|Английски оригинал||Перевод на български|
“I THINK WE SHOULD DO recital party this year,” Margot says from her spot on the couch.
When my mom was alive, every Christmas we’d have what she called a recital party. She’d make tons of food and invite people over one night in December, and Margot and I would wear matching dresses and play Christmas carols on the piano all night. People would drift in and out of the piano room and sing along, and Margot and I would take turns playing. I hated real piano recitals because I was the worst in my age group and Margot was the best. It was humiliating to have to play some easy “Für Elise” while the other kids had already moved on to Liszt. I always hated recital party. I used to beg and beg not to have to play.
The last Christmas, Mommy bought us matching red velvet dresses to wear, and I threw a fit and said I didn’t want to wear it, even though I did, even though I loved it. I just didn’t want to have to play the piano in it next to Margot. I screamed at her and I ran to my room and slammed the door and I wouldn’t come out. Mommy came up and tried to get me to open the door, but I wouldn’t, and she didn’t come back. People started arriving, and Margot started playing the piano, and I stayed upstairs. I sat in my room, crying and thinking about all the dips and little canapés Mommy and Daddy had made and how there would be none left for me and how Mommy probably didn’t even want me down there anyway after the way I’d behaved.
After Mommy died, we never had another recital party.
“Are you serious?” I ask her.
“Why not?” Margot shrugs. “It’ll be fun. I’ll plan it all, you won’t have to do anything.”
“You know I hate piano.”
“Then don’t play.”
Kitty’s looking from me to Margot with worried eyes. Biting her lip, she offers, “I’ll do some tae kwon do moves.”
Margot reaches out and cuddles Kitty to her and says, “That’s a great idea. I’ll play the piano and you’ll do tae kwon do, and Lara Jean will just—”
“Watch,” I finish.
“I was going to say hostess, but suit yourself.”
I don’t answer her.
* * *
Later, we’re watching TV and Kitty’s asleep, curled up on the couch like she’s a real cat. Margot wants to wake her up and make her go to her bed, but I say just let her sleep, and I put a quilt over her.
“Will you help me work on Daddy about a puppy for Christmas?” I ask.
Margot groans. “Puppies are so much work. You have to let them out to pee like a million times a day. And they shed like crazy. You’ll never be able to wear black pants again. Also who’s going to walk it, and feed it, and take care of it?”
“Kitty will. And I’ll help.”
“Kitty is so not ready for the responsibility.” Her eyes say, And neither are you.
“Kitty’s matured a lot since you’ve been gone.” And so have I. “Did you know that Kitty packs her own lunch now? And she helps with the laundry? I don’t have to nag her to do her homework, either. She just does it on her own.”
“Really? Then I’m impressed.”
Why can’t she just say, Good job, Lara Jean? That’s it. If she could just acknowledge that I’ve been doing my part to keep the family going since she’s been gone. But no.