Learning to love Lucy

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Lucy is a thirteen year old girl who struggles with self doubt. She has a popular stepsister, a workaholic stepmother, and an alcoholic father. She only sees the fault in her own life, and the good
in every one else's

Submitted: October 05, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: October 05, 2017



 Learning to Love Lucy

I am Lucy. Thirteen years old. I am not beautiful, I know so because I am told so at school. If my peers think it, than it must be true. I am not smart, they told me that also. I am not good enough they say. And I listen.

My sister Aubrey is beautiful. She is smart. She is good enough. The people at school tell her every day. They have forgotten we are sisters. Well, half sisters. We have stopped telling everyone, because nobody listens.  We are exact opposites. She is tall and I am short. She is blonde and I am brunette. She has brown eyes and I have green. She is tan and I am pale. She is popular and I am not. Most days I wish I was her.

She is ten months older than me, but my parents  put us in the same grade, hoping we would be best friends. We are friends, but not best friends. We don’t stay up at night telling secrets. She lays at night and texts her friends. I sleep. We are always late because she tries to sleep in. My life is awful.

My alcoholic drops us off at school. After a  quick kiss on the cheek for each of us he speeds away, swerving left and right. He is drunk again. I think he is cheating on my stepmother Darcy. I don’t think he loves us anymore. He never truly loved me. I am as opposite of him as I am of Aubrey. She is his look alike. He never loved me because I didn't look like him. I am a failure.

School is misery. Kids taunt me in the halls. They poke at my arms, telling me I am too skinny, I am too short, I am too smart. I have straight A’s. They hate me for that. They hate me for everything. Some days, I agree with them.

Aubrey tolerates me. She is like a fairy princess, all sparkly and perfect. I am like the troll under the bridge. Frowned upon and ignored. We have art class together. Art is the one thing I am better than at than her. She just doesn’t have talent, but her gaggle of friends tell her she does so she takes the class. I wish I had friends, even ones as awful as hers.

She sits next to me during art. She copied my work yesterday, then she turned it it, calling it her own. The teacher approaches me. His hair is slicked back and slimy. He glares at me like a vulture. “Lucy, may I have a word with you,” he asks, a sickly smile now plastered on his face. He leads me out into the hallway.  What did I do wrong now?

“I was grading papers yesterday,” he says. Was that supposed to mean something to me? I give him a questioning look. He looks at me as if I was stupid.

“ I noticed that you had the same artwork as Aubrey,” He said.

I gasp. “ She copied me?” I ask, although I know the answer already. I watched her the whole time. He sighs, as if I exasperate him.  

“No, Lucy, you copied her. Stop playing dumb,” he says.

“But Mr. Hart, I didn’t!” I say, but he refuses to believe me.

“ I have contacted your father, and he agrees that Aubrey would never copy. I'm sorry. I am going to have to ask you to transfer to a different class, after you lied to me like that,” he glares down his long nose at me. I hate my life.


When I got home, my father was there, pacing the apartment floor.  

“Young lady,” he says, “we need to have a little chat,” I groan inwardly. Could this day get any worse? “Mr. Hart contacted me again. He informed me that you copied Aubrey’s work, then lied to him and talked back,” My father glares at me over the rims of  his grey glasses. “You're grounded.” he says. Yes, this day could get worse. And it just did.

Aubrey is sitting on her bed on  her phone. She looks at me as I stomp in. “What’s up,” she asks innocently. “You,” I reply, hoping she’ll get the message and leave me alone. She doesn’t. Instead she comes over and hugs me. I’m drowned by wave after wave of her sugary perfume. “ What happened,” she asks. I ignore her and sit down at our computer that dad bought for Aubrey but Darcy insisted that we share it. I started searching for orphanages. I have made up my mind that I am running away. I hate myself. I hate my life. Maybe I shouldn’t run away. Maybe I should just end the life I hate so much…

I wake up to Dad standing over my bed.

“ I have determined your punishment,” he says. I groan and roll over. “No school for three days,” he says. Some punishment. “ Now, you may be thinking that’s fantastic,” he says, “but I am not going to call to excuse you. When you do return to school, you will have much make up work to do. You will stay at school even after the dismissal bell rings to work on your homework. I will pick you up after we have dinner,” he smiles, looking very self satisfied. I wondered if he had been drinking again. I hate it when he drinks. It makes my horrid life even more horrid.

When I got out of bed there were numerous bottles of beer scattered around like leaves.  So he had been drinking. That explained the crazy punishment.

I didn’t think the punishment would be too bad. Until my father told me I was to clean every inch of the house with a sponge. All day. My life is awful, I wish I were dead. That could be arranged… I thought - maybe, just maybe if my father saw my dead body, maybe he would realize how much he loved me. How cruel  he was to me. This plan may actually work, I thought to myself.

All day I contemplated how I would do it. Which way would cause me the least amount of pain. The possibilities swirled through my head. Which way would be the most dramatic. I’d make them all feel guilty for killing me.

Tomorrow, I thought. Tomorrow is the last day of my miserable existence. My awful, horrible, miserable life would soon be over. Soon, I would be at peace.

The morning dawned bright, and sunny. I waited in bed for everybody to leave before grabbing my father’s stash of money he saved specifically for beer and running down to the hardware store. I bought coils of rope, that looked and felt as smooth as snakeskin. I hurried home. I tied the rope securely to the balcony. We were on the second floor apartment. My family would see my dead body hanging there. Oh, how  awful they would feel for mistreating me so. It was perfect. I tied a loop in the rope. I’d never tied a loop with rope, but it seemed easy enough.  I  placed it around my neck. It felt like a too loose necklace, but I was sure it would tighten up. This worked for so many other people like me. I stood on the rail of the balcony. The note I had left for my family I  placed on the balcony table- it said the bare minimum. I didn’t feel the need to live anymore. Nobody loved me so there was no reason for me to be here anymore. They shouldn’t feel bad for me, I would be happy now. I closed my eyes and jumped.


The sensation was light, as if I was floating, like a feather. I waited for the rope to tighten to my neck but it didn’t. It slipped over my head. I grabbed for it, but missed. I just kept falling.


I woke up in the hospital with an IV in my arm. I was surrounded by machines and covered in bandages. Darcy sat on a light yellow chair to my right. She is reading a small booklet. Aubrey is standing by the window looking out into the trees. Neither notice I am awake. I wonder where my dad is, if he even cares. He should. Darcy glances up from her booklet and sees me looking at her. She gasps and gets up to give me a hug. I try to hug her back but both my arms are in slings. I didn’t notice that  before.

A nurse walks in. “So you’re awake,” she says. I nod.

“What happened to me,” I ask.

“You jumped, but the rope didn't tighten. You continued to fall and smashed into the flower  pots below. The jarring impact broke both your arms and a couple of ribs, and your left leg. You’re lucky you didn’t die, honey,” she said.

“Where’s dad,” I ask Darcy. She glances down, as if embarrassed.

“He didn’t feel the need to come to his... hurt daughter,” she says in disgust. “It appears he has a… girlfriend shall we call her. He wants to get a divorce so he can live with her. I’m so sorry, Lucy.”

“I knew he didn’t love me,” I said.

“But you know we love you, don’t you?” Aubrey asks hopefully.

“I do now,” I say with a smile. Maybe I was so focused on the bad in my life that I never saw the good. Maybe my life wasn’t as horrible as I saw it. Maybe, with time, I can learn to love Lucy.  


© Copyright 2020 Zoe Holdaway. All rights reserved.

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