A TV commercial recently caught my attention. It highlights the song "Don't You Forget About Me" by Simple Mind. It caught my attention because a) I instantly recognized the song and b) it was a new rendition of the song. The vocalist in the commercial sings it slow, and somberly while playing a piano. He's also performing it at a homeless shelter.
The song is used for the commercial to help bring home the point - don't forget about those in homeless shelters, rescue missions, or halfway houses after the holidays are over. I agree whole heatedly with the commercial because the holidays seems to be the time where people really focus on helping others because its the time of giving.
Around Thanksgiving a lot of people may venture out to Soup Kitchens to lend a hand serving Thanksgiving dinner to those who normally wouldn't have much to eat. During Christmas I saw so many Toys for Tots boxes in store windows. There were jacket drives, and many organizations asked for a donation at the checkout counter for different organizations.
After Christmas and the New Year hits, the promotion for all of these organizations stop. This is also a problem. People don't stop going to homeless shelters or soup kitchens because that is their day to day reality until they get that stroke of luck or get that situation where things can turn around for them. Some Soup Kitchens can even get overrun with volunteers around the holidays that they would have to turn some away.
Don't get me wrong, it is great that people do give to others around the holidays, but it should expand all year long. I'm the type of person who puts others first and will give and give even if it comes back and blows up in my face. Trust me, it has, numerous times. My generosity has been taken advantage of, even in some past workplaces or professional settings, but i still like to give my time to others because I know not a lot of people have as much as I do.
In 2017, I supported three different organizations in various different ways. The first is the Food Bank. I created a program at the library I used to work at called Canned Film Festival. It is a play off the Canes Film Festival, because I think I'm funny, and I thought it would get the point across. Movies would be shown at the library every week and we'd encourage food donations be brought in through the week for the local Food Bank.
Then there was the Out of the Darkness Walk in Oct 2017. It was sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Their goal is to bring awareness to various opportunities to prevent suicide and drop suicide rates in the US by 25% by the year 2025. All the money raised for the walk goes towards educational tools and research. I walked for the friends and people I know who have been affected by suicide and reached my goal of $50 in donations.
Finally, my biggest project I've ever done. I held a Little Hats, Big Hearts donation program at my library for Dec 2017. We were to collect knitted/crocheted red hats for newborn and premature babies. I even set up some side programs to get people to come out to the library and just knt/crochet as may hats as they could. These hats are to be passed out in Feb 2018 in recognition of American Heart Month. Donations were collected from Dec 1 - 20th 2017, and in total w got 84 donations.
After the success of the LH, BG program, I got a drive to do more. I've been looking at other organizations that could receive knitted/crocheted donations so I can send donations to them both involving work and my own time. Some I have found include: Project Red Scarf (create red scarves to be included in a care package for foster kids who aged out of the system and head to college), Project Linus - create blankets or a 7x9 square to be made into a blanket and sent out to children, and Warmth for Warriors - knit/crochet black hats for deployed troops, to name a few. I love knitting and I love helping people so I found a way to combine the two.
There are various ways you can give back to others who are facing misfortunes. Start with a google search or talk to a friend/coworker for some ideas. Or look towards you family to find something that means a lot to you.
There's something for everyone. All it takes is that one person to make a difference for someone.
As the title suggests, I stopped writing for a year. From Nov 2016 - Nov 2017. When I say writing, I mean own works aka "originals". I have consistently put out fan works in the past aka "fan fiction" and no, it is not anything like 50 Shades of Gray, which unfortunately put a bad light on fan fiction but I'll speak about that in a later post.
For those that don't know, fan fiction are stories fans write of a show, movie, cartoon, anime, you name it. The characters are from the media source but the situations are up to the fans. The stories can be Canon Divergent, Alternate Universe, a Slow Burn, or Slice of Life to name a few. Don't worry, if you're confused by any of those words, I have the definitions of them down below at the end of this post.
I got into fan fiction in middle school but really got into it around high school and college. It is a way for me to get my writing out there and see how people respond to my description and writing style. I see it as practice for my own writing with instant feedback. I started to get into writing in middle school, save for a few comics I tried to make as a kid while I was really into anime/manga like Sailor Moon and Digimon.
I think it was around high school that I started to have goals about becoming a published author. English courses were always pretty easy for me with the exception of analyzing novels. I didn't do as well on those components as I could have because I had to read the books and being forced to read and analyzing novels takes the fun out of it, in my opinion. But, I'm digressing. Whenever there was an assignment to write a chapter for a book. or write your own Canterbury Tale, or something along those lines, I was ecstatic.
Anyone who is a writer or dreams of becoming a writer has head "write the story you want to read". That soon became true for me. As I got older, Young Adult stories just weren't doing it for me anymore. I think it's because they all revolve around relationships, as if that's the only thing going on in a teenager's life. Eventually, I got tired of reading the same clichéd thing so in my spare time I began to write what I wanted to read. I wanted friendship stories more than romantic relationships, I wanted a different take on high school stories. I just wanted something different.
In Oct 2016 a family member passed away. She was my biggest supporter when it came to my writing. In fact, I'm pretty sure she was the first person to support my writing. Whenever I mentioned wanting a writing career I was asked if I wanted to be a journalist or inquired about what real job would I have while I worked on becoming a writer. But, this family member never questioned me, she just said to do what I wanted and to send her a copy of anything that I published.
I stopped writing any original work because I knew that when I get something published, she wouldn't be around to get a copy. She wouldn't be around to hear the good news. She wouldn't be around to continue to push me to do what I want to do. Working on my originals would make it more real that she's actually gone.
The year off gave me time to think about what I want out of my writing. It helped me reflect on the stories I've written, the stories I want to write, and the stories I would like to read if someone else were to write them. Next month is NaNoWriMo aka National Novel Writing Month. The overall goal by the end of the month is to have written a novel or 50,000 total words. Save for last year I participate every year.
This year I can't wait for November to come to get started. I missed the creative process. I missed creating my own world and my own characters. I missed google searching baby names to come up with that perfect name for my character. I missed looking up idioms to come up with a punny title. Plus, i have too many ideas floating around in my head that are fighting to get out.
I now have the excitement back to work on my originals like I do with my fanfiction. I can't wait to see what my characters have in store for me. And maybe, just maybe, one of them will be named after my family member.
Canon Divergent: a story that does not follow a specific plot or choice from the original media. Example: Sirius Black re-appears on the other side of the veil.
Alternate Universe: a story taking place in an alternate universe. Example: Lord of the Rings taking place in modern times.
Slow Burn: a story that takes a ridiculously long time to get the two main characters to become a couple, and numerous hints and angst filled moments are shown along the way.
Slice of Life: a story that follows the characters through every day life ie going to the grocery store, dealing with bills, doing laundry at a laundromat, or going to school/college.
“Van-nah! Open the door so I can at least try and get ready! I still have to do my hair and you and I both know it takes a while.” Mickey Powers continued to slap her palm against the bathroom door. She then heaved a sigh and leaned against the wall, plotting her sister’s murder. “You’ve been in there for forty minutes!”
“Your hair is in braids, Mickey, you don’t need to do anything with it,” was the curt reply. “I, on the other hand, need to be in here so I can make sure I’m perfect.”
Mickey’s upper lip curled. “We’re going to school, not a beauty pageant.” Though considering the amount of parents of students who were designers, it wasn’t a far off statement. “We’ve been in school for two weeks, there’s no one that you need to impress.”
“You always have to dress to impress, Mick,” Savannah replied. Her voice was muffled and Mickey knew it meant she was still putting on her makeup. Nowhere near close to finishing her morning routine. “That’s what Mom always says.”
Speaking of which…Mickey turned on her heel. She stomped down the hardwood floor of the long hallway until she reached her mother’s massive bedroom. It was practically a wing of the house all on its own. “Mo-om!” she called.
Mickey’s voice echoed along the scaling the walls and high ceiling of her mother’s bedroom. Sunlight filtered through the skylight that had been strategically placed by the interior decorators her mother lived by giving the pristine white room a golden hue that warmed her. When she was young, Mickey used to go to her mother’s room and curl up on the window seat to read, bathed in the warm sunlight while watching her mother gracefully move back forth getting ready for the day.
Almost as if she were dancing to a beat Mickey tried and failed to understand. It was funny how quickly things changed.
Stepping over the threshold, Mickey found her mother sitting at her large vanity mirror, putting on makeup. What is it with this family and makeup? As it was, she didn’t use more than foundation, mascara, and a little bit of eyeliner. But Savannah and her mother went the extra-extra mile. Mickey resisted the urge to roll her eyes and then cleared her throat to get her mother’s attention.
“Mom, tell Savannah to get out of the bathroom so I can get ready for school! She’s been in there for almost an hour!”
“Don’t bring me into it Mickayla,” Her mother replied airily. She brushed blush on her medium brown cheeks with a quick twist of her wrist. “You’ve been arguing over this practically since you were born.” Dallas Powers set her brush down on the attached oak table and gracefully—first moving one leg then the other—shifted to face her daughter. “Besides, it’s your girls’ bathroom, it’s your problem. You can work it out, can’t you?”
Mickey pouted, placing her hands on her hips. She tucked her locks over her shoulder and stuck her bottom lip out as far as it could go. Dallas had always been a sucker for her daughters’ pouting, even though they were getting older and it didn’t work as well, there were still times where she gave in.
This was not one of those times. Dallas chuckled to herself then tucked her own share of braids behind her ear. “What are you wearing to school today, honey?”
“If you’re wondering whether or not it’s that dress that you picked out, don’t even think it,” Mickey said. She raised her chin defiantly.
“It’ll really help me get my name out there,” Dallas said. She dropped her hands into her lap and smiled charmingly at her daughter. That worked almost as much as the girls’ pouting, but more so considering it was used to try and make something boring sound fun. “And it’ll be really cute on you.”
“Is that supposed to be sarcastic?” Mickey tried not to smile.
“No, it’s the truth.”
Mickey watched her mother for a moment then looked away. She could feel herself starting to weaken. Her mother’s charming smile was synonymous with her power stance. Hands on her hips—or folded—and lifted chin, shoulders rolled back to make her stand more firm. The same pose that became her signature; on every billboard that showcased a new release of her fashion line, magazine covers, photoshoots, there had to be at least one shot of the charming smile and power pose. It also usually meant that Dallas was going to get her way.
This time it was to get Mickey to wear the clothes Dallas had specifically designed for her. Most girls would jump at the chance for an entire wardrobe designed particularly with her in mind. And while Mickey loved her mother and was grateful her mother thought of her enough to do so, fashion wasn’t really her thing but fashion wasn’t her thing. Honestly, she felt her mother wasted it on her. Though, Mickey could admit, it did make things easier when they were invited to awards shows and had to get something new. No one else would be wearing a dress or other outfit that was made specifically for her and girls came up to ask, waving their checkbooks and pens, ready to write out whatever amount to get one for themselves.
And who wouldn’t like to have a personal stylist? To be able to wake up and already know what to wear, what would accentuate their personal style and have people talking about it for days? Mickey could hardly go online without her social media pages blowing up with people commenting on her outfits from candid photos that had been placed on the internet? Was she so self-indulged and snobby that she obsessed over it? Absolutely not. But it could be a good mood lifter on a bad day.
Dallas Powers was the biggest fashion designer in all of Ashburg—all of California if she were honest. But to Mickey, she was only known a ‘Mom’. Dallas only wore what she designed and nothing else. Along with creating outfits for her daughters, she designed clothes for major fashion retailers, starting with a line for women and teenage girls before recently shifting to men and teenage boys. So far social media was blowing up over the recent images that had been released.
Noticing the expression of discomfort on her daughter’s face, Dallas held up her hand. “Sorry, I know you don’t like ‘cute’. Cute are for puppies and kittens. You’d look beautiful.”
Her mother continued to tease her for the time she was eight and she had gone on a rant of hating the word ‘cute’. It was like, as she equated it now, watching others declare their love to someone else on Facebook, of which she wasn’t so keen on as well. Not that she wasn’t happy her fellow students were in happy relationships, but to see it every day? Her newsfeed didn’t need to be filled with random nonsense like that when there were more entertaining things to read.
The latest was a freshman who was putting up post after post including the details of her father’s ongoing legal battle against Atlantic Records. Chances are it was going to be removed due to confidentiality agreements, but getting the inside scoop on one of the media’s most watched cases was the best. Getting it before everyone else was even better.
Especially when it came to news of her favorite bands. Not many people knew of the connections that could be made with the inside scoop unless you knew the right people. And thanks to her mother, she knew the right people.
“I want to be myself, to dress the way that I want to,” Mickey said.
Dallas turned back to the mirror. Mickey watched as she brushed back her hair, leaving a few strands to frame her beautiful face. Mickey had once said that her mother’s face was so perfect it was hard to look at straight on. Though she could only hope she became just as beautiful, confident, and successful as her mother was. As much as she valued her independence, she was as proud of her mother’s success.
“You know everyone would want to see you and Savannah in matching outfits,” Dallas stated. Mickey adopted a look of pure horror. Being twins there was always people who expected them to dress similarly every day. And others who continued to ask—and demand—that they say something in unison and wonder how much of them were identically. Marketers and publicists enjoyed it even more and tried to push them into it as much as possible.
Every now and then, if it was something she really liked, Mickey didn’t mind and would be the first to suggest wearing the same thing. But she was fifteen now, and with college looming closer—as their teachers continued to say time and time again—Mickey wanted to have some more independence and originality.
Savannah must’ve felt the same way as she said, “Puh-lease! Mickey wouldn’t be able to pull that look off no matter how hard she tried,” to announce her presence. Savannah Powers walked into room with her green eyes glued to her phone. “Even if we are twins.”
“Thanks for the compliment, sis,” Mickey said dully.
“No problem.” Savannah offered a taunting grin.
Mickayla and Savannah Powers, commonly known as Mickey and Vannah, were the most non-identical identical twins ever. Due to their differing interests and activities they were commonly mistaken to be fraternal—from those that didn’t understand fraternal twins were only made by being two separate eggs fertilized by two different sperm. They had studied twins enough to know everything biological about it. However their similarities showed in their enjoyment of celebrity gossip, reality shows, and 80s music.
“I’m going to go get ready,” Mickey said. She started towards the door, looking at her watch. At this point she wouldn’t have time to take a shower. “Then I’m leaving.”
“Where?” Dallas demanded, the sharpness in her voice causing her daughter to stop on a dime.
She’s never this way with Savannah, Mickey was almost sure it was because she wouldn’t dress like a china doll that her mother held a tight reign over her. Their public image was always so important to her and as of late it was getting worse.
“To go to school?” Mickey looked at her mother as if she were crazy. “The only place that I can go at this hour without being stopped and questioned by the police or paparazzi.” She took a deep breath and added, “I was going to ride my bike.”
Dallas reached up and rubbed her eyebrows. “Mickey, you know how I feel about that,” she said. Standing up, she shifted away from the vanity though she made no move to clean up the small mess she created; that was a job for their trusted maid, Geneviève. Dallas kept her eyes locked on her eldest daughter. “I don’t want you-“
“Fine!” Mickey interrupted.
She would do anything to keep from having to hear the ‘reputation lecture’ again. To say that Dallas cared about what people thought of her was an understatement, she obsessed over it. That’s what happened when you lived so close to Los Angeles and was as successful as Dallas was; everyone wanted to know everything about their lives. Did she like having money and being able to do what she wanted? Sure. Did she like having so much media attention? Not so much. Not when her every move was scrutinized.
Not when she would wear an older pair of jeans and a shirt and the gossip sites would question if they were running out of money. Hadn’t people ever heard of washing machines? Was it so hard to imagine the rich and famous to actually do their clothes and re-wear them?
“I’ll go in the limo, but only if you drop me off a block away from the school,” Mickey compromised. “And I’ll wear what you made for me, but I choose the day to wear it.” Anything was better than nothing. And they were getting better a compromising. Things didn’t always go Mickey’s way but at least they talked about it now.
Savannah sighed impatiently. “Can we just go?” She tapped her watch with her long French-tipped nails. “I have to work on a new piano piece and the practice rooms always the first to be taken.”
“We mustn’t keep her highness waiting,” Mickey said. She gave an exaggerated curtsey before going back to her room to get ready. There wasn’t enough time to take a shower so she just pulled her hair back into a ponytail, fastening it with a large blue ribbon. She was packing her backpack when Bradley, their butler, walked into her bedroom.
Mickey smiled as he gently cleared his throat to call attention to himself. He had been working for the Powers for as long as Mickey could remember. Honestly, he was probably the only one in the house that Mickey felt close to. The maids kept their heads down as they did their jobs, cleaning silently and efficiently. The other butlers only spoke to her when spoke to, believing it was better to keep their familiarity as low as possible.
But Bradley was different. He was the first of the team that Dallas had hired, and was there for every moment of the girls’ lives. It wasn’t long until he was like a father to Mickey. He was the only man in her life that could fill that role. He gave her advice when she needed it, listened to Mickey’s good days and bad days, and gently admonished her when the time came. He was in no danger of being fired for it, but was also very aware to not overstep Dallas’ discipline boundaries.
“The limo is here for you Miss. Mickayla,” Bradley declared formally, his arms behind his back.
Mickey pulled her backpack over her shoulders, making sure it didn’t wrinkle her vintage band t-shirt and matching vest. “I’ve told you a million times Bradley, you can just call me Mickey.” His eyes shone when Mickey stuck her lower lip out in a pout. “Please?”
This was a conversation they had nearly every day. And as with every other time Bradley said, “That would make our relationship a little bit too familiar.” He leaned towards her and whispered conspiratorially, “But I’ll do my best.” He held out his arm, waiting for Mickey to leave the room first.
She left the room and hurried down to the limo, sliding across the buttery leather seats as she did so.
“Finally,” Savannah sighed. Her eyes were still on her phone.
Mickey didn’t bother to reply. They didn’t talk to each other much on the way to school unless there was some sort of a scandal or gossip they missed from the night before. Not that they didn’t want to talk, but that they used that time to catch up on things. Savannah listened to the radio and talked to whomever was on the other end of the phone.
Mickey, on the other hand, put her headphones in her ears and blasted Paramore as she pulled a book out of her backpack. She always read to pass the time on the way to school. It took her mind off of things, giving her the chance to feel like a normal teenage girl and not one who was constantly watched.
Like she had a good relationship with her mother and they were extremely close. Because the truth was, the moment Dallas came into money and the society that came with it, Mickey lost her.
Outside the open garage the world was just waking up as the sky became tinted with a pink and purple ombre, light from the sun barely peeking over the horizon. As the new day started and the rest of the world slept, Reagan and Ronan Jacoby took advantage of the picturesque early morning to partake in dawn patrol.
At least, Reagan was actively participating. As she sat in the early morning lineup of those waiting on the perfect wave to ride Ronan sat on the beach with her ever present camera in hand. Even from where she sat on her short board, far from the beach, Reagan noticed each and every flash that erupted from the camera. A little piece of light magnifying against the dark water.
Pulling at the neck of her wetsuit, Reagan watched as the sun started to rise higher and higher, she probably only had time for one more wave before heading in to get ready for school. But judging by the older men and other teens her age that patiently waited in the lineup before her, Reagan guessed it would take too long.
Besides, her feet were starting to turn cold. She had put up a big fight against wearing them to her dad the day before, emphatically stating that she would lose her grip on the board. But, as usual, he was right. As far as she knew as long as he had been on the police force he probably had seen someone’s feet freeze while staying out in the ocean for too long. There had been plenty of stories he used as a warning for her and her sister.
Not enough to listen all the time, but enough.
After gently punching her surfboard in disappointment, Reagan lay down and pulled her feet out of the water. She pivoted her board so that she could paddle into shore. Ronan was waiting for her with a big red beach towel when Reagan arrived, which she eagerly wrapped herself up in.
“You didn’t want to try one more?” Ronan asked.
Reagan shook her head, dark hair plastering against the side of her face. She imagined she looked like a drowned rat. There were plenty of pictures around the house after her competitions as proof. “I was this close to landing the rodeo flip and as usual school gets in the way.”
“The waves weren’t that great anyway, sis. I’m sure you’ll get it soon.” Ronan lifted the bulky camera that sat around her neck, knocking out the earbuds that were almost ever present in her ears. They landed in the sand between them, blasting the latest rock hit. “And besides, I got some good shots.”
“I’m sure they’re great, Ro,” Reagan said, falling into step with her sister as they walked up the beach towards the bus stop. She sighed. “But I’ve been trying that trick for weeks now and I still can’t get it.”
“Well, if you force yourself you’re just going to get worse,” Ronan commented. She placed her hands on her hips. “I know you didn’t manage to land anything today, but you’re just psyching yourself out.”
Reagan bobbed her head back and forth, twisting her mouth to the side as she thought about it. She had been putting a lot of pressure on herself after the competition she had entered last week. Those girls seemed to have been able to improve quicker than she had. She had placed well, but it still wasn’t something she was ready to brag about unless she could land the rodeo flip more than a few times. Reagan was sure she would have gotten it if she weren’t risking the bus back to the neighborhood. It was one of the few times she hated that neither of them had their license.
“You’ll get it,” Ronan said. She reached up and pushed her purple strand of hair out of her blue eyes, chuckling when Reagan did the same movement at the same time, but with her red strand of hair.
Being twins Reagan and Ronan had become susceptible to the common questions and trappings of being a multiple.
How do you tell each other apart? They were color coded since birth; with Reagan’s color being pink and Ronan’s color being yellow thus dictating everything that was bought for them to be specifically in those colors or an off-shoot of the color. Then when they were young enough to make their decisions of their own desires, Reagan switched hers to red and Ronan switched hers to purple. Despite having the same shoulder length dark hair and standing at the same height, Ronan was bestowed with a mole on her chin and birthmark on her forehead, while Reagan had a birthmark on her left knee. On the other hand, their laughter and voices, though similar, were slightly different.
What’s it like to be a twin? The same as being a single person…considering they didn’t know anything about not being a twin. The quickest answer was being born with their best friend at their side.
Who’s the oldest? Reagan was born five minutes before Ronan and used it to her advantage as much as possible…though it always backfired in her face when she questioned “Why do I have to do it?” where Ronan would then say, “Because you’re the oldest”. And that was that. . It was an injustice, not to mention the strange sort of responsibility that was thrust upon her shoulders at differing moments. Was it her fault she was born first? For all she knew, with what little space they had in the womb, Ronan had pushed her out just to get some space. People always said that babies played together while they were in the womb, no one knew it could have potentially been a war for dominance.
Do you fight a lot? Not very much but that didn’t mean there weren’t odd moments of bickering every once in a while. In the Jacoby household there were fights over very small and petty things. The biggest repeat offender being who got into the bathroom first, though the runners up in competitions were who got to use the ‘good bowl’ for cereal, who got to ride shotgun, who got the bigger brownie for desert, and who was the one to go first when they had a driving lesson. Just about anything could be turned into a not-quite-serious argument of equality.
Can you feel each other’s pain? Typically that responded in a light laugh, a short story of the only time they had managed to do it—if it weren’t an outright lie—and say that it was impossible. However that question was then followed up by ‘can you tell what your sister is thinking?’ where a random guess would be the answer.
What amused them and others the most were the times where the twin girls would move or say something in the same way at the same time, creating some sort of a stereo effect that would result in surprised laughter.
Arriving at the house Reagan sighed as she gently laid her surfboard against the wall of the garage doing her best not to scratch it. It was more valuable to her than the most sought after jewelry. Then she picked up the large beach towel that lay across her shoulders and used it to her body free of the ocean water and sand that stuck to her skin.
Ronan then called the first shower as the girls tramped into their house being careful not to drag sea water and sand all over the immaculate flooring of the kitchen. Their father set aside the garage and accompanying laundry room to collect their water and sports gear to finish his endless battle of combating piles of sand that managed to sneak its way inside. Their maltipoo puppy, Zack, greeted them at the door, lifting up on his hind legs tail wagging at high speeds and licked at their hands.
“Sorry, Zack, you know the vet said you’re going on a diet,” Reagan said as she scooped him up in her arms. “I don’t think licking away all of the dried saltwater is going to help much.” She giggled as his tiny tongue flicked over her chin and she headed towards her room to get her clothes out for the day.
Along the hallway she passed a portrait that held her sister and her father and stopped to smile at it, as she did every day. Though their family was small with only the two of them and their father, Elijah Jacoby, she wouldn’t trade it for the world. Seeing her father stick his fingers up behind their heads in bunny ears always made her laugh. Neither she nor Ronan had noticed it when the picture was being taken the last father’s day.
As Reagan glanced at the photo, her mind wandered to her mother which was strange in itself as she didn't particularly dwell over the woman she didn’t get to know before she was out of her life.
For as long as she could remember it had always been herself, her sister, and their father and it was all she wanted, she loved her life. But then there were the vulnerable moments where the mysterious woman managed to creep in; late nights when she couldn’t fall asleep, when she got her period for the first time and had to call her father at work, Mother’s Day…holidays were always some of the harder days to get through.
During polite conversation, once the topic that they were indeed twins passed, someone would mention her, question how their mother managed to carry twins to term, or their father would suddenly fall silent and look off into space remembering a time the girls didn’t know. It helped their father was just as good of a mother as he was a father and the missing spot in their lives diminished in size.
Not completely gone but small enough not to notice.
Reagan went to their room and dropped Zack onto the ground, picking up her phone. She navigated to her MugShot profile, one of the biggest social media networks she and her friends were using, and checked the notifications. A few handcuffs—she smiled seeing some of her predictions of new relationships coming true, some new pictures posted, and a comment on a status she had followed the day before.
But then a colorful image caught her eye as she recognized a member of her school’s cross country team as the headliner for the article. Grinning, she clicked into the article, hoping to read about the win her school had at the latest meet but the longer she read, the lower her jaw dropped.
“What?” Ronan shouted over the running shower water.
“They mixed up our school names again! They said that Ashburg Arts was the team that got the state record at our last meet!” Shaking her head, Reagan continued to scroll the news article, hoping Ashburg Academy’s name would pop up somewhere. “I mean, sure, they can probably afford the steroids as many rich alumni they have donating to their school, but we get our wins with hard work.”
Reagan continued to look through her phone, checking out the scores of her favorite sports teams before becoming sucked in to Flutter, catching up on the musicians, actors, and athelets that had posted the night before, then catching up on her classmates. Her buzzed in her hand as a text came in.
Tristan: We’ll be there in a half hour, Nic needs to get to school early.
Reagan: No worries, already up anyway.
Tristan: Never thought I’d see the day you willingly get up early for school.
Reagan: For the beach, actually. We can’t all be overachievers like you. See you when you get here.
Putting her phone away, Reagan glanced at her watch then sighed heavily when she noticed how much time had passed and the shower water was still running. Must be payback for how long I spent at the beach this morning. Picking up her clothes, Reagan walked over to the bathroom door and banged her fist against it, causing the hinges to shake, rattle, and roll. As she continued to knock the surrounding walls trembled and quaked in danger of knocking photos to the floor.
“How much longer are you gonna be in there?” she shouted. “I have to get dressed!” Reagan pressed her ear against the door, trying to hear the water over the blood pounding in her ears.
Receiving no response, she let out a sigh then alternately slammed both hands on the door with the repeated chant, “Ro. Ro! Ro-your-boat!” On the last few swings she missed and whacked her hand against the hinge of the door, scraping her knuckle. Sticking her finger in her mouth, Regan pictured herself hitting the door and realized how ridiculous she must have looked. It wasn’t like she hadn’t locked Ronan out of the bathroom; but in her defense, nothing was better or more relaxing than reading in a bubble bath after a long day at the beach.
Finally, Reagan got a reply—albeit an exasperated one—from her sister as she heard the nickname that had been given to her since first grade. “How long have you been waiting to use that one?”
“About as long as I’ve been standing in the hallway,” Reagan said. She crossed her arms. “I thought about going to get Dad’s taser, too. But I thought that might be overkill.” She smiled; sure it was evident in her voice. “Though it’d be a good way to be an only child again. Those first five minutes were pure bliss.”
“Like you even remember them. Besides, Dad took his taser to work with him and if you used it on me it’d be considered assault and you’d go to jail!”
“Not if it’s my first offense,” Reagan corrected.
Of all of the lectures, warnings, and explanations her father had given her and Ronan over the years, it was ways of getting out of trouble that seemed to stick with her the most. Then again, there was nothing better than the camaraderie and familial closeness she got from the Ashburg Police Department. They practically grew up there and had gotten to know the rest of the officers and detectives as their own family.
Especially the day before.
She and Ronan had been complaining, once again, about not having even their permits and Nic, fed up, pulled his car over to teach them a few things about driving. It had gone well at first, but then pulling onto the highway where the speed limit increased and drivers’ patience seemed to decrease at the same time, soon resulted in consistent swerving along the roads that caught the attention of the Highway Patrol. Once the officer saw Reagan, who was driving at the time, didn’t have a permit the four were brought back into Ashburg and directly to the police station.
“Great,” Nic sighed, crossing his arms impatiently as they sat in chairs in the lobby. “Mom’s going to kill us.”
Tristan eyed his twin brother warily. “What do you mean ‘us’? I was the one that said it was a bad idea in the first place.”
“Well, you couldn’t have imagined this was the way Nic would’ve landed you two in jail,” Ronan said. She teasingly elbowed Tristan in the ribs. “You’ve been saying he’s your downfall for years, you should’ve seen it coming.”
“Besides, this is nothing,” Reagan agreed with a calm wave of her hand. “If anything they’re just going to give us a warning and let us go.” Her calm demeanor then changed into that of slight panic when the police sergeant walked over and announced, with an amused grin, that the girls’ father was going to get them and to ‘not move a muscle’. He also couldn’t help but add he was glad he wasn’t the teens sitting in front of him and to tell their father to ‘go easy on them’.
“Can we stay in jail instead?” Reagan pleaded.
When their father had arrived he sent Nic and Tristan on their way, but not before sternly reminding them how dangerous it was to drive without a permit or license, how stupid their decision had been, and demanding that his colleagues stop snickering behind him because it ‘wasn’t funny’.
Of course Reagan could see he was trying his hardest not to smile either. It wasn’t the first time he had to bail them out of trouble and probably wouldn’t be the last. “At least we keep you young,” Ronan piped up.
Now, instead of giving Reagan a clever quip in response Ronan conceded and said, “Whatever. Hold on.” Before turning the shower water off.
Reagan’s attention turned back to the bathroom as the door opened and an avalanche of steam followed her sister out of the bathroom. Casually, Ronan ran a fluffy purple towel over her hair as she exited the towel in a matching bathrobe.
Reagan faced her sister with a raised eyebrow, which Ronan mirrored perfectly. “Did you really think that I would go and get Dad’s taser?” Reagan asked. There were a lot of things she joked about with her father’s profession but assault wasn’t one of them.
“You’ve done worse things,” Ronan remarked. “Miss. You-have-to-listen-to-me-because-I’m-the-oldest. Don’t think I’ve forgotten the time we took Dad’s car for a joyride.”
“So I’m creative,” Reagan defended. The rest of the precinct had given them a hard time about that one, too. And while the girls had ended up grounded for a month after that, she knew it was a bit reluctant. They both remembered their father’s infamous story of his first joyride with his father’s car. Unfortunately he didn’t like Reagan’s adding that he was just leading them by example. “I like to have fun. That’s not a bad thing.”
“You get bored easily.”
“That too.” A light sigh escaped Reagan’s lips and she turned her attention back to her sister. “I hate it when you do that, Sis.”
“Do what?” The corners of Ronan’s mouth twitched into a smile.
“Prove me wrong. Especially because you’re younger than me.”
“I know.” Ronan beamed. “That’s why I do it.”
Regan sighed once more, lowering her voice. “Did he even come home last night?”
“I don’t think so,” Ronan replied with a frown. She reached up and scratched the back of her head. “I stayed up as long as I could. I think he might’ve slept at the office again.”
Reagan nodded and slipped into the bathroom. It’s the only place he seems to be nowadays.
So, for those of you that have seen the post on our Facebook page it is November. Or. as those in the writing world know it as, National Novel Writing Month. This month we're not officially participating but are using it to get ahead in some of our works as well as to set time aside and work on some previously written things.
This time around Jess announced she'd work on Two Pair and the blog post with the finished product of the first chapter is now up. We please ask for some feedback, in particular of pacing and characterization. Thanks!