"You're going to become a big brother," she had told him, trying to put to terms a vast concept to a mere three year old. "It's the most important role you'll ever have," because it will be. Forever and eternally true. "They'll look up to you, and it'll be your job to teach them and protect them."
Law had looked up at her with a kindling of understanding in his eyes, the concept of a new family member exciting, but not quite grasping what that really meant in its entirety; attentions split and a new normality to get used to. He was rather bright for his age, but she knew never to set any expectation too high — even if he surprised her more times than not.
She looked at him then, watching as he took in her words, and she wondered who her newborn would become; their interests and motives, the color of their hair. Her first took much after his father, what would her features look like on another?
The prospect was as exciting as it was endearing, and she inclined her head in question as she asked her child — "Do you understand?"
The new little life in their lives was as cheerful as she was playful, absorbing the sun and emulating its rays through her laughter and bright, shining eyes.
She rode high on her father's shoulders, fell asleep to her mother's lullabies, and took to calling her brother by title almost as soon as she declared herself who she was; walking and talking on her own two feet, hands full of snowy flowers and an ever-present smile to her lips.
She wasn't prone to sticking her nose in a book like Law was — be it fabricated or factual — and her mother knew her daughter wasn't meant for delicacy, trailing her prettiest dresses through the mud and a preference for skipping stones in the garden ponds. Lami wasn't made for holding scalpels or tending to the sick and elderly. She was destined for something beyond the hospital walls and, perhaps, even their town itself.
Whoever she dreamed of becoming, she would be — an endless list of possibilities, blank pages to fill up however way she saw fit. She had her whole life ahead of her, but for now, she was most influenced by the annual festivities, allowing their activities to direct some of her more fleeting hobbies.
There was a brief period of time where she wanted to be an actor and raided Law's bookcase to reenact verdicts made by a master detective — she was the detective, and when she became bored of being that (because bless Law's little heart, his novel collection, in his mother's opinion, was the same rehashed story over and over again, and her daughter seemed inclined to agree), Lami wanted to become a singer instead.
However, when she found she inherited her father's musical ineptitude, she turned back to books in hopes of creating fanatical tales. The thought was soon cast from her mind though, finding the act of manually filling in her white pages far too boring for her tastes, and ventured into the courtyard to climb a tree.
She tried ballet but wasn't graceful, glanced at a piano long enough to remember how well her singing career went, and splattered paint over a wall only to find that she didn't care for the end result, wanting instead to run her fingers over the still dripping colors, mixing them together in a swirl of messy patterns and shapes.
She joined her brother for their father's teachings only once, but didn't understand the terminology; uninterested in the workings of the brain or the heart, blood and bones.
She won a hat at the festival through a trivial childish feat because she knew her brother couldn't do it himself and presented it to him — she was always the more daring, always the more wonderful and endowed. Law was the one to teach her how to share, how to count, sang her songs when their parents were too busy to play, and in turn, she taught him the importance of seizing the day and how to catch frogs.
(While Lami didn't care for the dirt on her cheeks or the grass stains embedded in her skirt, she shied away from what had her brother so interested in frogs, of all things.
"Those are for the patients to look at, not for your experiments!"
"I'm not experimenting, I'm learning."
"Learn from a book, why can't you just look at a picture—"
"Dad said I should get hands-on experience."
"Why does it have to be frogs?"
"Humans can be very comparable to frogs—"
"We're not frogs, Brother."
"Yes, but if you look on the inside, you will find that—"
Her tendency for motion had her climbing out of windows and scaling the hospital's gate when her parents weren't looking, and Law oftentimes had to coax her back down before she misjudged a railing and took a rather grotesque fall.
Once or twice he found himself dangling out of a window and caught between a fence in a poor attempt at pursuing her, but all that led to was having to be rescued himself, so he took to freaking out safe on the bleached pavement, hoping their parents didn't find out about the monkey child they had apparently raised.
And she was spoiled, they knew — often getting her way and left with little to no repercussions. Following the years of her birth, her parents were kept later working in the hospital with each following day, an unforseeable notion when her mother had announced her pregnancy, all those years ago.
But they took it in stride, raising their children both in and outside their quarter's walls — Law more than Lami, but let it be said that since she first learned to crawl, she was never far from her brother.
And Law took it seriously, when his mother sat him down and explained to him the duties of an older brother — he helped with her reading, her numbers, her manners. He was a child himself, yet he offered to care for her when their parents were fussing for time, searching for a nanny; Law declared himself one.
They were a nice mirror, those two. He was the pond to reflect her sunlight, nose in a book, but eyes on her, scolding when she tried shimmying onto the roof.
It was a call for attention, people said, her notorious loudness, and her never-ending laughter. People said her parents worked too hard, and that may be true — for her father, that is.
Her mother cut hours just to spend time with her children. She sang to them, played with them, talked to them. When times got hard, she tried to cook them dinner twice a week when her husband couldn't. She tried coming home.
Dauntless and motivated by the simple flutter of the wind, Lami was always searching for an adventure of some kind or a game to play, an excuse to run. She liked skipping and ice cream, fudge and somersaults; and her ability to put a smile on anyone's face exceeded any expectation her father had of her, lifting her high in the air, above his head, towards the clouds.
However, when she fell ill, he stopped seeing her altogether. Law never left her beside. Her mother cried herself to sleep.
She was never there in her daughter's last moments, trying to find a cure when she should have been by her side, sending her off with the gentle sound of her voice, easing her pain long enough for her to drift off into an endless sleep, light with the breeze.
Instead, she never got to say goodbye to either of her children. Maybe she was a failure as a mother.
Maybe she shouldn't even call herself that.