“Why are you bringing your friends here?” Henrietta Hanson asked her brother, who was sitting across the table from her as the two sat at the table on her patio eating a quick lunch together. There were complete opposites in everything in their lives, even though they were not only brother and sister. They were twins. They couldn’t not be any more different if they actually tried.
Christian looked at her as he took another bit of food. He looked at her through his soulful brown eyes as he met her light blue ones. He had long accepted that his twin was different from him. He knew that everything about her was something he didn’t understand. Unlike most of their family, he tried to keep in contact with her and help her understand the differences in life that she didn’t seem to get. “You need to meet some new people.” He easily replied after he swallowed his bite. “You never go out or even remotely act our age.”
“Why would I?” She asked. “Chris, We both know I am different from people our age. I don’t get along with them because I am in a different place in my life. I am okay with that. I don’t understand why you keep trying to push me to do things like this, though? I am fine the way I live my life now.”
“You don’t act any different with me.” He said as he sat back in his chair and looked at his sister. He knew they were different. He tilted his head and wondered how they could even be twins. She was so much smaller than he was by more than a foot and a half. There was nothing that he could think that was the same. Her skin was almost pure alabaster, and though it shined in the light of day. He looked at his hand, and it was bronzed much like the rest of him. She also didn’t reach his chest when they were standing next to each other. She was the smallest in the family, and he was the tallest. It also went far beyond physical traits. Henni was light years ahead of everyone else in the family with the way she thought. It was even there when they were young children. People just watched her differently. They all could see how she was and the way her thought process was more complex than most adults.
“I don’t have to be any different with you.” She said as he looked at him, looking at his hands. “You don’t expect anything from me. You are simply there in the bubble I call my life. That is fine as well.”
“No, I guess I don’t,” he said as he sat back and smiled a bit. “But I do think that you should get out and meet some new people.”
“I don’t know why.” She said as she looked to the backyard. “and I really don’t want them here at all. This is my place, and I don’t like people in it really even if I know them. I really I don’t understand why you want me to meet new people. Most people don’t like me. I am fine here in my place. I don’t really need to find more people that don’t like me. I have enough of those already there all around me.”
“Come on.” He said as he looked at her, and Chris knew that he was pushing her out of her comfort zone. He didn’t really care, though. He knew his sister. He thought he did. She couldn’t be fine with how things were in her life. To him, that didn’t make any sense. He knew he had to be around people. He had been that way all of his life. She had to have some of the same wishes and desires like he did. Even if she didn’t realize it yet. “Alright, I will compromise. How about instead of coming here, you go out and meet with the group in our go out place. It is a bar and club in the same building. We will have some fun there.”
“Chris.” She said as she sighed. “You aren’t going to let me get out of this, are you?”
“No.” he said, “One time, and if you don’t like them for any reason, I will let you off the hook for a few months at least. I know you are busy, but you still need to be a twenty-two-year-old. It isn’t fun being alone.”
“I was a twenty-two-year-old, eight years ago.” She said with a laugh. He didn’t really understand how she felt. She was trapped in her skin. She had been forced to be something completely different than what she was really. The Curse she was born with. That is what she called it. The thing that changed her life forever and set her on a different path from those around her. “When we were fourteen.”
“Being advanced doesn’t mean you have to give up on still being young.” He said as he looked at her and shook his head. “By the way.” He started to say, and the look on his face changed slightly. She knew what was coming. She wanted nothing to do with the news he was going to share. It was best if she didn’t even have to hear it.
“If it is about mom, I don’t care,” Henni said as she looked at him. He knew the reason she stopped talking to most of their older siblings. He had taken the stand with her though it was not hard for him. He had seen first hand the way she had been treated when they were growing up. She had been used from the day she was born. She had been the lucky one to be a near perfect match to their older brother for her blood and bone marrow. That was the only reason the last six of the kids in the family had been born. They had all been told this almost from birth. Henni had been different even then.
She had gone through two of the painful procedures to save her brothers life. Once when she had been a month old and then one when she was twelve. Each time her mother addressed her as their brother’s spare parts. She didn’t care about her getting hurt and then sick afterward. She had actually left the room to follow the life-saving fluids to where she would sit holding her brother's hand while he got everything implanted in him. That was how much her mother had cared for her. Henni didn’t want to hear about the woman who had turned her back on her for many different reasons. She had blocked all contact and didn’t want to even think about the woman. Henni also did that for the siblings who listened to their mother more than they could see out of their own eyes. She wanted nothing to do with any of them. It was easier to cut them from her life than it was to deal with the pain they caused her.
Henni had handled it all well until he had come out of remission a third time. She was eighteen this time. That was when all hell broke out in the family when she told her brother she was sorry, but she wouldn’t be his donor. Her mother had lost her temper and nearly hit Henni, who was waiting for it. It wasn’t like she had made the decision lightly either. The only reason she had even said no was because the three people who could be a better match than her had never been tested. His children. The answer to a simple question is what made Henni say no rather quickly. She had asked why they had not been tested because they could be better than she was, as they were his children and therefore half of him. The answer had come equally as quick. Why would they put the kids through a hard and painful test and procedure if they already had a good enough match? She understood her place in her mother’s life more than she had before. There was no chance of her being seen as a person in her mother’s eyes. Henni would be nothing more than the extra spare parts for her brother, who had been unnecessarily cruel to her through the years. She would never be anything to them.
With her quick no, she had torn her family apart. It was the last time she had spoken to her mother. Henni had moved on. Christian had stood beside her for the most part. It wasn’t like she needed it, though. She was brilliant and one of a kind. Though he had accepted her as she was, sometimes it was difficult to be around her. He still wanted a relationship with his other family as well. Henni had never put conditions on their relationship either. The others had many times. It was them or her. He tried very hard to find a balance between the two options.
“Are you two ever going to make up?” Christian asked with a major sigh.
“No,” Henni said with a smile and a soft sigh. She knew her brother wanted to keep the peace for his own sanity. Henni had long since accepted her place in the larger family. She was nothing important to them. “I was just kept for spare parts. Hell, she didn’t even want to see me when they got divorced, and she wanted me and only me to go live with dad. Close enough if she needed me to fix Darren but not a part of her sphere.”
“Henni.” He said as he stood up and stretched and looked down at her as she looked up. “Fine. I will get with you later this week to see when would be a good time to have this meet up.”
“Fine.” She said as she sighed as he walked through the door and through her house. She leaned back in her chair, and then she knew this was not going to go as he thought it would. It never was the way he planned. However, meeting up with a group of people for a few minutes would get him to leave her alone for a few months if he kept his word. That would be worth it possibly. It might be worth it in the end. He would see people just didn’t like her. She was fine with that as well. He needed to get over it. This would be a great time for him to see it firsthand.
It was almost a week from their lunch date when she heard from her brother again. He often would forget until the last minute, and then he would call and leave a voice mail for her on her work phone. Which is exactly what he had done this time. He had left her a message while she had been busy running a few tests at the hospital she had worked at for the past four years. Chris’s friends and he were going out in about two hours from when she had got the message.He knew that things were always on a schedule for her. Some extra time would have been nice for her to be able to get herself together, but he didn’t think like that. He was ready to go hang out with his friends and drag his poor sister along to meet people, and that was that. It was all he cared about. She shook her head to clear her thoughts. She didn’t want to go out tonight. It had been a long day already, and she had been
She drove to the place her brother had told her about in his message, and she spotted his car. She knew he was there even though she was a little late. She figured they might have moved on already. She knew that they often hopped places from her brother's stories when they got together during the week for lunch or dinner. She had a good idea of the group of friends that he was going to introduce her to as well. Things about them had been dropping for a while. Christian seemed to really like some of them. Henni was leery because it seemed they were more interested in their family and not just Christian. She just didn’t want her brother to get hurt. That would be something that would set her temper off. She might not like the family, but she did like Christian. He did try with her.Henni got out of the car, took off her hospital lanyard, and then thought twice about it. Somehow it being there around her neck would give her the
“I am an online marking rep for a marking agency. I also co-own a boutique with my sister. Which we design the clothes for.” She said as she looked over Henni again and was taking in everything about her. This was one of the mean girls that every school had. It was time to take her down a few notches. Christian also could feel the wave of pain that Henni was going to bring with only a few words. He shook his head behind her, knowing that his friend Gabe’s girl had brought this on her own. He wasn’t too fond of Abby on her own. She was worse when she had other women there. When Chris made these plans, she had not been invited. They simply didn’t take directions well. Chris knew that Henni had struck a nerve.“Online marketing? “Henni asked, “Oh, Christian told me about you. You’re in graduate school for it.”“Yes. I am.” She
As Henni walked back into the hospital, she avoided all the main places that her co-workers would go. She didn’t want to be seen if she could help it. She then slipped into her office and closed the door. No one would know that she was there. As long as she really didn’t make any noise or someone didn’t go looking into her office for something that they needed. She settled into her desk, and then she picked up a folder and turned on her computer. There was a new email from the detective she had just met.She looked over the email, and it was rather basic. She had to wonder when it was actually sent. It had to be before they had met a few minutes ago. She smiled to herself. It isn’t like that working with the good-looking detective would be hard unless he was attached to one of those women she had just put into their place. She shook her head. That is one of the reasons that she hated meeting new people. She
“Of them? No,” he said. “They were not supposed to be there tonight. That was the only reason I went.”“So what are they trying to set you up as well? “she asked.“Yes.” He said with a sigh. “The women have a thing for the people that surround my family. Actually, my cousin's family. All of them are friends and have been for years. They all want to date or have some chance with one of the members of the family. Abby and her sister Beth are the worst in the bunch. You put Abby in her place. That was the highlight of my entire week. Right now, she is trying like hell to set me up with one of her friends. That will not be happening. I can’t stand her friends or any of them for the most part. I only go out to enjoy my cousin and friends, not them.”“It seems like you have no love lost between you and her.” She said as she started digging through the files and then lifted the
“How about now?” he asked as he looked at the time. “It is only nine.”“Do places still serve after nine?” She asked, and he laughed at the comment.“Yes. They do.” He said as he was still chuckling. “Sometimes, it is even better a little later.”“Really?” she asked. Then she thought that she would have to stop off at the cafeteria and pick something up to eat there as she left for the night. Going out was not something she had planned on. She looked at him, though, and she didn’t think he minded that she was still in her scrubs and probably smelled like the hospital as well. “Alright.”“Good.” He said as he smiled. “Are you ready now?”“Yeah, I can be.” She said as she handed over the stack of papers that had been copied for him as they talked. He l
“It is a little different.” He said as they made their way out to the lot, and then he showed her which car to go to. “Most of the time there is fifty-fifty custody with normally the mother having the primary custody of the children.”“Oh.” She said, “Well, she had the others almost all the time. She would talk so badly about our dad, so he didn’t get them often. He wanted too though, but it was almost a lost cause. The damage she did to the others with her demands basically severed contact with my dad and me.”“But you?” he asked. He knew he was prying, but now he was intrigued even more about her. She was beautiful and looked like a goddess in her own right, but she didn’t see it. She had no idea that her smallness was a turn-on for most men. The fact her curves were in the right places as well as another. The scrubs she was wearing didn’t hide any of those either. His guess w
As they pulled up to the place, she looked around. “I know it doesn’t look like much, but just give it a chance.” He said.“I was just looking around.” She smiled, “Sorry, I didn’t mean to go on about myself and my family.”“No, it is perfectly fine. That is what people do when they want to get to know each other.” He said as he got out of the car, and then he walked around and helped her out of the other seat. He locked the door as he shut the door behind her. He then walked to the door and opened it. “My manners might be a little rusty, but I do know what I am supposed to do.”“I didn’t think they were rusty at all.” She said as her forehead wrinkled for a minute. “I don’t mind old-fashioned, I think. I really wouldn’t know either way.”“Well, good.” He said as they waited as the hostess came and then