99: Kory

99: Kory

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Just Us Girls

Kory

A sister is a gift to the heart, a friend to the spirit, a golden thread to the meaning of life.

~Isadora James

It’s never been easy having a “Peter Pan” father — someone who never grew up and never cared about anyone but himself. His presents were never things I wanted, and his phone calls were few and far between. After thirteen years of pain and suffering, I finally gave up on him. I didn’t need him.

But when I was nine, I found out about another daughter of his, an older half-sister of mine, named Kory. For eight years, I wondered about her. What was her favorite color? Did she like country music? What kind of person was she? Was there any way she could be anything like me? I imagined some rocker chick, with a black pixie cut and intense green eyes. Sometimes, I’d wish I could ask her things, something any girl would ask their big sister. “How do you do your make-up?” and “What do I wear to homecoming?” She became like a fairy tale for me. Some untouchable, make-believe being. Until a few months ago.

I had recently turned seventeen and started junior year of high school. I was painting my nails when my mom came into my room. “Hey Kenzi?”

“Hmmm?”

“I have something to show you.”

I groaned and followed her to the computer. She clicked on something called “Planters Princesses” and showed me a picture of a tall, brown-eyed, beautiful girl in a light green dress. I somehow immediately knew who it was. “Is that… is that Kory?”

“Yeah,” Mom whispered. She showed me a few pictures and then highlighted something in the e-mail between her and Kory’s mom, Joy.

“Kory will be eighteen soon and very much wants to start talking to Kenzi,” the e-mail read. “She knows she has a sister out there and wants to know her.”

This can’t be real, I thought. I couldn’t even form a complete sentence. “She… she wants to talk to… to me?”

Mom looked at me. “Do you want to talk to her? Are you ready?”

It was a big choice for me. Was I ready to accept this new person in my life? I was having a hard time finding out who I was anyway, without a new sister in the mix. But after a long time of thinking, I finally said yes. I wanted to know Kory. I wanted to finally see who she was.

Mom “friended” her on Facebook and I read over her shoulder as she talked to Joy. I was still trying to let the reality of this sink in.

Mom finally plopped me down in her chair and I stared at the computer screen. My life was about to change. Suddenly, a message popped up.

“Hey…”

I don’t think there was a full thought in my head, at the time.

“Hey.”

And then we were both typing at once, trying to type faster and trying to soak up any amount of knowledge we could.

We agreed on a love of theater and her favorite animal was an owl. She was a cheerleader but was also a bit clumsy. We both kept typing, “I can’t believe this,” over and over and over. Finally, at 10 p.m. we realized we had to get to bed. Both of us had school the next day.

School was another story though. I could hardly focus! I remember sitting in Spanish and all I could think about was Kory.

Throughout lunch I talked my poor boyfriend’s ear off about her. “Does she like fruit snacks? Does she have a boyfriend? Does she have any other brothers or sisters? Is she thinking about me? What’s her voice sound like? What’s her laugh like? What does she smell like? Is she thinking about me? Why does she do cheerleading? What music does she listen to? Does she like texting? What about the Twilight series? Is she thinking about me?” I literally could not stop thinking about her. I was finally going to have all my questions answered!

Soon, we started texting each other. The question and answer sessions lasted all day, every day. She’d never read my favorite play, Cyrano de Bergerac, but also hated coconut. She’d seen Footloose, liked it, but wasn’t obsessed like I am. She also loved chocolate. She’d taken Spanish, and our opinion of it was the same — “Ew.” We both obsessed over our phones, and both of us had a longtime boyfriend. Our first kisses were both during freshman year of high school. Her favorite show was Grey’s Anatomy while mine remained undecided. We were sisters, there was no doubt about it.

Currently, I’m lying on my bed, texting Kory and writing this. She told me I should do it, so I did. She’s getting ready for a game she has to cheer at way off in Washington while I sit here in Oregon. And guess what? Distance doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter that I didn’t talk to her until last year. She’s my sister. And I love her more than you can imagine. She recently got a scholarship award and I’m so proud of her. She’s not the rocker chick I dreamed up, but she’s better.

And yeah, all those silly little sister questions? I ask them all the time. She helped me pick out my homecoming dress via text. She’s helped me with my relationship with God. She’s the best big sister I could have ever asked for. She’s beautiful, smart, talented, and the kindest person I know.

She was worth waiting for.

~McKenzi Seggerman

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