I was seven when we met for the first time. My grandpa found you and brought you to live with our family. It was a miracle. After all, the only information we had about your existence was the name of the nearest village where my dead uncle served his conscription.
You were 14 and beautiful. You looked like your dad. Charcoal black hair and dark eyelashes were the proof that you came from our family. Against your dark complexion, your ocean blue eyes captured my heart and imagination.
I remember how my family flocked around you when you just arrived. After all, they had finally reclaimed a living part of my dead uncle.
With time, you became a ‘normal’ family member. My grandma started taking you to weddings so that people could see your beauty and the right suitor came along to marry you.
Then something changed.
You told grandma what your step-dad did to you.
She was devastated. She grieved your innocence, but she couldn’t keep you with us anymore. If anyone found out what had happened to you, it could bring shame on all of us.
So when your mum came asking to take you back a year later, no one held you back.
I was sad when you left. I was too young to ask the question, but I often wondered whether grandma told anything to your mum. Were you safe going back?
It feels too personal to ask now.
Anyway, I know we stay in touch a few times a year, but I just wanted to drop a line and say I love you. For that year you lived with us, you were a big sister I never had.
With much love,