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Rated: 18+ · Fiction · Family · #1394073
Not sure what to say yet
Grace


I knew just three things about Meredith Jeanine Cummings. Only one of those three things applied to everyone, the other two were for me alone.

1.) Meredith is not my mother. I mean, I knew she wasn't my real mother, but she had strict rules I had to follow. I could not call her stepmother, mom, mother, mommy, or anything that links her maternally to me. Even after Marissa was born, it changed nothing. Even when Marissa became confused as clearly Meredith was her mother and she called her mommy without reserve and was puzzled that I di

2.) Meredith was very outspoken. Meredith would say whatever she felt she felt needed to be said in any given situation. She held nothing in reserve, not even for her family. Some people found it very disconcerting to hear her plain uncensored opinion. I was used to it as she applied that outspoken demeanor to me all the time.

3.) Meredith didn't like me. As a child getting a new parent, it is easy to just assume she didn't like me because she was new and not my real mother. That isn't the case at all. I know she didn't like me because I am the image of my long deceased mother, Liliane (pronounced Lily-Anne). That's right, I am a reminder that another woman had precedence in my father's life before Meredith stepped into it. Meredith couldn't even lie and pretend I was her own. My golden hair with it's natural highlights and soft curls was nothing like Meredith's brassy red hair with permed in curls that were tight and made her face look bigger than it was. I am slender with legs and elbows that will someday coordinate with the rest of me. Meredith is not a fat woman though. She is a solidly built woman who is fit and trim for the way that God made her. If only she'd see it that way though. She is forever dieting and saying she is overweight.

I wish I were more than a nothing her in eyes though. I can feel her trying to shut me out of her life. The reason I am writing this entrance essay is because she doesn't want me at her house anymore. My little sister Marissa is as solidly built as her mother, but she is showing to the chunky side since she has no desire to exercise except when school makes her. Meredith only sees fat and thin, and with me around, her little Marissa looks fat.

My father's universe rises and sets with me and Marissa. He loves us both so much. I wish he would talk about my mother more, but he never does. I know she died after I was born, but that is all I know. I don't know how she lived or what she liked. I know my father loved her though. The way he looks at me sometimes makes him sad. That is why I think it is better if I go away to a boarding school like Meredith wants. Then he doesn't have to be sad all the time and Meredith doesn't have to see me either.

I am a good study and not difficult to get along with. I love horses. My dad's mare just had a foal. It's a filly. I named her Midnight Magic. Father says if I get in at the Academy for the next term, I can bring her with me. I am eight years old now, your application wanted to know my main interests. I like languages. Even when I was little. I currently know three languages besides English. I know French, Spanish, and German. I keep books in my room in each of the languages and I practice reading and writing it everyday so that I remember what I have learned. I like dancing. Both the big ballroom type dances and the ballet type dancing too.

I want to be an educated young lady and travel the world someday, so I figure the more languages I know, the less I will be lost in conversation. Thank you for reading this essay and please consider me for this position.

Sincerely,

Grace Liliane Macrent


Grace looked at her handwriting, the way that it flowed neatly on the paper. She reread the essay once, then put it in the manila envelope with her application. Sealing the envelope, she wrote in the same neat script she had labored over since she learned to write. After the address was on it, she applied the stamp and went downstairs to hand it to Meredith.

Meredith was in the parlor. The parlor used to be called the den until Meredith took it over and fixed it. Now it is the parlor or sitting room. She was painting her fingernails as Grace walked over and set the envelope on the counter.

"I finished it, Meredith. It can go out with the post this afternoon. Can I go to the barn now and see to Magic?" Grace waited patiently.

She didn't slouch though. Slouching wasn't allowed, and she didn't ask again either. Meredith hated that. Instead she stood there for fifteen minutes until Meredith had finished her nails. Meredith looked over to where Grace was standing, then to the envelope on the counter.

"Take Marissa with you. Show her a thing or two about the horses. She'll like that." Meredith said, dismissing her.

Grace headed to the den to get her sister. Taking Marissa was not even a question, it was a demand. Another one of Meredith's plans to thin up her daughter. Marissa was uneasy around the horses, but Grace would do whatever it takes to get out to the barn.
Marissa was watching television, one of those teen drama series that some folks pretend is more real than their own life. Her sister looked up at her as she came in.

"What do you need Gracie?" Grace cringed inside. She hated being called Gracie. Yet that is what Meredith calls her all the time, and naturally Marissa did the same.

"Well, I thought maybe you'd come with me to check on Magic. She is so little and I thought you'd like to pet her." Grace said as she watched Marissa's face as she thought about the proposition. Then she turned back to the television.

"Another one of mom's plans to get me to be like you?" Bitterness on the tip of her tongue as she pretended that what she was watching was important.

"I don't care what Meredith wants. Daddy like to go riding on his mare and we both know he still competes. I am sure he'd be pleased if you and I could ride like he does." Grace said. Please God, don't make her hate me too, she thought silently.

Marissa did turn back to her this time, her eyes full of a distant hope. Daddy was always fair with Grace and Marissa and Marissa would give anything to see him smile and laugh with the both of them.. In this they shared a common cause.

"Alright, I'll come with you. It's almost four anyway and that is when mom goes for her two-mile jog." Marissa rolled her eyes as she got up, knowing full well if she wasn't occupied with something healthful, her mother would make her go with her and that was more torture than anything else.

Grace smiled at her little sister and together they walked out to the barn. It was a small four horse barn. Grace smiled as she passed the vacant stall of the stallion that sired Magic. Daddy always liked the small Arabian stallion he called Tomorrow's Promise. Daddy always called him TP for short. He was a great jumper. Grand Prix level. Grace had watched her daddy train and care for the stallion. She passed her hand over the gold lettering of the name and proceeded to the next stall which was not empty. Daddy had bought Rosie after TP had won his first Trophy. Rosie wasn't a purebred Arabian like TP though, she was an Appaloosa that daddy used for conformation and halter events. Passing her stall, they came at last to Magic's stall. The little filly stuck her nose out as soon as she smelled Grace. Grace broke into a big smile and reached over to pet her.

Marissa watched the exchange with her back to the wall. Jealousy stabbed through her as she watched her older sister play with the foal. Why didn't she have a horse?It was horribly unfair. Marissa's jealousy ebbed as Grace turned to her with the same smile she bestowed on the horse. Maybe she wasn't so bad after all.

"Marissa, come here and pet Magic." Grace said, herding her sister over to the stall door and showing her how to pet the soft muzzle. Grace could tell at once that Marissa was enchanted with the little filly. Maybe she should say something to daddy about letting Marissa get her own horse.
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