To be part of a family but not really, yet she always smiled when asked about moving from her mother's home to that of her 'best friend' in order to pursue a musical career. Both she and her 'best friend,' who also was more than willing to lie (being the obedient sort) spent long hours after school singing and dancing on the fleeting hope that one day all their hard work and sacrifice would pay off. When it did she also accepted that she would be relegated to the background as her 'best friend' became the Diana Ross of their group named after a quip in the Bible.
When you are never first in anything you slowly develop a hard shell to shield you from the slights that would otherwise ignite a fury within your soul. She could almost say, "We are just like sisters," to the entertainment reporter without wanting to scream, "We are just like sisters because WE ARE SISTERS!" She had been taught well to ignore the obvious. Even her own mother lectured her about the great advantage of living with her father although the man will never acknowledge her as his daughter. Besides, in a world full of so many ills, she could do worse.
She wasn't starving,
She wasn't fighting in combat
Or living in a war zone,
She was just living in a shadow.
She can't hate her sister as some whisper that she should. She didn't ask to be born of the woman he married more than she asked to be born of the woman whom he didn't. By the time both of them learned of their true relationship both had learned the advantage of not mentioning that which could harm everything they had built. Besides, the two sang so sweetly together, so sweetly in fact that it made little difference who would make the third or fourth of the group. Both were in it to win it and win it they did. Together they won that trophy, the one with the old fashion phonograph; she stood at the podium and allowed her sister to praise God for the triumph. Even then it was a passing fancy that one day she might step out of her shadow and claim something just for herself. After all, if Virginia Woolf could claim a room of one's own, what was wrong with her wanting a song for herself?
The man she could never call Daddy was very businesslike when he told her that the group would be no more. He saw not just bigger fame and fortune within his grasps; he saw legend with his second born child, which meant that his first child was on her own. (It wasn't as if she was the only one slighted, her younger sister, half sister that is, was in a similar situation...at least she had been in the group.) She always knew that day would come, the one where he would let her go her own way. Deep down she felt she should celebrate for now she was free to do whatever she pleased. Despite giving her the brush off, he had gifted her with a good work ethic and due to her current circumstances she also had connections which, she hoped, would allow her to carve a career for herself outside of the shadow of someone who probably would always be more famous than her, considered more beautiful than her, and at the end of the day more loved by all of whom they both were directly connected.
When she was told that her record label had dropped her she stayed in bed for three days straight. It is hard to smile and act like she was going to persevere when she have been punched in the stomach...yet on the fourth day she got up. She called her mother who gave her some speech worthy of a cheap greeting card. Her mother had learned a long time ago not to rock the boat and she still wouldn't rock the boat even if it meant denying her own flesh and blood. It was after speaking to her mother and finding her sentiments lacking in support, true support, the kind that moves you to believe you are a unique person worthy of glory, she found herself looking at her face in the mirror. It was a pleasant of enough face when in deep thought, but when she smiled, even if she was just going through the motions of smiling, she could feel it lighting up the room. All of this time the answer was within and as this thought ran through head her she giggled. The irony of our lives will never outdo the magic of those simple
Moments where we find ourselves
Worthy of respect,
Worthy of love,
And worthy of simple understanding.
Today she might not have a record deal, but today she has a story and it is one that stars herself front and center. As of today she will no longer pretend that which alters the truth to the advantage of another. She hopes that it will not result in ill will, yet if it does it does. Today she will feel the sun embrace her.
Westerfield © 2009