She turned the pages slowly, methodically. She looked at each letter and replayed every syllable. Her own words ran through her mind. Her thoughts were interrupted by her careful reading. Chapters one to five had been written when she was living the life of her childhood dreams. The next three chapters were painfully typed out while she had nothing but her book to look forward to. As she continued to read and re-live, her mother stood a few feet away with her steaming cup of coffee, scared to interrupt. Breaking her trance would kill her.
They were sisters by blood but enemies by circumstances. The younger one grabbed the family spotlight from the day she could say “Ma”. The older one preferred to stay quiet. Tonight was the worst – they had their formal Bharatnatyam debut performance. There was already much talk about the older one being too slow. The Bengali community in their small American town saw little in her. On the other hand, the younger sister was a source of pride. While the two little girls waited backstage with their mother, one looked anxious while the other smiled confidently and applied her own makeup. “You’ll be the star tonight,” the mother said to the younger one. The older one lifted her quivering chin and looked her mother in the eye. “And what will I be,” she asked.