Blind Sight: Through The Eyes Of Aniela Dawson
A GREEN GLOW
Aniela lay awake in bed and stared up at the ceiling. The tiara sat on her vanity, but never before had she wanted it less. Ever since she could remember, her mother had favored her over her sister. In her naïve ignorance and sibling rivalry she had thought it a positive until maturity enlightened her to the irreparable rift that had occurred between her and the twins because of it. Theodore did not dislike her the way Tatiana did, but could never truly befriend her. Part of her wanted to be mad at her mother for bringing about the final act that would forever keep them apart, and yet she felt guilty for not seeing it coming.
The alarm went off at 5:15, as it did every day, indiscriminate of weekdays or weekends. Aniela went to the bathroom, washed the sleepy dirt out of her eyes, and removed any signs of the tears that had dried to her cheeks. She would be glad to leave this world to her brother, craving instead a different life, one that did not require her to always be up early, always be presentable, and sacrifice her own desires for obligations. She made her way to breakfast. Regardless of the chaos afternoons and evenings frequently held for her, she could always count on the morning routine.
James sat at the head of the table, sipping his coffee and staring at the newspaper, but closer inspection of his unmoving gaze told her his normal routine ended there. She also now realized he had the paper strategically folded to hide the front page from view. If Alaya had noticed, she was not commenting, nor did she show any curiosity toward the matter. She sipped her tea casually across from him with her perfect make-up and without a hair out of place. She offered no indication that she had flown off the handle the night before. Aniela watched them both, amazed at their ability to compartmentalize. While Alaya’s behavior was not a surprise, she wondered how James could act as though nothing had happened, since he was Tatiana’s advocate in the family.
Her gaze flickered to Theodore. She was still half-afraid to look him in the eye, lest he return an icy glare, but his eyes were not even open. The serving cart rolled around to each of them. Aniela looked disapprovingly at her dry whole-wheat toast and grapefruit half as her plate floated to its place. She reached for the butter, but felt a sharp sting as Alaya slapped her hand.
“Aniela, what have I told you about empty calories?”
When Theodore reached over and buttered his pancakes, apparently unobservant of the impending punishment, he succeeded without retribution. Aniela gave her mother a look of exasperation.