“‘Angelika, wake up. It’s time for — ‘ Angelika raised a slim, manicured hand, signaling that she was, in fact, already awake, then settled back under the covers, closing her eyes. Angelika’s mother sighed tiredly. ‘Angelika, please get up. You’ll be late for school. Don’t you want to go learn?’ Now it was Angelika’s turn to sigh.”
“Angelika, wake up. It’s time for — ” Angelika raised a slim, manicured hand, signaling that she was, in fact, already awake, then settled back under the covers, closing her eyes. Angelika’s mother sighed tiredly. “Angelika, please get up. You’ll be late for school. Don’t you want to go learn?” Now it was Angelika’s turn to sigh. That trick may have worked with her sisters who were always so eager to sit in a poorly decorated classroom, listening to their 60-year-old, half blind, half deaf teacher drone on about the Cold War, thinking it would help them succeed in life, but it wouldn’t work with her.
“Learning long division won’t help me in the real world. That’s what calculators are for. The human race has advanced since the Stone Age, which calls for a development in the education system, but those idiots at the DOE are completely blind to change. So I don’t see why I have to leave the comfort of my bed to ‘learn’ something that I’ll never use. If I was going to learn about business or politics, I would be out of bed in an instant.” With that, Angelika threw the covers over her head and tried to go back to sleep.
“Angelika,” her mother said softly, trying to reason with her. “I know you don’t like school, but you have to do things you don’t want to do sometimes. And you’re way past long division. You learned that in 4th grade, and you’re going into 8th. You can’t keep making excuses, honey. It’s alright if you’re not as smart as Adeline or Aubrey, but you can’t — ” She never finished her sentence. Angelika threw off the blanket, her auburn hair tangled by the action and blue eyes glaring
“Don’t you dare tell me I’m not as good as those twits! I’m smarter than both of them, and you know it!” she shouted. Instead of yelling back like Angelika expected, her mom continued in a painfully patronizing voice.
“You can’t stop trying altogether. Then how will you improve?” That was the last straw. Upon hearing that, something inside her snapped.
“Shut up! You can’t tell me what I can or can’t do! Get out of my room or I swear, I will hurt you!”
“Don’t threaten your mother, Angelika. That’s not something a nice girl does.”
“Well, I don’t want to be a nice girl!” She was seeing red, and it took all her willpower to keep herself from strangling this woman who dared to call herself Angelika’s mother.
“Well, you should because only nice girls get to go to dance.” That was the killing blow. The fury in her eyes disappeared, replaced by sorrow and desperation.
“You would do that?” she whispered. Her mother nodded, triumphant over her victory, ignoring how miserable her daughter looked.
“Unless you get up and get dressed this instant, you will be barred from all extracurricular activities, including ballet.”
Knowing she had lost, Angelika nodded and stood up. She walked with the grace of a ballet dancer over to her dresser, where her clothes for the day were already laid out. Skinny jeans and a crop top, selected by her mother and no doubt matching with Adeline and Aubrey’s outfits. She sighed as she pulled on the uncomfortably tight jeans and shirt. She turned around to find her mother had already left. Good, she thought bitterly. No doubt she was in Adeline or Aubrey’s room, gently waking them and telling them how they were her favorite daughters and how much she adored them. Angelika rose to her feet and strode over to the door, bending her knees deeply in an attempt to loosen her pants. Embarrassed by her defeat, she avoided her mother’s gaze as she trudged to the kitchen where her backpack was hanging on her chair. Angelika slung it over her shoulder, grabbed a granola bar of the table, slid her feet into her worn pair of sneakers without bothering to put on socks, and jogged toward the door. As she left, she grabbed her fake black leather jacket, embroidered with pink roses on the sleeves and back, and tied it around her waist to hide her exposed stomach. As her sisters, Adeline and Aubrey, pushed past her, she saw that they had done the exact same thing. Being a triplet really sucked.