Robin Thomas felt like an intruder in her own home. Constantly feeling like she was walking on eggshells around her family, she watched as her older sister and younger brother were the subject of family discussion that evening.
“Grace, you can’t keep doing what you’re doing to yourself,” her mother said.
“You’re an embarrassment,” her father said.
“Phillip! No, she is not. She is self-harming. She’s not insane.”
“Could’ve fooled me.”
“That’s it. Family discussion is over,” their mother said.
Robin followed the conversation back and forth, as if it were a ping-pong game. Their parents talked as if they weren’t in the room, and that was what irritated Robin most of all
“No, this needs to come out into the air. There are a lot more issues going on here that need to be fixed,” their father said.
“Such as?” their mother said.
“What about them? He’s improving. That’s all we can ask for, Phillip.”
“They aren’t As.”
“Perfection isn’t fair. You didn’t get As either from what I remember.”
“That is neither here nor there.”
“Hello? Do you guys even see me standing here? Us all standing here? Don’t we deserve to be spoken to instead of about? You just don’t get it, do you? It’ll never not be about you guys, will it?” Robin said, her voice increasing in frequency and confidence with each word.
Robin shook her head and slinked unnoticed out of the living room up the stairs and into her shared bedroom with her older sister. Before her twin sister, Lucy, disappeared a decade ago, she had shared a room with her. Now, though, Grace had commandeered the room, leaving Robin only a sliver of personal space. She closed the bedroom door and hid under the covers like she did when she was a little girl.