I’ve missed my sister immensely.
People don’t always understand how close I am to my sister. Alya and I have been each other’s best friends for my entire life, and there is no shaking that kind of connection.
We’re so close, we’ve laughed at the demonstrations of sisterly affection in Frozen. Elsa and Anna are nowhere near our levels of closeness, and both Alya and I know this for a fact. “I mean,” Alya has said, “I think I love you so much, I would not be able to stop hanging out with you even if I found out I had ice powers and it might get you hurt.”
This particular analogy got tested during the pandemic.
Suddenly, both Alya and I were faced with the very real possibility that hanging out with each other could hurt us.
We held out for a good solid five months. Then, after assessing the risk and deciding we wanted to see each other more than we worried about getting sick and potentially dying, we arranged for me to stay with her for a week.
Side note: Yeah, we were hysterically morbid, about the whole thing.
I’ve been quarantining far more than Alya, so she got tested right before I arrived. That didn’t stop us from being nervous on the car drive over to her house. We asked each other about how comfortable we were wearing masks, what we should expect in the next few days, and a few other precautions.
That’s when “Bohemian Rhapsody” came on the radio.
I mean…were we just supposed to not sing it?
We belted out the lyrics with gusto, spraying who knows how much spit into the car, and we finally relaxed.
When we got back to her house, we were just engrossed with each other. I swear, it was like Christmas. I woke up in my specially made-up guest room every day excited to hang out with Alya. I spent every waking moment of my visit with her.
We exercised on her elliptical together, listening to the ultimate bop-master, TheFatRat the entire time. We drank coffee in the mornings and hung out in her backyard while her adorable pupsters, Ushi, lay down on the sidewalk next to us. We watched The Lord of The Rings, the extended editions, through to completion, quoting it at every turn and, if it was evening, taking a drink every time Sam said “Mister Frodo.” We tried reenacting the dance number from the “Genghis Khan” music video, only to find to our dismay that they actually used professional dancers in it and we couldn’t faithfully replicate their moves. We ate inadvisable amounts of Hot Cheetos Puffs with white wine in the evening. We drank Sauvignon Blanc and spent a few minutes trying to say it in exaggerated French accents. We cuddled with Ushi and gave her a bath in the middle of the day. And (suckily) we attended to our respective work schedules, too.
That single week was seriously one of the best of my life. The threat of potentially getting sick hung over my head for the first few days, but the opportunity of just spending time with my sister (in the house, never out and about, mind you) was obliteratingly positive. Unbeknownst to me, a knot of anxiety had slowly been building up inside of me while Alya and I were apart. But when we were together, it’s like she just pulled and poked the knot away.
Upon arriving back home, it felt like I was missing something.
We have made plans for the future, a joint birthday party to which no one is invited except us and Halloween dress-up plans to look like Merry and Pippin. I look forward to seeing her again.
At the time of this writing, I just got tested for COVID-19. It felt like the smart thing to do after returning home, and I’m currently waiting for my results. I feel fine. And honestly, the test wasn’t that bad. I think my unnaturally large nasal cavities (thanks to my grotesque schnozz) have given me the capacity to have giant Q-Tips stuck in them and twirled around for samples without much discomfort.
I think people should be careful when planning visits to their family and friends at this point, as the pandemic still looms over all our heads, but I have no leg to stand on when it comes to restricting travel. I had to see Alya. However, communication is key. Be open and honest with comfort levels and risk assessments.
And I sincerely hope that everyone gets the chance to feel as happy as I did that week.