*Necessary preface: this is a work of fiction. I do not take the word suicide lightly in the context of my, the author’s, life. It’s a metaphorical exploration of my life’s changes.*

I tried, sis. I really did. I was often accused of being dad’s clone, and by what any given and person could see or hear, I couldn’t blame them for thinking that.

I hated you, for a while, a long damn time in fact. I tried to hide you from everyone, I silenced you anytime you crept out, I kept you all for myself, but not even that, turns out. Even I never appreciated you. Without you, I was an empty shell, a piece of armor, all survival, total and corrupt rationalization with no heart and no wisdom to guide it.

I tried, sis. I tried to be a man, but that was never meant to be. Trying to mimic dad wasn’t enough. Imitating actions and methods without understanding their origin, without being able to feel their motivations made me a self-manipulated puppet, and worse, easy prey for the worst kinds of women and pathological ideologies.

You tried, sis. You warned me and I didn’t listen. You cried, and I never attended to your tears. Your heart was broken; it gnawed at me, my ignorance of it, and every relationship and career I tried to forge imploded.

You hated me, for a long time, and I didn’t blame you because I joined you in it. Only now I’m not so sure you did. I hear whispers that I protected you and sheltered you, that without me as a shield you might not be alive at all. Rumors abound that I might have done some good somehow in these years of my chaotic, nihilistic flailing.

You tried, sis. Against all of my torture and torment, you tried to show me the way. You have our mom’s heart, and I’m thankful for that. You showed me empathy and I twisted it into darkness.

It’s time for me to go, my sweet sister. There is only room for one of us here, and there is no fairer deal I can give the world than to trade me for you. It’s time for you to go free, and show the world your light. Don’t cry for me, for you have wept enough. If there is maybe one way I can succeed as a man, it is to sacrifice my today for your tomorrow, a duty so many men face for the future’s sake. That is my first and final gift to you, something so horribly and so painfully overdue…

Falling into forever, he leaves. The letter flutters into her trembling hands, tears smearing his final fingerprints. She vows to honor him.