An Open Letter To The Sister I've Never Met

We share the same blood. We also share the same coarse afro hair, almond shaped eyes and brown skin. We share the same father.

You are at once intimately familiar to me and yet completely Other. You exist as a genetic paradox; a being with half of my biological make-up who manages to be so totally alien that for 23 years I barely acknowledged your existence.

It was only when I opened an old photo book and saw images of you that I realised how little I know you. While I was back home over Christmas, curiosity got the better of me and I took the liberty of poring over a large leather-bound album, which is usually confined to the farthest corner of our father’s bookshelf. Photos of him in another life loomed large in their total omnipotence. A life I knew he had but one that was never really spoken of in our household. You weren’t exactly a secret – I knew your name, knew that you lived in New York, knew that you worked at a hotel, knew that my father left you and your mother sometime before I was born. It was also common knowledge that you and our father no longer spoke. But that was where it stopped. I didn’t even know your age until I began writing this letter.

When you open your family photo album you accept that feelings of nostalgia and detachment are likely to…

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