A Twin Dilemma

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Chapter 14

Monday was just exactly as Molly had expected it to be. The girls in her office had descended upon her as soon as she came in the door. They wanted to know all about the handsome man that had taken her home on Wednesday. Forcing a smile to her face, she told them he was just a friend looking out for her. It was Mr. Baker reaction that surprised her the most. She had expected to get some kind of reprimand over the two and a half days she had missed, but he didn’t say anything about it. He didn’t even ask her to get a doctor’s excuse. He just welcomed her back and gave her a new stack of files to work on.

Lunch time was a little disappointing. True to his word, Phelix didn’t come to take her to lunch. Molly walked herself down to the little café on the corner where she and Phelix had had their first lunch. Ordering the ruben that he had gotten on their first date, she sat in the same booth by herself thinking about things.

The entire morning had been oddly quite. Over the weekend, Phelix has spent a lot to time talking with her over texts. The sheer quantity of messages that he had sent surprised Molly. It had started at lunch time on Friday and continued until she went to bed in the evening. She woke to the ping of his good morning message and they continued chatting almost nonstop all day. At times, it had been difficult to answer his questions about the yoga camp’s activities, but, having spent hours listening to Mandy ramble on about the weekend, Molly was able to make up some believable stuff. Sunday had been a lot of the same. It had brought a strange pleasantness to her empty weekend.

Pulling out her phone, she flipped through the banter that they had shared during that time. She hadn’t received a single word from him at all today. His last message had been shortly before Mandy had stopped by on Sunday. Her heart ached at not being able to talk with him. Her finger hovered over the reply button on his last message. For a moment, she thought about sending him a message asking him how he was, but put her phone up before she could. She just needed to rid her mind of him and let her sister be happy, it was the right thing to do. Molly blinked back the tears burning her eyes and turned her full attention to the sandwich in front of her. For some reason, the normally delicious sandwich had no flavor today.

***

Molly looked at the clock on the wall and just waited for the end of the day to roll around. Today had been just as uneventful and sad as yesterday. She has started the Tuesday with renewed sprites, but they had slowly sunk throughout the day. Everything seemed to remind her of Phelix. She had taken to checking her phone every few minutes to see if he had sent her a message, even though she knew that it wouldn’t happen.

Shortly after lunch, a stack of paperwork had come through with the name ‘Fairlane’ at the top. Molly had immediately picked up the file to read through it, but the first name did not match the man that she was thinking about. Apparently there was a doctor in the building with the same last name. Molly had sighed out her depression and set the paperwork back into the pile with the rest of them. This Fairlane couldn’t have been Phelix. He was a lawyer, but he did say that he knew someone in the building. Molly pondered over this one for a long time. Phelix had claimed that he had a brother that was a doctor. Could he work here? Was that why he was in the lobby on that first Monday? She spent the rest of her day catching the name Fairlane on her paperwork. This was definitely something she was going to need to tell her sister. Molly picked up her phone to text her sister, but remember that she was going to be meeting up with Phelix tonight and dropped the phone down without even unlocking it. She made a mental note to stop by the store for a pint of Phish Food ice cream. It was about the only thing that made her feel better when she was this depressed.

***

Molly smiled when she came down to lunch on Wednesday. Someone was leaning against the railing in front of the building waiting to take her to eat. “What are you doing here, Mandy?” Molly asked as she looked over her sister’s red cardigan sweater and floral print pencil skirt. She had finished the outfit off with black gladiator sandals with four inch heels. Molly just smiled at her sister’s ensemble; she always had impeccable fashion tastes. Molly felt underdressed in the simple blouse, knee length skirt, and low pumps she’d chosen.

Pushing off of the railing, Mandy greeted her sister was a warm hug. “You’ve been so down lately; I came to take you to lunch.”

Molly laughed at her twin’s thoughtfulness. “That’s so sweet of you.” Turning, she led Mandy up the street to the little deli on the corner. “Did you take off work just to come hang out with me?”

Mandy shrugged at her sister. “I have to admit, it wasn’t just to see you.”

Molly chuckled. “You were coming to see if Phelix was keeping his word.”

Mandy nodded.

Let out a heartsick sigh, Mandy glanced at her sister. “Well you’ll be happy to know that I haven’t heard a single thing out of him since Sunday afternoon.” She ordered a pastrami sandwich and turned to see the distress on her twin’s face.

“Is it really bothering you that much?” Mandy asked. She ordered the vegetable soup.

Molly sighed again. She waited to get their food and find a table before she answered her sister. “Honestly,” Molly looked at her sandwich, “yes it is bothering me.” She looked up to the blank face her sister was giving her. “I know that it was only a short time, but I really got to like him. I miss his company.”

Mandy’s lips pressed into a hard line as she listened to her sister.

Making an unhappy face, Molly shook her head. “Don’t worry about it Mandy. I’m not going to steal your boyfriend. I’ll get over this, just give me time.” She turned her attention back to her food. Even though the sandwich looked amazing, the whole sordid affair had put her off of eating.

Mandy reached out and took her sister’s hand. “I am so sorry.”

Molly looked up to the distress showing on Mandy’s face.

“I didn’t know things had gotten that far out of hand.”

Anger seeped into Molly. “I told you I was starting to like him.” She snapped, pulling her hand away from her sister and folding it into her lap. Closing her eyes, she took a long cleansing breath trying to push the anger away. She let the air out slowly before looking at her sister again. “I knew I was starting to like him, but I thought it would go away if he stopped coming around.” Molly sighed again. “I just didn’t realize that I would miss his company that much.” Molly reached up and started into her sandwich while Mandy sat there processing this information.

Mandy sighed. “Oh Molly.” She picked up her spoon and stirred her soup around. “I don’t know what to do.”

“There isn’t anything to be done.” Molly said. “Just give me some time. And don’t expect me to be happy with you for a while.”

Mandy chuckled at her sister. “I really am sorry about this. It was never supposed to go this far.”

“It’s fine.” Molly sighed again. “Finish your soup before we’re both late getting back to work.”

Mandy chuckled again and turned her attention to her food. The twins ate the rest of their meal in a comfortable silence.

Molly hugged her sister. “Thanks for lunch.”

“Are we okay?” Mandy asked not sure if her sister was going to forgive her for this one.

“Yeah, we’re good.” Molly sighed. “Just keep your boyfriend to yourself.”

Mandy agreed and they parted to go back to work.

Molly decided that she needed to make Mandy get her another pint of ice cream for this evening. Maybe then she would start to feel better.

***

A large vase took up most of the free space on Molly’s desk. She sighed deeply and looked at the flowers. Two dozen red roses were mixed in with baby’s breath and silver curly sticks. They were amazingly beautiful. After Thursday had passed without note, she had accepted that Phelix wasn’t coming back and she’d started focusing on getting her life back in line. This was not what she needed on a Friday morning.

Molly didn’t need to look at the card to know who had sent the roses, but she picked the envelope up and broke the seal on it anyway. She pulled out the romantic card. Her heart clenched as she read through the flowery words printed on the inside, but it was what had been handwritten that made Molly’s chest constrict and tears come to her eyes.

“Hey Beautiful, I finally understand. I offer you a gift. Two dozen roses. The first for the issues I have caused. I’m sorry and I promise to make it right. The second is for the most wonderful woman I know. I have missed our lunch times together and look forward to seeing you this evening. Until then, enjoy.”

With trembling fingers, Molly read over the scrawling handwriting. The loving words intended for her sister made her heart ached. Tears burned her eyes, threating to spill down her face. An over whelming urge to destroy the present flowed through her. To hurl the loving gift across the room to shatter against the wall and tear up the sentimental words into little bits of confetti to toss out the window to the street below. She settled for folding the card up and moving the vase of flowers to the top of the filling cabinet where she wouldn’t have to look at them.

Sitting down in her chair, Molly pulled out her phone to send her sister a text. She needed to know what her sister wanted to do about the gift. Molly took a quick picture of the vase and sent it off for Mandy to see. Taking one more look at the card, Molly read through the feelings written in those words again. Something seemed off with what Phelix had written. What did he finally understand? If he suspected something wasn’t right between he and Mandy, wouldn’t he have spoken about it with Mandy face to face. And if Phelix had found out about her and Mandy switching places, why would he send her roses as an apology? Wouldn’t he be rather upset about it? Molly looked up at the vase again. Her eyes studied the gentle curve of the clear glass holding the flowers, but paused on something that caught the light. She stood up to get a better look at the object wrapped around the neck of the vase.

Molly gasped at the row of diamonds sparkling against the glass. She looked around at the girls working in her office. They hadn’t said anything to her about the flowers yet, but she could see them exchanging whispers and glances. She pulled on the ribbon holding the tennis bracelet to the vase and slipped back down to her desk to look at it. How could he leave something like this just sitting on her desk?! Molly looked around again before pulling the ribbon away from the diamond and gold chain. Running her fingers over the sparkling gems, she noticed a small tag near the clasp with “My Beautiful” stamped into it. Molly gasped as she read over the words. She wadded up the bracelet and looked around again trying to decide what to do with it. She didn’t have a pocket and just dropping something that expensive into her purse just didn’t seem right. She considered tying it back around the vase, but was afraid that someone might see the diamonds and be too tempted to leave it alone.

Molly looked around her office one more time before opening her hand back up and looking at the thin band. Sitting up defiantly, she wrapped the bracelet around her wrist and clasped it into place. Damn it, Phelix had sent it to her office so she was going to wear it until she had the chance to see her sister, and if the card meant anything, that would probably be tomorrow or later. She looked up at the roses and smiled. When she got home, she was going to take half of the beautiful long stem roses out before giving the rest to her sister. The card had said that twelve of them were an apology for the issues he had caused her. Phelix coming to visit her at work hadn’t caused Mandy any problems, so the apology roses were definitely hers. Her twin would just have to suck it up.

Twisting her wrist sharply, Molly savored the feel of the metal sliding over her skin. A deviant smile crept onto Molly’s face as she slipped the card into her purse. Maybe she should just keep the bracelet for all of the troubles and heartache the entire situation had caused her, after all, it fit her perfectly. Looking at the sparkling object one last time, Molly shook her head. It would be wrong to keep it. It would find its way to her sister, just not today.

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