Start it with an A
For exactly six years, eight months, and 5 days, I had three siblings. My oldest sister was five when I was born. Her name is Adelaide but we call her Addie. My other sister was three years old. Her name is Alexandra and we call her Alex. And then there was Daniel who was called Danny. He was exactly forty-seven minutes older than me. We were two peas in a pod, never separated. We also looked exactly the same except he was a boy and I’m a girl. My mom said we weighed the same amount when we were born, exactly the same, and having someone there even though we fought, it was nice.
When we were four, Danny and I found a pair of scissors lying precariously on the kitchen table and, when no one was looking, he cut my two brown braids off so we could switch spots. Surprisingly, it worked and it was fun for a while. We tricked both Alex and Addie. We almost tricked our mother but she quickly realized when I wouldn’t eat my broccoli at dinner and we were both put in a time out. “Daniel and Anastasia Krom, you are both in serious trouble.” I can still her hear voice saying that.
My mom was very serious about names. She said everyone should have a long name first, that their mother could use, or put on a resume to make you seem more professional. But your name should also lend itself easily to a nickname for your friends and family to show you’re not uptight. She also said, when a baby is born, it is a new beginning. Therefore the baby's name should start with letter A because that is the first letter of the alphabet and then the baby could concur with each other letter from then on.
She wanted to name Danny Anthony and call him Tony. But three months before my brother and I were born, my father died. His name was Daniel so my mom named her last son Daniel. But for me, she stuck with the A and named me Anastasia and everyone called me Anna.
We live in the middle of nowhere, Virginia, in a giant house. Our closest neighbor is not really that close but since there are not very many people around, we know everyone in a 25-mile radius. Surrounding our house are many many trees. We never got girl scouts knocking on our door and on Halloween we had to drive an hour just to get to somewhere we could trick-or-treat. We had a very big yard that we can run around all day which is nice for four kids who could never be contained.
Every year we would take a family photo on a rock in our back yard. Then my mom would line us up from oldest to youngest. It’s funny because we all have the same face. Our mother’s blue eyes. Our father’s tan skin. We all had a mix between my mother and my father’s noes. Addie was always the tallest and then, just a foot shorter than her, would be Alex. Then Danny and four inches shorter would me.
We don’t take that picture anymore.
This is a story about the aftermath of a girl who was kidnapped at the age of six. She suffers the lose of her brother and we watch as she grows through it, even with many setbacks Anna still comes back stronger than before.