NADITE 17th 1995


[ Janet’s perspective ]

Ah. Today I rise to another day of no Anabelle.

It’s been so long since I had a normal day without someone pestering me every moment.

Oh how I’m glad I’m not in her shoes.

The day I heard that she murdered Camila changed my whole opinion about her.

I wasn’t really a friend to Camila but I got along with her very well.

I never saw her as ‘bully’ according to Anabelle.

But now she’s dead.

I can never look at my own cousin the same way again.

I knew something was wrong with her. I knew she was trouble.

I’m glad she’s gone. Locked away in a place I would never see myself in.

Janet yawns and stretches her arms out

At least I can focus today and have some fun with my friends.

I’ve done what I was supposed to do and should be free to do whatever I want, unless dad grounds me again for some heinous reason.

The least and most I would do is clean my room and of course personal hygiene, because as a young, beautiful adolescent I’ve got an image to maintain: An image of purity and class, unlike Anabelle who dresses in cheap cloth and third-world shoes.

Maybe I’m exaggerating a bit but she’s not better than I am.

I deserve better.

There’s a knock on her door

I wonder who that could be.

JANET: Come in…

Antonius enters her bedroom

ANTONIUS: Morning sweetie.

JANET: (smiling) Morning daddy.

He walks into the room and sits on the edge of the bed

ANTONIUS: How are you feeling?

JANET: (naïvely) Not too bad. It was a little cruel that I had to clean the toilet yesterday.

ANTONIUS: Well I’m here to talk to you about something of a similar nature…

I wonder what this could be about.

Usually daddy surprises me with good news of some sort, often new shoes, new clothes and new cosmetics.

But his tone is slightly different this time.

Maybe it’s because it’s morning and he hasn’t had his morning coffee yet.

ANTONIUS: Your mother and I have been talking about your attitude towards Anabelle—

JANET: Oh daddy we’re not gonna talk about this—

It’s always about Anabelle.

She’s gone. What’s there to talk about?

ANTONIUS: I suspect that your attitude towards your cousin is what may had led to a toxic behaviour between the two of you—

JANET: That’s not my fault. I- I don’t like her. I never liked her.

ANTONIUS: That’s the attitude I’m talking about. You loathed her personality rather than treating her as your cousin. Why all the hate?

JANET: I just didn’t like her. You and especially mum gave her all the treats and you forgot about me—

ANTONIUS: Sweetie, we love you. You are our daughter. We will always be here for you. We would never think about neglecting you or anyone else. However, I’m not totally mad at you. I too am to blame for Anabelle’s behaviour.

JANET: I’m… sorry daddy. I… was jealous. Ever since you guys let her into the family you began treating her with so much love and giving her presents.

ANTONIUS: But that doesn’t mean you defame her. And I would never want to favour one over the other.

It’s not that I didn’t like her. I didn’t want to be treated far less superior.

All was good before she came into the family, but she soon turned out to be my competition.

She was the total opposite of me.

Also, I’m no longer the “sweetheart” of the house, so that means mum and dad is going to treat me like an adult: A responsible adult.

What about Dom and August?

They’re old.

Now Juliet is going to get most of the love and gifts, and I have to implore my dad to buy what I want.

JANET: I- I don’t know what else to say. I just like the way things are now. I can now focus more clearly—

ANTONIUS: Anabelle achieved much better than you academically. But we still love you and expect you to make us proud also.

JANET: She was a distraction and a liability for me…

This is such nonsense.

Just when I thought things were back to normal, I’m getting yelled at for something I didn’t have much to do.

Anabelle is not better than me.

Why so much love for her?

Antonius huffs

JANET: I’m sorry dad.

ANTONIUS: I’m sorry too. I should have been more considerate to both of you and everyone else.

JANET: Is… mummy okay?

ANTONIUS: She’s fine. She’s a little frustrated and distraught about Anabelle. Seemingly, she’s the only person who cares for Anabelle. She’s even planning to go visit her at some point and she wants us to go with her…

As much as I dislike Anabelle I feel averse to see her face-to-face.

She already hates me and I don’t want to anger her with my presence.

For what reason should I have to go?

Daddy is just being unfair to me and Anabelle deserves what she’s got.

This is so awful.

I had nothing to do with her crime and I have to go and apologies for being unfair to her.

When was I ever unfair?

I really don’t understand what I’ve done to deserve this kind of treatment.

It’s like I’m no longer the special, precious little girl of the house.

Everyone treats Juliet like a baby: A special baby who deserves all the love.

She’s just as indecent as Anabelle and she barely gets into trouble.

I just want my happy family back. My happy, caring and loving parents back…

ANTONIUS: Well since your mother is not in a good mood, perhaps we all should behave ourselves… including myself. She’s not too happy with me. Just don’t get on her bad side. Be thoughtful.

JANET: (cynically) Okay, I’ll try my very best.

Antonius kisses Janet on the forehead and leaves the bedroom closing the door behind him

Well I’m sorry for not acknowledging Anabelle’s situation but I don’t want to think about it anymore.

I just want to move on, have fun with my life and not be held back because of someone else’s dilemmas.

Ever since her departure everyone has been a serious bone of contention.

Janet gets out of her bed and approaches her dresser

She looks at herself in the mirror

I need to do my hair, brush my teeth and just all round freshen up, make myself pretty.

(sighs) Enough guilt trips.

I’m just going to forget about all of this and pretend like none of this happened.

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