Monday, July 6, 2009

The Other Angela

My adoptive sister, Angela, used to be beautiful, with eyes as blue as the ocean, adorable little ringlets of golden hair, and this big, mysterious Mona Lisa smile. To our parents, she was an absolute angel. Me, the other Angela? I was just there. Still am. I know they try to pretend they forgive me for what happened, try to hide all that hate you aren't even allowed to have for your child, even if they are adopted, but they can't help the dead-fish-eye look they give me. I'm essentially dead to them.

Every night, I still feel the details of that day. That day when that precious angel of an Angela was lost. I remember the leather of the truck we played in, sticky with from or hands and sticking to our thighs in the heat. I remember that last giggle Angela made, like glass tinkling around in a crystal glass. And most importantly, the one I remember as vividly as if it was one of my watercolor paintings, sitting in front of me, is the awful crunch of metal as the truck sped backwards, where I had stepped on the break, and the even more awful shriek, as glass shards jammed into Angela, whose Mona Lisa smile was lost forever. That part, I remember with excruciating clarity.

But I survived without a scratch. The worst part? I didn't even cry. Not one tear. My eyes didn't even get wet. I just sat, stunned, calm. Not even sad.

I was always compared to my sister Angela. She was a year older than me, and she always did things better. Even when I did something right, it wasn't acknowledged. I wonder why my parents even bothered to adopt when they couldn't have another child, if that was how they were to treat her. First off, there was the name confusion- two Angela's? That certainly couldn't work. Now- and I know this is such a completely morbid, awful thought- at least now there was only one Angela.

For the longest time, I thought I did it on purpose- like a self-fulfilled prophecy, because I hated her. Maybe I didn't know I hated her, and I really and truly did, and the whole crash was on purpose. I think that was another thing keeping me awake.

The only person who didn't blame me for what happened was our brother, Drake. We never talked about it, but I knew he still loved me. He never blamed me, either, or compared me to Angela- not even when he was alive, after which the comparisons only increased. I just never knew it until a long time after.

Years later, when I was 14 and Drake was 18, I was helping- meaning watching, of course- him pack his stuff up to go to college. He was going all the way across the country to California, just to escape our sadist parents. Or that's what I thought. I chose to believe that.

All those years later, I was still as sick over what happened as ever, and my paretns were still as... I can't say angry. They were never angry. The emotion they always showed me in their eyes and behavior was even worse than anger. Anger I could have dealt with. Anger, you return, even if you have no reason to return it other than the fact that they are handing it out to you. But this, this indescribable glimmer in their eyes? You can't return it, it's too strong.

"Drake?"I said. "I need to ask you something."

"Yeah? What?"

"Was Angela... was Angela really as perfect as they say?"

He thought about it for a minute. "Angela, I know we aren't supposed to 'speak ill of the dead' or whatever-" He did that Catholic cross thing across his chest-" but Angela wasn't as perfect as you think."

I really and truly think that was the best possible thing I ever heard in my life. "Really!? What do you mean?"

"She had such a mean streak in her, that Angela," He got this nostalgic look in his eyes. "A thief, too! I can't tell you how many iPods I've had to buy after she broke every one. You really don't remember how much of a bully she was?"

I really didn't. We were so little when it happened. Your memory tends to get distorted after that long, I guess. "Um. No."

"Angela? You know she forgives you, right?" All the laughter he had in his voice earlier was gone when he said this.

"I do now." I didn't have to say anything else. He knew how much it meant to me.

Not my best work, but I'm hoping it's plausible :)


  1. Very interesting story. What inspired you to write this story? I hope she has a happy ending :)

  2. Thanks :) It does end good for her, don't worry ;)

    I actually wrote this in 6th grade and I did a little editing. Part of it was the fact I was reading Sweethearts by Sara Zarr, and then I had read a short story a little like this, about two sisters named Angie. I just went with it from there :)

  3. Yeah to happy endings. And I've never heard of the story.

  4. :) Sweethearts or the other? Sweethearts is great, I had to do a report on it, the other was from a British anthology of stories :)

  5. This is great! Your such a great writer!!


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