Amanda followed her mother reluctantly and grudgingly, she knew this was serious business or her mother wouldn't have called her by her name Amanda, instead of Mandy, as everybody did in a light-hearted mood. There was a soft knock on the door, as if the person on the other side was unsure if this was the wisest decision or not. Nonetheless, the knock was there. Elisa turned the knob of the door and pulled it open, the mirror image of Amanda was standing before her, but she had sadder and grimmer eyes than her twin sister. Madelaine Martin also had amber colored hair, but it was shorted and much more straighter than Amanda's, her eyes were large and keen, but now it was only a puddle of sad tears, her skin was extremely pale, and her complexion was that of an underfed youngster.
"Maddie, my baby," Elisa said, pulling Madelaine in her arms and embracing her daughter tightly. She kissed her hair, her forehead, and her cheek and hugged her again. "Are you okay? Did you had a good flight?"
"Yes," came Madelaine's automatic answer. She didn't know what to feel around her mother, she missed her at times, but not as much as she missed her dear father. Of course, this wasn't something she would tell her mother or her twin sister, ever. "How are you, mother?" Mother, that strange word left echoes in her mind as the word rolled off her tongue. It was as if it were a strange language she hadn't yet got the handle of it. It felt alien and strange to say the least.
"I'm good, happy to have you here with us," Elisa said, looking fully at her youngest daughter, "you look tired, would you like to sleep now? We can talk tomorrow..." Madelaine nodded, it was the only thing she could do, she felt tired and beat up, and she didn't want to talk, not even to her "family". "Go sleep my child, I will make sure your things are here when you wake up tomorrow, Amanda will show you your room." Her eyes lingered on Amanda's still figure standing lonely by the stairs. Amanda smiled and nodded, beckoning Madelaine to follow her.
Everything in her is so much unlike me, how come we're sisters? Even her name is foreign and antique to say the least, thought Amanda as she saw her sister approaching her with a forced smile on her thin lips. Elisa talked with the driver about the arrangements of Madelaine's belongings while the two twins climbed the carpeted stairs.
"Welcome to America," Amanda said as she was leading the way toward the second floor and down a long hall of doors, "where we drink coffee instead of tea and have cookies instead of biscuits." She tried to cheered up her sister, but in vain. Madelaine only nodded and continued in her silence. "I know you've been here before, but since this will be your permanent home, I thought it would be better to welcome you in a better way."
"Thank You," Madelaine said halfheartedly, "I can't wait to get acquainted better with you and mother."
"You might as well call her mom," Amanda turned to look at Madelaine when they reached her room, "she likes it better little sis." Her bitterness was gone and now replaced with sibling compassion. Both of them stared at each other for painful minutes before Madelaine broke her downturn lips into a sly of a smile.
"Good night, Mandy," she said, placing her hands on the knob, "I hope we can tell many things to each other tomorrow."
"We don't have to rush it, Maddie," Amanda said warmly, "we have a lifetime ahead of us. Now sleep." Madelaine nodded and entered her room, closing the door quietly behind her. Amanda stood by the door for some minutes, feeling miserable. Tears streamed down her face as she thought the twist her life had suddenly taken, she wasn't sure if she liked it or not. Anger and resentment got the better out of her again, and she wished her sister was suffering as much, or more, as she was suffering now. And soon enough her desires were answered, because from inside Madelaine's room, a stifled sob was heard. Amanda, feeling guilty, but slightly pleasured, rushed to her room and cried her heart out for what she considered no apparent reason.