No lights were needed for me to know that Tina's eyes were throwing lightnings my way. Yet, she flipped open the switch and revealed her angry posture. Her eyebrows narrowed, and her lips pressed into a thin line.
I gulped at the thought of what cruel revenge she could muster up for me being here… and she didn't even know that I read her message.
Hell was coming my way.
"Your phone." I managed to say and pointed to the desk behind me, afraid to turn my back to the mean angry girl.
A look of realization dawned on her face as she followed my pointer to the device, and she let out a sigh.
"I went to look for it. Where was it?" she asked with a calmer tone, but I could tell she was still on edge.
"In the bathroom." I simply answered.
I was no coward, but I didn't want her wrath to spill on me. I didn't want to be complicated… but I made it anyway.
"I know your secret, but don't worry. I am not judging you or anything." I said, looking away for some unknown reason.
"What did you say? What sec--” She cut herself off and her eyes widened. “Did you… Have you been reading my messages?!" she returned to her yelling and walked a few steps to reach her laptop. "How much did you read?" she screamed, while her fingers were digging into her scalp.
I just stood in the same place, watched her with compassion, instead of leaving or being scared. It was not my business to mess with her life and who she liked. I just blurted it out so it was there. We should be closer, as Dad said, right?
"Enough… but the photo, taking the whole display of your computer was enough," I answered calmly and lifted my shoulders.
I wasn't smiling. I was concentrating on keeping a neutral expression. I didn't feel like smiling at all and I didn't want her to think that I was laughing at her or that I thought something was discriminatory. This was serious and very important to her. I would never make someone feel bad about being gay or confessing it. I even had some urge to help her somehow... if she would let me.
"Hell! You of all people... Don't you dare say anything to anyone! Do you hear me?! You had no right coming into my room at all!" She continued screaming, but for some reason, I wanted to give her a hug.
This day was getting stranger by the minute. At the start, the mean boy turned out to be nice. I got my first detention. After that, I found some comfort when I saw Steven in the hall. Then it looked like I hand painted people's hearts. I was chased in the parking lot by a celebrity. I cut off one of my favorite T-shirts and now discovered that I wanted to give a hug to an evil gay twin step-sister.
"I am not outing you. Why would I do that to you?" I asked innocently, confusion evident in my words.
She plopped down on the chair near the desk, and as soon as she saw her mobile, she snapped her head my way with a worried look. I guessed what her thoughts were and spoke before she could question me.
"No, Tina I didn't search your phone for more secrets," I said, as I rolled my eyes.
"I... I am glad you didn't. I mean, not that I have something to hide there. Just glad that you did not look for anything on purpose." She explained in a normal tone.
Tina seemed exhausted and somehow defeated. I had never seen her like that. This secret thing must have tortured her for a long time. She was already 18 years old and in the last year of school. She kept this inside for who knows how long and it must have eaten her whole.
"I am not that bad once you get to know me." I tried to joke.
"I am not some evil Barbie too." She said, as she got up and walked outside to the small balcony of her room, and leaned on the railing. The cars passed by on a busy street near our home, reminding me of Christmas lights. I welcomed the fresh air that night had brought.
I followed her and felt like she needed someone to talk to, so I kept quiet.
So she knew people called her a Barbie sometimes?
"No one knows this. Absolutely no one. I fear that all will change after I… say it, um… come out." She sighed, fighting by habit the need to finally reveal her thoughts.
"Tina, we might not be close, but you must know that I am always on your side. You can talk to me when you feel like it," she looked at me with a confused expression, so I continued. "Does Emma know? Or Steven?"
"No. No one..." She said, watching me with unbelieving eyes. "Why would you do this for me? Why would you keep my secret?... Or be friendly to me?"
"Why wouldn't I be?" I answered and this time a smile popped up on my face.
She gazed into the darkness of our yard and I watched how the wind played with her long, almost white hair. Now I was seeing her in a different light. Not because she confessed to being gay, but had she somehow trowed out her mask of a selfish, shallow human.
In front of me was a smart, sensitive, lonely, and confused girl. She had friends but never trusted them enough with this. Now I was invading her most personal space, but I wasn't going to ruin it for her.
I am a friendly invader.
I mentally laughed at my own joke.
"So, what were you doing in the bathroom to your ugly shirt to become even uglier?" She questioned with narrowed eyebrows.
I looked down at my naked tummy, remembering why I left my room, and scratched the back of my head, feeling embarrassment becoming evident on my cheeks.
"I was hoping to change my appearance a little. I am going to watch ‘Victory run’ tomorrow night." I explained, trying to hide my belly button with my hands.
"Oh, that band! I don't get why everyone is crazy about the singer." She spoke and wrinkled her nose.
"I know, right!" I said excitedly in agreement.
"All my friends are head over hills over him," Tina told me.
As if I hadn't already seen that in the girl's eyes in the halls at school when Thomas was passing by.
"Anyways, you can't go clubbing dressed like that, right?"
I forced a nervous smile. If not that, then I will just wear one of the other twin T-shirts and black jeans.
"I guess, I will just put on what I always wear." I shrugged.
"Let's make a deal. I will help you find your style and you will keep my secret? Okay?" She spoke with confidence, hope evident in her eyes.
"What? Um, I mean you don't have to do such a thing. I wasn’t going to tell anyone to begin with. I told you that." I said, as I tilted my head to the side, wondering what had gotten into her.
Who was she and where did the mean Barbie go?
"I appreciate that, but you must stop dressing like you are going to a funeral of some rock legend. You bring shame to our family." She blurted out and stopped, realizing what she was saying. "I'm sorry… what I mean to say is, that you really need a change."
Okay, so I will try not to be offended. I must give her some points for being nicer and actually saying sorry to me for the first time ever.
"Fine. What do you have in mind?" I gave in and leaned on the railing next to her.
"I am not sure yet, but tomorrow, we are going shopping for… a new identity. We will not stop until we find the perfect one for you." She stated, and I knew I had made a deal with the devil.
"But we have school and after I must go to paint the hall for the project. Also, the show is in the evening. There is no time." I tried, but she patted me on my back with a smile.
"We will make time. Even if Dad has to say we are having some kind of flu, and it's contagious."
"Or we can skip only one hour, telling Dean Webster that I need some supplies that school is not offering and you can escort me to help pick them up," I suggested, thoughtfully.
"You are pretty smart, huh? Some people do not like smart, you know?" she grinned and added, "It’s good I am not one of those people."
"Haha, joking Tina." I fake smiled, turning away from her with a sigh.
What have I gotten myself into?!
6. Shop me my style"Good morning, everyone!" I spoke, while looking in my phone’s camera and posed for a picture. ‘Day one of twin sis makeover (TSM)’ I captioned the photo I had just made, and posted it on social media.I had my ‘Stained’ T-shirt on, dressed like myself with hair down and only mascara on. I wondered how I would look at the end of the day, when Tina would have forced her fashion ideas on me.I went to the kitchen and grabbed a banana for the road. It was my favorite breakfast. Sweet, easy to eat when you are not in the mood and most importantly healthy. I liked to get one to-go and eat it in my car while I was driving to school. That's what I did today too. The only difference was that I spotted Tina in the yard when she was going to her car, and she actually said ‘hi’ to me with a very big not fake smile. That was a first!"I will see you by the lockers at half past two, okay?" she asked, and I nodded in reply.In the parking lot, I was making a list of things I c
As soon as we got back, we went to the Dean and delivered the painting supplies that we bought on our way out of the mall. I actually picked some pretty interesting stuff that would really make our paintings pop up from those old walls. After that, I went to my last class, which was Thomas free. The two classes I skipped were with him, so I hadn't seen him all day.After school, I went to paint with others, and they actually enjoyed the stuff we got at the mall. One used glitter to make a snow sparkle, another placed small gems, instead of painting them and made it look crazy realistic. Some electric colors that I bought made Daphne's northern lights look just amazing. I was glad about my purchase, and it gained me some respect from others in the project.My first idea was mostly in black, gray and white (no surprise there), a girl sitting on the ground somewhere in the school. Many crows above her head, attacking. She had her hands up, protecting herself from them. My imagination was
When the light was taken away from my red face, I hid it in my palms. I could not believe what had just happened. I thought that those things only happened in movies, or when someone is getting engaged or something. This was so crazy!"I shouldn't have come!" I yelled, still hiding my face with my forehead resting on Linda's shoulder."What?! What are you talking about? It was amazing! How many people do you think can get this kind of attention?" She yelled back, removing my hands, so she could see me. "Come on! Enjoy it while it lasts. It doesn't have to mean a thing!""I don't like attention. If he knew me, he wouldn't have done it." I pointed, and risked a shy look to the band on stage."Who knows what it would have been? Does it matter?" Tina rudely remarked behind me."The thing is, Thomas seems to like Alice," Linda explained, her voice fighting over the music and the crowd's screams."Interesting. Do you like him?" my step-sister asked directly, and I felt like I was going to ha
"So, spill away." Alex said.I sighed, wondering how much I felt comfortable sharing."Well, you know the new boy at school, right?" I started and he nodded. "He is not leaving me alone.""How did he offend you?""He didn't say anything bad to me. Just, I don't believe that he really feels the way he acts as he feels." I tried to organize my thoughts."You think it's a game to him?""What else can it be? He does not know me at all. How can he like me?" I stated."You should know that with us guys, things are a little different." He told me, and turned to show me his smile, like he was hiding a part of what he was about to say."I know it can't be the same. But, can you blame me for not believing that he met me the other day, we barely talked and here he is; greeting me from the stage as someone special to him?""He did that? I must have missed it… But the answer to your question is, yes. I can blame you. Not that those are the words I would use. It's more like I can relate to him." Ale
"You were at my house?" I questioned, standing up from the floor, with a brush in my hand.Thomas took his time to answer, slowly walking towards me with a grin. I could admire how his face lit up when he was smiling so charmingly, if I wasn't so surprised and annoyed. He stopped in such distance from me, that if I just reached out my hand, I could bury my fingers in his blonde hair."I had to find you and talk with you." He explained, staring in my eyes for the reaction of his words."No, you didn't," I said and turned around to avoid his eyes… or hide mine."Yes, I had to! You disappeared last night. I thought that you would like the song I was singing to you." His confident voice spoke behind my back, but I just dipped my brush in the brown paint and continued my work on the wall. "Alice, did I offend you somehow?"I thought that I heard the surprise in his last words, and I couldn't help but turn back to check his face. He was standing awkwardly, his hands in the pockets of his tig
Thomas convinced me to go in his car, telling me that it’s a part of him. If I wanted to get to know him better, I must see it. It was an old Mercedes, but he refreshed it, as he said. Turns out, he was into cars; fixing them and putting them together. His father had a repair shop and a car morgue. Thomas explained to me that he had been helping his dad since he was a little boy. Those were some great father-son memories for him. Later in life, the music came and flipped everything around, leaving car repair as a hobby only.The Mercedes was black and dark red up front, but black and dark blue, if you look at it from behind. Some crazy mix of stripes and dots made it look epic. When I climbed in the front seat next to him, I was surprised to see it was very clean, compared to Steven's car, which was fancy and new, but dirty as hell."Any favorite place or particular food that you want right now?" he asked me, as we slowly drove out of the school parking lot."Maybe a go-to pizza from s
His eyes, focused on my lips, and my body was tingling from the possibility of a kiss, we both desired. Not that I would admit, his scent was more captivating than all the roses which surrounded us. Seeing him, watching me like that, raised my pulse to the top of the crazy scale, if there were such a scale. It was so easy to just let it happen, to finally feel his arms around me. Shh! Don't give in, remember the waiter from twenty minutes ago? I moved back, escaping the trans I had suddenly fallen into. He changed my mood so fast, like from the North Pole to the Equator."What are you doing? What shouldn't I do?" I asked, collecting my thoughts."Nothing… just you are such a tease! With your eyes closed, you looked..." he trailed off, looking away."Don't start this again. If you can't act friendly, we can't see each other. I don't date guys that I don't know." I stated."Why should it be so difficult?" he asked, annoyed.I felt how bitter he became from my words. I was toying with h
After an hour or two, Linda and I had created our fun Sunday evening. We texted everyone to meet at the school parking lot at five PM in comfortable clothing. Only Tina did not get any text because I told her when I got home. I also explained the Alex thing to her, since I did not answer her question when she texted me about Thomas.She, of course, decided to drag me to the mall to prepare me for my new look. We bought some sporty stuff and other clothes she decided she could use on me, later. Tina surprised me when she asked if she could bring someone. This was becoming a big group, but I told myself it might be for the good.After the long day I had, I finally went to my bed, thinking of the next day. What would it be like? It's one thing to plan it, totally different to do it. I don't care if someone did not like it. I think I needed such a change of scenery… probably we all did.The next morning, I went to some SPA salon for face care, as Tina called it. She was going and dragged