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She will always remember the day that ruined the rest of her life.
Starra Lorenne was four years old and excited because her mommy had told her that God was bringing a gift to them. She thought she was getting a present, but on May 13, 2002, Starra went from being an only child to being the older sister of a monster.
Life before Ricky was fabulous. Every day Starra would wake up in her own room and eat breakfast with her daddy before he went to work. Then Starra went to play at her friend Lily’s house until her mommy finished work and came to pick her up. When Starra’s daddy arrived home from work, the three of them always had dinner as a small happy family. On Sundays, they all attended church together and sang songs.
Most days, in the afternoon, Starra and her mommy read together. Sometimes Starra read, but she really liked when her mommy read because she used hilarious voices for all of the different characters.
When Starra first heard that she was going to have a little brother, she thought it would be awesome. She would have someone at home to play with, she would help take care of him, and she would sing and read to him. Now, four years later, she can see how wrong she was.
* * *
Poor Starra stopped getting any attention at all from her parents. All they did was take care of Ricky. He always needed to be fed, changed, burped, put to sleep, played with, sung to, rocked… And when he finally fell asleep, Starra would hear, “Shh, the baby’s asleep. Mommy (or Daddy) is going to take a nap now too. Let’s have quiet time.” All Starra could do during quiet time was read to herself silently, because she was too old for naps. (She really missed when her mommy read with the voices.) As soon as she started to get into the story, Ricky would start screaming and it was too difficult to read with the baby crying so loudly.
Sometimes Starra tried to play with Ricky, and she would almost have fun until Ricky would suddenly begin to howl. Then their mommy or daddy would come over and scold Starra for making the baby cry when she really did nothing.
Finally, Ricky started getting older and needing less personal care. He was mature enough that he didn’t have to sleep in his parents’ room anymore. His parents thought it would be nice if they put his bed in his sister’s room, since there weren’t anymore bedrooms in the house. Starra was furious, and it made her parents furious that she didn’t want to share her room with her brother.
“Starra Clare Lorenne, you will share your room with Ricky and you will like it! You should love your brother because God and I tell you to!!” It seemed like Starra’s mom had been yelling at her a lot recently. Starra’s only escape from her awful life at home was school. School was so much fun! Starra learned so much and there was always time to read. By first grade, right before Ricky moved into her room, Starra was reading chapter books. Chapter books were awesome. The characters were so cool and Starra loved reading about all of their adventures. When Starra wasn’t reading, she played with all her new friends that she met at school. School was the best thing to happen to her since Ricky was born. But at the end of the school day, she always had to go back home.
* * *
After school, Starra was so excited about what she learned that she wanted to tell her mom about it. Unfortunately, her mom was too tired, or had to take care of Ricky, or Ricky was sleeping so they had to be quiet. So instead, after school, she had to clean her room because Ricky would get into her stuff. He always dumped all her toys and clothes on the floor. Of course, Starra was the one who was blamed for everything. She was just trying to be good and quiet when she heard her mom screaming.
“Starra, stop reading. Pick up your room.”
“But Mom, I didn’t make that mess.”
“Isn’t that your stuff on the floor?”
“Yea…but Ricky put it there!”
“I don’t care. Put it away or I’ll give it away.”
Starra’s misery increased with Ricky’s age because he figured out how to lie. Whenever he did something wrong, he blamed it on Starra, and their parents always believed and sided with Ricky because Starra was older and should have known better. He always got what he wanted. One time when their dad said they could have one piece of candy, Ricky had three. So Starra let her parents know, and of course, Ricky denied it so Starra was punished for lying! Other times when Ricky hit Starra, he would start crying and Starra was punished for hitting him!
Starra didn’t know what to do. She felt hopeless. Her mom and dad never listened to her. She realized that they just wanted Ricky as their only child so she decided to run away to Lily’s house.
Lily’s house was just down the street. At eight years old, Starra was old enough to walk down there by herself. She loved Lily’s family. Lily had no evil little brothers or sisters. Starra had a fabulous idea! She and Lily could be sisters. Lily’s mom always had time to play with them. Starra began to walk a little faster towards Lily’s house.
Lily’s mom was surprised to see Starra. “Your mom didn’t tell me you were coming.”
Starra smiled. “That’s ‘cause she doesn’t know.” After Starra explained the situation to Lily’s mom, Lily’s mom called Starra’s parents and Starra had to tell her story to them. They felt so guilty. They had no idea that Starra felt that way and they just wished she would have talked to them before she decided to run away.
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"Well I think its good but some sentences need a little bit of polishing 'but she really liked when her mommy read...' to 'but she really liked it when her mommy read...'. 'pick your room' to 'clean your room' i think it ment. Overall its great. " -- ushma.
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© 2006 Marisa Villano
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