“We are unfashioned creatures, but half made up, if one wiser, better, dearer than ourselves — such a friend ought to be — do not lend his aid to perfecionate our weak and faulty natures.”
The moonlight stitched black circular-shaped shadows across my bedroom — a dark, lifeless square filled with nothing but reminders of what I had lost. My twin sister’s bed was made and empty. Her favorite stuffed animal, a fat, yellow bunny with a missing eye was lying face down on her pillow. Boxes piled by the foot of her bed, a few pieces of clothing peeking out here and there that she roughly hid from our mom who had a serious case of OCD. I still had yet to muster enough courage to pack the few things she had unpacked right before the accident. It had been scarce a month ago that death had reaped Robyn from us and the loss of her was as surreal as it was the day it happened. I was alone and I needed comfort. Mom was too medicated to leave her bed and my stepdad only cared about his extreme couponing to notice. My wicked stepsister, Monica, gloried as the ice queen and my dad — I never knew him. According to Mom, the last thing my supposed dad aspired to was children after my mom had told him she was pregnant.
I dropped my feet to the bare, wooden floor and sat up straight on my bed, watching the tree branch tapping against the glass of the window. I hated this place, now more than before Robyn’s death. The small, desolate town of Devil’s Crest was isolated between sea and forest. The town’s design was old, Gothic Victorian with half its inhabitants as morbid as its design. The other half was trying to bring life to this town, so merry it surprised me that the buildings had not spontaneously turned yellow yet. Pre-dead Robyn I thought that putting up with this place for two years until graduation wouldn’t be that bad. Now, two years seemed like forever. I began to question even if I was ever going to leave this place, when a better part of me had died here. Two days after we had moved here the accident happened, but the aftereffect would always linger. A soft knock came from my bedroom door. “Liv?” Mom’s voice echoed. I leaped from the bed. This was the first time since the funeral that Mom had — out of her own accord, left her bedroom. Something had to be wrong.
I pulled open the door to find Mom, dressed in a faded green nightgown and tangled hair standing in the hallway. The dark circles under her eyes were brutal.
“Mom? What’s wrong?” I felt my throat closing up with worry.
“There’s a man by the door. Our neighbor,” Mom swallowed. Her voice was coarse, as if she hadn’t had a single drop of moisture to drink in days. “Apparently, three houses run on the power box inside our kitchen.”
I eyed my mom. This came as a surprise for me, considering we only had two other houses occupying our deserted little neighborhood up in the middle of the mountains. Up until now, between the three creepy houses, I thought only ours had occupants inside it. I released a relieved breath. “Okay?”
“Some of the wires burned out, so he’s replacing it. Would you please be nice and offer him something to drink? Keep an eye?”
“He’s working night shift.” Mom shifted her weight. “Please. I can’t deal with people right now and we can’t stay without electricity forever.”
“It’s okay Mom. I’ll do it.” I didn’t question the fact that it was almost eleven in the evening and that Mom had allowed a strange man in to our house. Mom’s head was rarely in the right state these days. I doubt it would be ever again, at the rate things were going.
Mom stood still for a moment, staring at me. Her eyes became glassy. I dropped my gaze to my toes, unable to bear the look on her face. I knew it was hard for her to look at me and not be reminded of Robyn. We were identical, with the same long honey blonde hair, pale skin and wide, gray eyes. The only difference was that Robyn had her ‘beauty spot’ on her left cheek.
“I miss her so much.” Mom sucked in her breath, as if she was fighting a sob.
I still didn’t look at her. “Me too, Mom,” I whispered.
Mom touched my hand, her skin ice cold. “Love you, honey.”
“Love you too.”