Middle. She was always the middle.
Never first. Never last.
In the middle.
In the shadow of Jamie’s greatness.
In the wake of Allison’s brilliance.
Plain old Sherry.
Their music teacher, Mrs. Grey scowled fiercely over the top of her tiny golden glasses. “Class!” she said, severely. “You must pay attention!”
And here, Sherry cringed inward and outward.
She was paying attention—she was! It wasn’t her fault that Jamie hated music—her science classes were more important. Or that Allison couldn’t hold a tune in any way, shape or form.
Her sisters tried, bless them.
But music was not their strength.
Music, Sherry feared, was swiftly becoming the same to her. She shrank back into her seat as Mrs. Grey continued her lecture and then packed up her music sheets with an angry sniff.
“When you children believe you are ready to be proper musicians, you may request my services once more,” she said, haughtily. “But you have wasted enough of my time today and I have more promising students to guide! Music is an art! If you cannot abide by the rules it requires, then you will amount to nothing!”
She swept out of the room in a flurry of her swirling grey and black skirts, her violin case in one, wrinkled old hand.
The three sisters watched her leave.
Jamie took her glasses off, polished them on the end of her blouse and slipped them back on. She looked over at Allison.
Allison offered an apologetic look, reaching up to wrestle her super curly hair into something that was less like a mane and more like hair. “Sorry Sher—but the art contest was this weekend. I had to work on my piece—all that layering and stuff. I forgot to practice.”
“She needed to go,” Jamie said, frowning. “She was always talking to down to us. As if we weren’t good enough and we never would be.” Her frowned deepened. “Sher?”
“It’s fine,” Sherry said, quietly. She slid off her chair and cast a glance to where Allison’s fingers were knotting up her blonde curls. Again.
How Allison could be so handy with a paintbrush and absolute rubbish at everything else, was a mystery in itself.
She went to help.
Allison gave her a grateful smile as she took over the smoothing and twist-braiding process. “We—we can try another teacher,” she said, cautiously.
Sherry snorted. “No. I know enough. I’ll practice on my own.”
“Yeah. But let us know, okay?” Jamie moved to stand next to them. She tugged a scrunch off of her wrist and handed it over. “Because sisters stick together, right?”
“Right!” Allison chirped.
There was a pause—barely—but Sherry smiled. “Right,” she said, softly. “They do.”