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Kaylee

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I always used to make Miis for my friends and family. Call it an odd hobby, but I really liked the way I could use a couple simple tools to make digital versions of my friends, family, and the occasional celebrity. Most of the time, my efforts were appreciated, though my sister once flicked my ear for making her nose too big. Sometimes, when I was playing some of the games, I'd face off against my creations; playing tennis against my aunt, scaring ghosts with my grandma, and bowling in an alley next to Hitler. Oh, come on, EVERYONE made a Hitler Mii.

I was bowling against my mom-as in she was playing, not just on the screen-when my sister came into the room, grinning so wide I thought her jaw would drop. It was her grin, so much so that I had to put it on her Mii. She told us, hand protectively cradling her stomach, that she was pregnant. She and her husband had been married for two years, so we had been expecting this for a while, but the joy coming off her face was something I hadn't been ready for. After a moment to get over the shock, my mom and I both went over to hug her, and ask her all the usual baby questions. It had only been 3 months, but she wanted to be sure everything was alright before spreading the big news. My mom left the game half-finished to go ask all sorts of yucky questions, so I stayed behind, glad I wouldn't be the baby of the family in another 6 months. On a whim, I opened up the editing page for my sister's Mii and gave her just a little bit more weight, which got me another flick on the ear followed by a kiss to the top of the head.

After two months of watching the baby stuff from afar, I got invited to come along and watch the ultrasound. That was the first time I saw Kaylee. Well, what she looked like from inside my sister, that is. She was so small, but big enough that I could count her fingers and toes. She was real, and she was going to be part of our family. So, I did what I did for her husband two years before that, when I was the ripe old age of ten: I made her a Mii. It was much harder to do without a real face to base it off, but I sort of stitched together traits from my sister and her husband to make Kaylee, with a pink dress to match. They loved it, and I got a big hug from both of them before they left that night.

A couple weeks later, school let out. I got bored, and decided to play some Wii sports to make sure I didn't get fat. I got ready for the boxing, and let the game pick a random Mii to play against. It picked my sister. I tried to exit out of the game, but before I could the match started. The computer was playing really hard on me, and I had to duck a lot of really fast punches. My health was down to half before I got the chance to start blocking, and then the flurry stopped. I took the moment and went in with both fists, getting a nice combo on her face to set up for a bodyblow that got the full slow-down treatment. The last hit did more damage than I thought, and she was on the floor before I could put my guard back up. The ref counted all the way to ten, but the computer didn't get up. I was crowned the winner, and got some experience points. Before I could play another round, a friend of mine called and invited me to play World of Warcraft for a while.

We played for a half hour before another call came through, this one for my mom. I didn't understand half of it, but the look of horror on my mother's face was all the translation I needed. Something had happened to Kaylee.

We rushed over to the hospital, and my brother in law was there to hug us. It didn't feel as good as the other hugs. He told my mom and I that he had been driving my sister to some kind of pregnancy class when she felt something in her stomach, and blood had begun to leak onto the car seat. My mom tried to cover my ears, but I pulled them off to hear the story. He rushed her to the ER, and the doctors had wheeled her away before he could get any answers.

My mom went up to the desk and banged her fist on it, demanding to know more, and after a minute one of the doctors came out, head low. He said a bunch of big words, but I heard just enough of them to understand what was going on. “Blood loss”. “Fetus”. “Trauma.” And, finally, “miscarriage.” I only knew what that last one was because they said it on House, so I didn't have to trouble my mom asking what it meant. She yanked me and my brother in law into another hug, tears streaming down all of our cheeks. I was the baby of the family again.

After waiting for an hour to see my sister, we got turned away. She needed surgery, and wouldn't be able to talk until tomorrow. The silence hung thick between my mom and I on the ride home, and I couldn't help thinking about how my 'sister' had collapsed so quickly after that punch to her gut. For a moment, I tried to remember seeing any blood in the boxing ring, but of course they didn't have an animation for that in the game.

Mom went straight to bed without even going into the kitchen, and I could hear her sobbing into her pillow for an hour before she finally went to sleep. I did what any 12 year old would do: turned on my Wii to try and forget the day. The Mii menu came up, and I glanced at it for a moment. My sister's wide grin was gone. The big D filled with square teeth was now just a thin, flat line between her nose and mouth. My hand shook slightly as I pointed the cursor to her height and weight sliders. She was back to the size she had been before. I clicked out and tried to find Kaylee in the three dozen models, and finally found her. She looked asleep, and the blinding pink was replaced with a clean, somber white.

I haven't made a new Mii since that sleepless night.

Today would have been her first birthday.

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