Amy was the youngest and the runt of the litter so her siblings said about her.
Born ten years after her older sister she was an unexpected addition to the family and not a welcomed one. Her parents weren’t happy to discover another baby on the way, her brothers and sisters were not impressed with another infant in the house after all they argued surely six kids was enough.
Amy had flaming red hair, was a dumpy kid with her bum far too close to the ground. She soon attracted the nick name of Leadbum amongst her sisters. The older ones basically ignored her but Amy wasn’t one to take very kindly to being ignored and she was a demanding child.
So she grew up being irritating, loud and untidy. She was unfortunately clumsy and was forever dropping things and making a mess.
When she was eleven her parents fed up with this obnoxious child making every one’s life a misery sent her off to boarding school. “Good riddance,” said her sisters as the train taking her away pulled out of the station.
Amy’s going to boarding school meant the household returned to ‘normal’. People got on with their lives now free of the irritation of a little sister. Amy’s parents paid extra to have Amy stay at boarding school during the holidays so it was several years before she ventured home.
When it was announced that Amy would be coming home as her schooling was now complete the older sisters all gathered together to plan an unwelcome home for her. They didn’t want their obnoxious little sister back, they liked the self-centred lives they now lived.
So having all agreed to give her the coldest of returns they accompanied their parents to the train station to greet their sister.
Standing on the station in the winter cold didn’t do anything to their resolve of making Amy feel unwelcomed. They even made a sign ‘WELCOME HOME LEADBUM’.
In a cloud of steam, the train arrived at the platform and the family awaited the arrived of their sister and daughter.
When the steam cleared there was no little flaming red head on the platform. The family were at first alarmed and then pleased in thinking maybe Amy had decided not to return home.
But along the platform glided a serenely beautiful young woman, her hair tied back, her dress and demeanor suggesting class and refinement.
As she approached a smile broke out across her lips.
“Mother? Father?” she announced.
Amy’s mother couldn’t believe her eyes as her once dumpy daughter was now this elegant and stunningly beautiful young lady. Her sisters realizing a transformation beyond belief had occurred took a step back and watched as this very well spoken girl regaled the family with stories of her years at boarding school.
Over dinner that night Amy was asked if she had any resentment at being sent away to school and not being able to return until now.
“No,”she replied, “School taught me about being me. It made me face the person I was and gave me opportunity to be the best I could be. So I did just that, I worked hard and I was honest with myself in that I listened to my teachers who taught me not only academia but how to be gracious and humble, how to relate to others and accept every one for who they are.”
Looking around the table she looked at each of her sisters and said very calmly: “I could never have achieved that living her with you bitches, could I.”
The next day Amy announced that a University in Paris had accepted her for a medical degree and she would be leaving that afternoon.
Once again the family watched their youngest daughter and sibling go away on the train only this time and still in shock at seeing her they were all silent wondering what they were to miss out on from this beautiful girl going out to do what none of them had the courage to do, take on the world.