A/N: Okay, so this week was crazy busy with the exam and what not, so… well, this is what I got to give you guys for this week. Please comment if you have any thoughts… about this story or just in general.
Of course the oldest one was the prettiest. That almost went without saying. Diane was a cute child, who turned into a pretty girl, who, in time, turned into a beautiful woman. And she knew it. She was the type of girl, who knew very well the effect she had on men and she always had at least a dozen or so chasing after her. In time she grew up to be an actress, and suddenly the whole world was in love with her.
Annabelle was the second-oldest by eleven months. She was the genius of the family. Graduated with honours from Harvard University and went on to Yale. At the age of thirty she had several published books, was a renowned scientist, and there was talk of her winning the Nobel Prize for physics.
Kathy, born a year and a half later, was the second-youngest and the medal-winner in the family. She was simply just the best at everything there had anything to do with sport. She ended up as a swimmer for the Olympic team, and no one was really surprised there. After all; then success like that could only be expected from any sister of Diane and Annabelle.
That left me then. The baby sister. The youngest. The problem was that after Diane got the looks, Annabelle got the brain, and Kathy got the talent… well, there really wasn’t anything left for me. An average girl in every sense of the world, which really isn’t as bad if it hadn’t been because people expected so much more of me. They expected me to be prettier, smarter, better. Every aspect of me disappointed my family. The way I looked, my grades, my clumsy nature. How could I possibly be blood-related to my sisters?
I forced my way through high school and got a spot at the state university, where I studied economics. It wasn’t that I was stupid or anything. In fact I believe I am quite clever, but that really isn’t enough when you’re Annabelle’s sister. It’s not that I blame my sisters. They were always nice to me, though I’ve always expected it was partly out of pity.
No, it was my parents, my grandparents, my uncles and aunts and everyone else, who seemed to think I simply didn’t measure up.
After graduation I’ve had enough. I packed a bag and left; five months later finding myself in a school in Africa teaching English. It was… nice. For the first time in my life I was happy. Probably because no one here compared me to my sisters.
And, well… I liked to help. I loved that feeling of knowing that I actually made the world a better place. I wasn’t just there, you know?
I worked at the school for a year and a half, falling in love somewhere along the way. His name was Casper, he was a few years older than me and a volunteering teacher as well. But unlike me he had ambitions. He wasn’t satisfied with making the world a batter place one life at the time. He wanted to go bigger. And he asked for my help doing it.
We started the foundation mostly as an experimental first try. We called it The Sisters because it sounded kind of religious, and we hoped that would make people dig a little deeper into their pockets. For a first experiment it went pretty well. Okay, that’s a lie. It went beyond all expectations.
Five years later we had over a thousand volunteers and got yearly donations in the six digits. Casper was charismatic and knew how to talk to people, how to convince them. I was the one behind the scene, doing… well, everything else really. He got the attention, just as we both preferred it, and I was happy. Though it had originally been Casper’s idea, I was well aware that there was no way he could ever pull it off on his own. He didn’t have the patience for all the paperwork.
We continued dating for a while, before deciding we were better off as friends. I was surprised how little it hurt. I moved into a small one-bedroom apartment up in Queens though I was hardly ever there. We had both agreed from the beginning this wasn’t something there would make us rich, and we stayed with that promise, though I know Casper occasionally made a bit of extra cash on the side, advertising for this thing or another.
The years went by and I met someone else. Aaron. He was a divorce attorney, and I found myself surprised over my attraction to him. I usually only dated people, who had dedicated their life to helping others. He was kind though, and he truly loved me, and two years later I’ve moved into his apartment on the Upper West Side, feeling oddly misplaced.
I continued to travel for the organization, and Aaron was understanding. It grew even larger, and by the time Aaron and I got married it was considered the fifth largest charity organization in the world. People started to talk about giving Casper the Nobel Peace Price, and I hoped he would get it. He deserved it.
But then some reporter apparently dug up exactly how much of the work was mine and the focus shifted to me. It was… bizarre. After standing in my sisters’ shadows through my entire childhood I didn’t know what to do when the spotlight was suddenly on me. I wasn’t used to it.
I bore it, as well as I could. I smiled, and waved, and continued to work hard for The Sisters. And then the day was suddenly there, and I got the prize and everything was just surreal.
I was surprised over how little it meant. The Sisters had become my baby and I knew how well a job I’d done with it without some prize telling me. The money went directly into the foundation, though Aaron convinced me to first go on that ridiculously expensive hot air balloon flight I’d been pining after. Said I needed some sort of reward of my own. He did always look out for me, whenever I forgot to.
But I realised, staring at the medal, that somewhere on the way I lost my sisters’ shadows.
I would never stop being compared to them, not really. My flat nose and freckles would always be compared to Diane’s, and my successes and failures would always be compared to Annabelle’s and Kathy’s. But the comparisons had stopped to matter.
The Sisters was my baby, my pride, and as I helped it grow, as I started to groom someone – a young wide-eyed girl from Kansas of all places – to take over after me, I realised that the person who had truly compared my sisters to me had been myself.
A part of me always would, I suppose. I am only human. But I am no longer coming out short, and I realised I should focus on what I had rather than what I was missing.
I had my own love. My own meaning with life. My own success.
And it would just be foolish to think them less just because it was something else than what my sisters had.
It was ironic, really. The Sisters had helped me get over my sisters. Funny how that sort of things sometimes just work itself out.