You were born to be a Jade. You were born to be a Jade. You were born to be a Jade...
Those seven words were carved in Emma's brain. No matter where she went, what she did, whoever she met, that was the motto repeating in her head. Thanks to her father, she was never going to escape them. Not just the words. She was never going to escape Jade, and its relentless, harsh methods of training its people.
"Emma!" Her sister called. "You've got your head in the clouds again. "
"Sorry," she muttered "I got distracted."
" Like always! "
" You're always thinking too much. We're part of Jade- we're supposed to be fierce and bold and brave! " her friend exclaimed, pronouncing each word clearly and loudly for Emma to hear.
"Whatever, Milly." She replied.
Milly walked up to Emma and looked at her, hard.
"You don't have to be worried, you know."
"Who said anything about being worried?" Emma said, trying to force a smile.
"It's in your eyes."
Emma scoffed. "What, you can read my eyes now can you? Hilarious."
Milly didn't laugh. "Emma, I'm your sister, your twin. I know when you're worried, ok? Seriously. Is this about the Scan tomorrow?"
Silently, Emma nodded.
"What? Why? You're literally the perfect Jade, for all my teasing! You're special and perfect and-"
"And Jades aren't meant to be special. We are supposed to be brave and courageous and well, I'm not! We're supposed to follow orders without thinking." Emma burst out.
"And who says the old ways have to be the same? You can invent a new way of being a Jade. When the Scan happens, it will recognise whatever you truly are, at heart. And if it is Jade, great! Wonderful! And if it's not... Well you will feel at home with others. I'll just pray really hard we stay together."
Emma looked at Milly, with her dark chocolate hair and striking ice blue eyes. They were identical twins, except that Milly had naturally curly hair and Emma had naturally wavy hair. That was the only way to tell them apart.
"Thanks Milly... You're the best sister anybody could have."
"Same for you. Don't worry anymore!"
"Yeah, I'm not worried anymore thanks to you. I'm sure everything will be fine."
As the two twins walked back their house, Emma wished that what she had just said hadn't been a lie.