“Yes, it’s Annelise’s wedding in three weeks.” A woman’s voice drifted into Annelise’s ear. She stopped in her tracks and decided to listen to what her mother was saying about her, delighted that for once, her mother was proud of her rather than Rebecca, her older sister.
“I know,” her mother continued, “I can’t believe it either. I thought she would never find anyone. It’s all thanks to Rebecca. You know, she’s the one who found Anton for Annelise. I don’t know what I’d do without her. Without Rebecca, I mean.”
Annelise listened in fuming silence as she glared at her mother from the door to the kitchen. Her mother had left all the cooking utensils she’d been using on the kitchen counter. The cheese grater, the vegetable knife, the pasta filter. She’d dropped everything for just this one phone call.
Nel could remember a time when her mother would never put anything down even if Annelise had really wanted to talked to her. But anything for her darling Becky.
Annelise slowly walked into the kitchen, her fingers trailing on the countertop, brushing away crumbs left over from preparation. As she walked, she recollected a day from when she was 12. Ten whole years ago. Annelise continued to walk.
She had been practicing a trick for weeks. Nel had looked long and hard for something she could be good at that the perfect Becky could not or would not do. In the end, she’d learned how to juggle knives.
Due to the fact that knives are not readily available to twelve year olds, Nel practiced with her scissors. She perfected her technique, and when she was satisfied, Nel rushed home from school to show her mother the trick.
She noticed that her mother was on the phone but thought that maybe her mother would put it down. Nel gestured to her mother that she wanted to show her something. Her mother frowned and mouthed the words “not now”.
Finally, after half an hour of waiting, Nel walked up to her mother expectantly, but then Rebecca showed up. It came as no surprise to Nel that her mother talked to Rebecca first. Annelise, however, refused to let the favoritism spoil her mood and went over the routine in her head.
Eventually, Nel’s mother was free. She asked, “Okay, kid, what’d you want to tell me?” Annelise explained as fast as she could what she’d been practicing for weeks. Hopefully, her mother wouldn’t admonish her for such dangerous behavior.
“Okay,” Nel’s mother said, cutting her off. “You have ten minutes because I need to run down to the store.” Annelise could feel tears in her eyes. There was no time. A cold feeling spread all over her body, and Nel resolved to show her mother the final trick without any practice or warm-up.
It went horribly wrong, and her mother had been severely injured. Annelise had felt guilty afterwards, but she hadn’t meant it, after all. Also, to make her feel worse, Rebecca told everyone that she had been the one to hurt their mother while practicing knife throwing. There was no mention of Annelise at all. People forgave darling Becky, and she became popular for learning how to juggle knives.
A scream jolted Annelise out of her thoughts, but she did recall that her mother had never really trusted her again before bringing her mind to the present.
Looking around to see what was wrong, Annelise ralized that she was staring into her sister’s pale face. She also realized that she was holding a bloody knife and standing over the dead body of her mother.
Before she realized what was happening, Nel heard someone ring the doorbell. Rebecca’s eyes widened. She glancd around the room like a rabbit trapped in a hole, then told Annelise to give her the knife. As soon as Rebecca had the weapon, she told Nel to go answer the door.
Everything went quickly after that. The police swept into the room explaining that a few neighbors had called about some screams coming from the house. They came upon Rebecca still holding the murder weapon above her mother’s corpse.
After dropping the knife, Rebecca immediately confessed to killing her mother. She was taken into custody awaiting trial. Annelise was shocked. She had not been caught and Rebecca “goody two shoes” was gone. Now it was Rebecca who would be shunned, not her.
After two years, the trial came to court. Annelise was called in as a witness. Although she was startled to see Rebecca in such a pathetic state, she focused enough to remember her story.
Annelise had been upstairs when she had heard a scream from the kitchen. Then, she’d hurried downstairs to find Rebecca standing over their mother with a knife.
However, by the time it was her turn to speak, Annelise was furious. Even now, Rebecca was getting all the attention. Taking credit for what Annelise had done. Just like she had with the knives. Nel walked to the witness stand and told her story.
“I hated my mother, but I never meant to kill her,” she started. “I don’t know what happened, but I sure know that I’m not going to let perfect little Becky take credit. Not again!” By this point, Annelise was screaming, and all the cameras and people were facing her. The court bailiffs, acting fast, took Annelise into custody.
At her own trial, it was revealed that she had indeed killed her own mother, but since she was not aware of her actions at the ties, she was sentenced to life in an asylum.
While she sat in her room, Nel contemplated the fact that she, for once, had admitted to doing something herself. Annelise had finally surpassed her sister and gone ahead to where she could not follow.