper on love and loss. She wrote about her father; how she missed the man who let her wear a Bumblebee costume when she had thrown up on all her clothes and make it his mission to learn how to style her hair. Meredith knew that Zola wanted to work alone on her paper, merely giving her the pictures and videotapes of the two of them together. She knew that her daughter was staying up, crying, the red eyes in the morning an obvious indication, while finishing her paper.
Senior year of high school, Zola's Advanced Placement English Class required her to write about a person she had lost when she was young. Meredith was prepared to see Zola place down a paper with a giant "A" scribbled across the front and her father's name in the second line. But it wasn't. "I wrote about Aunt Lexie." Zola's voice was soft across the dinner table, her brother and sister were at their Aunt Amelia's house, leaving the two of them sitting with pizza and glasses of coke. "I miss her." Meredith reached across the table, tears in both of their eyes, placing her hand atop of her daughters. "I miss her too." Lexie would have been a great aunt. She grew up in a normal household, with a father and a mother, but she would have loved watching her sister's kids grow up.
Meredith can see Lexie quizzing Zola on different parts of the body as Lexie pulled her niece’s hair into exquisite braids, cheering and shaking the little girl by her shoulders as she got the answers right. Lexie would sit next to Meredith at all of Bailey’s soccer games, sprinting down to the field faster than Meredith when Bailey laid on his back, clutching his stomach. “Dumb kid,” Lexie would mumble just loud enough for her older sister to hear. She would examine him for any internal bleeding, making sure it was nothing more than a bruise. As Derek carries him off the field, Lexie would glare at the opposing team, Mark struggling to find the player who had purposely kicked the ball at his nephew. She can see Lexie reading baby books to her youngest niece, giving a wide eyed look when Meredith would catch the two sitting on the bathroom floor. “It was too loud in the living room,” Lexie would be right. It would be Sunday, which meant that all of their friends would fill the house, many of them screaming over the college football game, trash talking their rival schools.
But at the end of the day, Meredith no longer had her kid sister. She could no longer say "My sister Lexie is going to be an amazing doctor," when people asked if she ever had a favorite intern. She couldn't call up the younger woman and ask her if she wanted to get dinner next week and then have both of them cancel because of an incoming trauma. She wouldn't get to see the smile that formed after saving a patient's life, starting with the twinkle in her eyes to the pearly whites that could brighten anyone’s day.
But Meredith knows that her sister had loved her until the moment she died. And Meredith will always love Lexie Grey.