The third born in a family of three sisters, Salene always felt that she would never match up to her eldest sister. Everyone loved Sahara. She had been conceived on a trip to Egypt (as her parents were fond of telling anyone who would listen). She had more than a dash of the mysteries of Egypt and the Sahara in her nature and definitely looked the exotic type. A beautiful girl, Sahara could charm the birds off the trees and enchanted everyone that met her. She was intelligent too and had a wonderful personality. Exciting, vivacious, effervescent and always on the go, Sahara was the it girl that everyone wanted to know. And she was nice with it. She was sincere and sensitive and caring.
How could Salene ever feel important when Sahara was around? Salene was pretty too and had a great personality but nothing could compare to her amazing sister. Salene adored Sahara and doted on her every word. She felt lucky to have such a person in her family but deep inside her lurked a green-eyed monster.
The second sister, Devon was born two years after Sahara and was a musical genius. Blessed with such musical talents and good looks Devon was an instant hit with the family and their friends and whilst she didn’t quite match up to the startling persona that was Sahara, Devon did pretty well in the attention stakes. But Devon was a troubled girl. There was restlessness in her that nobody could understand. She seemed to be a lost spirit trapped in a world she felt that she didn’t belong to.
Salene was the lucky last, without the luck. She loved both sisters and wanted them to do well in their lives, was happy for them. But she resented the fact that it was always her that got left behind. She had to do the chores because Sahara was out entertaining and being entertained by the neighborhood. Devon couldn’t possibly do the washing up or anything the least bit domesticated in case she injured her talented piano playing fingers.
Salene was the one who had to sit for hours and listen to Devon talk of the adventures she would have one day, of the wonderful career that awaited her and the places she would visit. Salene was the one who had to listen to the tales that Sahara would tell of parties and boyfriends and all the glittering social events that had taken place.
All Salene was really good at was taking care of other people and try as she might to change herself to be more noticeable she was soon aware that she was just the wallflower who was appreciated in her own way but taken for granted and often went unnoticed.
Sahara had recently begun horseriding more often. When the phone rang one Saturday afternoon the terrible news came through. The horse that Sahara had been riding on had bolted. Sahara had fallen off and was killed instantly.
The family was distraught. Mother and Father could not get a hold of themselves, they were put on medication just to get them through the horrendous days and nights that followed.
Devon just could not handle the situation at all. She packed her things and disappeared one night. The note she left said that she had been offered a place at a faraway musical institution and she had decided to pour her grief into her music.
Salene was now alone with her parents. The parents that she loved but who she felt had never shown her the love that she deserved. The love that she needed. The love that she craved. She was also devastated at losing her two sisters so suddenly. Salene ran away. She roamed the streets for a few nights. She stayed with a friend for a while. But then she realized that she needed to be with her parents. To be strong for them. To be strong for the memory of Sahara and to try to find exactly where her other crazy sister had gone to.
Within days of returning home to the surprisingly welcoming arms of her parents (who could not bear the trauma of losing yet another daughter) the virus hit home, literally. Perhaps it was because both of her parents were so run down with the stresses and strains of what had happened in their lives? Perhaps it was that they were on medication that had made their immune systems lower? Whatever the reason, Salene lost both parents very quickly to this terrifying plague within hours of each other. Before they died however they managed to whisper in her ear that they loved her more than she could ever know. That she was as important and beautiful in their eyes as their other daughters were and that she would do great things with her life.
Relieved, confused, emotionally exhausted, Salene tried to find out where the musical institution was that Devon had gone. But all she could find was a trail of lies. It appeared that Devon had actually been in a relationship with a foreign man and had gone away to be with him. Gone where, Salene couldn’t find out. She only knew that it was somewhere overseas. Well, at least her sister was going to see some of the places she had so often dreamt about.
Salene had to come up with a plan before she drove herself crazy. She wanted to live, to really live and enjoy the life that had been taken away from her family, the life that her sister Devon had chosen to embrace with both arms. Salene resolved then and there to do what she was good at. She would do all she could to care for others, to give love to others and to keep her treasured memories locked away deep inside her. Her family had gone but she still had the memories and nobody could take those away from her.