Ali was wearing a really nice dress. I was sitting on the bed, jealous of her. Even though we looked exactly the same I always felt like she had a better body.
“Ali, can’t you just please tell me where the hell you’re going?” I whined. She shook her head. Her cheeks went red and her green eyes bored into mine.
“I can’t say- because you would just try to stop me. And mum already told me not to tell you.”
I was aghast. This carefree Ali was different to the Ali I knew. The Ali I knew was a serious, always-thinks-of-others-and-how-they-feel type. This was not Ali. Before she poked herself in the eye with the mascara wand, I decided to stop her.
“Where have you put my twin and what have you done with her. If you freaking probed her I will stab you in the eye…. Something that mascara wand is already trying to do.”
“I’m serious! Are you an alien? Why have you captured my sister?” I demanded. Ali laughed again and fluffed up her hair in the mirror. I rolled my eyes.
“It’s just a party! Ok!?” Ali laughed in my face and then stuck her tongue out at me. In her tight white dress, she kind of looked like that group of girls in our year that dressed and acted like a word that I did not want to say or even think. But Ali looked better than them. She rummaged in my drawer for something and I watched as she pulled out this black choker. It had a small charm off the end of it and it went in place with her skin colour.
In fifteen minutes of watching her, she had made her eyes do that smoky eyes thing that everyone was obsessed over. I had no idea how to use half the stuff, but Ali obviously did. She had red lipstick on and her hair was parted on the very side. It was wavy and hair sprayed into place so it looked a little messy. She looked at me and gave me a huge smile. I didn’t return it.
There was a knock at the door. I looked appraisingly at Ali and she looked excitedly at me.
“Can I borrow your black heels?” She asked me. I burst out laughing.
“Ali! They were your heels. You know for a fact that I don’t wear high heels. They are inventions of the devil and are stupid.” I told her. She grinned.
“Just because you can’t walk in them….” She mumbled. I laughed. She was right about that. I left her to her grooming and went to answer the door.
There at the door was the group of girls I was talking out. They looked over at me and introduced themselves.
“I’m Carrie, hi Ariela.” The leader said. She was dressed in the shortest dress I had ever seen and had these aviators glasses on which made her look way older than she was. Even without the glasses, she still looked older than me. The other girls, Iris, Cleo, Bianca and…..an empty spot…. were all in horridly short dresses. One of them had a leather jacket on was tall and looked Egyptian. The one called Carrie smiled at me. “Why don’t you join us?” She asked me. I shook my head.
“I can’t. But take care of Aleira, will you?” They all nodded seriously.
“I’m here!” Ali yelled as she hobbled down the stairs in her black heels. They all gasped and complimented every inch of her. I snorted when one of them complimented on her black choker. That was mine. “Hey, Ariela, join us! Please. I will love you.” Ali slurred. I rolled my eyes. She was acting drunk and weird. I knew she wasn’t. She wanted to fit in way too much.
“See you, Ali, have fun, you guys.” I watched them leave in the dark of the night and listened as Iris slung her arm around my twin’s shoulders.
“Why does she act like your mother?” Iris wanted to know. Ali turned to look at me, not knowing that I could hear every word.
“Because that’s what she thinks she is.” She scoffs. The rest of them guffawed and I slammed the door shut. I went into mum’s office and asked her if she knew where Ali was going. She told me it was at Bianca’s house. I went upstairs.
I found the shortest shorts that Ali owned and a midriff top. I was angry at Ali, and I wanted to get her back. I didn’t just want to get her back- I was determined. And I wasn’t going to stop until she got hurt. I looked at Ali’s array of makeup and was stunned. I had absolutely no idea. I looked at the thing called eyeliner and knew that it was used to line eyes. I hesitated before putting it on in a perfectly straight line. I was surprised. Even Ali couldn’t do it that good. I chose a different colour for the smoky eye and surprisingly did it well. I was a freaking natural. I straightened my hair and let my side fringe fall into my face. I didn’t like it. I pulled the fringe part back and created a small pouf. I smiled at my reflection and chose my ripped vans to go with it. They were my trusty item. They used to be fluoro pink, but now they were more on the side of fluoro pink with black and brown and other dusty things all over it.
I Googled directions to this Bianca’s house and walked there within 10 minutes. There was music on full blast and as I walked through the door, everyone stopped and stared at me. I was nervous. I hated attention, but as soon as everyone in my year was looking at me, I kind of liked it. I paced into the middle and the music stopped all of a sudden. My heart thudded against my chest and I looked at everyone, adopting that air that some people had when they look down at people.
“Does anyone know where I can find Ali?” I asked in a loud and clear voice. Some people lifted their shaking hands and pointed towards the pool. There was barely anyone out there, but I spotted two figures. I saw their hands touching and I stormed out into the cool night. I watched as the guy I liked hugged Ali as she acted like she was cold. I knew she was lying because she never got cold. I huffed and puffed and turned back into the house. The party was in full ball again and I saw the person that Ali liked. That person- William- was dancing with almost everyone.
I decided to join in. Honestly, I had no idea how to dance and I had no idea what I was doing, what dance moves were ‘cool’ and which weren’t. But I joined in and started dancing with this William guy. I saw Ali come in and that’s when I did it. I pulled this William guy in and kissed him. I watched Ali and saw the look on her face when she realised it was me. The William guy pulled away and put his hands around my waist.
“Which twin are you?” He asked breathlessly.
“Ariel,” I replied with a smile, “the twin that likes to have fun.”
“I can roll with that.” He smiled back at me.
It was super uncomfortable but I went along with it. Ali looked like she had tears in her eyes and I felt bad- for a moment- then I put my arms around William and continued dancing.
“Ari, where’d Ali go?” Carrie asked me at some point in the night. I shrugged and she turned to go but I grabbed her wrist and told her to stay. She smiled mischievously and joined in. Soon enough we were a little circle of dancing people and I learnt more about the girls who I thought were airheads than I ever thought I would know.
At three minutes past midnight I watched Ali hug Iris and then grabbed her clutch and jacket. She stormed straight through the open door. I knew she had left for good. I told William that I had to go. He grabbed his own jacket and offered me a ride home. I accepted, knowing that the night had become very cool.
When I arrived home, the light was on in my room. William said goodbye and that he would see tomorrow at school. I hugged him politely and watched him leave. I was singing some of the songs that we danced to under my breath as I walked up the staircase. I didn’t bother saying hello to my mother; she wouldn’t have said anything back. I closed the door behind me and smiled. Ali was lying on my bed with a magazine. She acted like she didn’t see me. I lay next to her and squinted at the magazine. It was an old copy of Dolly. She sighed and closed it when she knew that I was still reading it. She went and turned the light off, hopped into her bed and pulled the covers up over her head.
I turned the light back on and sat on the end of her bed.
“Talk to me Ali.” I ordered. She didn’t respond. “Ali, I know you can hear me, so talk to me, it won’t kill you.”
“You knew I liked him!” She yelled at me and she sat up quicker than I anticipated. Ali’s eyes had woven a pattern of tears over her face, with makeup everywhere and her hair, which was in perfect place only a few hours ago were madly out of place. My jaw dropped. It wasn’t like her to forget what she did.
“I saw you with Beau.”
“Who the hell is Beau?” She asked me. I shook my head, disgusted with her. She brought a hand to her eyes and started laughing. “You mean the guy who hugged me? Dude was he drunk-
“There was no alcohol there Ali! It was year 9 and 10’s only. None of them were even old enough to buy alcohol let alone be stupid enough to drink it. Don’t lie. You knew how I felt about him.” Ali was the one to shake her head now.
“Ok, we kissed. But, I swear to you, I did not do it because I knew you liked him. He was just being really nice to me, and after Bianca was a bitch to me, I went and sat by the pool and he came, sat next to me, thought I was cold, gave me a hug, we talked and then kissed, went in, feeling better and then I saw you kissing the guy I actually did like.”
I crossed my arms and sniffed. I didn’t feel any sympathy.
“Yeah, well now you know what it’s like for someone to kiss the guy you like. William was being really nice to me. Sure he’s a bit stuck up, but he was really nice.”
“Why do you think I like him?” She snapped. I held up my arms in surrender to make her think she had won and that I was sorry. Obviously, though, Ali wasn’t finished. “But honestly, you can have him now because he obviously only like’s girls who dress like skanks.”
Ali’s eyes narrowed as she spat that comment out at me and I didn’t say anything. She lay back in her bed and told me to turn the effing lights off. I had never heard her use that language before. I thought about what she had said and bit my lip. Sure I was angry and I wanted so much to forgive her but I didn’t want to be like every other book character and forgive and forget and be friends straight away. It was like my friendship with this girl named Maria. I had never even seen a Maria before and I wanted to be friends with her. We became friends and we always fought- really bad fights- but we always made up and were best friends again.
But just a year ago, I had a friend who went behind my back and said stuff about me. She called me names and thought it wouldn’t come back to her. Her name was Jasmine. I chose, instead of forgiving and forgetting like I did with Maria, to ignore her and pretend like she didn’t exist.
Maria came up to me one day during Science and asked me what was wrong. We weren’t as close friends anymore sadly. She said she could read me like a book and she knew when I was sad. I missed my friendship with her so badly and I wanted to tell her everything but I couldn’t. I said nothing.
It was a Morton’s Fork. Two equally as bad decisions, but I had had experience in both sides. Though neither of those experiences had been about my own, flesh and blood sister who I lived with every day; eating breakfast, eating dinner… There wasn’t much I didn’t do without her.
Decision one was not to forgive her and the other decision was to forgive her and go about life forgetting. There wasn’t an easy decision. I was still sitting on her bed and she kicked me until I decided to get off it. Ali swore at me a few times.
I got into my own bed. I heard an old song in my mind- Dust in the Wind by Kansas. It played through my mind. I closed my eyes and started humming it under my breath. I felt my brain strain to be awake. I started singing it quietly. I realised that I still had not changed out of the shorts and mid-riff top that I was wearing. At least I took off my shoes, but honestly I didn’t care. I almost fell into a deep slumber but I stopped myself until I had finished the song.
Then I let the blackness take over. I could hear the song in my mind still.
Then suddenly, I couldn’t hear anything at all.