I’ve always worried that I’m not truly living life, that I’ll spend my whole time here on the sidelines, watching other people do things. I wanted to do something interesting, to get noticed by the people who really mattered-my family.
Always the dull sibling, the one who was just ‘okay’, the girl with no real talents or beauty. People often asked why I dressed so brightly, why my voice could be heard even in a crowd, but I never had the courage to tell them the truth-I was so afraid of being just another face that I forced myself to be someone I wasn’t.
Of course, everything eventually cracked. I broke down in the middle of science class, sobbing over the bubbling beakers. When people tried to comfort me I screamed at them, “You’re not real! None of you are real!” I was locked in the nurse’s office until I calmed down and my mom came to get me.
My mother, Marie, is beautiful, with sky blue eyes and still thick blonde hair. She’s tall, but she weighs less than I do. My mother has the voice of an angel, and people stop her on the street just to ask her name. She has never said she’s proud of me.
I was still crying when she pulled up in our new car. “Get in the car, Belle,” she snapped. When I did she turned to me, lips drawn back over her teeth in fury. “I have never been more embarrassed in my life. How dare you let your selfish little games interfere with our lives? Do you know what I had to leave to pick you up?”I shook my head, unwilling to talk.
“I was at yoga when the call came that my daughter had interrupted her class. I am so ashamed of you right now.” Mom flicked a curl of hair over her shoulder and focused on the road. We didn’t talk until we got home.
I have two older siblings, Annalise and Jean-Paul. My mother, clearly, has a thing for French names. Annalise is 20, with my mother’s looks and singing voice. She was elected Most Popular every year, and guys love her. But Annalise would have none of that. She’s been dating the same nice, funny, smart, hot guy since sophomore year of high school.
His name is Lee and everyone in my family loves him. They’re both going to Yale for a second year, and they both have a scholarship. Annalise is perfect-she’s my Mom’s favorite. Jean Paul, my 19 year old brother, is also good looking, with my dad’s dark hair but mom’s blue eyes. He’s 6’2 and works out every day. Every sport he ever tried he excelled at.
Mostly he plays football, basketball, and soccer. Colleges have been begging for him too, and he’s going to BC on full scholarship. Jean Paul is going to study neuroscience, so he can help people when he graduates. Jean Paul is Dad’s favorite.
The sad thing is I can’t hate my siblings. I love them too much, and they adore me, treat me like I’m their favorite person.
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