The book was slung into my arms, I opened my eyes. I looked at the last line and realised I had done the exact same thing that the main character ‘Maria’ had done. This time it was Ashton who yawned. I was super tired.
“I can sleep on the lounge, go ahead and go to your room and go to sleep.”
“To be honest… Ari…” Ashton mumbled, half asleep. “I don’t want to be left alone tonight.”
I half smiled to myself and watched as he closed his eyes and dropped off to sleep. Only a half second later, I followed.
In sleep, I dreamt. I dreamt that I was trying to contact Ali but considering how I was sleeping on Ashton’s lounge, she wouldn’t talk to me. She had on her favourite denim mini shorts and a white singlet. She looked comfortable and though she was faded and pale, unlike her usual self. While she was alive, she had tanned skin. She was tanned and beautiful. Though she was still beautiful, she was white as a ghost. I think she was a ghost though.
“Ali, why won’t you talk to me?” I wept, following after her floating figure like a lost puppy. She ignored me and I felt abandoned even more than I did when mum said she thought I should get out of the house. I tried to catch up with Ali. I was always faster than her and I ran, and ran, and ran. I was almost behind her and I reached out to touch my twin sister for the last time but as soon as I was about to make contact with her ghostly skin, she appeared twenty metres in front of me. “Ali, stop. I just want to talk to you.” I said impatiently. She suddenly turned around and looked at me with her otherworldly appearing eyes. They were bright green orbs and I recoiled as I stared into them.
“Then TALK TO ME.” She shrieked. Her face was an inch from mine when I next blinked and I opened my mouth to speak, to apologise. “I WISH YOU WERE DEAD, ARI, FOR NOT CARING ENOUGH TO NOTICE THAT I WAS DYING INSIDE FOR ABOUT A MONTH.” I felt tears trickle down my cheeks and I felt her cold breath washing over me. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath.
“I miss you so much, Ali, if I could go back, I would have got you to tell me more about what was happening. I would’ve done everything I could. Ali I’m so sorry, I love you so much, Twinnie and I miss you- God, I miss you… Don’t leave me now. Please.” I whispered. I opened my eyes and Ali was farther away from me than before.
“You haven’t changed a bit. Where I am now, I have people who care for me. I have a new best friend. And she is a much better twin than you would have EVER been.”
It went straight through my heart that comment and I stared at Ali, breathing deeply before blinking the tears out of my eyes. Suddenly Ali was gone. I lowered my body to the floor and wept.
I sat up crying and moaning. Ashton was awake and staring at me in concern. I closed my eyes in the darkness and wept as I was in my dream.
“Did you have a nightmare? It’s understandable. I had them for months after my sister died.” Ashton said. I nodded and put my head in my hands.
“Ali said that she had a new best friend and she was better than I would ever be. She hates me, Ashton, she hates me.” I wailed. Ashton shook his head.
“You’re trying to make sense of why she died-
“You don’t know that. What if it was real and I did find her-
“Ari, it was just a dream, ok. I know. I went through something like that too. You wouldn’t think so, but my sister and I were closer than….most siblings.” Ashton half smiled. “Go to sleep. Don’t think about Ali, just go to sleep. See you in the morning.”
I ceased my sobbing and he put a hand on my back.
“Sshh, Ari, it’s alright…” His hand disappeared and I blinked, trying to see in the darkness.
He closed his eyes and fell asleep instantly. I could never do that. I closed my eyes, got into a comfortable position on the suede lounge and tried to get to sleep.