A Twin's Redemption

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School the Next Day

The next morning I was up and ready for school. I put on my uniform, ate breakfast, and then ran out to the bus with Luke.

“Just remember, you won’t be popular.”

“You don’t need to scare me like that. Leave me alone,” I said.

As soon as we stepped onto the bus, a huge food fight started with the other children on the bus.

“Can we walk to school, Luke?” I asked.

He wordlessly dragged me out of the bus, and we walked to school. The walk was as long as the other night to school when we were both on a mission to find Angelica.

“Told you!” he said.

“Yeah, you told me all right. You could have warned me earlier.”

“I did tell you earlier, but you wouldn’t listen.”

“But why are they doing that to us? We haven’t done anything to them!”

“When you have a frequent troublemaker who meets another troublemaker, and they become related ... that’s when all the troubles start.”

I scowled. “That doesn’t make sense.”

Luke was out of comments and couldn’t explain any more. He wasn’t the famous superstar who knew everything, so he wasn’t much help.

When we arrived at school, the bell had already rung for homeroom. No one was to be seen. The school grounds and the hallways were completely empty. We were late. Mrs Coulby wasn’t going to be happy. I had butterflies in my stomach. I had been late to many classes before by about ten minutes, but never thirty minutes late. The school could’ve rung my new parents, asking where Luke and I were.

Luke and I walked into the principal’s office. Anyone who was late to school had to do this. Usually a child would be accompanied by their parents or a note, but not this time. Luke and I were bound to be in trouble.

“Luke and Mildred Hostile, why are you so late to school?” he asked.

Mildred Hostile? Why can I not keep my own name? I never asked for a name change. I want to be called Mildred Shortstreet. Should I correct him or blow at him? I would like to know why he called me that.

“Food fights in the bus,” I answered.

“I don’t believe you. Which bus do you take to go to school? I will need to ring the bus driver up.”

I gave the number of the bus and the name of the bus driver. After the principal rang the bus driver and hung up, he frowned at both of us.

“Mildred, how many times do you have to lie to me? Apparently there were no food fight on the bus today.”

“Sir, you probably rung the wrong bus. There was a food fight.”

“Both of you, detention right now. I will call over anyone who was on the bus today to come down to the room. You are both going to be in immense trouble if you are telling a lie.”

“How much trouble, sir?” Luke said.

“This doesn’t concern you. You aren’t the one who told me a lie, though you are the biggest troublemaker of the school.”

“My sister is not a liar, sir, she is telling the truth.”

“Here we go again, owning up for Mildred, so she doesn’t get into trouble. Do you ever get tired of owning up for her?”

“No, because I have changed, sir. Ever since I met Mildred, a strange feeling came across me because I loved her at first sight. I stopped being a troublemaker because I wanted to impress her.”

“I cannot see that you have changed at all. You are the same boy I have always known, causing trouble even as we speak.”

The principal dragged us both into the detention room after giving the announcement, over the microphone, about anyone who was on the bus this morning having to report to the detention room immediately. Luke changed because of me. I like people just the way they are. Why was he trying to be someone else to impress me? I was so mad at him, it was not funny. He would be getting yelled at this afternoon when we both got home from school. He’d better be ready for it.

I didn’t remember anyone on the bus this morning because I couldn’t see a thing as food was flying over to my face. I did remember who was on the bus yesterday. We all gathered in the detention room, and the detention supervisor, Mrs Lowry, started; an old woman, with grey hair and large, baggy wrinkles covering every inch of her body.

“How many of you remember a food fight in the bus today? Most staff at this school and the bus you all rode on this morning said nothing happened, and that maybe Luke and Mildred are liars. Could anyone please commence this detention and tell me what exactly happened?”

Jonny stood up in the back row and walked to the front of the room. He was the biggest bully in the school, and every time he knew he was going to get into trouble, he would lie and the victim he was bullying would get into trouble. He could fake cry and everything. He was so good at it. He was known as a good boy in the school, not a troublemaker. I had met him on the first day of school, when he pushed me into my locker. Luke had seen this happen and immediately removed me from his presence and explained to me who he was. That was before I went to homeroom. Luke told me to let it go and not tell on him. I was so glad I did that. I could have been expelled on the very first day.

“Miss, I was on the bus the whole time and there was no food fight. Luke and Mildred missed the bus today, so they had to walk.”

“Anyone who agrees with Jonny, please stand up.”

The whole crowd stood up. My eyes widened. That wasn’t fair. He lied about us. We were on time. We decided to walk because we didn’t want to be covered in food and beat up on the way to school. A huge smirk passed over his face.

“Everyone, please leave, except for you, Mildred and Luke. You late comers and liars will stay with me to figure out what happens next.”

In seconds, the detention room was empty again. I felt like crying. I also felt like running out of here all the way home to tell my parents.

“Mildred and Luke, you will now suffer detention for a week during lunch breaks and afternoons after school. If you miss one, you will get two more. You will also write an apology note to everyone who was on the bus and announce it over the microphone in the office for wasting their time when they could have been learning. Your parents have already been contacted, and they have stated you will walk to and from school every afternoon for a month. Not a week. You wouldn’t learn anything in a week …. I would like you both to go to class now. If you skip classes any day, there will be a consequence. And remember, no more lying.”

I followed Luke to class. Before we got there, I pulled Luke to the side.

“I can’t take getting into trouble for telling the truth.”

“Nobody can. Jonny is a big bully. You will have to deal with it until one of the teachers or parents at this school finds out the truth about him.”

“So, you are telling me we should leave it until someone else finds out? Are you nuts? Think of all the innocent people who are getting into trouble because of him. Do you comprehend? It’s devastating.”

“I do, but what are we supposed to do? We cannot go back to Mrs Lowry and tell her the truth about him; she’ll think we are trying to get out of being in trouble or trying to get revenge over Jonny. We will get into more trouble.”

“No, that is not what I was thinking.”

“Then what were you thinking? You look so serious.”

“Has Jonny ever had a girlfriend?”

“No, why?”

“We could write a fake letter to meet someone at the movies and put it in his locker. How funny would it be for him to feel like he has been betrayed?”

“Wouldn’t we get into trouble, though? He is bound to find out, and then he will blame it on us.”

I stopped for a moment and thought. Now that was a tough question to answer.

“Come on, what’s next in your genius plan?” he said.

“I’m thinking.”

“So you haven’t thought it through yet?”

“Shush, please; you are hurting my brain.”

I thought a little harder, until I got it.

“We need a blindfold and a dog.”

“What? That’s not going to work.”

“On the letter, explain the girl doesn’t want to see his eyes until the end of the movie, therefore, it will be a surprise. So he will come into the movies where dogs are allowed and sit by himself. We will then get a dog and put it beside him with an electronic human answering machine collar (EHAMC) on the dog. Whatever Jonny asks, the dog will reply in a soft teenage voice. I have always had one of these in my clothes everywhere I go.”

I pulled out the EHAMC and showed Luke. His eyebrows rose.

“Why do you always carry one of those around?” he said.

“Well, it’s a very handy little device. I stole it out of my father’s garage when I was about eight. It looked like a cool piece of equipment. It was in a box with a label and instructions. I was completely hooked when I read on the box that it was a human and animal translator.”

“Wow. You are more than I thought you were.”

“Yeah, I guess you could say that.” I blushed.

“So how is this all going to work out? Are you not concerned about getting more detention?”

“Even though we are going to extend our detention period for skipping class, Jonny is going to have the biggest prank on him that has ever been seen. He will hopefully feel guilty about what he did to us and then very mad for what he got out of it. He will then get into trouble and probably expelled if he owns up to his bullying acts or if another teacher finds out.”

“I like your idea. I must say, this EHAMC is awesome.”

“I know, right?”

The Letter

Dear Jonny,

I have missed you. You have no idea who I am, but you will soon find out. I stare into your dark blue eyes every time we have a class together. I am always looking at you, and I feel comfortable and safe when you are around. If you could find me, that would be great. But there is a catch to meeting me. You have to wear a blindfold when we meet at the movies on Friday night, six o’clock sharp. I have always dreamt of talking to you and meeting you. I have never had a chance because you are always so attractive, and I know you would probably never like me. If you don’t turn up, I will be hurt, but I will then know that I at least tried to get your attention and will be able to stop my crush for you. When the movie has finished, I will reveal my dazzling face and tell you my name. I love you, Jonny, and I hope you will love me too. You will then be the first boyfriend I have ever had. I am a shy person and a great kisser. However I can get annoyed easily if you make me mad. I will book our tickets and seats. All you have to do is turn up. We will meet at Sunnytown Dog Cinemas at seven sharp. Hope to see you there.

Love,
Your SECRET ADMIRER. XOXO

“Mildred, you are so good at writing letters. Jonny is bound to fall for that trick. Put it in his locker, please.”

I slipped the note into his locker, and Luke and I moved away quietly to go to class.

“I know I’m good. I can do better though,” I said.

“I’m sure you can. You know we are very late to class. Are you not scared about how angry the teacher will be?”

“Me, frightened? Oh please, we have detention for the rest of the week, and Jonny is going on a date with a dog. I will rent one out for him for the night at the cinemas.”

“Oh, you are good.”

“Luke, stop complimenting me, because I know you’re jealous.”

“I’m not jealous, I’m your brother.”

“Stop playing tricks on me and tell the truth.”

“Okay, maybe a little.”

We both walked into English class together, but were stopped before we got in the door.

“Mr and Miss Hostile, why are you both so late? You have missed the entire lesson,” yelled Mrs Nancy.

Mrs. Nancy had only been a teacher for a year after graduating from university last year. Although she was only new, she was very confident when handing out discipline and instruction to any of her classes. She was a natural brunette with the biggest bottom that I had ever seen on a slim figured woman.

“Miss, my sister was a little sick, so I took her out for some fresh air and a drink.”

“To the pub, young man?”

The whole class started laughing, and so did Mrs Nancy. We didn’t go to the bar, but I had to play my part and pretend I was sick. It was good that Luke could come up with something quick.

“Actually, Miss, you know the bubblers around the corner that spray drinking water out? That’s where I took Mildred.”

The whole class would not stop laughing. This meant Luke had gotten us into more trouble than before. I felt quite unhappy, like I was going to start bawling my eyes out. I couldn’t hold it in. In seconds, my whole face was covered with them. I ran out of the room, with Luke following and Mrs Nancy not too far behind.

“Are you all right?” Luke asked.

“I feel so sick. Now that is not a lie.”

“Mildred, what happened? Do you and Luke need to go home?” Mrs Nancy said.

“Miss, I am sick.”

“I get the picture, young lady, but you don’t look like it.”

“Do you have my body, Miss?”

“No – why would I need the filthiness of it?”

“That’s harassment, Miss. You could get caught for that,” I said.

“Not if you get caught for it first.”

“That’s not fair, Miss.”

“I know it isn’t. But you are now late to class and now you will suffer the consequence.”

Mrs Nancy rang Mrs Lowry and told her I had called Mrs Nancy a filthy mess, which I hadn’t. She also claimed Luke was laughing. Life wasn’t fair. Every day I was experiencing something new and something more horrific. Why couldn’t all this misery and hate end? No one understood or listened to us. Maybe it was my fault in the first place being born on this planet. Whoever made this universe is dumb and mean. What I needed now was to run away and hide. I wouldn’t care if I was lost in the middle of nowhere.

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