My Cousin Tried To Steal My Life
- Published on Jun 1, 2019
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My name’s Kim. Something awful happened to me recently and I really need support and advice from you. It might seem strange what I’m going to tell you right now, but… my life has been stolen.
Everything started last summer. My second cousin Karen came to visit us for the first time. It was actually the very first time she had ever left her native tiny town and she was pretty excited about everything. Of course, she stayed at our big house and I was happy to share my room with her.
At first everything seemed to be really great! I took Karen everywhere I went and showed her the truly fun life of a city girl. She met all my girlfriends. We taught her how to follow the latest fashion trends, went to the spa together, explained why fast food wasn’t the worse tasting thing ever, and even pushed her to get acquainted with a guy she really liked. I loaned her some clothes and cosmetics so that she looked more like a part of our gang, you know. I was really proud of myself and I saw how extremely happy she was about the rapid change in her appearance.
Only, one thing about Karen that annoyed me from the very beginning was that she was too subservient, so to speak. So at some point, my mom began to pit the two of us against each other and always said something like, why wasn't I as helpful as Karen or as kind as Karen and things like that. This happened so much that Karen’s helpfulness had become an annoyance to me.
Anyways, that summer ended really fast and Karen went home with tears in her eyes, ‘cause she really didn’t want to leave me, as she’d put it. I was also crying and had promised to miss her, although I was looking forward to having my room back to myself again. We even emailed each other until the end of the summer. Karen sent me a photo of her right after getting a new haircut - she now looked a lot like me and it seemed a little weird, but nice. Virtually nothing seemed to be suspicious. But when the school year was about to start and I returned home from a regular movie and friends night, my mom told me that there was a surprise waiting for me upstairs.
It was Karen. I was definitely happy to see her, but I wondered what she was doing here while she had to get prepared for her last year of school. She said that there was another surprise and that she was going to study at my school and in my class, so that we could graduate together. It turned out she liked city life and life with me so much, that she’d practically begged her parents on her knees to let her come back here. I was really happy for her, since I could only imagine how lame life in her tiny little town was.
From the very first day of school, Karen tried to follow me everywhere I went and acted pretty much exactly like me. So by the end of the first term, I had started to notice that she was copying my mannerisms, my walk, and my sense of humor and stuff. She was now even eating the same way I was. For example, when she’d first arrived in the city, she would eat everything she wanted, but now she’d begun counting calories just like me, she also stopped eating pork just like me, and she’d even started peeling the skin off of her apples just like I did. So now Karen, this once shy and polite girl, was totally gone. She wasn’t shy anymore, especially hanging out with my friends.
And once, a totally outrageous situation happened. I found Karen talking on the phone with somebody setting up a meeting. And when I asked where she was going, especially without me, she said she had to go meet with Emily. My Emily! Behind my back! I couldn’t let her do it. That’s why I decided to ask her directly what she was up to with my friends, adding additional stress to the word “my.” I couldn’t ignore the fact that Karen’s smile became wider. She said that they were also friends of hers and that I was actually the one who introduced them. That’s why now, I shouldn’t be worried about them preferring her over me, unless maybe I thought I was more interesting to hang out with. And then she left. And there I was, standing there in the middle of the room with this feeling deep inside me that I had created a real monster.
I stayed at home for the rest of that day trying to think over the situation and figure out some appropriate and strong words, you know, to have a really serious talk with Karen when she came back. She came back pretty soon, and she was not alone. My parents happened to meet her halfway and gave her a ride. You know, when they entered the house everybody seemed really happy and harmonious, so to speak. I had even thought about how well Karen seems to fits into our family, and this thought made me sick. It was impossible for her to replace me, right?
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