Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder



It's always been like this. 

Back when I had been twelve I had begun my transition into the rebellious teenager that I am now. I had dyed my hair black and had pierced my ear. Of course, one thing I would suggest is never to dye your hair black by yourself in a bathroom that is purely designed out of very expensive porcelain. Needless to say, mom and dad had made me dye my hair back immediately, but my ear piercing remained my secret. Though I was back to Zack's identical double the damage had been done. I was all ready a different person. 

"Today wasn't so bad," Zack was saying beside me as I drove us home. I could almost feel Karly smirking in the back of the car. "Not much happened here."

"That tends to happen, Zack," Karly said, "when you get us to move to such a random place."

"Karly, I always knew I could count on your positive attitude." Zack commented. "What about you Mic? How'd it go for you?"

I shrugged and continued staring at the road in front of me. 

"Come on, there were some seriously cute girls in our classes."

"I wanted to ask you about that," I said, "what are you going to do with all the girls?"

He punched my arm, "You remember what we used to do in Cali--it shouldn't be too hard to do it here."

Back in Los Angeles, Zack had been the number one celebrity. More popular than any of the other kids who were daughters or sons of business owners, actors, or directors, Zack had run the school. Of course, like Peter Parker was told by his Uncle Ben, "With great power, comes great responsibility", Zack had a lot on his hands. A film every couple of months and screaming girls had made him nearly insane. I realized this the moment that he appeared behind the school where I hung out with my friends. 

"Mic, we need to talk." He had said while fanning away the cigarette smoke from my friends’ dirty habit. As rebellious as I am, I never picked up on the deadly addiction.

I'd given him a look of contempt before walking towards him. "What?"

"I have a proposition for you." He'd told me of how he would pay me to impersonate him when things got too annoying with his school life, translation: girls. I was hesitant at first because Zack wasn't exactly my favorite person then and he isn't now, but even I could sense his desperation. So I had agreed.

"Do you remember Mic?" He was still insisting as I returned to the here and now.

"I'll think about it." I said, not looking at him.




Dad's job had easily transferred him over to Canada and mom had started to show her enthusiasm on the road trip across the border. Karly had accepted the change and of course Zack was more than eager to start all over again. Me though, I felt like I was leaving part of me behind with my friends. 

Canada, I knew, would eventually get cold and though as a child I had always wondered about snow, I wasn't so curious anymore. The nights would begin to get colder, and the days would start to get shorter, but at least the stars were visible in the night sky. 

I was lying out back in an old hammock that the old lady, who used to live here, had left behind. I was in my favorite black Rolling Stones t-shirt and faded blue jeans. My white tennis shoes appeared to glow in the darkness, and my blond hair was a heap that threatened to cover my eyes as I stared up at a clear sky for the first time. The stars appeared to glow around a moon that looked to be missing a piece at its side, but though it looked uncompleted it still shone down brightly. 

A gentle warm wind blew through the night causing the leaves in the tree branches above me to rustle and with it came the sounds and smells of my new neighbors. Their kitchen window was open and the light disturbed my sky gazing. If life was going to be this slow in Toronto, I might as well find something to entertain myself with, so I lifted myself up until I was sitting on the hammock and watched the scene unfold in front of me. 

A woman near my mom's age was balancing several plates in her hands while the girl I had seen a week before, came racing up to help her. A guy, maybe my age or younger, walked into the scene and also helped his swaggering mother, but only after stealing some food from one of the plates. The sounds of their voices rode the warm summer breeze towards me and I heard their questions and answers of the day. The situation was intoxicating. 

"I never knew you were a Peeping Tom Mic." Zack surprised me and I turned around quickly, which caused me to lose my balance. 

I lay still on the grass staring up at Zack as he peered across the backyard and into the neighbors' kitchen window. 

"It would be nice, to have a family like that."

"You have one." I finally rose up onto my elbows. "You're just a little more famous than the rest of us."

Zack smirked, "Right." He sat down on the now empty hammock and looked down at me. "So, remember what I suggested earlier?"

"The twin-switch?" 

"Yeah, how about it?" He asked.

"Sure, but you pay me the same as always." I said.


"Why'd you want to come to such a random place?" I asked, starting to lift myself up and onto the hammock beside him.

He shrugged, "I don't know." I looked at him and he shook his head, defeated. "My friend Alex, you remember him?"

I nodded. 

"Yeah, well, he filmed a film down here a few months ago and he kept raving about it, so I thought: why not?"

I gave his answer a sarcastic snort, "Yeah, cause your curiosity has to take the family everywhere."

"Well Mic, you can either hate it or love it--"

"You know what I think."

"--but we're here to stay, understood?" 

I looked down at the grass that covered my shoes. The silvery light of the uncompleted moon gave the grass an eerie aura. "Do I have any choice?"

"Nope, plus, you were too strange back home."

I looked at him now, anger beginning to build in my chest.

"You were rebellious and always in trouble," he raised his hands defensively. "Don't look at me like that! Even mom and dad were starting to worry."

A door in the background shut loudly behind us in the neighboring backyard and we both looked back. The brunette from the other day walked quietly towards the back entrance of the garage without seeing us. Her long hair was in a loose ponytail and her face was in the shadow of the trees that took over her spacious backyard. Her back was straighter, but her steps were heavy, as if a burden was strapped tightly to both of her legs.

"She's cute." I heard Zack say.

I grunted in agreement and watched her walk back into her house, instantly making the night emptier. 

"These people aren't used to us Zack," I said. "With us comes problems and unfamiliar circumstances, we shouldn't ruin others' peace so that your curiosity can be fulfilled."

"Since when have you cared about what happens around our family?" He asked. "You're rarely ever around to see what's happening."

I gave him a stern look. "I may not be around a lot Zack, but I am around a lot more than you." I stood up quickly and looked back at him before going inside. "And leave our neighbor alone, you've messed with enough people all ready."

The End

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