Our youngest sibling was married two weeks before I left to a man I didn't know the name of a scant four weeks before. Misty eyed and choking on my heart, I had watched her float down the isle wondering where time had taken her and why hadn't I noticed her leaving. Why hadn't I spent the time to take her seriously—realized that maybe we needed to watch this one?

The oldest ducked his head down and squeezed his arm around my shoulders as if sensing my thoughts. I had leaned in to take the offered comfort and shuddered in familiarity. It felt wrong to have him next to me, watching, when he was the one I felt should be guiding her along. He was the one who had truly raised us both. The thought felt wrong and bitter in wake of her flushed and cheerful face and I ducked my face against the oldest's shirt to hide my face in shame.

She was the last one added and the first one removed.

Not removed, I had to remind myself. It was impossible to remove any one of us. Things had changed. We were older. She should be getting married. We all should be getting married. It's what people did when they got older.

I thought of it in metaphor, untangling our nest into a home. It was impossible to loose a home's foundations. We were simply expanding, trying new things, cementing together another room.

Our youngest once said I was summer, summer but only as the leaves started to change. Once a very, very long time ago, over pixi sticks and hot chocolate, amid the pillows spread out over our largest living room floor, our oldest's lanky limbs sprawled over a couch and a half. She chattered on about mud pies and warm sun with a touch of changing-leaves melancholy. Once, a very long time ago, when she was sunshine and downy clouds and when her flights of fancy allowed me tag alongside.

I wasn't the youngest or the oldest. I was lost some where in the middle of where rules slid and lines blurred. An only child lost amongst high expectations and upheld values. But unlike our growing home, I wasn't fond of rooms with walls and windows that only left a glimpse of a world outside. Claustrophobic, I decided instead on the foreign flags, twisting tongues, and tantalizing treats of a garden.

Two weeks after the wedding, I packed my bags. Hurried kisses and lingering fingers sent me on my way. They were affixed and reinforced some where over coffee shots and scooter rides in the romance of Italy and curled and swirled within the current of the Cheonggye Stream. Each trip brought dewy seedlings and with each season came new growth until my world bloomed with overwhelming color and clarity.

And then it was my turn. I balked at the idea of ridged walls containing—hindering—my thriving, laboriously attended garden. He argued trees, not paned windows, with sunlight that gleamed through branches and allowed rain to trickle off their leaves—even Astilbe needs shade when the sun becomes too hot. Maybe picnic tables and swing sets, but that would be later and there was plenty of time for later.

In my indecision, violets appeared, lured in by the promise of cool shade and Azaleas leaned in for the offered protection. It took an untimely storm that shook the foundations of what I had created for me to realize the decision had already been reached when a tiny slip of Bleeding Heart was cradled within the Cypress' roots.

a/n: see if any of this makes sense. Reposted. I liked the concept, but the words wouldn't fit right and my original concept got pretty lost. I decided to take what came out of the original and use it as a focus to rewrite it instead of trying to make it work with a concept that clearly didn't like me that day xD I'm pretty sure the second half got lost in Metaphor, but hey, I tried. xD and maybe I'm not using affixed correctly? It doesn't sound right. I've also about doubled the original length…. I'm a little iffy about some of it.