When Emily gets home she burst into the bedroom she shares with Joanie, and flops on her bed.
Joanie is reading in the wide window seat. This is her favourite spot in the house. The window sill is thickly padded, and she can pull the drapes across if she wants to be alone with her thoughts, or a book.
"I'm going to the prom with David."
Emily squeals, kicking her feet as she hugs her pillow. Joanie lowers her book and looks over the top of it.
"David asked you to the prom? How did that happen? He's been walking on eggshells around you ever since the mistletoe incident."
"Well, he didn't exactly ask me out. I just put it out there that I needed a date for the prom. David didn't say anything just then, but Kyle was very snotty about telling me that he had better taste in girls."
Emily rolled on her side to face her sister in the window seat.
"I'll bet he was," Joanie giggles. "Then what did David say?"
"He said he couldn't dance, and I offered to teach him."
"Well, good luck with that."
"Have you got a date for the prom?"
Joanie picks up her book and pretends to read.
"Joanie, I said..."
"I know, I heard you.." Joanie mumbles evasively.
"No, I guess I don't.. anymore."
Emily walks over to the window seat and kneels beside it. She takes the book away from Joanie and earnestly looks up into her beloved twin's sad face.
"What's up with you Jo Jo? You've been jumpy and secretive for the last month. You don't talk to me anymore, about anything. You sneak off right after school, and I don't know where you've gone. You show up at home hours later and you won't tell us where you've been. Did you get involved with drugs after we promised we wouldn't.?"
"I hope you don't really think I'm that stupid. No I'm not doing drugs!!! I'll swear on a bible if you want!"
Joanie cried defensively.
"That won't be necessary. I believe you. Just tell me what is going on!"
"I..I can't.. I was so dumb. People have always thought that I was the smart twin, the good twin.. nobody knew, not even you that I was the jealous twin."
"What are you talking about Jo Jo? You're not making any sense."
Joanie puts her feet up on the seat and huddles into the cardigan that she has worn for two days.
"Never mind, just leave me alone. Why don't you go shopping for your perfect prom dress, to impress your perfect boyfriend. Then you can have the most perfect night of your perfect life at your very own perfect prom!!!"
Joanie bursts into tears and tries to climb over her sister to get away. Emily grabs the cardigan and it falls off Joanie's shoulders. A hideous purple bruise is revealed on the inside of her arm. It stretches all the way from her elbow to her arm pit.
"Oh my God, what happened to you?"
Emily gasped, in shock from sight of the bruise.
"Leave me alone!"
Joanie runs down the stairs, out the door and down to the arbour at the bottom of their back lawn.
The entrance to it was an archway trellis covered with green leaves and climbing roses. It was a favourite spot for the girls to go to with a date for complete privacy. It was also a good place to hide when someone was completely miserable and just wanted to be alone.