When my sister Dee, Mama, and I lived together, I always felt ashamed that Dee saw me. My body was covered with burn scars on my arms and feet since the day that our old house burned. Dee always hated that house, she was standing under a tree seeing how the flames crumble our old house while I was sticking at mama with painful scars in my body and my dress breaking up little by little.

I have noticed that Mama always paid more attention to dee than me. I was like the black sheep of the family. Dee always gets what she wants and never accepts a no as an answer. It’s like if people have never been able to say that word to her. Mama often sees those tv shows that is about a famous comedian interviewing a child that had “made it” with their parents feeling proud of him. Mama’s wish has always been to be on that type of program with dee. Mama start to acquire money to send Dee to school. She could never be educated given her situation. She has worked very hard throughout her life to raise us. Dee often read to us what she learned in school in a strict and controlling way. After finishing high school, Dee keeps studying  and surpassing herself away from Mama and me.

Time passed and Mama received a letter from dee basically saying that it does not matter in where are we living, she will come to visit us but she wasn’t going to bring any of her friends. On a normal day, me and Mama saw a car approaching our house. Since I saw her getting off of the car, I immediately know it was her. Dee finally came back to visit us. She was walking toward us dressing a long orange dress and a bunch of jewelry all around his neck and arms.

“Don’t get up,” says Dee, she goes back to the car and goes out holding a camera and took us some pictures of us. I was behind of  mama considering that I never liked being photographed. She was quickly showing us many photos of us but those who show surroundings of the house and the animals quickly she broke them because she never liked to show her friends where she grew up. She out the camera back in the car and then kiss mama in the forehead. She didn’t even bother to greet me, as if I wasn’t there. A simple “hello sister” would have been enough.

Anyways, we were having dinner like the old times. After that, I was alone in the kitchen  and Dee was in Mama’s room with her, they were talking about something but I didn’t pay much attention but then I heard something that really mattered to me. “Mama, can I have these old quilts?”, without realizing it, I dropped what I was carrying and then I slammed the kitchen door. I was feeling irate, bitter, fatigated and more feelings of sadness. Mama offers me those quilts because she knows that i will appreciate those quilts that mama and my aunt made from some tops that grandma pierced before she died. Knowing Mama, in the end she will give to her because Dee will continue insisting until she get what she wants. She always get what she wants.

I left the kitchen without any hope of keeping the quilts that Mama offers me and I stood in from of them. “She can have them Mama”, I said very discouraged, “I can remember Grandma Dee without the quilts”. After I said that, something unexpected happened. Mama was hoggin me. Then she grab my arm and placed me in the bed. She grabs the quilt from Dee’s hands and put it in mi lap. I was very surprised with my mouth open. “Take one or two of the others” Mama said to dee. But she turned without saying anything and went out to her car. We follow her and when she was near to the car she says “You just don’t understand”. “What don’t I understand?” Mama says to her.

“Your heritage” Dee said to mama, the she look at me and kiss my cheek, “You ought to try to make something of yourself, too, Maggie. It’s really a new day for us. But from the way you and Mama still live you’d never know it.” She said to me. Dee put her sun glasses and left in her car. I smiled. But this time I didn’t have a mock laugh and not scared, it was a real smile. Mom and I watched as the car disappeared from our sight and watched the rest of the sunset until it was time to go to bed.

Sunset by annemiekecloosterman on 2016-10-04 19:34:31

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January 26, 2020 9:34 pm

Dear Lenin:
I am very attracted to you story “Maggie’s hard life”, because of the choice that you made to describe a story like “ Everyday Use” that is already complicated but putting your point of view makes it such as understandable piece of writing that is analyzed in the best way to make it as clear as you could be able to put not just details of the story but to proof a piece of yourself as a writer in to an already established and developed almost a new story with the sense of the importance of family involvement. One of the most impacted pieces stated on your story that stands out to me is when you said, “I was like the black sheep of the family”. I think this line resemble how you got into the character’s mindset,because the way that you are able to describe what she felt happening to the character in a deeper way than what we could read shows how overwhelming her life was whole this creates a sense of satisfaction in the reader when a writer is able to make the deep of a description and characterization . Another quote that stands out for me is “ I always felt ashamed that Dee saw me”. I think this expresses the desire of the main character of been treated differently while fighting for her family to be together again like before. Your story reminds me of the original story with a more narrative tone because of the description almost letting the reader see how the character feels about how her family view her as. “ Everyday Use” express more in a narrative way.
Thanks for your story. I look forward to seeing what you make next. What would bring me back to read any of your story is the appreciation to the description, narration and characterization in the story that is very much attached to the original version.

December 10, 2019 6:14 pm

Dear Lenin
I am fascinated with your short story, “Maggie’s hard life,” because related that the life of a girl that have scars on her skin. Its difficult to adapt and have confidence in herself. She always feel sad by her issue and feel different by her sister.
One of the lines that stands out for me is,have noticed that,”Mama always paid more attention to dee than me. I was the black sheep of the family.” These lines represent the difference she look in her Mama about her sister. She related her feelings.
Your short story “Maggie’s hard life,” helps me to understand the problem that faced some people with issues in their personality.
Thanks for your short story. I look forward to seeing what you make next. I hope you post interesting texts like this one.

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