It Should Have Been You

The old haggard woman sat by the large bay window, staring at something but looking at nothing at all. Her fair complexion, stringed peals and layered silk -the evidence of a privileged life- did nothing to hide years of guilt and living in the shadow of a husband’s resentment. In her lap her bony hands wringed tightly together, a habit that she had acquired whenever she dared think of the past. In the background, the clock struck once, twice, ten times.

“Any moment now and Sophia will be gone, away from this wretched place and away from me and my dark hunched soul,” Mrs Palmer whispered.

From when she was just a babe, Sophia reflected everything ugly in the world around her as clearly as if she were made of fragmented glass. She was always a strong little thing with an equally hard opinion and preferred logic and learning over the frivolities of fashion and Friday afternoon tea parties. Her strength however was her very demise, for with the very first beat of her heart she took the blood and life from her brother. Her twin sibling John was born small and sickly compared to the feisty kicking of his older sister.

Nevertheless, here was the first boy in the Palmer household; the much anticipated child of the patriarch. Mr Palmer was a traditional man, stuck in a time where Victorian values still ruled. His first born son had meant everything to him, but as much as he wished otherwise John became weaker as Sophia grew stronger without ailment. John was just two when he died and unbeknown to Sophia at the time, the blame for his death rested on her. She would spend years being the other sister and after the birth of Andrew, many more being largely ignored. As the new darling boy, Andrew was given all the love and adoration a child could every want.

The End

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