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The words cascade through her mind, but they aren’t making any sense. 

sterling

you

were

my

daughter.

Her daughter. Her daughter. Her daughter.

This woman, this stranger with her mother’s face, this mother with a stranger’s face, this person, this person, this person who says Sterling is hers.

Next to her, Sterling can hear Blair talking, then yelling, but it all filters through into unintelligible mush like Sterling is underwater, like nothing at all can touch her. Bowser’s voice joins Blair’s, and then her mother’s, and then her father’s, and then her au… her mother’s. Again.

Mother. And mother.

Sterling feels Blair’s hand grab hers and squeeze tightly, so tightly that it’s painful, but Sterling can’t move, can’t even make a sound, not even as Dana… as her mother… starts running and Bowser makes a flying leap that normally would have Sterling cheering him on and Blair yelling diving scores but now it's like background noise and background scenes and background life and Sterling is underwater and she can’t breathe.

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Sterling can’t breathe.

In front of her, her mother is screaming, writhing in Bowser’s grip even as Bowser wrestles her into the car, even as Sterling’s fath… uncle helps hold her down.

Sterling can still feel the bruises from her mother’s too-tight grip. She can still feel the last remnants of the absolute terror of the night.

Isaiah 49:15. Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne?

This entire night has been a nightmare. Breaking up with April. Being rejected by Luke. Getting kidnapped. Discovering that everything she has ever known has been a lie.

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people who don’t have sisters.

top five saddest things you can think of. people who don’t have sisters.

topfivesaddestthingsyoucanthinkofpeoplewhodon’thavesisterspeoplewhodon’thavesisterspeoplewhodon’thavesisterspeoplewhodon’thavesisters–

The stockings around her neck are itchy. Sterling can still smell cigarette smoke.

And Blair is still holding her hand.

Blair is still holding her hand.

Blair is still holding her hand.

Slowly, Sterling blinks.

Slowly, she looks at… at her cousin.

No.

Her sister. Her twin. Blair.

Blair doesn’t say anything. She doesn’t need to. She’s never needed to.

Blair is still holding her hand. And Sterling knows that as long as Blair is still holding her hand, anything else, everything else, can be okay.