After eating breakfast, I put all the dishes that have piled up since I did this yesterday and put them in the dishwasher. Lately Mommy hasn’t been caring about doing anything, and Daddy is always so busy with work that he doesn’t do anything to help out around the house, so that leaves me to get up early every morning and do everything that they should be doing. As I finish loading in the last of the dishes, Elizabeth walks in to get a bowl of cereal- with Mommy not doing anything, and Edward being the only one of us who has some idea to cook, we end up eating way too much cereal.
“Angel aged up today, so good luck with the extra dishes,” Elizabeth tells me.
“Angel…?” I ask her, confused.
“Edward’s kid is-”
“I’ve never heard Angel as a boy’s name before.”
“-transgender. And no, you don’t need to use any of Daddy’s ‘this is just a phase’ techniques, because apparently he all of a sudden cares about his granddaughter. So you can just spread all of their pretty lies elsewhere,” Elizabeth finishes, stalking out of the room.
I watch her as she leaves the room, some darkness coming out of her hand and soaking into her dress. I’m stunned. I can’t tell whether I’m angry or sad- but then I realize that I’m feeling both. I’m angry that Elizabeth would make such an assumption, not because I’m her sister, but because I am another person, just like her, who can get hurt just as easily. The sadness is because I know that this is coming from me not coming up with an idea for her little project. I’m not angry at her, or at Angel, but at myself because I was the one who brought this on. If I thought by her logic, I would be angry at everyone that I had ever met for things that they couldn’t control, and it would be perfectly fine. As things are, I can only assume that Elizabeth’s treating Angel the exact same way that she just treated me.
I glance into the T.V. room. Angel seems fine, but it looks like Elizabeth’s still mad, and James seems to have the same misconceptions that she does. Seeing Angel for the first time as a child, I realize how much she looks like me. She has the same red hair that so many people in our family have, and her sweatshirt is the same shade of pink as my dress. She’s also the firstborn girl of her generation. But the thing that strikes me as being the most similar is the fact that she’s completely oblivious to what’s going on between me and my siblings. Sighing, I turn back to the kitchen and notice a box of cake mix sitting on the island. Then I remember that it’s my birthday.
Once Edward has lit the candles, I enter the room, immediately noticing how I’m putting a fake smile on my face. Just like Mommy when she told me that she was pregnant with Elizabeth. As a blow out the candles, the thought going through my mind is this: I wish that being a teen is better than this.
So now I’m a teen. I don’t feel any different; I’m just a bit taller and my emotions are getting stronger. I can’t help but wonder if this is what it’s like for anyone else- having that one thing that you’re always hiding becoming more and more stronger as you get older. Then I start thinking about Elizabeth and what she said to me, and I start feeling all of those things all over again.
I go outside in an attempt to calm down and see Angel playing on the pirate ship, just like I did as a kid. But I can see a very clear difference between us: I was always focused on where I was going and what other people were thinking; Angel, on the other hand, does everything for herself and doesn’t listen to what anyone else is saying.
I wish that I could be like her.
Author’s Note: This is the last chapter for this story. Because I don’t want to fill up this space with my ramblings, stay tuned my reflections post next week where I talk more about this story, as well as other things.