I miss my brother's ex-girlfriend. Probably more than he does.
Growing up, I was always surrounded by boys and quite often, I was the only girl in the house. This made me extremely comfortable around guys and more inclined to befriend boys than girls. I was completely out of touch with my femininity through my formative years. For this reason, it made it difficult for me to relate to girls even though I tried desperately. I never had a sister to play dolls with or play dress up in my mother's clothes.
Eventually, I did learn how to make friends with other girls, and I soon realized that boys and girls aren't very different. Throughout my childhood, the two different sexes were promoted as stark polar opposites of each other. Once I entered my teens, I realized how absurd that logic was, but I still lacked that understanding of sisterhood.
That was until I met my brother's ex-girlfriend. Although my brother has introduced me to his other girlfriends before, this particular girlfriend--let's call her Ashley--was my brother's first longtime girlfriend. Ashley and my brother dated for nearly four years.
During these four years, my family grew accustomed to her. We began buying groceries specifically for her and bringing her to family parties. Somehow during this time, I grew extremely close to Ashley. So close that eventually, we found ourselves hanging out with each other without my brother present. I even began going to concerts with just Ashley and her friends. Ashley was four years older than me, and she became a big sister to me. She taught me how to play field hockey, how to drink without being sloppy, and introduced me to the golden treasure that is Applebee's half-priced appetizers. I could come to her with advice about the next selfie I was going to post on Instagram or advice on the recent boy that broke my heart. She would even come to me to rant when my brother was being stupid or when she needed help studying in school. We would even steal each other's clothes and fight over it like sisters.
When I would mention her in conversations, I began mentioning her as "my sister" and not "my brother's girlfriend". The transition was so smooth and fast that I can't pinpoint the exact moment when I realized that I loved Ashley like a blood relative.
This all came crashing down when Ashley and my brother ended their 4-year relationship rather messily and abruptly. It's weird to say that I was offended that neither parties considered how I would feel about the breakup, but I was offended. I wanted a say in the matter. I tried to still keep in contact with her, but I soon realized that it hurt her too much to continue to be in my life.
Sometimes your brother's breakup with his ex-girlfriend hurts you more than it hurts him, and it's because for the first time you were able to experience the true meaning of sisterhood in the rawest purest sense just to have it ripped away from you.
Such a tease.
Even though it hurts that I no longer have a sister anymore, I am incredibly grateful for having had her in my life at all. I still love her, and occasionally stalk her Instagram just to check up on her.
Ashley, if you're reading this, I miss you. You're never getting that one romper back.