There was nothing I could do, but watch her die in the arms of the man she loved. We may not have been related by blood, but the bond we shared was much thicker than water, blood, or anything else. There was so much I wished I had said to her, so much I wish I had done, but now there was nothing left.
We met years ago on the streets of Paris. I'm not quite sure of how old I was exactly, never knew my birth date, but I could not have been more than seven years old. My name was also as mysterious as my birth. The earliest memory I have was waking up one warm summer morning, alone and helpless and meeting her, the girl with the fiery hair and personality to match.
She never told me anything about her past, and I suspected she knew as much about it as I did my own, but it did not matter. We looked after each other, cared for each other. I called her Sister and she called me Brother, and for a while it was good. We managed to steal food from vendors every morning and when we had had our fill we would go and roam the city, swimming in the river, enjoying the seasonal festivals, and occasionally sneaking a peak inside the infamous Moulin Rouge.
Sister was always drawn to the bright colors and seductive music of the Moulin Rouge, and to be quite honest I never could picture her becoming anything other than a Moulin Rouge dancer. She definitely had the spirit for it. Of course in my youth I did not realize exactly what being a Cancan dancer would entail but I did know that they got to wear beautiful costumes and danced with the rich and famous men of Paris.
It was a rainy October morning and we had sought shelter under a large elephant that was part of the Moulin Rouge. We had just finished eating our soggy bread and were huddled together to protect ourselves from the chilly weather. As we looked out at the gray sky, Sister began to hum a simple melody. She did have the most beautiful voice, serene, gentle, and the slightest hint of yearning for something better, something more. It was that part of her voice that never changed.
"Brother, do you think we will ever find a true home?" she asked me as I shifted in her arms, trying to get myself more comfortable.
I looked up at her with curios eyes, and her own pensive blue ones met my deep brown ones, "Paris is our home, Sister," I replied not understanding what she meant.
She shook her head and smiled wryly, "I mean a real home, with a father and a mother, and warm meals every day," She squeezed me tightly and continued, "Somewhere where we will be loved,"
I wanted to say that I loved her, and that we were each other's mother and father… That we had everything we could ever want here on the streets of Paris, but I knew that she would never be truly happy. I knew that was not all she wanted. She wanted more that just a family and love. Even though we were homeless children, she had bigger dreams in mind. She wanted to be known, she wanted people to envy her, and she wanted to just experience life. Sister was a gem hidden under muddy waters, and she longed to shine brightly for everyone to see. I knew this, so I kept silent. She couldn't fool me.
Little did we know that she was about to have everything she could have dreamed of, and that it still wouldn't make her happy.