Ode to my “Garage”

You stood, at the end of a street lined with maple trees, where plucked dandelion stems lay
abandoned under piles of glowing maple leaves, and weaved memories from our first encounter

into the coffee-stained carpet by the front door. I was six years old and had no clue of your existence
twelve hours ago, when you were still walking on the other half of this Earth. It’s big enough

to park two cars, the realtor told my mother as we walked towards you, hand in hand.
But I knew my mother only had one. And so, I took to it as my duty to fill the other half of you

with broken bicycles and worn-out toys. You never complained about how much space I took up,
about how much love I stole from under the roof that we were meant to share, the roof that’s

our father—but my mother did. And every time I banged the car door so that a blue, moon-shaped
dent appeared on your walls, she reminded me that I was the inseverable link between you and her,

that my veins bore the same strong concrete you carried in half of your floors, and that you
would be cared for—regardless of the whispers that rained down from grey Vancouver skies.

Your bravery is something that I can never replicate. At seventeen, you knew to store the pieces
of your broken childhood in locked boxes. At seventeen, you were the thread that stitched together

a house for three women. At seventeen, you learned to love me like the sister that you always had.

Rellie Liu is an undergraduate junior studying Biology and English at Stanford University. She was born in China and raised in Vancouver, Canada.

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