One big difference between my older twin sister and I is that everyone loved her and neglected me.
During our birthdays, relatives always gave her the attention, and would ask why I wasn’t as smart or as charming a girl as she.
At school our teachers scolded me for not passing in my homework, which my sister would always throw away after copying my answers.
My parents always took her side and punished me brutally when she framed me for anything. I even once overheard them saying they wished they had born an only child.
At first I could take it. I told myself I was a good girl.
It was only during Christmas that my patience ran short,
as I always received the gifts I asked for from Santa in my letters—only to have them all stolen by my sister and exchanged for the coal she always received.
My parents would shake their heads, telling me that if I were a good girl, I would have gotten a gift from Santa too.
This Christmas Eve I put an end to it all. For the first time, I received warmth and sympathy from neighbors as they huddled around me, staring up at the house I myself had set fire to.
A tall old man in a brown overcoat stood beside me. He looked nothing like in the pictures, but I recognized him once I looked into his kind, dark eyes.
“Thank heavens,” he whispered, pressing a bag wrapped in a green ribbon into my hands. I knew what it was immediately. “I was worried you were being too good for your own good.”