Drama Coming of Age

   A light snow sprinkled the air as Renee stepped up to the door, thousands of thoughts circling her head. It had been so long since she’d seen her family, but she didn’t know if she wanted to see them. Not after what had happened. 

   She glanced through the window. She could see Christmas decorations shining and twinkling through the foggy glass. With a sigh, she mustered up the courage to knock, lifting her fist to the door. Renee could hear commotion from inside. 

   Finally, the door opened, and an older lady stood in the doorway. She had brown hair with greying strands, and soft brown and golden eyes. Her mother.

   “Merry Christmas, Renee.”

   Even though Renee had lived in this house many years before, she felt like she was on an alien planet. Looking around, she remembered all the wonderful memories she’d made at this house. But no matter what, she couldn’t forget the terrible things that had happened there.

   “Is she coming?” Renee asked, holding her breath. Her mother didn’t answer. 

   The snow fell outside almost like ashes: an omen of the worst to come. Renee’s father was sitting in his favorite chair, reading. Renee sat down in the chair next to him, warming her hands next to the fire. The room felt tense, like they all knew something bad was about to happen. 

   A knock at the door sent Renee’s parents flying. They leapt up and ran to the door, making sure to close it behind them. 

   A few minutes passed when the door creaked open. In the doorframe stood a pretty girl, with shiny brown hair and grey eyes. Renee and the girl stared at each other, silent. Renee’s parents entered the room with a horrified look on their faces. They ushered the girl into the kitchen, out of sight from Renee. 

   Her sister. Of course she would be here. She was the favorite, after all.

   Rose was Renee’s beautiful, talented, extraordinary sister. All her life, Renee had been overshadowed by her. Rose got everything and there was never anything left for Renee.

   Renee remembered the science fair. That stupid 6th grade science fair. 

   “What’s your project gonna be on, Rose?”

   “Maybe earthquakes? I could have a demonstration and everything!” Her sister had answered.

   “That’s cool. I’m doing mine on hydropower.” 

   Rose paused. “I bet you’ll win.”

   “Why?” Renee asked.

    “Your projects are always great,” Rose had responded. 

   A month later, they had both stood in the same building, held their breaths, and waited for the winner. Renee still remembered the moment that broke her heart. 

   “And the winner is— Rose Birning!”

   The crowd had applauded. But not for Renee. For Rose. As they always did. Would she ever get the chance to win something for once? Tears sprang to her eyes, and she ran out of the building. Whether it was 12 years later on the red carpet, or at a middle school science fair, Rose was always number one.

   And then, the moment that changed it all. 

   “Renee, isn’t your sister so talented?” Renee’s friend had asked her.

   “Yes,” Renee had replied, exhausted. Rose had been the lead character in one of the middle school performances. After the show, everyone had been talking about Rose’s performance.

   Renee walked home alone, falling behind her sister. She could never get away; she was always in her shadow. Her hands balled into fists, and her face turned red. She felt like the whole world was against her. Her eyes became wet. She couldn’t take this anymore. Finally she screamed, “When will you fail? Or will it always be me? Renee, a failure. She’ll never live up to her amazing sister.”

   “What?” Rose exclaimed. “I never said—”

   “Said what? You’ll always be better than me, and I’ll never come out of your shadow! It’s always about you, Rose!” Rose tried to speak, but Renee cut her off. “I wish you were never born!”

   There was silence. As they walked home, together yet ripped apart in so many ways, they never said a word.

   After that, the girls barely spoke to each other again. It hurt Renee to remember; it was like squeezing the air out of her lungs. She stared at her sister again. Even though they were older, nothing had changed. 

   The family ate dinner together in silence. Minutes, then hours passed. The world seemed frozen in silence. After they cleared the table and put the dishes in the sink, Rose followed Renee out into the living room. 

   “We can’t ignore each other forever, you know.”

   Renee looked up. Rose was talking to her. Actually talking to her! “I know, it’s just— just easier to be silent, I guess.” Rose’s face became dark, surrounded by sadness. “We never spoke, after all those years. It hurt.” 

   Renee looked down, a pained expression on her face. “Yeah. We wasted practically all our life hating each other.”

   “I’m so sorry!” Rose cried, tears welling up in her eyes. “I’m sorry! This is my fault, I—” 

   Renee grasped her hands, a determined look in her eyes. “No. It’s my fault. I was jealous of you, and—” A moment of silence passed between them. Rose looked at Renee, a surprised expression on her face.

   “Jealous? Of me?”

   “Well, you always had everyone’s attention.” Renee said, sighing. 

   Rose waved her hand. “You were the smart one. You always got A’s.”

   “Yeah,” Renee admitted. “But you had so many friends, and everyone liked you.”

   “That may be true, but I didn’t care about all that. I always felt so disappointed in myself when Mom and Dad would praise you for your grades. I guess you could say I admired you.”

   Renee froze, shocked. All this time, her sister had looked up to her? Renee had hurt her and dismissed her all her life, and Rose had admired her? She sank to her knees, her head in her hands. “I’m sorry! I never should’ve said the things I said, but now you hate me, and—” 

   “I don’t hate you,” Rose said. She wrapped her arms around Renee, and they held each other, crying.

   “How could I ever hate you?” Rose sobbed, tears glistening. They walked back into the kitchen, where their parents stood. 

   The next day, Renee cooked breakfast. The smells floated around the kitchen as she worked. They sat down together, their mother, their father, Rose, and Renee. They talked together, for the first time in a while. Renee remembered something else.

   It was Halloween, and she was trick or treating. Halloween lights flashed, and spooky noises swirled throughout the streets. Renee and Rose had skipped, hand in hand, when Rose tripped and went sprawling. She held her arm, crying out, and Renee rushed to help her. She had broken her arm. That night, Renee had given Rose half of the candy she’d gotten. It was a time before they had fought with each other; one of the only precious memories they had made together. Renee smiled, lost in memory. 

   Frost blanketed the ground once Renee stepped outside. She said goodbye to her mother and father, and then turned to Rose. She didn’t know if she could put all her thoughts into words, didn’t know if she could say all the things she wanted to say to Rose. Time was too short; life was too short. 

   “Goodbye, Rose.”


   They embraced, and Renee left, waving goodbye to her family. She felt light, it had been so long since she’d felt that way, as she shuffled through the snow, leaving giant trailing footprints behind. Maybe she wasn’t as close to her sister as she used to be, but they were sisters again, and that was enough.

November 27, 2020 13:12

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06:44 Dec 06, 2020

I love this sentence! : "Time was too short; life was too short" It's a great story!!!


13:12 Dec 06, 2020

Thank you!


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Sab Zahra
16:05 Dec 03, 2020

The tention between them could be felt ....But finally it was released by both of them


17:14 Dec 03, 2020

Thanks for the comment!


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20:08 Nov 30, 2020

Very good! The titles of your stories are really nice!


20:10 Nov 30, 2020

Thanks, Lucy!


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20:11 Nov 30, 2020

But seriously, I love the last line of your book. I think you could work on realistic parenting, even though the parents are not the center of the story. I really like Renee’s forgiveness - it didn’t just happen all of a sudden. Also I like how your main character was “the bad guy”, not the hero. I loved reading it! :)


20:13 Nov 30, 2020

Thank you so much!


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