This is really difficult for me to write. I feel like a pile of stinking shit. But I have to do it.
You deserve an apology. So here goes.
I'm sorry for all the mean and hurtful things I've said and done to you over the years.
More specifically, I'm sorry for not letting you play with me and my friends and telling you to go away when all you wanted to do was spend some time with us. I'm sorry for getting angry with you when you got me in trouble for it. You had every right to do so and I deserved it.
When we moved to LA you always wore boy's clothes and had your head shaved because of the lice, so the stranger-girls asked me what your deal was and I said you were a lesbian. Because of that they called you a "goy" as in "girl-boy". I'm really really sorry about that. I didn't know it would be so hurtful. And even if what I said had been true, I had no business telling people that. I did it because I was jealous that they would like you more than me, as people tend to always do. Now, eleven years later, I kind of have to admire you that in spite of all that, they still chose you over me. That's because you're awesome, despite what others might say about you.
I'm sorry that we fought so much. I'm especially sorry for smashing the ceramic bowl in my anger and using the shards as a weapon against you. I remember I cut your shin. I crossed the line. It went beyond the regular hair-tearing, face-slapping, screaming, wrestling and punching. I made you bleed. I feel really bad about it.
I'm really sorry for calling you stupid. You're not and never were. I know that it got "in there". You should know that good grades don't mean a person is smart, it just means a person is obedient, I should know.
I'm sorry that I didn't make an effort to stop your drug abuse. I just criticized you. I should have been more supportive and tried to help you. It doesn't matter how stubborn you were or that we didn't have a good relationship, I should have at least tried.
Oh God! I'm really sorry I ran away and abandoned you. You should know I'm crying now. I know I really fucked up. A part of me believes that if I had stayed with you, you wouldn't have cracked and become schizophrenic. I'm especially sorry for arguing with you when you went raving mad and started saying things I couldn't tolerate listening to. What was I thinking? Arguing with a mentally ill person. I should have been more understanding. I should have hugged you and told you I loved you instead of getting angry. And when they sent you to the mental institute I wanted to see you but they wouldn't allow visitors. I should have insisted. I can't believe I let it go so easily. I should have shown up and demanded to see you. But I didn't. I'm so very sorry about that.
And over the years things just went from bad to worse, and I wasn't there for you. I was far far away dealing with my own stupid issues which seem so small after all that you've gone through.
The truth is, you are so much stronger than people think. You've been through hell and back a dozen times, and you're still smiling and being your fun and wonderful self.
And I know you love me, despite all I've put you through. And I know you've already forgiven me. Because that's just the type of person you are.
You should know that you inspire me. You have taught me so much. I'm so ashamed of myself. All those years I could have been your best friend, but I made myself your enemy. You deserve better. Much better.
Apologizing doesn't change the past, but I really hope it improves your future.
By now you already know it, but I'll say it again: I love you very much.
Your sister Radhika
Art by Radhika