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Hi, I’m April. And for so long the only thing that I cared about was to feel closer to my older sister, Bethany. She is three years older than me, and has always been someone I’ve looked up to. She got a lot of B’s in school and had lots of extracurricular activities like hockey and dance club. My parents were always so proud of her and I knew when I grew up, I wanted to be just like her!
Except I wasn’t. I did better than Beth at school., but my social skills sucked. Every time I tried to play with her and her older friends, they made fun of me for being bad at it. It embarrassed Beth. I think that’s why she stopped inviting me in the end. As the years went on, we grew apart, especially when Beth was in high school and I was still in middle school. I hated it. I wanted to spend more time with her. I wanted to make her proud of me, but… I didn’t know how.
One day, I snuck into Beth’s room when she was at a friend’s house and I tried on some of her clothes. Soon after, I spotted her make-up box. When I reached for the tubes of lipsticks, I found a bright red one and I wanted to know what I’d look like with red lips like the women in the movies! So, I tried it and… Oh My God. I broke it! I pressed too hard and it snapped. The red stick fell down my chest and onto my lap, staining Beth’s purple t-shirt I was wearing. I panicked and took everything off and tried to hide the t-shirt and the lip stick. My heart was pounding when Beth got home from her friend’s house. I knew she’d notice straight away things had been moved around… and I was completely right.
I don’t think we’d ever fought like that before! I was so sad that I cried all night. I couldn’t believe it. After that, I stopped trying to be her friend, and we almost never talked. So, when Beth called me into her room one evening, I was shocked. I couldn’t believe she wanted to talk to me and I was just so excited that I didn’t think much about it when I went in there after her.
It wasn’t until she sat me down and looked at me with a serious stare that I began to worry. Was she mad at me again? I hadn’t done anything! We only spoke to each other at breakfast and dinner. Maybe I said something she wasn’t happy with? Beth started to look sad.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“I… I have a boyfriend,” Beth admitted with a small smile. She took my hand in hers and clasped it tight. “He invited me to a party he’s having tonight, but mom and dad have this stupid curfew and they would never let me go on a school night… I really want to see him, April.”
I didn’t understand why she was telling me this. We don’t share secrets since we were little. But I was happy. Maybe she wanted to become closer again?
“I wish I could help, Beth. That really sucks,” I said.
“Well, you can help,” she told me and pulled me closer. “There’s something you can do for me so I can go!”
“What is it?” I asked, feeling confused.
“If you sleep in my room for me under the covers then when mom and dad come to check, they’ll think it’s me in here,” she explained.
I shook my head. “What if they check my room?”
Beth rolled her eyes. “They never check your room. They know what a good girl you are.”
I was torn. I wanted to help her, but I didn’t want to betray my parents. For a moment, I didn’t say anything. I just sat in silence and thought about the options. That is until Beth pulled me closer and cuddled me.
“Please, April, I really need you,” Beth begged and I couldn’t help but give in.
“Of course, I’ll always be here to help you,” I told her with a smile, but inside I was worried. I didn’t want to get in trouble and I didn’t want my parents to be upset with me. As long as I was quiet, it would be okay though… right?
When 8 PM came, Beth snuck out of the window and waved me goodbye as I curled up under her covers. I took my Kindle in with me to read until I fell asleep, but I couldn’t. Inside, my brain was whirring with thoughts and worries and after an hour it became clear there would be no sleep for me until Beth got home.