It all began on the day of Emma’s graduation. It had always been the four of us, the perfect family, until suddenly it wasn’t. There was an inexplicable shift in the balance of our home life. We began to see less of each other, and the moments we did spend to- gether were filled with angry words and tense silences. Emma had always been the glue holding us together, the peacemaker. Wherever she went Emma made friends, alliances. There is no person on this Earth who has met Emma and held her in con- tempt. She is the perfect mix of wit, beauty, humor, severity. When God made Emma, he must’ve perfected the recipe. I guess that makes me the leftovers. Because that’s what I am, you know. When I walk into a room with someone, especially Emma, it is not uncommon for me to be unnoticed. Even if trumpets were to announce my arrival, I doubt anyone would spare a glance for me. There is nothing significant about me, I am the definition of the word plain. I am not fat, I am not thin. My hair is not curly, but it is not straight either. My eyes are as common as they get, no specks or streaks of gold in that monotone brown. I don’t snort when I laugh, but I don’t make music with it either. Don’t even get me started on my personality. In the rare occasions where I manage to trick a poor soul into having a one-sided conversation, I fail to come up with anything even remotely interesting. But Hayley, you might ask, why don’t you just ask them about themselves? Why thank you, unusually high-pitched voice that only shows up at inopportune times, that would be excellent advice were I not crippled in the face of social interaction. Instead of questioning them on their extraordinary Pin- terest DIY hobby, I often end up blurting the most awkward, socially unacceptable question that makes me look like nothing less than a dick. I would have to say that my favorite encounter occurred last November, when I somehow found myself convers- ing with the town’s kindergarten teacher, Ms. Meyers, only to ask her this; So tell me, have you ever thought about which one of your kids is gonna end up banging the most chicks? As you can probably imagine, the conversation didn’t last long. And even though she denies it, I saw widow Harris’ kid making eyes at a girl last week and my money’s on him. The shame and shunning that comes from these unpleasant en- counters might have killed me by now, had I not had a secret weapon. Emma. Sweet, kind, wonderful Emma. I told you Emma was perfect, and I’m not exaggerating. De- spite our differences I’ve never loathed or despised her, because she might be the only one in the world who notices me. Even my parents would not be able to pick me out from a lineup, I guarantee it. When Emma looks at me, I know she’s not just mak- ing accidental eye contact or fulfilling her moral duty as a respectable human being. When Emma looks at me, even I feel like a respectable human being. She listens to me when I speak, she cares about what I have to say, and most importantly she has never let them make fun of me. No matter where and when, my sister has always stood up for me, and that is one of the many reasons why I will never be able to repay her. But Hayley, you might again say, there’s always time, you’ll find a way to make it up to her. Well, it would seem you are wrong again, dear voice that lives inside my head. You see that might be kind of hard to do, especially since Emma’s graduation day was also the day she disappeared.