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My Sister’s Husband
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I caught Marcus looking at me during my sister’s funeral.
We were all devastated after Jane died in a car accident. After all, she was perfect: blonde, willowy, and a genuinely kind and caring person too.
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This outfit is ridiculous.
When I tried the cocktail dress on in the store, I thought the glossy blue looked beautiful against my creamy skin and the cut was perfect for my generous curves. But now that I’m in public, my ass looks big enough to belong in the solar system and my Double D’s are threatening to spill over the top. Every time I pull the blue silk up to cover my breasts, my butt hangs out the bottom. But when I pull it down to cover my rear end, my breasts are on view for everyone at my parents’ thirtieth anniversary party. As a result, I’ve gotten many longing looks from some male guests, most of whom are pushing sixty. Oh no. What do I do?
I take a seat at my table in the restaurant in hopes that the chair and table will cover up my stupid decision to wear this dress. I should have known better. I felt pretty in the fitting room, but now, all I feel is awkward and nervous. I catch Mr. Reeves, who’s old and spotty with a came waving at me, and with a polite smile, I wave back. What can you do, after all? I’ve known Mr. Reeves since I was a little girl, and it’d be rude to ignore him at my parents’ party. Suddenly, a hushed whisper breaks my reverie.
“Jane would look beautiful in that dress,” I hear behind me. “She’s just so beautiful, isn’t she? I always wanted my daughter to be like Jane. She’s so tall and willowy and elegant.”
I take a deep breath. Comparisons with my sister get under my skin, but I try to take it with a stride.
“Oh yes,” says her friend in a hushed whisper. “I totally agree. But Kelsey is just so … different, wouldn’t you say? I can’t put my finger on exactly how, but it’s just so unfortunate in some respects.”
I can’t let this go by. Old ladies can sometimes be so mean, and I’ve learned over the years that it does no good to pretend you didn’t hear. Sometimes, you have to tackle the problem head on, and this is a prime example of that being true.
“Oh really?” I say, turning and startling two of my parents’ female friends. The two old biddies act all surprised, but I know they’re not. “Well, it wouldn’t fit her. It’s about twenty sizes too big,” I say in an overly strident voice.
They don’t even have the grace to look ashamed at being overheard. One of the women clucks. “Well, I’m sure Jane could find it in her size. She’s very resourceful.” What she doesn’t say is, “Kelsey, you don’t belong in a dress like that.”
I sigh and turn back to my table resolutely. Conversation over. They continue to whisper, but at least now they’re keeping their voices down so that I can’t hear. I can at least pretend that I don’t care.
My mind boils, though. I don’t get why everyone has to compare me to my perfect older sister. Sure, Jane’s taller and thinner – so damn thin all the time, in fact. And she always looks happy, with a sweet smile and a kind word for everyone. She has a perfect husband, the perfect job, and the perfect body. By contrast, what do I have? Big boobs, a big butt, and a big attitude to match. My mouth has gotten me in trouble more than once, and judging from the sideways looks I’m getting from the folks at this party, this is just another instance.
Okay, so I get why people are always comparing me to Jane. It’s kind of hard not to when we’re sisters. But still, it hurts sometimes because my older sibling always comes out on top. There are so many instances of “Poor Kelsey, if only she would lose weight / find a better job / find herself a man, etc. Basically, I’m just okay on a good day. On my bad days? I’m worse than Joan Rivers on speed. Except she was whippet-thin, whereas I’m a big girl.
But I’ve learned to love my curves over the years, and not dwell on what’s too big or too small. I turn my head and place my hands in my lap in a ladylike manner. I won’t let those old ladies get to me, even if right now, they’re whispering again while shooting me sneaky looks. Speaking of Jane. Where is that girl? Our parents’ thirtieth anniversary party is in full swing and she hasn’t bothered to make an appearance yet. Maybe perfect Jane is finally going to make a mistake.
The bell over the restaurant door chimes and I turn my head. Jane’s husband Marcus strolls into the room with a confident stride and a winning smile on his face. He looks like the incredible lawyer that he is. His tall, commanding stature demands attention and respect. Marcus’s raven hair is always cut military short, faded on the sides and just slightly longer on the top. His piercing blue eyes could win him a case without a single word being uttered.