Just like it had happened with me, our parents did not want to know if it would be a boy or a girl. The idea was to be a surprise and to me, having already decided everything, it certainly was. I was going to have a brother named Cristiano, an idea that nobody knows where it came from until today.

When my father arrived form the maternity hospital and unexpectedly told me that it was a girl I didn’t react very well (I really like to take things my way). I’m sure that, at age three I couldn’t know that it was my father’s fault, genetically and effectively speaking. I was so angry that I turned my back and run to my grandparents’ house, determined to not return until they brought home Cristiano.

Instead they brought me a surprisingly blonde Sara, in a family where we are all dark haired, and I don’t think I ever thought about Cristiano again. I did what was expected from an older sister. I protected her and adored her while she was a little baby, I took advantage of her while we grew up, I blackmailed her a reasonable number of times to get her Barbie doll and I ignored her – as it had to be done – on my birthday parties. But, we always got along. In fact, thinking of some stories I know, that involve fireplace pokers and forks stuck in legs, I suppose we got along incredibly fine.

A sibling is a magical thing. It is difficult to explain what it means to have someone who grew up with us and in the same circumstances as us. It is difficult to describe the safety and stability that it gives us, to know that we have someone that knows exactly who we are, what we are e why we are like that.

There is no safer relationship. A sibling is something of yours, as you are theirs.  It is one of those unshakeable and uncontestable truths which we can get ourselves distracted from, but it doesn’t matter, cause, it’s still there in the same way. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t talked for like three weeks and if they don’t know everything about your life, because they actually do know everything about you.

A sibling shares an endless amount of memories with us, of special occasions and vacations on the beach, but mainly of the day to day. The usualness of days. The life truths, good or bad ones. Growing up in that house, arguing about a sweater, spending boring afternoons when summer vacations seem endless. ­­Being happy, being afraid, being sick, growing up.

A brother teach us a great deal by just existing and perhaps the most important thing is this notion of relentless loyalty and resistance to almost everything. Or what there is, better and more beautiful, in being a part of a family, without all the less good stuff that also mean something.

There are siblings who don’t get along, I know. We get along, and I guess it’s easy because my sister is wonderful.  She’s one of the best people I know and the only one who I trust as much as I trust in myself. She’s incredibly smart and adorably silly and one of my favorite companions. And yes, we are sisters because we have the same blood but, mainly, we are sisters because of everything else. She never called me Sofia, she always calls me “sis”. When she introduces me to someone she always says “it’s my sister” and there are few things that really make me happier than being Sara’s sister.

This post was originally written in Portuguese. Click here for the original text.