“Angelica, wake up. It’s Mildred,” I said, shaking my sister.
Angelica woke up and looked around. We were both in sickbay, a small room in the office with a bunk bed, basin, and tap. Angelica had just fainted right in front of me. I thought she was dead. She still looked a bit pale and sickly. The nurse came into the room.
“Mildred and Angelica, I have rung your parents. They cannot come and pick you up until this afternoon, so you will have to stay here until the end of the day,” the nurse said.
After checking to see if Angelica was okay, the nurse left.
I balled my fists. How could my parents not come for me and my sick sister? They were probably having another date at a fancy restaurant or getting a photo shoot at my mother’s work. Tears welled in my eyes. I have been at school for about an hour and already too many problems have occurred.
I hadn’t made any friends yet. Finding a friend wouldn’t be that hard, would it?
“Angelica, I’m going to go now and find some friends.”
“Go for it. I’m fine by myself here.”
I ran to the classroom. My classmates stared at me. Then they raced up to me, asking if Angelica was okay. Maybe finding a friend wouldn’t be so hard after all. I’m not shy, and I’m a fun person to be around. Anyone would be happy to be my friend. Maybe the whole class can become my friends.
“Guys, settle down. She’s fine. Want to be mates?” asked a smallish guy with dark coloured skin.
I didn’t want to answer. I needed to escape this crowd. I was being pushed through the door in an awkward manner. Maybe this was how Angelica felt at the start of the day?
“Sit down, class,” Miss Vlanet said. “Mildred doesn’t need that much attention. You can all be her friend if you want to, but not all at the same time.”
Thank goodness for that. Everyone crowding me was making me claustrophobic. I sat down on the carpet in front of the teacher with everyone else. I sensed a feeling that I have never felt before in my brain. It was not Angelica or Miss Vlanet. It was, in fact, to do with the children in the class who were surrounding me. And if I was too young to know what it was, that was fine; I could live with that. I just realised a second ago that I was surrounded by boys. Not just any boys – real boys. The term ‘real boys’ means that they looked cute and friendly. Was I too young for love? I don’t know. No matter how young someone is, it might be possible to like someone. Maybe one of these boys could give me a lift home today. School was nearly over. The day seemed very long. My days at home with Angelica passed more quickly. I have learnt nothing today because I was helping my sister. She needed it too. If she were not my twin, she would be in worse condition than she is. Angelica wouldn’t have any friends and would be all alone if she didn’t have a twin sister like me who could support her.
Just the other day I thought of the same thing. It was hard to explain, but I felt that something bad was going to happen to Angelica. If we ever split, she will be in trouble. I hope she didn’t sense it either. She might be sensing it already. Her life and mine was like a series of mazes that never ended. I would hate to see her having a worse day than myself.
All the boys still stared at me. I think it was a death stare. I bit my inner lip.
“Okay, enough with the staring, boys. It’s freaking me out,” I yelled, running out of the room.
I leant against the brick wall of the classroom wall. I was over the staring. It was making me nervous. Leaving was the best idea that I ever had.
What I still don’t understand is why my parents’ priorities don’t include Angelica and me. I guess this was because my father was always drinking or out at parties, while my mother always had to look her best and go to work. I always heard my parents fighting and talking about their days of being a drunkard and a beauty queen. But why would they not come and take Angelica home? She’d fainted. It wasn’t likely that she would be doing anything else today in her condition. We could take the bus or taxi home and leave school early ... but yet again, that was just too complicated. We have no money. I’ve never seen real money before. I haven’t touched the fake kind either.
Miss Vlanet had convinced me to come back into the classroom after a few minutes of disagreeing. I stayed at school for the rest of the day but still didn’t manage to make any friends. I didn’t want to hang out with people who were not as smart as I was. I had a tenth grader’s mind, and there was no way I would make any friends in kindergarten. It made me feel stupid and out for the whole day. I wish things could be different, but they weren’t. My parents never cared for us, and that was why my sister and I had to grow up fast.
The bell rang after school, and I grabbed my and my sister’s bags from the lockers outside our classroom and then went to pick her up from sick bay. She was already standing when I walked into the office. My parents hadn’t arrived. We sat at the front of the school for about twenty minutes, out of site from the teacher who had been supervising all the kindergarteners going home. We didn’t want to attract attention, like we had in the office this morning when we were dropped off at school.
“Mildred, where are Mum and Dad?”
“I don’t know. The nurse said they would pick us up in the afternoon. Didn’t she?”
“Yeah, I remember her saying that.”
Angelica frowned. Our house is miles away from this school. We didn’t know which way to go or which street we lived on. We would get lost. Our parents had blacked out the side windows in the car when we were going to school today so we couldn’t see outside. I’ve always kept inside the house. I have never been shopping or to the movies in my whole life. I have always wished that I could. On the other hand, I know wishes don’t always come true. You have to have strong faith and pray so your dreams can come true.
Angelica and I left the school immediately without telling anyone where we were going. We headed down to the nearest park, because today I found out, from many children in our class, that this is a popular attraction for our age group to visit. It took five minutes before we realised that neither of us could go any farther. Our muscles ached and we were lost. I wanted our parents to pick us up. I wasn’t in my happy mood, and neither was Angelica. We were both feeling the same way. It would take hours before we could find our way home.
“Mildred, I don’t think we are ever going to get home. It’s a waste of time trying to find it.”
I didn’t want to give up now. I didn’t want to see my sister even more upset.
“Don’t be like that, Angelica. We will get home tonight.”
I looked around, and then I noticed something out of the corner of my eye. Home. I couldn’t believe it. I bet my parents blacked out the windows and drove around for hours so we couldn’t find our way back home. I grabbed Angelica, and we ran down the street towards our house. Why would our parents have done such a thing? We could have walked home when Angelica was sick. But no, we had to stay at Kindy. Next time I will just leave.
“Mildred, our parents don’t like us, do they?”
My parents don’t treat us like other parents would normally treat their daughters or sons. We knew this from watching television shows. Something has come over them in the past years, ever since we were born. I don’t know what happened or if my sister or I caused it. Our parents were once nice people, and then began to do a lot of sickening things around us.
“You said it, sis. They hate us.”
“What are we going to do, then?” Angelica said.
“I’ll tell you what we are going to do. We are going to get into trouble and do nothing anyone says. Tomorrow we will walk to school in gothic clothes from our little box under our beds and steal lots of mother’s make-up with a dangerous four-year-old attitude. If we get sent to the school office, our parents will have to pick us up.”
Angelica beamed, and I grinned back. I had read in the book today that if you want to get someone’s attention, you have to do it using your own skills and knowledge. It also stated that one should not be rude or misbehaved. I don’t know what that means, so I’ll just stick with the plan for now. Our parents won’t notice or care what we wear to school. They don’t pack us lunch in the morning or do anything for us. It will be easy to escape without notice. All I needed was the right props and materials for tomorrow so I could get my sister and me into lots of trouble.