Day 212 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write about twins being reunited after years apart.
Shannon: “I’m sorry, but it’s weird looking at you. I keep thinking about how that’s what everyone sees when they look at me,” I attempted to fill the awkward silence. They put us in the room alone to give us time to get to know each other, but they didn’t give us a strategy and I still felt like I was talking to a stranger, or to be honest, a clone.
“No it’s ok, I get it. I was thinking the same thing,” she flashed her eyes at me for only a few seconds before she had to look away.
“You know we probably have a lot more in common than our looks. I took a sociology class in high school, and we read studies on how twins who are separated tend to be more similar than the ones who grow up together. It has something to do with not having to separate themselves from each other. It’s a cool study, but I never thought I could be a part of it,” I rambled on.
“That a nice thought, but I have a feeling our situation is quite a bit different than most of their stories,” she shot-down my excitement. I didn’t want to judge her too quickly, but I did wonder how she felt about our different economic backgrounds. Now I knew.
I breathed out, in an attempt to hold my tongue. “Well I guess we’ll just have to find out who’s right,” I shrugged, even though I wasn’t thrilled by the chance of finding anything that had I in common with my sister.
Erin: The day Tyra came pounding on my door that feeling I had throughout my whole life started made sense. When I saw her face, I felt a little less lost and a little more whole. I didn’t feel the deep urge that I was at the wrong place, at the wrong time with the wrong people. She was still a stranger, but in that moment, I knew who I was and I finally felt at home. She was what I never knew I was looking for. She found me.
Bring your characters back together.
It had been a few days since she dropped off the load and headed back onto the open road, and it being her birthday didn’t really make much of a difference to the situation, or so she would tell you. On occasion she passed another lonely vehicle out on the highway, but not often enough to be sure the rest of the world hadn’t simply stopped turning. That was one thing she considered sometimes between jobs; that every person on the planet could have died away and she may never notice. As the sun died behind the mountains before her, spreading its last yellow rays out across the open fields, she breathed in the last breath of warmth and cranked the radio.
With the sun having died, she carefully folded her sunglasses and hooked them into the passenger’s side visor with careful motions. She’d stolen those aviator glasses from her father when she was ten, and they were a melancholy reminder of him on those lonely days she spent on the open road. As she arrived at a rest stop, with lights flickering in the new night air, she threw the rig into park and hopped down to the pavement for a little walk around.
Sitting in the back seat of the limo, the gorgeous blonde continued to nervously crease the ruffles in her dress as she waited for the bridesmaid to retrieve her; she couldn’t leave for fear of seeing the love of her life before the wedding. A glittering tiara full of faux diamonds rested in the perfectly-curled locks that flowed halfway down her back with stunning little pins throughout it. Absently, she fixed the heavy makeup around her eyes and reapplied her pale pink lipstick for what felt like the hundredth time as she’d been waiting there impatiently.
A text message beeped from the designer purse that held her makeup and a change of jewelry, and she pounced at it. Fumbling through the purse, she pulled the metal box from the depths and attempted to turn it on with unwieldy fake nails that matched perfectly with the elaborate wedding dress. “Thair was issue, dont now wut rong, wil find out,” was all the message said in the bridesmaid’s horrible texting. Holding back hot tears, the bride peered through the tinted windows at the dark night; they should be married by now. There was a commotion from the main building and the door to the car burst open, sending a large pink ball of taffeta shoring up on the far bank of seats.
After a moment, the bride realized why she recognized the fabric and, in shock, began parting the dress to reveal and red-in-the-face bridesmaid who could barely breathe. She sat there with the puffy material lumped up around her as she caught her breath when she finally spoke in gasps, “He – needs – a – word – with – you – now.” Waving her hand to stop any questions from the quickly-blotching bride, she gulped air like it was on sale before righting herself and gripping the bride’s gloved hand in her own. “He wanted to – uh – to tell you something before – uh – before you said your vows. He was right behind me, I think,” she grinned, patting the bride’s fingers lovingly.
“So he’s not leaving me or something? I was terrified, you jerk! Besides, he can’t see me before the wedding; I’m in my dress,” the bride whined, dabbing angrily at the smudged makeup around her eyes. Though the two women sat mere inches away, they were in completely different parts of their lives; the bride was head-over-heels in love and the bridesmaid had been to too many weddings to understand true love.
The fiery, black-haired trucker loved the sense of freedom that her profession bestowed upon her; racing the wind across the country lugging loads of greatly-appreciated supplies for days on end. Even now, with a girlfriend and an apartment in the city to look forward to when she got home, the road was her mistress who took her to places she could never have dreamt up and keeping her safe when storms raged. She felt so lucky to have a job that gave her wings, and an angel of a girlfriend.
A frosty wind whipped up as she was jogging around the tiny bathroom, and she longed for the fleecy hoody hanging in the cab. All day she’d been expecting a storm to hit, and it was feeling like it would pass right over her anytime now. With a last gulp of fresh, cold air, she strode back to the truck and heaved herself back into the driver’s seat just as the first enormous drops fell on the metal vehicle. Turning the music way up again, she plunged her arms into the fuzzy jacket and shivered in the sudden chill. As the engine roared to life under her gentle, yet firm, touch, she turned back onto the deserted and slick highway.
“He was never one for traditions,” commented the bridesmaid, attempting to hide the furious blush that was spreading across her cheeks like wildfire. “Look, he was right behind me and he wanted to tell you something in private so I guess I’ll just head back in there; let me know what happens with you two,” she called as she practically rolled out the door and hobbled up the candlelit walkway to the cathedral.
Blushing herself, the bride quickly fixed the makeup she had ruined just as the groom slid into the limo and muttered something to the driver. His silhouette against the brilliant light in the front of the car disappeared as he shut the window and the vehicle pulled away from the curb. Without a word, he sidled across the seats so he was sitting right beside her, pulling her gloved hands into his lap and gazing longingly at the digits. As the groom breathed slowly, the bride felt sweat prickle uncomfortably at her neck and gulped nervously.
His tone was dark and monotonous as he spoke more to her hand than her, “I have been in love with you for years, years,” he emphasized the word as though it were the most important thing he wanted to get across, “and you, you didn’t care for me, ever. Until, of course, you realized I was rich and could catapult your social status to the moon and back. I mean, I gave you a nose job and made you even more beautiful than you had been, which was pretty stunning,” he continued as the car stopped suddenly. “But I found someone else, someone who might actually love me for me and not just for what I can do for her.”
Without another word, he opened the door and, holding her hand, let her out on the side of the road.
With the music echoing around the tiny cab, the trucker missed her girlfriend’s call asking where she was and why she wasn’t home yet. But, in the grand scheme of things, that didn’t matter much, and the truth might have hurt more anyway; she was heading out to find her mother so she could tell her that her father had passed away. It was going to be the most difficult thing she had ever done, and she really just wanted to do it alone, having already been under a dark cloud of repressed guilt. For ages, she’d ignored the fact that her mother split with her father and took all the bodily possessions between the two of them, and it was just now creeping into her mind how messed up that was.
Rain had begun to fall in sheets bouncing off the asphalt and streaming down the windshield, but she still saw the darkened outline of a fluttering coat under a streetlamp in the night. As she came closer to the figure, she realized it was a woman with her shivering thumb sticking out on an otherwise deserted road. Without a second thought, she pulled over and rolled down the window to shout out at the woman, “Hey! You wanna ride? This isn’t a well-travelled road,” she yelled in her most confident, deep voice. Reaching over, she unlocked the door and swung it open to the soaking and freezing woman who squinted up into the bright, warm cab. “Come on!” shouted the trucker, throwing it into park and stepping over to reach a hand into the downpour.
Silently, the shivering woman grabbed the offered hand and the two managed to heave her into the passenger’s seat, where waves of dry heat were streaming from all directions. “Thanks,” she muttered under her breath.
They drove in complete silence for an uncomfortably long time before the trucker pulled over at the next rest stop and pulled out a map of the area, meaning to ask where the hitchhiker was attempting to get to. But, as she returned to her seat, she noticed the strange attire under the coat and asked without thinking, “So, what’s with the lace and jewels?” Though she hadn’t really meant it to be snide, it came out that way. Silence thick as molasses followed as the other woman stared into the wavering lights on the dashboard.
“I came from my wedding,” she replied stiffly, adjusting her jacket to cover more of her spectacular dress.
“Oh, wow, congratulations,” grinned the trucker, beginning to refold the map.
Chuckling darkly, the bride spat, “Well, I was on the side of the road freezing and still in my dress, so I wouldn’t be so quick to commend me on catching a husband just yet.” Venom stuck to her every syllable and she sniffled pitifully without looking at the other girl.
The truck spewed hot air loudly as the discomfort stretched thin and the trucker finally asked, “Well, where do you want me to drop you? We’re currently heading east.”
“I don’t care,” replied the bride quickly, covering her face with her hands and sobbing quietly.
With a dejected sigh, the trucker plucked the blanket from her cot and passed it to the hitchhiker, adding quietly, “Alright, I’m just heading over to see my mother, so hopefully you’ll know where you want to go by the time we stop.” She sat back down, turned the cab’s lights off and revved the engine in the deep, dark night. It purred happily and she eased her back onto the highway with little effort, casting glances at her guest occasionally. As they headed toward the inevitable uncomfortable conversation with her mother, the trucker fretted silently in her own head.
“Hey, who’s this?” asked the bride suddenly, having picked a photograph of two smiling young girls on a swing set from the dashboard. There was genuine curiosity in her voice, not just the bored expression that generally went along with a question like that.
With a turn of her head, the trucker recognized the photo and sighed gloomily, “Oh, that’s my twin sister. When our parents split, they each took one of us as kind of collateral against the other. I haven’t seen her since I last saw my mother,” she added, keeping her eyes trained on the next set of streetlights to keep from breaking down. Surprisingly, the bride was searching through her bag as though she hadn’t heard a word, and the trucker breathed a sigh of relief; she hated explaining about their messed-up family.
“Can you stop the truck please?” asked the stranger in a tiny, hoarse voice. The brakes squealed lightly as the trucked slowed the vehicle to a standstill, threw her into park on the desolate highway and turned to question the bride. “Look,” she added, fumbling for a light switch with a pair of photos in her pale fingers, “I have the same picture. My mother didn’t think my fiancé was good enough, so she didn’t come to my failed wedding. And she is always berating my father for stealing away in the middle of the night with half her heart.” Tears had welled in both women’s eyes as the pair of images told a story of a broken family better than any book.
When they finally started back on the open road, they were new people, chatting about their lives openly as though they’d known each other all their lives. “I got a nose job a few years ago when I started going out with my fiancé, otherwise I would have recognized you as my twin; I’m so sorry,” cooed the bride, her jacket abandoned on the bed and the blanket wrapped tightly around her dress.
“Oh, I play hockey so I’ve had a lot of irreparable facial injuries over the years. Plus football, which is really bad for teeth, you know,” replied the trucker, who had poured them both cups of steaming, strong coffee to help ease the drowsiness. After a sip, she continued, “I have a girlfriend who I rent an apartment with, and we have two teacup poodles who we love to death.”
Pausing to think, the bride narrowed her eyes and stated plainly, “I used to have a fiancé and a house and everything, but now I suppose I have nothing. Oh, take a right here and it’s the third house on the left up there,” she pointed down the street at a cookie-cutter house with a crooked weathervane.
They parked along the street and walked up the short sidewalk side-by-side, looking like a couple of drunk teenagers in their oddball attire. Taking a deep breath, the trucker knocked deliberately and took her sister’s hand for strength; reunited at last, they confronted their mother together.
Finn is in the middle of working on an art piece on a brick wall when a girl walks over to him and taps him on the shoulder, “Excuse me… Can you help me? I’m looking for someone.”
“I might, who is it?”
“My, um… my brother,” she states, “I was told he… He does this sort of thing.”
“What’s his name?”
“I don’t know anyone named Perry. But, I do know a Perun,” Finn states, a nervous smile growing.
She taps her her hand to her forehead, “Yes, Perun, that’s who. Do you know where I could find him?”
Finn looks over her shoulder briefly, “Turn around.”
He goes back to his work, but watches the pair. Perun is staring at the girl. “Perun?”
“You couldn’t even remember my name, could you?” He asks.
“No… No that’s not what-”
“It’s alright, I don’t remember yours either, sis.”
Finn looks at the girl again. “You’re siblings?”
“I’m his twin,” she states, “We haven’t seen each other in years.”
“Yeah, when Dad got you and I was stuck with Mom,” Perun grumbles, “How’s the princess life, by the way?”
“Perun it isn’t like that-”
“Have a nice life, sweetheart. Go back to Daddy. I’m busy with my own prestigious lifestyle,” Perun sweeps his hand to the brick wall he’s working on, then turns his back to her and ignores her. She starts to tear up, then turns away. She walks down the street, and Finn looks away from his street mentor.