by Juli Suleymanova
I always knew that I wasn't ordinary. I always knew that I acted differently compared to others. My stepmother and two complicated stepsisters often made that clear to me. Petunia and Gertrude took pleasure in telling me that I was strange, an alien to the world. I did not blame them, I knew that they treated me as well as they could. They did not see me as a member of their family, they saw me more as a servant, or a pet that was at their disposal to play with. I did not treat them equally as bad, nor did I ever want to. Mostly because I knew that the consequences would be great, but secondly I did not want to ruin them further. I knew that by being cruel to them, they would only become more horrid and ugly.
Even though I was of no importance to them, my whole life revolved around the three women. I did not choose this, it just happened. I was in charge of cooking their meals, cleaning up after them and assisting them in any ways they wished. I had thought that they would be more civilised with their wishes, but I was mistaken. They never failed to present an uncomfortable task to me. Some days my stepmother asked me to scrape the entire kitchen floor with my own toothbrush, and she refused to buy me another one after. To make this situation worse, my sisters always made sure to take a picture of me and send it to everyone they knew. They would make jokes about my long hair, saying that I had a gruesome mop attached to the back of my head. My stepmother did not trust me with scissors, and so I have never cut my hair. When I walk, my blonde hair trails along the floor, so I suppose that my sisters were right in thinking that I resemble a mop.
My stepmother does not permit me to go outside our house. She feels as if I might meet someone, and become friends with them. She believes that this will make me rebel, and disobey her. This is her greatest fear, that I will turn into one of her daughters, who don't listen to anything their mother says. I understand why she might think this, but I don't agree with her. I can’t see how friends can change a person. Nevertheless, I don't complain. I have always dreamed of having a friend, but perhaps imaginary ones will do for now.
You might be wondering why I don't run away from this family.
Firstly, I don't have a clue where I live. Stepmother took me in when I was very little. She does not tell me where I came from nor why I have come to live in this house. She only ever said how I wasn't her real daughter. I have not gone outside since the day I first entered this house. I don't know where I would go, or what the world outside my house looks like. I have always thought that I could borrow one of my sisters phones or computers, but they would never allow it. Even if they gave it to me, I have no idea how to use such devices. I read a lot of books, so I have an idea of how people live, and how normal life is supposed to be. I have never experienced it myself, but I would very much like to.
My sisters and my stepmother always love to leave the house. They like to spend their time outside during the weekends. I don't know where they go, but they always come back with countless shopping bags of clothes, bags and shoes. The only clothes that I have worn, belonged to my sisters before they outgrew them. They are tight on me, but they work fine.
The times when the three women aren't here, I feel as if I am in my own small paradise. As much as I would love to go outside, I don't despise living in my house. We live in a three story house deep in the woods, or so I think. The view from every window are just trees. Emerald leaves rustling on branches. It is a peaceful sight, seeing the same colour everywhere you look. I think that it’s clear what my favourite colour is.
When I was alone, I received no hateful comments from anyone. I could take my time doing my job, or even take small breaks eating leftovers. I tried to turn on the TV a couple of times. Sometimes I was able to watch a programme. But most of the time, I forgot how to use the remote. I remember that I was once able to watch a documentary about ancient Egypt, I couldn't stop thinking about it for weeks. I continued to repeat to myself everything that I remembered from the show, making sure that I didn't forget any of the facts. I think that I still remember most of the information.
Once, I opened the front door, but I dared not step over the threshold. Not because I feared my stepmother, but because I feared what would happen. My imagination went wild, thinking that monsters would appear out of nowhere and scratch my eyeballs out. I remember thinking that I should stop reading fictional books, they were ruining my mind.
I did not expect my life to change at all, I always assumed that I would keep living with my stepmother and two sisters. I couldn't have been more wrong.
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