My younger cousin and I are exactly 18 months and five minutes apart. I have a clear picture of the two of us in my mind, dressed in my grandmother's play clothes, and standing in front of a huge tree in the side yard. Two little girls, one dark like the night and one bright as the sun. At that time in our lives, our personalities conformed to the genetic coloring. I was quieter and I've been told prone to crying or pouting. My cousin, Kelsey, was a sunny little girl, at least at that young age. Divorce and possible feelings of abandonment darkened her light over the years.
My aunt painted portraits of us. I was a nymph sneaking in a broken or raised window, the night behind me. Kelsey was with a rooster, I think, and the sun was coming up in the background. Unfortunately, due to a fire, these paintings were lost a few years ago.
We shared ice cream with sprinkles using my Grandmother's long silver sundae spoons. Stayed up late into the night whispering, giggling, just being little girls.
Kelsey moved to Atlanta, oh about 15 years ago now, I guess. She gave birth to two little girls at an early age, out of wedlock, a shame to our deeply rooted southern family. I've never met those little girls, who aren't so little anymore.
I haven't even seen my cousin in 10 years; don't even know where she is.
I look for her sometimes on MySpace or FaceBook. I think it would be nice to talk to her again. Sometimes I just get sad that we're no longer a part of each other's lives. You would think that with my dad having 5 brothers and 1 sister there would be a ton of cousins running around, but not so much. The few I have are younger than me and we've never been close.
Sometimes it just hits me and I get a little melancholy.