The theater is such a grand building, with gilded designs and carvings decorating everywhere my gaze lands. I haven’t even seen the play yet and I’m impressed. I wish I could run my fingers over the golden carvings. I can dig up stories hidden in the curves and grooves.
“I knew you’d like it,” Laurie mutters.
I turn toward him, his black eyes glimmering as he looks at me. A blush runs up my neck. My arm tightens around his and I press my cheek to his shoulder for a moment. With a big family like mine, I’ve never been able to be me and only me. I’ve always been Josephine March—sister of Amy, Meg, and Beth. Never Jo March, writer of phenomenal stories. The love and affection
I’ve received have been a dished-out serving, for my sisters need some, too. It’s all the same, tailored ever so slightly for each of us.
But being friends with Teddy… it’s the first time someone is thinking of me—and only me.
The theater invitation is almost enough for me to feel every bit of my individual self—but I cannot shake the guilt. Amy wanted to come so badly and I was so harsh. I was trying to teach her manners, for it is improper to invite yourself places. But in turn, I forgot my own. It’s easy to lose the little amount of hold I have on my temper when it comes to my sisters.
Despite the sparkling elves and princes and princesses, I can’t enjoy the play the way I want to. Also because Laurie’s rowdy friends are often hushed by other guests.
Amy and I argue the most out of our family. I think it’s because we’re both the most passionate. Her with her art and propriety. Me with my writing and books. I try with such strength to tame my temper; I fail most of the time. When anger flares in my chest, I must get it out lest it burns me alive. In turn, it burns other people. People I care about—like Amy.
Oh, Amy. In the middle of the play, it takes everything I have not to run home and apologize.
“Teddy,” I say once the play is over and we walk into the lobby. “I don’t have any money with me. I was wickedly cruel to Amy before the play and I feel terrible. I want to buy her chocolate from the concession stand. I’ll pay you back the moment we return.”
With a gentle smile, Laurie pats my hand and walks toward the concession stand. Meg places a hand on my shoulder.
“I’m proud of you,” says Meg.
“I was trying to teach her,” I say.
She nods. “I know.”
Off to the side, one of Laurie’s friends—Ned, I believe—makes obscene gestures and poses with a statue. An employee reprimands him and Meg and I turn away, lest we be seen as part of his group.“Must his friends be so abominable?” Meg asks, earning a snort from me.