Dysmorphia

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Epilogue

The first day of the new school year came around more quickly than the pupils of Phillipson High would have liked, shiny-shoed Year 7′s and gum chewing Year 11′s flooded through the green school gates, some nervously chatting and other’s screeching like wild animals.

But there was one difference this year.

The List was plastered on every wall, on the lockers, on bathroom stalls but it was simply ignored, treated like the useless piece of paper it really was, as people ripped each List up or simply trampled carelessly on them a name was uttered by almost all of them,

Florence Clarke

Florence Clarke was the most well-known name in the school by now, everyone knew her story and everyone knew how she’d changed her life around, of course the girl’s voted the more pleasant names such as prettiest felt anger, they felt like they had earned the labels they had been given and hated that they would no longer be recognised in the school’s hierarchy.

Pieces of paper once revered like holy scriptures were now used to mop up spillages, to make paper airplanes.

The majority of the student body acted like the List had never even been a thing, and as for that years FPBG, Lydia Thompson, she had never been so popular, students guarded her on her way to each lesson and practically growled at anyone who so much as glanced her way, for the first time in a long time people felt hope, hope that through love and togetherness anything could be conquered.

A degrading practice such as the List wasn’t welcomed anymore at Phillipson High, it would no longer be allowed to exist, the students would make sure of that, of course there was still the occasional mention on Social Media of the ‘FBPG’ or ‘Prettiest Girl in the Year’ but any such mention was usually met with such an outcry that the post was deleted.

In the end it hadn’t been an insincere speech by the Principal or vows from the staff to remove the List that ended the tradition, it had been one girl named Florence Clarke and a boy that had changed her life.

Phillipson High’s library was more crowded than it had ever been that lunchtime, never before had books arriving been so highly anticipated, the ancient librarian looked around worriedly as her helpers unboxed the books.

‘Dysmorphia’ read the front cover:

‘By Florence Elizabeth Clarke’

Almost a hundred miles away the New York Times Bestselling Author Florence Clarke sat on a chair, nervously fiddling with a form in her hands, she had wanted to make the trip to the prison alone, her life had been a whirlwind these past few months, with her book deal and everything else that came along with sudden internet fame, no longer was she the hidden girl, she even had an agent now.

It would all seem like a dream if she hadn’t seen her book in bookstores on the taxi journey here, there had been some worry that Phillipson High would try and sue her for smearing their name, but she had been assured by several top lawyers that as she had changed their name they had no case.

She had removed Chase’s letter from its frame today, she needed him near her for support.

Nothing had ever been so scary as what faced her behind that grey door.

“He’s ready now Miss Clarke” the warden smiled at her “Don’t look so scared love, he won’t bite”

Florence shook herself she didn’t know why she was acting so strangely, this boy was Chase’s brother, he couldn’t be all that bad if he was Chase’s brother, he had asked her for this one favour, compared to the hundreds of favours he had given her and she was shaking like she would be entering hell itself.

She got up feeling like her legs could no longer support her weight anymore and walked towards the door, a prison guard swiped his card and she entered the dispatches room.

There he stood.

No....

It couldn’t be.

Staring back at her was Chase.

From the way his ears slightly curved at the edges to the dusting of freckles across his nose and the curls across his forehead, Chase stood before her.

He cleared his throat.

“Um, hi”

She had never thought she would hear that voice again.

“Chase?” she whispered.

He smiled slightly “Oh, so my brother didn’t mention that we were twins did he? I’m Cole”

Twins.

Twins, why hadn’t she even considered that they had been twins?

She had forgotten how to move, her limbs no longer functioned as they used to, she still felt like she was standing in front of Chase, someone with his exact features and stance couldn’t not be him.

Her brain began to work again, registering the minute differences between them, Cole was paler probably from being locked up here and he was wearing a white linen shirt Chase would never have worn, but her stared at her with an exact replica of the concerned expression his brother had once worn.

She was sobbing and walking towards him before she even knew it, she stretched out her hand.

“I’m Florence... I knew your brother before he...” she couldn’t finish her sentence as she saw his face scrunch up with pain, those eyes stare at her like deep pools of sadness.

She reached into her pocket and pulled out a letter.

“He gave this to me to give to you”

Cole’s hands reached out and took the envelope from her.

She wanted him to be Chase, was that a terrible thing to think, she wanted him to be Chase, her Chase she wanted him back.

“Thanks” he said and then reached forwards and hugged her.

“I miss him you know, I know I probably don’t have much right to but I miss him so much”

Florence cried into his shoulder, she couldn’t speak not while she was hugging someone with the same scent as Chase.

She had to drag herself away.

“My car’s parked outside, so if your ready I am”

She wiped her eyes with the corner of her t-shirt.

“I’m ready” Cole swiped at his own eyes.

Together they walked out of the door, where they were going neither of them knew, but what Florence knew was that this story was far from over.

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