By Sydney Moya
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So, Nikki and I didn’t make up though we both wanted to. Neither of us was willing to take the first step especially Nikki who’d had enough of being put down by me besides I was in the wrong not Nikki. I knew there was no way she’d be her sweet, nice self with me one more time when I’d rebuffed her so frequently and had told her how much I despised her.
We didn’t talk to each other, I thought Nikki hated me- she didn’t, she thought I hated her- I didn’t but neither of us could tell each other that since we assumed otherwise. I didn’t seek to hurt my hurt my sister anymore and I couldn’t meet her eyes so I avoided being alone with her as much as I could. It was the same with Nikki except she took my behaviour as continued confirmation of what I’d said to her and it broke her heart and prevented her from trying to make up when she longed to. Laura was on Nikki’s side and she didn’t forgive me for wishing our sister didn’t exist, she ignored me as much as she could making it clear she wanted nothing to do with me so long as I hated Nikki.
We all knew our behaviour was exasperating to Mum. If there was anything she hated it was the three of us treating each other like we didn’t exist and knowing there was nothing she could do about it. She knew I’d hurt Nikki badly and that it was impossible to expect her to come back and ask for more of the same. Laura told her that,
“It’s not me or Nikki Mum, its Becky. She hates Nikki; I don’t so how can I make up with her. She told Gran nothing was wrong meaning she doesn’t mind if Nikki and I don’t talk to her, it’s what she wants. If she doesn’t want that then she has to apologise but she won’t.”
Mum didn’t give up though, she kept trying to engage us by bringing us together like on one Saturday where she made all three of us go shopping for clothes with her and at one moment Nikki and I actually managed to smile at each other when Mum chose an awful outfit she fancied. Still that was as far as it got and things remained frosty in spite of Mum’s efforts.
As Christmas approached we did less work at school and prepared for the Carol concert and the Winter Ball. All the girls were buzzing about it.
“I can’t wait for the Ball! I’ve got this great dress, you’ll love it Nikki. What are you coming in?” said Samantha excitedly to her friend.
“I’m not coming Sammy. I’ll be in Scotland for my grandparents anniversary,” said Nikki, “besides going to a dance without a partner isn’t exactly fun,” she went on.
Everyone in the sixth form was getting someone to go with them, all of them except Nikki that is. She knew none of the boys would dare ask her out and she couldn’t do that either. It was times like this that made her situation all too clear and emphasized that she was different.
‘Oh what I would give to be a normal girl!’ she thought with a sigh.
“Still missing him?” re-joined Sammy quietly, seeing her friend’s demeanour.
“No I’m not, I was thinking of something else. I hardly think of Wayne anymore,” replied Nikki a bit too fast.
Sammy gave her a knowing look. Pull the other one she seemed to say.
“If you must know I was thinking of my term mark in Math okay?” said Nikki.
“Don’t stress you know you beat me again anyway how can you think of Maths when it’s Christmas, where’s your sense of fun chick? Don’t you ever let your hair down?” joked Sammy.
“You can say that when I’m rich and you’re looking for a job sweetie. Besides I do let my hair down but no guy here would notice so better safe than sorry,” retorted Nikki.
“Oh really, so tell me why you’re going to be the one selling stuff at the concert? Sounds like you’re gonna be in business,” laughed Sammy.
“Puleez! Spare me, it was Mrs Lewes idea. She wanted me to help make the cakes and to sell them too and I’ll be with Sameera of all people,” groaned Nikki.
Spending an evening behind a counter with a girl who disliked her wasn’t going to be fun.
“Poor Nicole! That’s what comes from being teacher’s pet and being too conscientious,” teased Sammy.
“We can’t all have lovely vices but why couldn’t she have picked anyone but Sameera,” complained Nikki.
“Don’t look at it like that, think of how many cute boys might come and buy your cakes,” advised Sammy with a giggle.
“That’ll be the last thing on thing on my mind I’ll be keeping my guard up to make sure she doesn’t stab me in the back when I’m not looking,” replied Nicole with a smile.
“And who might that be?” said George joining the pair of them and accompanied by Clara.
“Yeah I’m always up for some good backstabbing,” said Clara amiably.
“Not from Sameera you wouldn’t. Nikki’s just been complaining about having to do the cake sale with her,” explained Sammy.
“What a wonderful Christmas present for you,” joked George.
Nikki rolled her eyes at him, “Tough luck Nikki it happens to the best of us,” remarked Clara.
Sameera Doolabh, the deputy head girl just loved arguing with my sister over the least things and my sister hated it. Nikki had no idea why she seemed to be perpetually at loggerheads with Sameera who seemed to enjoy criticizing nearly everything Nikki had to say at club meetings, maths classes and prefects meetings. Her friends were sure it was Sameera’s way of trying to prove Nikki wasn’t as special as everyone perceived her to be. It had always been like that ever since both of them had arrived at Holyhead.
Nikki had been a straight A student from day one and was fawned over by all of her teachers, Sameera was one of the best students together with Sammy but they’d been eclipsed by Nicole and Sameera hadn’t taken it lying down but had competed with Nikki at every opportunity- be it in tests, club elections, team try-outs- everything.
My graceful sister unfortunately happened to be one of those people who don’t care about winning, hardly savour victories nor acknowledge rivalries which can be maddening if you set out to beat them and they don’t even bother to compete but still win and take it as a matter of course. Over time Nikki had realised Sameera took her as a rival and lately it had gotten worse with the other girl always on her case while she always sought to avoid clashes as they were tiresome to her. Naturally she wanted to minimise the chance of arguing with Sameera but selling cakes with her was not likely to do that.
On the morning of the Carol concert Nikki got a pleasant surprise. Upon entering the sixth form lounge with George Clara and Samantha dragged her to a stool and forced to sit down.
“All the girls are wearing bunches today,” said Clara happily, taking hold of Nikki’s hair and dividing it into two before tying it high up with tinsel so that Nikki looked like a proper old fashioned schoolgirl. Sammy completed the ensemble with some freckles on the cheek drawn with her eyebrow pencil.
“There,” said Sammy fondly.
“You look great,” commented Clara.
Nikki didn’t dare look in the mirror.
“It’s a definite improvement,” added George succinctly.
“Okay my turn,” said Clara and Nikki did the same thing on her friend’s hair then Sammy’s before adding some freckles while George had a hard time trying not to laugh.
The girls grabbed him and Clara added some freckles onto his face too.
“Oi! Hold on a sec,” complained George.
“You’re so handsome!” chorused Sammy and Nikki when Clara was done.
“At least I don’t get any tinsel in my hair,” said George sourly eyeing his friends.
“Tough luck sweetie, that’s for the girls only,” replied Sammy with a smile.
‘I was so jealous last year when Clara got her hair styled now everyone knows I’m a girl and they take it for granted I’m one of them,’ thought Nikki, ‘and that’s worth everything I’ve been through,’ she reflected as her friends horsed around.
“Um excuse me Nicole?” said a voice from behind, interrupting their banter and Nikki’s reverie.
“Yes,” she replied. It was one of the lower sixth girls.
“Hi, I’m Stacy Reynolds, Mrs Lewes sent me to call you,” said Stacy a bit nervously.
“Okay,” replied Nikki giving Clara her bag.
“Hold on a sec Stacy, you’re new right?” asked Sammy.
The younger girl nodded pensively.
“Well we have a tradition here, all sixth form girls have to look silly today like the three of us,” before taking hold of Stacy’s hair and styling it like Nikki’s while Clara added the freckles.
“Great,” said Clara.
“Off you go now and spread the love,” said Sammy releasing her with a smile.
“Don’t touch those pigtails Nikki,” ordered Clara as an amused Nikki followed Stacy out of the room.
“Um what was that all about?” queried Stacy once they were out of earshot.
“Beats me, Xmas fun?” surmised Nikki with a shrug, “It gets done every year though,” she added.
Stacy took in Nikki’s new hairstyle, “It doesn’t look bad on you,” she said with a smile.
“Are you kidding? I know I look ridiculous,” replied Nicole as they headed to the kitchen.
“No, not really it kind of sets off your face which is quite pretty,” said Stacy.
Nikki chuckled, “Thanks,” she said.
“Nicole, Sameera is sick so you’ll be with Stacy and you’ll have some third year girls to help you out,” said Mrs Lewes when they arrived before she explained everything she required of them that night.
“You look quite pleased,” queried George when Nikki got back.
“I’m off the hook, Sameera won’t be able to make it tonight,” replied my sister happily.
“Oh, who’s gonna be helping you out?” said Clara.
“The girl who came by earlier, Stacy,” replied Nikki with relief.
Clara saw Liam and waved him over and Nikki promptly excused herself and so did George.
“What does she see in him?” wondered George as he trailed Nicole.
“I don’t know, if she likes him she likes him,” replied Nikki neutrally.
“What’s your opinion?” asked George.
“I’m happy if Clara’s happy, she really likes him you know,” replied my sister.
“He’s a skunk,” offered George.
“That’s not a very nice thing to say,” returned Nikki, though privately she agreed.
“You don’t like him either do you?” discerned George.
Nikki said nothing.
“Oh come on, I’ve seen the way you look when he appears and how you always disappear when he shows up,” said George.
“You do that too,” offered Nikki.
“Yeah coz I can’t stand him and neither can you,” replied George.
Nikki sighed, “No I don’t like Liam. I think he is an arrogant toerag and a bully who once tripped me and called me names but I’m not the one dating him am I?” she responded.
George was aghast, “He did what?” he asked angrily.
“It was ages ago after a tennis match. I won and he tripped me before he called me a stupid fairy with his friend Noel,” replied Nicole wearily.
“The beast, does Clara know?” said George.
“No and you’re not going to tell her. I don’t want her to be in the position of choosing between me and Liam. I can’t do that to her,” said Nicole bluntly.
“But Nicole she’s your..,”
“I said no okay? Just because we hate the guy doesn’t mean we should ruin his relationship. It wouldn’t be right and it’s despicable, someone did that to me remember?” replied Nikki furiously.
“Sorry that’s not fair it wasn’t you anyway but I don’t want to hurt Clara. Besides he tried to say sorry and to let bygones be bygones,” went on Nikki in calmer voice.
“What do you mean tried?” wondered George.
“Mrs Lewes has a lot of trust in you, if it was me I’d have panicked at being left to run all this,” commented Stacy later that night.
“She’ll be back; she just wants to hear the carols. All we do is to serve the teas and sell the cakes,” responded Nikki easily.
“Most of the teachers appear to think highly of you. Mrs Whaley read us an essay you wrote last year, she said it was brilliant,” said Stacy.
Nikki felt herself blush and couldn’t say anything.
“I suppose those are for your GCSEs,” said Stacy pointing at Nikki’s colours tab.
“Yes,” said Nikki simply.
“What did you get?”
“9A*’s and 2A’s,” said Nicole, still blushing.
“Wow! So you’re going to Oxbridge?” said Stacy, awed.
“That’s what my parents want but I’m not sure yet,” replied Nikki.
“Okay,” said Stacy still impressed.
“Do you mind telling me what subjects you were doing for your GCSEs and what you got?” she queried.
“Well English obviously, Maths, Geo, Art, Biology, Literature, History, French, Food technology at A* then Physical Science and Design at A,” responded Nikki.
“Excuse me, how much are these cakes?” enquired a tall, handsome boy, interrupting their conversation.
Nikki stood to serve him, “Good evening sir, these are 80p, 60p and one pound,” she said warmly.
Gosh, he is so good looking thought my sister.
Nikki didn’t know this was Jasmine’s brother Adrian’s best mate, Ryan Vincent who also happened to be Rosie’s cousin.
“Hmm pricey,” said Ryan.
“Their worth every penny and it’s for a good cause,” replied Nikki confidently.
“’Kay they look good too,” replied Ryan, “help me pick one,” he requested.
“How are about this one?” suggested Nikki, choosing the costliest slice.
Ryan laughed, “Bad idea, you girls made these, right?” he queried.
“Some of them,” answered Nikki with a smile.
“Okay which one did you make? I promise to buy it if you tell me the truth,” offered Ryan.
“Why?” queried Nikki curious.
“Because I’d like to find out if you’re as a great a cook as you are a saleswoman,” was Ryan’s answer.
“All right,” laughed Nikki throwing her hands up, “I made this one,” she said pointing to a wonderful apricot and almond cake, “and this one,” a scrumptious kiwi layer cake.
“I’ll take both of them,” said Ryan grinning.
“Thank you,” said Nikki gratefully as she packed the cakes, wondering if Sammy had been right. She already had likeable guys buying her cakes.
“My pleasure,” replied Ryan gamely leaving my sister all tingly with excitement.
What a nice looking guy and he didn’t even try to make a pass at me thought Nikki.
Ever since breaking up with Wayne she’d been sick of flirty guys because she associated them with Wayne. This was also the first time she’d really noticed a boy and felt like getting to know him more.
“Come again soon,” she said quickly, the only way she could show interest without looking desperate.
“Nice guy,” stated Stacy, watching Nikki.
“Yeah,” replied my sister, remembering she wasn’t alone.
“He likes you,” suggested Stacy, smiling.
“No way, he was just being nice,” replied Nikki quickly.
She didn’t want to make a meal out of nothing.
“Trust me he does. That’s the only reason he bought two of your cakes,” explained the other girl.
“You sound just like Sammy. Every time a guy looks at me she says that,” remarked Nikki.
“You happen to be really pretty you know. Loads of girls are jealous of the way you look, you’ve got great hair, lovely eyes and a nice figure,” said Stacy candidly.
Nikki was at a loss for words.
“I know what you’re thinking, how can anyone be jealous of you when you used to be a boy,” continued Stacy.
Nikki nodded, “Yeah that’s the only thing people think when they see me she’s a transsexual. Gasp! She used to be a boy! Who would be jealous of that?” said Nicole freely.
“Does that bother you? Not everyone thinks like that you know. I think you’re really brave,” said Stacy warmly.
“Sometimes it does because it’s like I chose to be like this but I didn’t. You don’t choose to be a girl, it’s who you are, how I see myself, anything else felt like a lie. So I think if people are jealous they don’t know what it’s like to be in my shoes. Do they think I shouldn’t look good because I was a guy? You think I’m brave, I’m not. I’m the biggest coward ever because I didn’t tell people I was a girl ages ago like I should have,” answered Nikki.
“If you’re a coward you’d still be living as a boy and you wouldn’t have come back here or stayed on when those punks were stressing you. I really admire the way you held your head high through everything Nicole,” replied Stacy warmly.
“Thank you, that’s awfully nice of you,” said Nikki graciously, “but I wouldn’t have managed without my family and friends, they really stood by me,”
Clara, Nikki and Sammy were in Nikki’s room the following morning doing each other’s nails and experimenting with different hairdos, chatting away easily.
“Meet any nice guys while you were selling cakes last night?” enquired Sammy as she buffed Nikki’s nails.
“Only one, he bought two cakes from me saying he wanted the ones I’d made,” replied Nikki with a smile.
“Ooh sounds interesting. What’s he like?” joined in Clara.
“A hunk, tall, dark, the most amazing green eyes,” said Nikki, “I didn’t exchange details in fact we don’t know each other’s names but he was nice,” she concluded.
Clara and Sammy glanced at each other.
“What?” asked Nicole when she saw this.
“Nothing,” said Clara and Samantha innocently.
They were actually delighted that Nikki’s interest in boys seemed to have been revived.
“I’m still going to stay single though,” maintained Nikki, suspecting what they were thinking.
“No one said you shouldn’t,” replied Sammy defensively.
“Really I can do without a boyfriend at the moment,” Nikki insisted.
“Sure Nikki but you’ll meet someone who sets your heart on fire then we’ll see,” remarked Clara.
“We’ll see but remember once bitten, twice shy!” retorted Nikki.
Clara leaned her head on Nikki’s affectionately and Nikki was forced to smile.
“If I ever fall in love I’ll know but it’ll be after school. I won’t give Cupid a chance to hit me before that,” she joked.
“No ways Nicole. We won’t allow that,” replied Sammy, pulling her friend up.
“Yeah let’s go out right now,” agreed Sammy.
“Fine but when I’m shopping boys' are the very last thing on my mind,” remarked Nikki.
I met the three of them on the stairs.
Sammy and Clara greeted me, “Hey Becky.”
Nikki ignored me as usual but she didn’t mind her friends talking to me, she wasn’t that kind of insecure jealous person.
“Hey. Going out?” I enquired.
The two of them nodded.
“Have fun,” I told them.
“Yeah we will, thanks,” said Sammy as they left.
Downstairs Nikki kissed Mum and told her where they were going before the three of them headed to the bus stop.
“Wow! Becks actually told you to have fun,” said Nikki in amazement.
“Yeah, shocking isn’t it? Maybe it’s time for you to forgive her, she’s changed and well she looks lonely. Her friends never come over and she’s usually by herself at school,” observed Clara.
“I know but how do you make up with someone who hates your guts? I love her but she can’t stand me and what can I do about that?” replied Nikki with a sigh.
“It’s Christmas honey and she is your sister. Buy her a pressie and write her card telling her you want bygones to be bygones,” suggested Sammy who didn’t know exactly what I’d said and done to Nikki to make her say I hated her. Clara knew though and agreed with Samantha because she knew Nikki hated the situation between me and her.
“Try this out it brings out your eyes,” Sammy suggested to Nikki pointing out a lovely scarf and poncho.
“You know I’m so jealous,” sighed Clara longingly as Nikki tried out the clothes, “you’re just so beautiful,” she said.
Nikki smiled at her appearance and Clara’s words, “I’m jealous of you too. You’re stunning and you’ve got the loveliest hair, so mysterious and gypsy like,” she said gaily.
“I’d take that too, if you’re blonde everyone thinks you’re dumb,” agreed Sammy, eyeing Clara’s hair.
“That’s so true, either that or you’re a slut. I’ll colour my hair over Christmas,” said Nikki analysing her image, “I’ll go with this,” she added.
“Don’t you dare Nikki! Every girl would love hair like yours and Sammy’s, being blonde is sexy,” replied Clara.
“Who wants to be a sex symbol all the time?” said Sammy, drily as they headed to the point of sale.
“Um let me think what about me?” replied Clara.
There was a queue at the till and a Clara and Sammy kept chatting something caught Nikki’s eye.
“Kathy!” she murmured involuntarily.
“What?” Sammy asked.
“I know that girl over there, she was my best friend when we were kids, do you mind?” she stated excitedly handing over her things to Sammy and heading to a girl looking at some stuff across the room.
Nikki rushed to the girl and said, “Kathy?” once she was behind her.
Hearing her name the girl turned, “Um hello,” she said trying and failing to hide her puzzlement.
“It’s me, Nikki,” said Nicole happily.
The other girls face changed as she remembered her childhood best friend, the flicker of recognition crossing her eyes.
“Nicky!” she exclaimed in total disbelief, “You’re a girl?” she added.
“Uh huh,” said Nikki sweetly.
“OMG this is amazing!” replied Kathy, before hugging Nicole warmly.
From the age of five Nicole and Kathy Harris had been best friends and neighbours all through primary school. Kathy and Nikki had been inseparable throughout their childhood; they’d played together at each other’s homes and done everything together. Kathy had known about Nikki being transgendered and had agreed Nikki was a girl. She’d let Nikki dress in her clothes all the time and had kept telling her things would get better one day when her friend was upset about having to be a boy. When we moved away to our current neighbourhood in Nikki’s last year of primary school they had still remained friends but their paths had been forced to diverge when high school started. Nikki had gone to Holyhead while Kathy’s parents had sent her to St George’s Ascot. They’d also moved at the same time and the two friends had lost touch.
“Wow!” you’re so good looking, I can’t believe this,” gushed Kathy happily.
“Thank you! It’s been age’s luv and you haven’t changed one bit, you’re still as pretty as ever!” rejoiced Nikki when they’d drawn apart and were holding each other’s hands and taking a good look at each other.
“So you finally told your parents about being a chick, huh?” enquired Kathy.
“Yeah they were really supportive,” replied Nikki.
“When?” asked Kathy.
“In June, I was miserable and I couldn’t take it anymore so I told Mum and she said okay, we changed my name and visited a doctor,” answered Nikki.
“Gosh! Imagine I don’t know what you’re called now?” said Kathy.
“Guess?” said Nikki.
“Nicole. That’s what you always wanted to be called,” recalled Kathy.
“Exactly,” said Kathy joyfully.
Kathy’s eyes went over Nikki taking in her bust and curves. Nikki guessed the unasked question, why did she look so much like a girl if she’d only come out in June.
“Their real Kathy I’ve been on oestrogen since September last year and I guess I’ve been lucky I never got ruined by testosterone,” she said.
“I always knew you’d never be a guy. How was the operation?” asked Kathy.
“Unfortunately I haven’t had it yet coz I’m not 18 and haven’t lived as a girl for 18 months,” said Nikki a bit self-consciously.
“That isn’t fair, you hated having the wrong body and now you’ve got to wait?” said Kathy indignantly.
“Those are the rules,” said Nicole simply.
“How stupid! So are you still at Holyhead?” asked Kathy interestedly.
“Yes, are you still at St. George’s?” replied Nicole.
“Yeah I’m the senior prefect,” said Kathy.
“Me too!” chuckled Nikki.
“Really?” said Kathy, “How’s school? You were always a bit of a genius,” she added smiling.
“It’s great, I like it,” said Nikki.
“What’d you get for your GCSE’s and AS?” asked Kathy.
“9A*’s and 2A’s and 2A’s and 2B’s,” said Nikki.
“Damn girl, you’re brilliant! I got 3A*’s and 5A’s and 3B’s,” said Kathy in admiration.
“Not bad, tell me how the hockey is going?” enquired Nikki, remembering that her friend had been obsessed with the game.
“I’m in the England B’s,” said Kathy proudly.
“Wow congratulations,” said Nikki, “you were the best,” she added.
“Was not!” Kathy laughed, “Do you still play tennis?” she asked.
“No I gave it up a few years ago and I can’t do sports at my school. I’m more of an academic or rather a geek now. I’m in all sorts of societies instead,” was Nikki’s reply.
A tall guy approached them.
“Oh, sorry Steve,” Kathy said to him, “but I bumped into an old friend. Nikki this is Steve my boyfriend, Steve this Nikki my best friend when we were kids,” said Kathy doing the intros.
“Hi,” said Nikki, offering her hand.
“Hi,” said Steve shaking Nikki’s hand.
“Look Nikki we have to go but we absolutely have to get together soon, what’s your number,” said Kathy.
Nicole gave her number and Kathy did the same.
“It’s been so nice meeting you honey. We need to sit down and talk soon, okay?” said Kathy before giving Nikki a huge embrace.
“Sorry about that,” said Nikki when she got back to her friends.
“No problem,” said Clara.
“You look really happy girl,” observed Sammy.
“I am. Kathy was like my best friend when we were kids. We used to be really close,” said Nikki proudly, “I haven’t seen her since ’98,”
“Mum you won’t believe who I bumped into today!” exclaimed Nikki when she got home.
“Who sweetheart?” replied Mum
“Kathy Harris, remember her?” came Nikki’s joyous response.
“Of course I do. She was your friend when we lived in St. John’s Wood. She lived across the road and you two were joined at the hip. How is she doing?” replied Mum.
“She’s okay, she’s still in school like me,” replied Nikki.
“How did she react when she saw you, was she surprised?” queried Mum.
“A bit but she knew I was a girl back then and it didn’t bother her, she was really pleased for me,” said Nikki.
“She was? That’s lovely,” remarked Mum with a smile.
School’s closed for Christmas that week and at Final assembly my sister received two merit awards for her efforts in quiz and debate along with Clara. No one booed or made catcalls during the presentation to the collective relief of the staff and Nikki and her friends. George had found an obscene drawing in one of the boys toilets with, “Nicole Brent is a tranny bitch!” labelled under it a few days earlier, evidence that the trans-phobic element had been driven underground it was still alive.
George hadn’t told Sammy or Nicole about it because he didn’t want to spoil their holidays especially in Nikki’s case; he thought she’d gone through too much that term. He did tell a staff member and Clara though who was sickened by all the hate that had been directed at her friend since coming out.
She also thought Nikki would be better off not knowing about it. Anyway Nikki arrived home with another glowing report, with the customary first spot in class likewise with Laura to our parents delight. I was placed 16th out of 22 in my class, my average a ‘B’. Justifiably Mum and Dad were pleased with Nikki’s performance especially after all the changes in her life and what had happened to her at school. As a reward Mum promised to but her an expensive pair of designer shoes to Nikki’s delight. Laura was also getting a prize since she’d improved on her previous term’s results. As usual the happy expressions on my parents faces disappeared when my report was read.
“Rebecca must put in more effort, she can do much better if she works harder,” was the general tone of report.
“Becky I know you can do better than this,” said Mum. Dad nodded in agreement.
“If you’re having problems getting concepts tell us so we can do something,” he chipped in.
“Talk to us or your teachers,” went on Mum.
I waited for the usual, “We want the best for you,” speech.
I wasn’t disappointed.
“We only want the best for you. We want you to do well,” continued Mum.
I finally felt the urge to disabuse my parents of the notion that because my siblings were excellent students I should be the same.
“I’ll never be as good as Nikki and Laura no matter how much I try. But that’s what you want isn’t it?” I said in a low voice.
Mum and Dad glanced at each probably doing their telepathy thing.
“Honey that’s not what we mean, we want you to do as well as you can. We don’t use your sisters as standards,” replied Mum gently.
I sighed; they would never see my point of view.
“Do you think we judge your results based on Nikki’s and Laura’s?” asked my mother seeing me sigh.
“Yes their always perfect in your eyes and I’m always slacking. Nikki and Laura are geniuses and I’m not and I know that,” I said despondently.
Another look passed between my parents.
“Becky you’re not dull. You’re an intelligent girl who shouldn’t be satisfied with B-. If Nikki is a genius fair and fine but have you seen how hard she works. Her nose is always in a book. How can you know you won’t reach the top without trying? Failing to try is a lot worse than failing luv because you wouldn’t have tried,” said my father calmly.
“You don’t have to measure yourself against anyone but yourself, okay sweetheart?” added Mum.
“We love you whether you do well or not,” stated Dad.
I realised I was crying, Mum took me into her arms and hugged me.
“It’s okay love. You should never think we love you any less than your sisters. You’re just as precious as they are,” said Mum as she held me.
That was the reassurance I’d longed for my whole life that my parents appreciated me just for being Becky whether or not I was a genius, male or female or pretty or not.
They loved me.
When we pulled apart Mum kissed me and wiped my tears away.
“Feeling better?” she murmured.
I nodded, “Yes,” I replied, “and I promise I’ll work harder from now on,” I added.
“That’s my girl,” said Dad, hugging me.
Upstairs Laura and Nikki were discussing me and our trip to Scotland.
“I think we should make friends with Becky. I know she started it and all but she’s paid for it, she’s lonely and she looks miserable. We can’t go through Christmas fighting with her,” said Nikki.
“Yeah but what if she doesn’t want to make up?” responded Laura.
“It doesn’t matter. She’s our sister and I hate not being able to have a normal relationship with her,” Nikki.
She’d given this a lot of thought, she knew wasn’t in the wrong and that I’d done my best to hurt her but she still loved me.
“Nikki remember what she did to you. How do you know she doesn’t feel like that anymore?” Laura responded unable to forget how much I’d hurt her and Nikki.
Nicole took Laura’s hands.
“Let’s let bygones be bygones,” she said gently. Laura could only nod before embracing Nikki, loving her for being so forgiving and caring.
To be continued.
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