China face. J-Dawg. Jess. Jessie. Simba. Messy Jessy. You know who you are. Hang on in there! You are so so close to finishing school and graduating. You know that me being me (a.k.a. the soppy, emotional one), it's killing me that I'm missing your Graduation and the actual soul-wrenching Leaving Cert. Instead I'll be up the Andes somewhere, probably entwined with a cactus after tripping down a slope. The usual. I wanted to be there for you because I am so proud of how hard you've worked over the last six years. Even though, you've had plenty of time for fun. And annoying me. As any little sister enjoys doing.
I know I haven't been home properly the past 2 years and you've stepped into the "big sister" role but this ode is really a warning to shove off cos' when I'm back, I'll be taking that back again. [I mean that as affectionately as I mean it aggressively].
I like you because you are creative. You are smart. You DJ with the kitchen plates. You wear a onesie without irony. You are stylish. You give me lots of memories, some of my best;
- I remember you cut off hairdresser Barbie's hair into a Sinead O'Connor/lesbian do because you thought it was more stylish.
- I remember you used blocks of wood from the farm and string to make your own high heels.
- I remember you tried to make the chickens fly by flinging them over a stream of water, to encourage them.
- I remember every Pairc Uí Chaoimh competition.
- I remember you using the dress up box to make new dresses and us dancing around the kitchen to S Club 7.
- Do you remember when you, me, Mum and Shane joined arms at Glastonbury after Flaming Lips and walked down the dust-road singing "Yellow Submarine"?.
- I remember you as the granny in "Little Red Riding Hood" and your famous "Let's all have a cup of Barry's Tea" line.
- I remember us sharing a room and fighting like two cows over leaving the door open or closed and keeping the window open or closed. You got your way. Both times!
- I remember painting our toe nails in our room and spilling that manky red nail polish all over the carpet. It never came out.
- I remember us watching "A Goofy Movie" over and over and over again.
- Do you remember the Hide and Seek games and crawling over the walls and sheds, hiding behind the tractors and in amongst all the bakery furniture?
- I remember sneaking you into your first nightclub under age at Halloween with only my glasses and a witches hat to disguise you.
- I remember giving each other those disgusting banana face masks. They made our skin worse!!!
- Do you remember collecting Smash Hits magazines and having Gareth Gates as our first celebrity crush?! Ewwwww! What were we thinking?!
- I remember us talking about our favourite Disney princesses and using chalk to draw Jasmine and Esmeralda on the walls in the lower sheds.
- I remember our first holiday to Kenmare and making those big dolphin and turtle sandcastles with Mum.
- I remember doing the washing up together and sitting on two chairs, wearing yellow gloves, because we couldn't reach.
- I remember the first Freakscene.
- Do you remember the time you ran into the Holly Tree in the garden? Or the rope swing, where we could only fit one foot in.
- I remember how I got drunk for the first time in order to save you from that awful drinking game! You owe me for that one.
- I remember you singing "Hotel California" in the most horrid impression in Croatia. And all the other impressions...
- I remember being mean and tricking you into trading me your shiny Charzard Pokemon card for a Jigglypuff one.
- I remember your first day of secondary school and how proud I felt.
- I remember our last day of school together before I left.
- I remember the day we went to the hairdresser and cut our hair off together and how long it took for it to grow back.
- I remember roller-blading down the tarmac road on the farm and in the estate with you, without our helmets.
- I remember picking blackberries and playing on the bales every summer until sunset.
- I don't remember pushing you off the bed when we were jumping on it together and you having to get stitches as your teeth went through your tongue but I'm sorry about that.
- I remember getting our ears pierced and every piercing you got thereafter.
- If you get a tattoo this summer without me, I'll definitely kick your bum.
- I remember going to rugby matches and running down the Cricket Field slope as fast as we could.
- I remember cross-country running with me coming 123rd out of 130 and you 10th out of 90. You were always a little bit faster.
- I remember your Junior Cert results and mine.
- I remember your 4th year play and how you laughed at me in mine.
- I remember helping you with your Kenya project and with German. Ja, ja, Party tier!
- Do you remember me winning those Linkin Park tickets on the Radio and telling you JUST before your final Junior Cert exam? You can't actually believe I robbed you of that "A"!!!?
- I remember the first time we went to France and running around the guest-house trying to find the water sprinklers to realise that that was the first time we heard crickets.
- I remember the road-trips through the Alps and you swinging your necklace around your head like a mentalist, distracting all the cyclists.
- I remember going to the sandy beaches and how you used to be fascinated with washed up jellyfish. I ALSO remember how you tried to chase me around with a dead one on a stick. I've never forgiven that one!
- I remember you putting straws on your two teeth to look like a Walrus in Greece and them getting stuck.
- I remember how you started wearing make-up at 13 and me FREAKING out at you and how you soon had better clothes than me.
- I remember all the boys, all the friends, all the drama and how you were always the most trusting and loyal person.
- I remember going to all the music festivals. I remember all the holidays. I remember all the toys.
You're my best friend and I am so glad we are only 1 year, 1 month and 8 days apart in age. We go through the same things at the same time and have such similar [and different] opinions and tastes. You call everyone "dear", "love", "pet" or "me lubber". You make the best funny faces I know and the best brownies. I am so proud you have chosen my college for your college. Now I can show you off to everyone I know! You'll make a wonderful nurse and best, best, best of luck in your exams. You don't even need it. I'm here for you even when you can't talk. But sure you know that. I'm like a bad rash you can't get rid of.