Chapter OneMature

 

1.

High school.

You know those words just gave you the chills. If you're in high school at this very moment or even if it's been a while, that “chill” was probably a shudder of terror. If you're going into high school, it's probably a shiver of anticipation – both good and bad – just like mine was, pre-high school.

Either way, you, in essence, know exactly what I'm talking about.

Now, I don't want to sound jaded here or anything (me? jaded? psh.)(yes, that was sarcasm) but high school is a total drama-filled hell-hole.

For one thing, it starts before the sun is even up. Doesn't the Board of Education know teenagers are nocturnal? Most of us would be just going to bed when school starts if we had the choice.

Second? They don't let us take weapons into the building (uh, I'm sorry, but if one more jock or male faculty member grabs my ass, it's my freaking right to defend myself) but they let us (read: make us) carry those useless heavy text books around. Those things are weapons within themselves.

Lastly, putting almost a thousand teenagers in one building all at the same time and expecting them to learn is a plan doomed to eternal failure.

Why?

One word.

Hormones.

*

I swear, Temperance. No one on this earth could ever, ever butcher Shakespeare more than Mrs. K! And I love Shakespeare!” whined, throwing my stupid English packet to the far side of Temperance's bedroom.

I don't know, Cougar seems to give her a run for her money.” She replied, not even looking up from her nails and emery board.

She's trying to make us see what isn't there! If Shakespeare wanted something put into words, he would have done it himself, not left a bunch of brain dead disinterested teenagers to do it for him!” My voice was quickly ripping through more than a few octaves, slipping in to a frequency that humans could hardly hear.

Shh, shh. Calm down, Alix, sweetheart. It's just homework.” Temp tried to soothe me, finally looking up from her manicure to tuck a piece of my hair behind my ear before moving to tame my own sharp talons that I dare to call fingernails.

Great. Just great. Now I have the resident Drama Queen trying to freaking soothe me.” My shoulders slumped in defeat as I gave in to her pampering. “It really is just a packet, isn't it?”

Yes, it is, sugarplum.” She said, still in that consoling tone of voice. Temperance was an expert at dealing with my temper tantrums, just as I was with hers.

Why are you so mellow? I feel like we've traded bodies, Freaky Friday style. Are you high?”

Says the girl who just threw a fit over a Julius Caesar packet.” She looked up at me through her eyelashes, flashing me a smile. “Give me your other hand, would you?” She said, dropping my right hand and holding her palm out for my left. “I feel like I should be asking you if you're high. Are the nail polish fumes getting to you?”

Who's high and why aren't they sharing? Oh, hey, Alix!” Jamie said, strutting through Temperance's open bedroom door and plopping on to her bed behind me.

Oh, hey, Jamie...” I mumbled, trying to will myself not to blush crimson.

Fuck off, Twin.” Temperance snapped at him, raising an eyebrow at me while doing so.

That's no way to speak to someone who shares almost your exact DNA.”

I'm older.” Temp said, crossing her arms and sticking her tongue out at him like the oh-so mature fifteen year old that she was.

I'm taller.”

Oh, yeah. Rub in the height difference, why don't you.”

That's sort of the idea, Twin.” From the corner of my eye, I saw Jamie shoot Temperance a smug smile.

Break it up, you two. You're worse than an old married couple.” I said, pushing them away from where they were slowly starting to inch towards each other in defense.

We are worse than an old married couple, Alix. We're teenage twins.” Jamie pointed out, being a smart alack.

I rolled my eyes at him and he gave me a little smirk in return, which caused my face to flush yet again. “Whatever, Jamie.”

Temperance's eyes had went wide watching Jamie and I interact, and I knew I was going to be in for it as soon as Jamie was out of earshot. Thankfully, she was merciful enough to wait until then. “Get out, Twin. Me and Alix are having girl time. Don't make me start talking about bras and tampons.” She threatened, and I knew for a fact that she was dead serious.

I can't hear you!” Jamie screamed at the top of his lungs, running out of the room with his hands clamped tightly over his ears.

You are SUCH a wuss!” I yelled after him.

Real men can handle tampon talk!” Tempe added.

Real men can buy tampons for their sisters or girlfriends without complaining!” I yelled one last time before getting up and slamming Temperance's door shut.

There. Peace and quiet. Boys.” I said, rolling my eyes and trying to divert her attention. It didn't work; my voice had started to rise in pitch again.

Alix....” She said, cocking an eyebrow at me again.

Temperance...” I replied, trying to match the tone of her voice without sounding nervous.

I failed miserably.

Alixandra Davis! You like my brother?!” She shouted in disbelief.

Shut up, Temp! He can hear you!” I slapped my hand over her mouth, doing nothing to muffle her volume but luckily masking whatever she was attempting to say.

And that was when she licked me.

Delicately removing my hand from her face, she spoke at a normal volume. “So you're not denying it, then?”

Temperance smiled at me, eyes growing dark and pixie-like face lighting up with a wicked unknown pleasure.

I was so far beyond screwed.

I... No, Temp, I'm not denying it. I.. kind of really like Jamie.” I sighed.

You know what that means, don't you?” Her expression softened slightly, but her eyes were still alight.

No... What does that mean?”

We could really be sisters!” Tempe exclaimed, wrapping her skinny little arms around me and leaning her cheek against my shoulder.

Whoa, Temperance! That's jumping to conclusions a little quickly, isn't it?” I asked, voice yet again a little high from shock.

No it's not! You two would be so perfect for each other! Meant to be! Twin telepathy, remember? I would bet my life on it!” She said, giving me her best puppy dog eyes and my shoulders a tight squeeze. “You've at least got to give it a try.”

I... No, Temperance! Having a guy around would interfere with The Plan!” I struggled profusely, though I knew Temperance always got what she wanted – especially if I had anything to do with it.

What, The Plan to go to UNC, go into physical therapy, become a career woman, and then look for love? Love waits for no one, Alix.”

Temp....” I whined uselessly.

Let me tell you a little secret, Alix. My twin has been in love with you since we were little! Give it a chance.” Temperance was practically begging, a rare sight. She was starting to make me wonder if she had a little motivation of her own.

I don't ask guys out – I let them ask me.” I argued feebly.

I've noticed. And how many guys have you dated using that method?”

Two...”

You're almost fifteen, Alix. You've dated two guys and have never been kissed. You've got to take the offensive!”

Fine, Temperance. How should I take the offensive?”

You ask him to Homecoming. That'll give him the courage to do the rest.” Tempe said simply.

And if that doesn't work?” I asked, still the tiniest bit doubtful.

It will. Trust me.”

I don't know...”

Alix.” She said, giving me a knowing look.

Fine, Temperance. You owe me. Big time.” I said, giving in to both my best friend's pushing and my own heart's.

The End

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