A Twin's Redemption

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Double Trouble- Angelica

Mildred had some wild ideas running around her brain. Getting myself into trouble would be hell. I didn’t want to do it, but it would break Mildred’s heart if I said no. And I do need the attention from my parents. I knew it was a bad idea and probably would never work, but you don’t know until you’ve tried. I don’t want to live the rest of my life without my parents noticing me. I went up to my room and took the blue book I had found at school out of my pocket while my sister got everything ready for tomorrow. I didn’t care if the title of the book was “Do not open”; it might be useful and have answers to solving my parents and life problems in it that I need.

I looked on the back page and read the blurb. There were only four words on it. These words were “Will Ruin Your Life.” As if this would scare a reader from reading the book.

The first page read, “Any page or chapter you read or lay your eye on will come true.” This page was completely blank and only contained those words. Yeah, right. I turned the page.

“Your parents will break up and you will die at a young age.”

My eyes widened. This page was also nearly completely blank from any pictures or words. A shiver went down my spine. I slammed the book shut. What had just happened? I hoped this book wasn’t magical and I hadn’t made a mistake. I swear that when I opened the book, the words were moving around the page and I think I heard voices. Someone was speaking to me through the book and I couldn’t grasp or tell what or who it was. I had to return this book tomorrow, or I could burn it or chuck it in the bin. I placed the book under my shirt and ran to help my sister. This book should give good things, not bad things that make people split and die. I shouldn’t tell anyone. I will keep it a secret.

I forced myself not to think about what I had just read. I helped my sister with the costumes and make-up for tomorrow. We would have to get up extra early so we could get ready. She already had black wigs from Mum’s beauty accessories, Mum’s black lipstick and mascara and many other things. We removed the black dresses from the box under our beds and lay them on the end of our bed. We never really knew why we had the dresses, but I suppose it was for a good cause.

Even if I looked like a freak, I knew this plan was going to work. Mildred truly is the best sister anyone could have. She is like a mad scientist or a wicked witch. I was neither a mad scientist nor a wicked witch. I never have any good ideas or act rudely and weirdly around other people. And who really would? Mildred, of course.

Next morning, Mildred and I got up at 5:30 in the morning, when it was still dark, just before the sun rose. It was our parents, who had already left the house for something, so we were fine to start. Our parents always had left the house early. I always heard theirs cars starting and driving away well before four. I hid the blue book in my bag so I could return it. That sentence I had read still made me shiver.

We both put on the black dresses. We both teased up each other’s hair and added plenty of hairspray to the process. We applied thick, black make-up to our faces. This included mascara, black lipstick and dark purple eye shadow. I took a deep breath. I was going to get into so much trouble. Mildred and I had never been in trouble in our whole life. And if we had, we had never noticed the consequences with our parents. We have never been able to experience it because we were always locked away in the living room watching TV or in our bedroom with nowhere to go. We shared the same room, which contained a bunk bed and a small wardrobe we keep all of our stuff in. We had never had a single toy. We owned old hand-me down clothes and shoes. That was why we acted like adults and knew everything our parents go through every day. They had to go to work, find love, and look after their kids. Well, our parents didn’t do that. We knew big words and phrases that you should not know until you’re in primary school.

We packed our lunch and bags and sneaked out the door. I had to rely on Mildred all day today, because I will not be able to follow the plan myself. We walked down the breezy path to kindergarten at 8 o’clock in the morning. When we arrived, we stood at the entrance, and everyone turned around to look at us. Some students’ jaws dropped, others just stood there laughing and pointing fingers at us. I didn’t like the staring, and the teasing, so I sat down at the door with Mildred.

“Mildred and Angelica, what are you wearing?” asked Miss Vlanet.

“Clothes. What are you wearing?” said Mildred bluntly.

“Mildred, how dare you speak to the teacher like that?” she said. “Both of you stand up right now.”

We stood up and joined the class. All the boys gathered around Mildred and me. It was a loving stare they were giving us. It seemed to me that they were planning a dangerous and cruel move on us. I had seen it in movies. Boys would gather around the girls, pick them up and fall in love, or something like that.

“Boys and girls, what are you doing? I’ll send you all to the principal if you don’t focus back on me.”

Mildred’s plan was working. The boys kept staring at us. Miss Vlanet couldn’t take it anymore and sent all of us, except the girls, to the office. We all talked on the way there about ourselves. I was shy still, but I was feeling a little more confident than I was before. As we walked into the principal’s office, he stood there watching us, scowling.

“Boys and girls, sit down now. Angelica and Mildred, you are way too young to wear make-up and dress like that. What do you call this?”

“Coolness and Hotties,” Mildred said gruffly.

“Mildred, I don’t know what has come over you. You were fine yesterday, and now you have turned out to be very naughty.”

Mildred looked at the principal as if she was going to cry. I felt her feelings and did the same thing. I couldn’t help it.

“Mildred and Angelica, what are you trying to achieve here? Boys, go back to class immediately, I have to deal with these two girls.”

The boys went, and Mildred and I stopped tapping on the desks and pulling faces. We could see that the principal was getting angry now, and we couldn’t go anywhere.

“I’m ringing your parents. I don’t know what you are doing, but every time you do it, I get angrier.”

“Oh, that won’t be necessary. Our parents don’t like us,” I answered.

“I’m sure your parents like you very much. You two are leaving a bad motto on this school. Whoever taught you such behaviour should be in jail. How did your parents allow you to leave the house like this? I am disgusted.” He picked up the phone with aggression, staring us both down with upset eyes.

“Hello, who’s this?” the principal asked.

“Tina.”

“Your daughters are in trouble, did you know? They are both here right now. Would it be all right if you came to talk to them and make them remove their medieval clothes?” the principal said.

“No, why would I do that? That’s the principal’s job. I don’t care if they get into trouble at school.”

“Well, you have to. Hello. Anyone there?” the principal asked.

My mother had hung up. That wasn’t a good sign. My sister and I must be in big trouble.

“She hung up, girls. She says it’s my job to sort you both out. In that case, I shall have full responsibility of you and take your actions into my care.”

Mildred and I began to cry at the same time. It was not a fake cry like the last time; it was real. Our parents didn’t care about us. Our plan had worked, and we had found out the truth. Maybe it was time to tell somebody about it. I was not going to stay with people who hate me.

“What is the matter, girls? Is this another trick?”

“It’s not a trick, sir. It’s true,” I cried.

Mildred and I hugged each other with all our might, wetting each other’s shirts from crying. The principal, Mr Humble, sat down at his desk and looked at us both. He gave us each a piece of paper and a pen.

“Girls, I can’t find out what your problems are if you are crying. Write it all down, and I will sort it out.”

I was too sad to write anything, so Mildred wrote it all herself. By the end, she had about ten pages filled with words that a teenager would write about our parents. Mr Humble blinked. She wrote about everything from our experiences with our parents to our very first day of kindergarten.

“Here, sir,” Mildred said, handing up the papers.

“Mildred, you’re in Kindy and you can already write like a teenager? I bet your sister can too. Why?”

“It’s all in there, sir,” Mildred cried.

We were told to stay in the room as Mr Humble read the words Mildred had written. He, too, was crying.

“I’m sorry, girls. I never knew you dressed up like Goths because you wanted to know the truth. I’m not angry with you anymore. Just give me a second, please.”

He left the room.

“Mildred, we were right. Love doesn’t exist in our world.”

“I know, Angelica, I know.”

Fixing Things Up- Mildred

Mr Humble came back into his office with a box of tissues and some lollies. I don’t know how that was going to make Angelica and I feel any better. We needed love, not lollies.

“Angelica and Mildred, I don’t want you to learn anything today. The assistant principal and I have come to the conclusion that you will need an officer or someone from the school to watch after you. We don’t want to get the police involved until we find out more evidence. For the time being, I will look after you. Plus, from what I have just read, you already know too much. You’re smarter than all the other kids in kindergarten. You would probably be smarter than most of the other kids in the world who are older than you. Do you want a lolly?”

“Sir, I don’t eat when I am sad, neither does Angelica. And, Sir, please don’t tell the police anything at all. You have no idea what goes on in our life, and if you were to step in, it would just get worse.”

“I’m sorry. But you will need someone like me to look after you. Even if you have higher knowledge levels than others, that doesn’t mean you are to be left alone. Do you understand this?”

“Okay, Sir. You can look after us. But we don’t want you to meet our parents at all. We will be fine.”

“Okay, girls. I understand. I will do the best I can to keep your secret,” Mr Humble said with a curious facial expression. He looked at us with sympathy and love. I have never seen my parents give me this face before.

“Thanks, Sir.”

“No problem, Mildred. You will both have the day off to do whatever you want.”

“Like what?” Angelica asked.

Mr Humble walked around the room, tapping a finger to his chin. “Have you girls ever owned a toy of any sort?”

Angelica and I looked at each other. We have never had our own toy.

“No, Sir. It’s just us and our clothes,” I answered.

“Looks like you two will be going shopping with me, then. Principals do lots of stuff at school, but right now, I have nothing to do. What do you say? Want to get something?”

Angelica and I grinned. “Yes!” we said almost at the same time. We walked out to his car with him. He was like a father that we never had that we had seen on television. This is the type of love my sister and I needed to live a happy and prosperous life. His car was black and tiny; pretty fancy. We jumped into the passenger seats. It was cleaner than our parent’s car and had much more room. You could see out of the windows.

“So girls, where to first? Have you ever been shopping in your life?”

“Mr Humble, we have never been out of the house,” I said.

The car started, and we were on our way to the shops. Outside was so beautiful. There were people everywhere on the streets. We stopped at a small shop called “Toy World.” I had never seen such an unusual sight. I felt very spoiled getting the principal to buy my sister and me a toy of our own. But when we take it home, our parents would probably rip them to shreds if they saw them. I don’t see a problem with owning a toy of my own. Angelica and I went for the big teddy bears that were soft and cute. They cost a lot of money, but Mr Humble bought them. We had chosen a toy within a minute. I had chosen a brown teddy and Angelica had chosen a white.

A few hours passed and then we went to a restaurant for lunch, but Angelica and I couldn’t go into the restaurant.

“Angelica and Mildred, do you want to eat or not?”

We pointed inside, frowning.

“Ppppppppparents inside,” Angelica said.

“Are your parents in there?” asked Mr Humble.

We both nodded, and we left after Mr Humble studied them for a while. We ended up going to a take-away shop, down the street selling fish and chips which was quite delicious.

Mr Humble drove us back to Kindy after a long day of driving around and exploring with him. It wasn’t that bad. It was the best time I’ve ever had in the four years I’ve been alive. The bell rang for the end of the day, and Mr Humble offered to walk us home. He left immediately after saying goodbye just in case our parents spotted him.

We were going to go to school tomorrow, rational and polite. I hoped my parents weren’t home and that they didn’t see us at the restaurant; otherwise, Angelica and I were going to be in tremendous trouble.

I tried to open the door. It was locked. This was unusual. Our parents never locked the door when they left the house.

Mr Humble had already left. We checked all the windows and the back door. All were locked. Why would they have locked us out?

“Angelica, did you leave any window or door unlocked?” I yelled at her.

“Why are you blaming it on me? You must have locked them.”

We were locked outside and in a couple of hours’ time, night would fall and the stars would come out. The only way to get in the house was to climb the ladder hanging on the wall and get onto the roof. We always left the window in our bedroom – the attic – open in case of an emergency – like today. However, if it was locked, we would have to sleep outside for the night if our parents didn’t come home. Our parents are never home until late at night.

Both of us were afraid of the dark so it certainly wouldn’t be a good start to just sit and wait outside the door. We had our bags outside with us, and they were empty, so there was no possible way that we could survive without a home and food for the night.

Then I heard something inside. I didn’t want to climb the ladder, nor did Angelica; instead we hid in the nearest bush and listened.

“Get out, John. I’m sick of you. You should have taken more care of your daughters. It’s not my responsibility.”

“Tina, you’re the one that gave birth to them, why should I take care of them?”

Our parents’ fight seemed to go on forever. Angelica and I were crying now in the bushes. They were fighting over who wanted to take care of us, and neither of them wanted us. I decided it was time to climb the ladder. If I had to pack my bags and go tonight, I would. Not without Angelica either. The ladder wobbled; it became more stable after a while. Angelica followed me up. It was a long way up since our house is three storeys. I finally reached the top and helped my sister up onto the flat surface beside the windowpane. I had done this with her many times before.

The window was open. I was thankful for that. It was dark, and I couldn’t see where I was going. We both decided to keep the light off just in case someone was watching. After changing into some pyjamas, we fell into bed.

“Mildred, I want to go someday. I cannot live another second with our parents.”

I ducked my head down from the top bunk so I could see Angelica’s face. She was concerned and I could tell.

“Angelica, stop worrying. Everything is going to be fine. It was their first fight ever, so it cannot be that bad.”

I placed my head back on my pillow and slowly drifted off to sleep.

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