"Mom, tell Oliver to mind his business" a blonde haired girl with sea blue eyes, tall, very tall and slender shouted while running down the stairs. A tall boy who looks to be a head taller than the girl, same eyes, same face, same lips, same everything sprinted after her down the stairs. The girl ran into the kitchen and hugged from behind a tall slender woman with blonde hair, who was busy cooking in the kitchen.
The woman turned and glared at the boy who stopped at the door and grinned. The girl who was hiding behind her mother stuck her tongue out to him while he grinned again, mouthing 'I will get you' "what's wrong with you Oliver, why can't you let your sister be?" The woman asked.
"Mom, I didn't come into this world alone so how can I let her be? Besides, as a good older brother that I am, it is my responsibility to make sure she is always smiling" the boy now identified as Oliver replied while taking a pear from the fruit basket on the table, he turned and raised his eyebrow at the girl hiding behind their mother "I'm I right baby sis?"
"I am not a baby, for crying out loud, you are only older than me with two minutes. Two minutes!" She showed him her two fingers to support her claim "when are you going to get that into your thick skull?"
Oliver chuckled "two minutes, one minute, one second, it doesn't change the fact that I saw the doctor's face before you and breathed in the earth's air first. So you see, you will always be my baby sis" he clicked his tongue.
Olivia rolled her eyes and left her mother's back which was her hideout and approached her smiling brother, she looked at him from head to toe and grinned "very soon people won't believe that anymore."
"Believe what?" Oliver frowned before getting a hold of what she was hinting at "dream on, you will never be taller than me."
"Haha, look! You are only a head taller now, very soon, it won't even be up to an inch" she grinned.
Oliver wanted to retort but he doesn't know what to say, truthfully, his sister is really growing fast. Back when they were younger, people believed she won't be half as tall as him because she appeared to have a stunt growth but then, three years ago, she sprung up like a baby tree who has been denied water for a while and finally got a hold on some. Surprising not only him but people who saw them together again "what did you feed her when I wasn't around mom? Fertilizer?" He grinned and Olivia winced.
"Shut up Oliver. If I feed your sister fertilizer, won't you be the first to kill me?" Their mother asked not really paying attention in their bickering, they are always like that and she has grown immune to it. People who doesn't know better will think they hate each other to the bones but in truth, they don't joke with one another and can hardly stay without the other, they love each other so much and are hardly separable.
"Yea right. Maybe..." Oliver was saying when the phone rang and he left to answer it. Olivia decided to help her mother in the kitchen while she listened to the muffled sound of Oliver's reply to whoever was on the phone.
"When are you resuming work?" Mirabelle asked her daughter.
"Why Monday, haven't you finished your exams?"
Olivia chuckled "well, I told my boss I will be writing my last paper on Friday" she grinned.
Mirabelle shook her head unbelievably "when are you going to stop your deception Olivia? You should be lucky you got such a nice job before graduating and they even gave you leave to finish your final papers and yet you still lied to them."
"Come on mom, I just wanted to spend some more time with you before returning to my busy schedule" she smiled and kissed her mother's cheek.
Mirabelle smiled, she knew her daughter did it for her. Sometimes she often wish her and her brother will return to their teens so that she could spend more time with them but sadly, they are already twenty one this year but still, she is happy for them "I just don't want you to lose your job dear."
"I know" Olivia smiled, she wanted to say something more but Oliver walked back into the kitchen.
"I need to go meet dad. He said I should come pick him up, something is wrong with his car" he said and the two women looked at him before nodding.
"You guys will be back before dinner right?" Mirabelle asked.
"Sure mom, I'm the one driving" Oliver grinned and Olivia rolled her eyes.
"I will not tell you again to mind how you drive" she said.
"Your sister is right Oliver, you need to take it easy with the speed, you..." Mirabelle was saying when a loud thunder roared, the wind blew up the curtains and the windows rattled "looks like storm is coming."
"Uh oh, gotta go ladies. Don't want the old man greeting drenched" Oliver smiled and walked out the kitchen, his gaze first settling on his sister for a while and he smiled at her.
Olivia returned the smile and watched his leaving back, something pulled at her heartstring and she felt goosebumps, she shivered and looked out the window "getting cold already."
"Go get a jacket then" Mirabelle said and she left for her room, she heard the sound of Oliver's truck coming to life and leaving the driveway before she made it to her room.
Olivia and Mirabelle sat in the living room while waiting for the other two of their family members to return, it's been two hours already and the rain had started pouring for about an hour and thirty minutes after blowing strong wind for thirty minutes. They were getting worried, the men of the house should have been back by now unless if they are waiting for the rain to stop. Olivia was feeling extremely cold and she wondered why. She has already downed on her jacket but it seems like she was cold inside her body. She stood up from the chair and peered at the driveway through the window but there was no coming headlamp's lights. She sighed and walked back to the sofa and sat down.
Seconds ticked by turning into minutes and before long, another hour passed. Olivia was getting restless and moreover she couldn't understand the strange feelings she has been having. The image of Oliver's smiling face to her before leaving kept on popping in her mind. She was feeling cold, weak and scared. She can understand the cold, although the rain has stopped the night was still cold. She can understand the weak part because she had been working since morning and had been staying up for a lot of nights because of her exam which thankfully she has finished but she just can't understand the scared part, why is she scared? Why does she has the feeling of fear building up inside her? Why this touch of loneliness? She just can't understand.
The sound of a car stopping brought her back to presence, she sprung to her feet and was out the door before her mom could say a word, she just wants to see Oliver, him and no one else. Mirabelle followed her outside and they saw their father getting out of a car, they know the car, it belongs to Mr Stuart, their neighbour. Why is Mr. Stuart the one that dropped father? Where is Oliver? Olivia thought before walking out to meet them. She saw Mr. Stuart place his hand on her father's shoulder and shook his head softly and also her father's dejected figure, her brows creased, what is happening?
The fear inside her started growing fast, her heart thumping loud in her chest, goosebumps covered her body, her lips trembled and unknowingly, her fingers started to shake "da...d...dad?"
Malcolm looked at his daughter and the tears he thought had stopped came rushing down his face again, he gulped and reached out his hand to his daughter, he pulled her into his arms and sobbed on her shoulder.
Oliver felt the last strength in her go weak, what is going on? Why is her father crying and most importantly where is Oliver? Where is her brother? Her sweet, adorable brother? What is happening for crying out loud, she looked at Mr. Stuart who was standing few steps away from her her and her crying father, his head hung low and he seems to be dabbing at his eyes.
"Malcolm, where is Oliver" Mirabelle's shaky voice asked, her husband was crying and so was Mr. Stuart, her son left to pick up her husband and here he is without her boy, crying, her mind was already telling her what could have happened but her heart refused to believe it.
"Mirabelle" Malcolm muttered before reaching out for her, he hugged her tightly and silent sobs escaped his lips "Oliver, our boy...he...got into an accident...a tree broke and..." He sobbed "fell on his windscreen. Oliver, our little boy" he sniffed and covered his mouth to silent his sobs but unfortunately, he had said more than enough.
Olivia went crazy, she screamed "no! You are lying. Nothing happened to Oliver, dad you are lying."
Malcolm released his wife to grab his already crazy daughter but she slipped her hand from his and ran away from him "Stuart please."
Stuart nodded and ran after Olivia while Malcolm faced the already frozen Mirabelle in his arms "sweety."
"My boy, just this evening, he was laughing and playing with Olivia. What are you telling me Malcolm, what happened to my boy, my beautiful boy?"
"He...left us honey...to a better place. He is in a better place my love."
"No! My Oliver. My boy, my sweet boy. No! Where is my little boy Malcolm. He was at home, he was okay. You called him, you called him out. Where is my little boy Malcolm, give me back my boy please... Please...I want him back, I want my Oliver. Please Malcolm, please bring him back, bring him back to me" she slumped on the wet ground sobbing hysterically.
Malcolm knelt beside her and sobbed along "he is in a better place my love. He is in a better place."
Two days later, the family along with friends gathered to bury Oliver's corpse. Everywhere was silent as the priest read the goodbye. Olivia stood there like a statue, not saying anything neither is she showing any emotion. She looked so pale and lifeless. Her mother's occasional little sobs traveled to her ears but she doesn't want to listen, she doesn't want to be there anymore. Seeing the name of her most beloved man on that stone, she felt her world has come to an end.
A lot of times she has been separated from her beloved brother but the highest time had been a week and he always returned to her. Now, will she still see him again? She can't believe that her last memory of him was of him smiling lovingly at her. Every time she closed her eyes, she sees his face and that last smile he gifted to her. If she had known, she would have stopped him from leaving that day or better still offer to go with him, that way they can always be by each other's side. After all, they came into this world together, they should have left together, why did he leave without her? Why did he abandon her? Doesn't he want her anymore, doesn't he love her anymore? Why did he leave her?
After the funeral, a lot of their friends followed them back home for refreshment, not that it mattered to her. She walked up the stairs to her brother's room where she has been staying since the night he died. She shuddered as she thought of him as dead, she still can't believe anything. Even though she had just watched his coffin laid underground, a tomb bearing his name and their birthday year, she still hoped that he is going to barge into his room and see her lying in his bed and he is going to smile and say to her as always "baby sis, you prefer my bed to yours?"
The sob she had been holding in all through the day stocked on her chest that she feared she will die by choking. Oh, if only it will happen she thought as she sobbed, her hand clutching on his pillow and she kept rolling on his bed whispering between sobs "come back please, come back and call me baby sis."
One week after Oliver's death, the family was getting back on their feet, well, all except Olivia. She has been hoping that he would come back after one week but when he didn't, she received another blow and it was not helping that everywhere she looked reminds her of him. No, she can't do this, she can't stay here. If she wants to get over his death then she must leave, she must leave this place. She picked up her phone and called the airport, booking a seat in the last flight to Australia.
She wanted to tell her mother but she knew she will stop her so she got up, packed a little of her clothes into Oliver's schoolbag and got down the stairs as quietly as she can. Her mother was in the kitchen preparing dinner, she felt bad leaving her and wanted to say goodbye but stopped her self. She will call her once she gets to aunt Grace's.
Olivia left the house, she flagged a cab immediately she was two blocks away from her home to the airport.
Grace opened her door early in the morning, Shocked to see her niece who had been missing all night at her doorstep, "Olivia! What are you doing here? I just finished talking with your parents."
"Aunt Grace" Olivia mumbled "can I stay with you for sometime? Oliver is everywhere in the house."
"Oh my poor girl" Grace hugged her "you can stay as long as you want my darling" she said on her shoulder "does your parents know you are here?"
Olivia shook her head "I will call them now. I didn't want them to stop me that's why I didn't tell them I was leaving."
"They were so worried Olive, they thought something has happened to you too. They called me and we tried your number all night. That's why I was shocked to see you here."
"I'm sorry aunt Grace."
"Don't do like that anymore. Come in and have a hot bath while I call your parents" she helped her into the house and have her housekeeper fix a hot bath for her.
The next few days in aunt Grace's house wasn't as bad as her parents home and so, Olivia recovered a little but still, it didn't fill in the empty space in her chest, she kept wishing her brother could just be alive somewhere. Everyday she stares at herself in the mirror after bath, she styles her hair like Oliver does only that hers was longer but it always give her the warm feeling she wants. She will see her brother in her reflection in the mirror and since they have the same smile, when she smiles at her face in the mirror, it makes her feel like her brother was the one smiling to her.
Days passed with Olivia spending as much time standing opposite the mirror with a wet hair smiling to herself. The housekeeper had seen her a lot of times and complained to Grace but Grace knew it was the only thing making her happy so she left her alone. One day, Olivia stood as always staring at herself in the mirror with a wet hair, she smiled and ruffled her hair like Oliver always does his and a thought hit her. Since she like seeing Oliver's face so much and thankfully they are so identical, why don't she become him? That way, she will be seeing him everyday of her life.
The thought stuck on her for days and one day, Olivia got up, took a bath but rather than stand in the mirror and watch herself, she got dressed and left the house.
Grace returned from work and noticed that Olivia was not in the house, she called the housekeeper and asked her only to hear from her that it has been hours since Olivia left home. Filled with worry and panic, Grace bellowed at her housekeeper while she fumbled to call Olivia on her cell phone. The door opened and both she and the housekeeper turned to the door, hoping to see Olivia but what they saw shocked them "Ol...Ol...Oliver?" Grace stuttered as she watched the young man who walked into her home, looking so identical to her late nephew.
"No aunt, it's me" the boy said in a voice similar to that of her niece and also that of her nephew.
"Olivia?" Grace called softly to be sure.
The young boy opposite her gave her his killer smile which she had missed since the last time she saw him in December last year "yes aunt."