I’m not a bad person. In fact, I’m quite the opposite. I love my family—especially my mother, who suffers her days in a psychiatric hospital. I adore my best friend and her quirky ways. I do my best at school, so long as I’m not distracted by strange happenings. And I respect my elders, like my mentor Lilura … even though she’s a crabby old lady who picks on me every chance she gets.
But that doesn’t mean I’ve never done anything bad. And my big confession is this: For a while, when my sister Mara was in a coma, I was glad.
I know that sounds terribly evil. And don’t get me wrong; I love Mara and I would never, ever wish death upon her. But for just a little while, I was glad she was out of the way.
You see, Mara is very popular. She’s beautiful, has shiny hair and a flawless complexion, and could probably get any guy in the school to go out with her. Everyone loves the way she dresses. Her grades are impeccable. She’s entertaining without even trying. She practically gets away with everything—at home and at school. And she’s a shoe-in for prom queen … or at least she was before the accident.
Me? Let’s just say I’m not any of those things.
So when Mara went into a coma, a sudden sense of relief came over me. Like I had been trying to compete with her all this time, like my daily struggle to be even the tiniest bit like her was finally realized, and for once, she was out of the way, and I could breathe.
I could breathe and be me, and I didn’t have to stand in her shadow anymore.
But that feeling of relief slowly turned into guilt. Guilt and sadness and loneliness from not having my sister around. Because I do love her. I do want her to be around … and alive. I want my sister back, and I’ll do anything to keep her safe.