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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Sibling(s) (05/01/08)

TITLE: Love Me More
By Sara Harricharan


She was packing before I reached the bedroom. I’d seen her slip off and managed to melt away, after her.

Dear Father, please show me what to say to her.

“Sophie?” I inched through the guest bedroom to see my younger sister submerged in the cavernous closet. “You okay?”

There was a grunt as the rest of her appeared, shoeboxes tucked under her arms. “Define ‘okay’?”

“You left.” I reached out to help with the boxes. “It’s a family reunion…we didn’t even get to cake yet and you were gone.”

“So?” Blue eyes glared at me, softening before she handed the boxes over.

I took them. “Where are you going?”

“Anywhere but here.”

“Hangman or twenty questions?” I set the shoeboxes on the bed.

“You always lose at hangman.” She wrestled an armful of t-shirts into a duffel bag.

“Okay, twenty questions it is.” I held the duffel open. “You’ve decided to become famous by joining a local band and they’re leaving for their big break in five minutes.”

Sophie scowled. “Not even close-hold that.” She rolled to her feet, disappearing into the closet.

“Sophie…” I left the duffel, following her. I tip-toed to see over her shoulder, for a sixteen year old, she was taller than my nineteen years.

“What?” She whirled around, an armful of hangers swinging directly to my face. “Leona!” The armful fell to the floor.

I winced, gingerly touching my jaw and nose. “I’m fine. All fine.” I inched backwards to sit on the edge of the bed. “Okay, I’ll bite…and now you owe me.”

Sophie grunted, dropping to her knees to sort out the mass of clothes.

“Love me more.” I said simply.

Sophie froze. “What?”

“You think they love me more.” I repeated. “That’s why you’re leaving. Am I right?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about…maybe you’d better get some ice or something. I think I hit your head.” Sophie turned back to the closet.

“I’m fine. If Mom sees me with an ice pack, forget it!” I pulled my feet up and away from the clothes flying out from the closet. “Where are you going to go?" No answer. "Sophie…”


“It’s not true.”

“Easy for you to say! Everyone’s going ga-ga over you! Look at Leona, she got all A’s and her grade point average is a 4.0! What a lovely complexion, what gorgeous hair! My, how skinny you are-”

Stop!” The ache forming in my heart hurt worse than the throbbing in my nose. I didn’t mean to sound as horrible as it came out, but Sophie lifted her chin higher, retreating to the closet. Tiny goose bumps feathered over me and I slowly slid off the bed. There wasn’t an easy way to reach her. “You know…when your folks adopted me, I was worried if I ever did anything bad, they’d send me back. I did everything I could…to be perfect.”

Sophie snorted. “Well, it worked!”

I ducked to avoid a rolled-up sock. “I wanted a sister, but when you came along, I was sure they wouldn’t want me. I mean, I stick out like a sore thumb in a family of blonde-haired, blue-eyed perfection. I’ve got a flat face and straight hair-”

“You’re an exotic Asian beauty!” Sophie shot back, turning to face me, blue eyes brimming with tears. “You’re perfect in every way I’m not!”

“That’s not true.” I fumbled for words.

“Yes it is. I’m fat, my hair is a daily frizz-fest and I’m must be stupid because I can’t seem to live up to your shadow, no matter how hard I try. My own parents tell me this-if I can’t believe them-”

“Sophie…” Tears threatened to come.

“I’m tired of being second, Leona. I’m sick of it. Can you just…go!” Her hands clenched into fists.

“I thought.” I paused in the doorway, words brimming in my throat that I couldn’t keep down. “I thought if I made them love me more, they’d have to keep me. You’re right, it worked. But I never thought it’d cost me a sister. I wish I’d tried a little less.”

Copyright 2008

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This article has been read 838 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 05/09/08
Oh, heartbreaking, and so poignantly written.
Joanne Sher 05/11/08
Oh wow! Your characterization and conflict are amazingly vivid and real. I sympathized with both characters - wonderfully done.
Irvine Saint-Vilus05/12/08
I loved the dialogue between the sisters. The short responses served to illustrate the tension between them. And the conflict is delicately dealt with. Good work.
Glynis Becker05/12/08
The characters and dialogue are spot-on. I loved this piece!
Laury Hubrich 05/12/08
O, this is very sad. Very good writing. I felt like I was eavesdropping on these two sisters.
Dee Yoder 05/12/08
I've never thought of this kind of sibling rivalry before; so sad. The dialogue in this is right on target. I agree with Laury; I felt like I was eavesdropping on this scene, it was so real.
Verna Cole Mitchell 05/12/08
Very well done. You captured the feelings of both sisters excellently with your dialogue.
Willena Flewelling 05/12/08
Generally I hate endings that leave me hanging, but this is excellent!
Patty Wysong05/12/08
Oh, my heart ached for both sisters! You captured them and their conflict and their love in spite of the conflict. Excellent job! Huggles!
Beth LaBuff 05/13/08
Ah, such a sweet story that tugs at the heart. I can understand both sisters' logic. Can you write more and give us a happy ending, because I love both sisters.
Betty Castleberry05/13/08
Great interaction between the sisters. Nice job with the topic, too. Well done.
Debbie Wistrom05/14/08
Feathered with goosebumps and friz-fest. What a wordsmith you are.

Your words spiced up the childhood drama.

Great read.
Holly Westefeld05/14/08
Heart-rending. The irony is palpable
Joy Faire Stewart05/14/08
The dialogue is so vivid and rich, you draw your reader into the scene. Excellent job writing on topic.
Loren T. Lowery05/14/08
Great job with the subject, the dialogue and the ever so real action between the two sisters. I really liked the way you ended with the irony because it gives the reader something to think about long after the article has been read.
Angela M. Baker-Bridge05/14/08
You brought me into their conflict and pain with your excellent descriptions and dialogue. I have a lump in my throat.
Lyn Churchyard05/14/08
You can't just leave it there! You have to write a sequel! I don't want it to end like this. This entry was so well written; the dialogue, the descriptions, the emotions, all top class. Superb!
Sharlyn Guthrie05/14/08
Your dialogue is very well done. Great job of showing, rather than telling the story.
Yvonne Blake 05/14/08
wow! Interesting and good characterization!
I had foster sister and was jealous of all the attention she got. I can really relate to this.
Well done
Peter Stone05/15/08
Great examination of an adopted child trying to fit into a family, and possible problems that can result. You did a great job as showing the insecurity adopted children much experience often.
Dianne Janak05/16/08
Sara, I found yours and was intrigued at your talent and ability to snapshot a single conversation so well as to let us in on who they are, and how they both feel. I raised 3 girls and had one sister. This is as real as it gets to life with girls. Great writing as usual. You bless me.