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Author's note: I started writing this book six years ago, when I was thirteen and I finished it two years ago. This book means a lot to me because it's so relatable. People can relate to at least one of the situations in the book because we've all experienced Teenage life. It isn't easy. It's got all sorts of ups and downs. Jamie, to me, almost represents most Teenage girls who have to endure pressure from family, untrustworthy friends, boys. I wrote this for girls all around the world. Whatever you're going through. Just know that you aren't alone :)
My older sister, Trisha, has a ‘philosophy’ of her own regarding life.
“You know,” she says. “Life is like learning how to swim in an ocean. You are tossed and turned by the waves over and over again. When life’s really rough, it’s like you’ve been overwhelmed by a giant tide. In those times, you don’t know up from down. You’re gasping for breath, confused, and trying to swim to the surface but you keep getting knocked down by the waves. Basically, life’s got you down and it’s keeping you down. You have two choices in a time like that. You can give up and let the tide swallow you whole, or you can keep fighting. Keep swimming. You will reach the surface eventually. In life, you’ll experience a lot of tides. High, low, rough, all sorts of tides! But if you keep swimming, you’ll swim through that tide and soon you’ll reach what you’re swimming for! You’ll be able to enjoy the ocean around you.”
It’s a confusing umm ‘philosophy’; but I get it.
In my life, I’ve been swimming and swimming, but every time I think I’m making progress, a tide comes and overwhelms me. I haven’t been fighting the tides. I’ve given up all the time and I've lost myself in the ocean. What I need to do is to stop drowning and start swimming again. I need to reach for the surface.
I know that I need to fight. I know that I need to forget about the tides and carry on swimming. I need to stop letting life bring me down with its challenges. I have to break the grasp life’s troubles has over me.
If I know what I have to do...why am I still drowning?
Why am I still being tossed and turned by the ocean?
So many questions and not a single answer.
It’s time for me to find answers to these questions. It’s time for me to remember how to swim. It’s time for me to reach the surface.
It’s not going to be easy, though.
But if I don’t start now, when will I?
“WAKE UP! WAKE UP!”
I shoot up in my bed and turn off my alarm. I lean towards my window and open the curtains. Instead of being greeted by blaring sunlight and chirping birds I’m greeted by dark, depressing clouds and the sound of dogs barking. Yep it’s going to be an attack of the greys today. The greys are the worst type of days you can have, especially on a Monday. Mondays are the worst day of the week. Grey Mondays are the worst type of Mondays because everyone is grumpy, tired, and over their lives.
Anyway, never mind about that. Let me introduce myself.
My name is Jamie-Lee Bansen but most people call me Jamie. I have bright red hair, bluish-greenish eyes; my figure isn’t that bad (it needs some adjustments though). I am kind of attractive, but I do have many faults in me. I’m sixteen going on seventeen in October. I live in a boring town called Bettaford. Bettaford is the type of city that’s divided into large, town-like suburbs where everyone knows everyone. As for the people? Some people think we’re American, whilst others think we’re British or some other Western nationality. We’re just people living in this modern, 21st century.
I’m in high school; my school’s name is Kensington High. It’s a co-educational school (a school for both girls and boys). I have three sisters and no brothers. One little sister, one older sister, and a twin sister. My little sister’s name is Gabriella but we call her Gabby. She’s three years old. I call her the “Bawling Brigade”. She once cried in the mall because she got a stain on her dress. The crying became so bad we had to go buy her a new dress and put it on her just to keep her quiet. See what I mean? So unless you want to be drenched in tears don’t get on my kid sister’s nerves. My older sister’s name is Trisha. Well actually, it’s Patricia, but no one calls her that anymore. I haven’t seen her in eight years. She’s been studying Psychotherapy in Canada. I really miss her. Anyway. Trisha’s the best older sister a girl could ask for. We always get along but when we fight it’s like World War 3 has broken out in the house. I still love her though. My twin sister’s name is Ami-Lee. She goes to some posh boarding school in the countryside. We don’t get along at all. The reason why we don’t get along is because of...
Well that’s enough of my family life let’s get back to the story.
After showering and putting my clothes on, I’m now sitting on my bed planning my day. Holidays can be a bit of a drag sometimes. I’m always running out of things to do. I think I’m going to call one of my best friends, Kal, and see what she’s up to today.
After three dialling tones, a man picks up the phone.
“Spector residence,” he says. “How may I help you?”
It’s Kal’s dad. He’s the only person I know of that answers their phone like that.
“Hi Mr. Spector!” I greet cheerfully. “Is Kal home?”
“Hello, Jamie,” he replies happily. “No, she’s not here. She’s gone shopping with her mother.”
“Oh,” I say. “Do you know what time she’ll be back?”
Kal and her mum believe that mother-daughter bonding is a “vital thing in a healthy family relationship”. The only type of bonding my mother and I do involves arguing. Regarding the health of our ‘relationship’, if our family relationship was a person, it’d be dead.
“Try calling at one,” he suggests. “They should be back by then.”
I look at our Bozo the Clown clock (Gabby’s idea).
It’s flashing half past eleven.
How am I going to survive until one o’ clock?
“Alright, thanks Mr. Spector! Bye!” I hang up and put the phone back on its stand.
A deep rumbling sound comes from my stomach.
“Hmm, better sort that out,” I say.
I head for the kitchen, thinking of what to make. As I reach the kitchen, the phone rings.
“Hello?” I answer.
“Hello is this Jamie?”
It’s a male’s voice. It sounds familiar but I can’t put a finger on whose voice it is.
“Yes, who is this?” I reply.
“It’s me, Lance.”
I don’t say anything.
“Hello? Jamie, are you there?”
“I can’t speak to you and I never will so leave me alone!” I shout angrily.
I slam the phone down fiercely. I can feel the blood rushing to my face. I always become flushed when I’m emotional. Just then, mom comes in with Gabby under her arm. She’s carrying her the same way a lumberjack would carry a log. Gabby is kicking and screaming like a maniac (nothing new there).
“Who was it?” mom asks.
“A salesman trying to sell me a mattress,” I lie. I’m not about to tell her that it was Lance.
“He must have been a really irritating one in order to make you that angry,” she responds sarcastically.
It’s obvious that she doesn’t believe me, but I am not about to tell her who it really was. After she leaves the room, I sigh with relief and make my way back to the kitchen. I feel a stinging sensation in my heart. Guilt. I hate lying to my mother. It feels worse than disappointing her. I sigh and shrug. Sometimes it’s better to keep quiet about the truth than to tell it immediately. Well, that’s what I think
The time is half past twelve. Kal’s dad said that Kal would be back at around one. Does half past twelve count as around one or around twelve? That’s a hard question. A question someone of a higher intelligence could answer. So I decide to ask mom.
“Mom, can I ask you a question?” I shout up the stairs.
“I told you not to call me by that name!” mom shouts back.
Honestly, she can be seriously annoying.
“Ok, Demi!” I shout.
She hates being called ‘Mom’ or anything associated with that word. “It makes me feel so...old,” she once said. Usually, parents would freak out if their kids referred to them by their first name. Oh no, not my mother.
“Thank you!” she replies sarcastically. “What’s the matter?”
“Would you classify half past twelve as around one or around twelve?” I shout.
“Uh, you would classify it as ...um... you’d classify it as... how am I supposed to know?” she respond. Parents can be real pains in the rear sometimes.
I look at the clock and see that it’s twenty minutes to one. Ah forget it! One o’ clock or not, I’m going to call Kal. This boredom is killing me!
I dial her number and, once again, after three dialling tones, someone picks up. This time it’s Kal.
“Hello?” she says.
“Hi, Kal it’s me, Jamie,” I reply.
“Hey babes! How are you?”
“I’m cool and you?”
“I’m fine. My dad told me that you called and I was just about to call you but then you called me!” she explains. “What’s up?”
“Do you want to come over?” I ask. “If you’re busy, it’s alright. I’ll find something else to do.”
“No, no, I can come over. I’m as free as a bird! I’ll see you soon!” she says.
“Cheers!” I reply.
I put the handset away and shake my head.
‘As free as a bird’?
Kal’s been spending way too much time with her mother!
I look down at my clothes. They are creased and crumpled. There are also food stains on them. I didn’t notice this when I put them on. I better dash upstairs and put on something decent. Kal has a tendency to be brutally honest, especially when it comes to fashion!
About fifteen minutes later, someone knocks on my door.
“It’s open!” I shout.
The door opens and Kal walks in.
“Hey,” she says as she closes the door behind her.
Let me tell you a little bit about my best friend, Kal. Her real name is Kali Anne but she hates that name so everyone calls her Kal. If you try calling her Kali Anne, she’ll throw something hard at you (trust me, I would know). I’ve known Kal since kindergarten. When I walked into the playground, she ran up to me and said that my blue t-shirt was for boys. I called her a sissy girl and that made her cry. Trying to calm her down, I gave her my packet of sweets. We’ve been friends ever since. Kal, however, does tend to be a disloyal friend at times. I still love her though (in a sisterly way).
I smile at her and look at her out fit. She’s wearing a denim mini-skirt and a white shirt. She’s also wearing her white, sequined pumps.
“Cute outfit,” I comment as I sit on one of my bean bags.
“Thanks,” Kal replies. She plonks herself on the bean bag next to me.
“Guess what happened earlier,” I say, laughing bitterly.
“What happened?” she asks eagerly. “Did you get a new dog?”
“Nope,” I answer, shaking my head.
“Gabby’s stopped eating shampoo?” she guesses again.
“I wish,” I snigger. “But no, that’s not it.”
“What is it?” she whines. “Please tell me.”
“Lance called me today,” I tell her. “I was so shocked. When he spoke again, I yelled at him and hung up. I have no idea how he got my new number.”
I’m about to carry on with the story but I notice that Kal’s face is turning bright red.
“Kal, is there anything you would like to tell me?” I ask her cautiously.
All of a sudden, Kal bursts into tears. Mucus has already started to run down her nose. Kal’s crying is not an attractive sight!
“I’m so sorry, Jamie. I’m so, so sorry!” She sobs.
I’m starting to feel uneasy.
“What are you so, so sorry about?” I ask her hesitantly.
“I met Lance at the bus stop on my way to pick up the mail at the post office. He asked me if I could give him your number and I gave it to him. I asked him why he needed it and he said that his mom needed it so I gave it to him. I didn’t know he wanted to call you. He seemed like a nice guy, and I think you should give him a chance and his eyes looked like a puppy’s when they are heartbroken and his hair flops in a sad way and… OH JAMIE, I’M SO SORRYYYYY!” she wails and bursts into more tears.
I can’t believe what I am hearing. I can feel the same anger I had earlier coming back. Remember what I said about Kal having a tendency to be disloyal at times? Well, this is one of those times.
“Get… out,” I say in a cold, quiet voice. I stand up and glare at her.
“But, Jamie, I’m so sorry I didn’t mean to…”
“Get out of my room! Get out of my house and get out of my LIFE! HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME?” I shriek.
“I’m so sorry it’s just that I looked into his eyes and saw honesty and I saw…”
“GET OUT!” I shriek.
Kal gets up and runs out of the room, bawling her eyes out.
“And never come back!” I shout as she exits. Kal starts to cry harder as she leaves.
After I hear the door slam, Demi comes in.
“What happened?” she asks cautiously.
“Nothing happened,” I reply. “Except for the fact that I’ve just been betrayed by my so-called ‘best friend’.”
“Oh Jamie, did you have to do this to your best friend?” she sighs. “When are you going to let go of what happened? You need to get over yourself, love.”
“Leave me alone! I don’t need to get over myself! I don’t need anyone! Especially you!” I yell.
“You’ve got serious problems Jamie...you need to sort your life out,” she sighs.
I don’t reply to that. She looks at me once more and walks out. I don’t say anything after that. I look at myself in the mirror. My face is red and I am breathing heavily. I look like a savage beast.
“I do need to sort my life out,” I say.
It’s a new day. Today is the start of my changing. After my little outburst yesterday, I’ve realized that I really do need to change. I can’t go around losing my temper like a mad woman. It’s not on. So, from now on, I’m going to try and be a little more patient.
I wake up and go straight to my mirror. My hair is sticking up in all directions. It looks like I’ve had several volts of electricity go through me. I sigh. I hope today isn’t going to be a bad day. I don’t think I can handle another bad day right now.
After showering and sorting myself out, I go downstairs. I walk into the kitchen and look around; it’s empty. Dad’s probably left for work. I wonder where Demi and Gabby are. I look at the fridge; Demi’s left a note for me.
I pick it up and read it.
Went to drop off Gabby at holiday day care.
I’ve got a few meetings to go to, so I’ll be back in the afternoon!
Stay out of trouble!
I look at the clock. It’s already eleven o’ clock. Wow, I’ve been asleep for quite a while. My stomach is grumbling again. It’s cereal time. I open the pantry and pull out my box of cereal, Suga-Sugas. Whilst I’m pouring milk into my Suga-Sugas, the phone starts to ring. I pick up the phone and put it against my ear.
“Hello?” I answer. There’s a long pause before the person on the other end replies.
“Hi, Jamie. It’s me Kal,” she says feebly.
“Hey,” I say awkwardly.
I’m still feeling uneasy about what happened yesterday. I feel so bad for treating Kal so badly. I don’t know what came over me.
“Listen, Jamie, I’m sorry for what I did yesterday. I didn’t mean to hurt you. I wasn’t thinking straight. Please don’t be mad at me. I’m really, really sorry. And I mean it,” she pleads.
Kal is such a sweet person. She doesn’t like conflict. She’d go to the ends of the earth just to sort out an awry situation.
“Don’t worry about it, Kal. I’m sorry too. I shouldn’t have yelled at you like that,” I reply, remorsefully.
“Thank you! Thank you! Thank you so, so much!” she squeals. I hold the phone away from my ear. That was painfully loud.
“Hey, Kal, you wanna hang out today? We could chill here. I bought that new make-up and nail kit.”
“Sure! I’ll be there around... 2! That okay?”
“Yep,” I smile. “Perfect.”
“Awesome! See you!” she chirps and hangs up.
I go back to the kitchen and eat the rest of my cereal. I put the dishes in the dishwasher and shuffle back to my room. The doorbell rings as I turn on my radio. I look at my watch. It’s already midday. I run down the stairs and open the door. My jaw drops as I see who is at the door.
“Oh my word! Jamie, is that you?” the person squeals.
And with that my big sister envelopes me in a bear hug.
Let me give you a little more info on my sister, Trisha.
She’s twenty seven years old. When she finished school, she got accepted to a top university in Canada. She’s been so busy there with studying and settling in. She’s been unable to visit us because of her hectic school schedule.
But seeing her now, unannounced, is … WOW!
She’s changed A LOT. She’s dyed her hair blonde (it really suits her) and she’s got several piercings! Two on her right ear, one on her left ear, a nose ring, and a belly ring! I’ve also noticed the butterfly tattoo on the back of her shoulder. Demi is definitely going to freak when she comes back and sees her transformed daughter!
After hugging for five minutes, we make our way to the living room.
“How did you get here?” I ask her.
“Ooh I walked here… what do you think? I came here by plane!” she giggles.
“Yes I know that but why did you come?” I ask.
“Well, since I’ve finished my final year of varsity, I decided to come visit my family and make up for the 8 years worth of holidays that I’ve missed!” she explains.
“When are you going back?” I ask anxiously.
“Not anytime soon,” she grins. “I’m going to be here for a while. I just need to take a break from the rush there! I’m even considering moving back here.”
I squeal excitedly and grin at her. I’ve missed Trisha so much! This has totally made my day!
“So, tell me about Canada! It must’ve been great!” I nudge her a little.
Suddenly, Demi walks in whilst we’re chatting. She takes one look at Trisha and gasps.
“What have you done to yourself?” she asks, horrified.
Trisha shrugs and says,
“Gee, hi to you too Demi! How are you? Oh, I’m fine. Just came to pop over for a few minutes before I go back to Canada by foot!”
Her voice is dripping with sarcasm. My stomach muscles tighten. This isn’t going to end well.
“Don’t get sarcastic with me, young lady!” Demi snaps. “Look at your hair and your ears and‒ OH MY GOODNESS IS THAT A NOSE RING?”
Her panicked nagging has turned into glass-breaking shrieking. Trisha shakes her head. She sighs and stands up, flicking her hair back.
“Listen, I’m going to go upstairs, take a shower and go outside and smoke a ciggie. When I’m done…” but Demi doesn’t let Trisha finish.
After hearing the word ‘ciggie’, Demi’s face is now a bright red. Oh dear...
Her lips are puckered and her eyes look like they are about to shoot out. She’s holding her fists so tight that her knuckles are going a pale white colour.
This has never happened in the Bansen household.
The closest Demi has ever been to being furious was when I accidentally dropped Gabby on her head.
Now let me give you a few words of wisdom. When Demi gets angry and she’s red in the face, run. Run very fast and far away from her. If you don’t, she will attack you (literally).
This scene, however, is just spectacular. Trisha asked for it, though. She shouldn’t have wound Demi up like that.
Suddenly, Demi turns and faces me.
“Jamie, please could you go out into the hallway,” she says through gritted teeth. “Close the door behind you. I want to discuss a few things with your dear sister.”
I’m not about to argue with her. I get up quickly and scamper out of the room as fast as I can. The moment the door clicks shut, Demi lets rip. She’s ranting and raving, screeching and shrieking, shouting and - let’s not forget - good old screaming.
I sit on the stairs in the hallway and wait for her episode to end.
One hour later Demi finally ends her tirade. The door opens and Demi comes out grumbling and cursing under her breath. She mumbles something about going to fetch Gabby and Ami.
“What? Ami? Demi, she’s at boarding school!” I say, stunned.
“I’ve been meaning to tell you this,” she starts. “Your father and I have been thinking. We think it’s about time you and Ami sort out your differences. Things just can’t go on like this.”
“So...” I’m unable to say anything else.
“Ami’s leaving boarding school. She’s going to attend school with you from now on,” Demi looks at me. “Like old times.”
“No...” I say. “You can’t do this to me!”
My voice is starting to rise.
“We are, I’m sorry Jamie,” she sighs. “It’s the only way you’ll get over your emotional issues.”
She grabs her car keys and leaves.
A few minutes later Kal walks in.
“Hey, Jamie!” she waves.
I don’t respond.
“Jamie? Are you okay?” she asks, worried.
I mumble something but she doesn’t catch it.
“What?” she asks. “Say that again.’
“Ami is coming back...for good.”
Suddenly everything goes black.
Ami and I are partially identical twins, but we have made every effort to look different from the other.
When we were kids, we were both strawberry-blondes. Now, I’ve got dark red hair and she’s blonde (well, blonde with dark highlights). We both have green eyes, but she got blue contacts a while ago. We’re both slim and tanned but her skin is slightly darker than mine (she tans all the time). Like I said before, we’ve done anything and everything to look different. We haven’t been enemies for our whole lives though. We used to be best friends.
That is until...something happened. Ever since that day, we’ve hated each other with a burning passion.
Though I’m still not sure why she hates me.
The situation became so bad, our parents decided to send Ami to boarding school.
But now she’s coming back and I don’t know what I’m going to do.
A few minutes later, I open my eyes. Everything is hazy and blurred and my head hurts too. My vision clears and I see that I’m looking right into Kal’s eyes.
“Jamie!” Kal exclaims, standing up. “Trisha, she’s woken up!”
I sit up slowly.
“What...what happened?” I ask, confused.
“You fainted,” Trisha says.
I look up at her.
She’s holding a glass of water in one hand and an aspirin in the other. I reach out and she gives me both. I swallow the aspirin and wash it down with water.
All of a sudden, my phone starts to vibrate in my pocket. I pull it out and look at the screen. ‘Private Number’ is flashing on the screen. I press the green button.
“Hello?” I say.
“Jamie, it’s me, Lance.”
I move the phone away from my ear. I sigh and put the phone back by my ear. I’m not going to hang up on him again. I might as well talk to him and get him out of my life. The sooner the better.
“Hi, Lance what do you want?” I reply.
“I want to sort everything out,” he says, uneasily.
“I’m sorry Lance but I’m not yet ready to sort things out. Ami Lee is coming back today so maybe you could come over and see her‒but just not when I’m around. I’ve got to go and sort something out bye!” I say hurriedly.
I cut the phone and put it back in my pocket.
“Was that...?” Kal asks, her eyes widening.
I nod as I stand up.
“Maybe I should leave, you don’t look so good,” Kal says, standing up.
“Yeah, sure,” I say. “We’ll chill tomorrow or something.”
Kal hugs me.
“I’ll call you tomorrow,” she says.
I hug her back and she leaves, closing the door behind her.
My phone vibrates in my pocket again. I pull it out and open my message inbox.
“See You Later then, from Lance”
I can’t believe that this is happening. First mom’s going to pick up Ami and now Lance is coming over.
I have to find a way to avoid Lance. There’s no way I can avoid Ami. But I refuse to be in the same house as the two of them.
“Great,” I groan. “Just as I’d thought that I had everything under control, this happens!”
I sit down on the floor and start to think of a way to get out of the house.
Think Jamie! Think Jamie! Suddenly, a brilliant idea pops into my mind. Eureka!
I pick up my cell phone and pressed 1 on my speed dial. After four dialling tones, someone picks up.
“Hello? Baker residence may I know who is speaking?”
It’s Mrs. Baker.
“Hi Mrs. Baker it’s me, Jamie,” I reply.
“Oh hello Jamie! How are you today?” she says.
“I’m fine thank you,” I reply.
I start becoming impatient. I look up at the clock. It’s already three o’ clock.
Demi will be back at four! I have to get out of the house now.
“Just hold on,” she says. “Let me put Jay on the phone.”
I wait for two minutes. It feels like three hundred years, though.
“Hi Jamie, what’s up?” Jay says.
“Hi Jay!” I say. “Um, are you expecting company today?”
“Nope,” he replies.
“Great! I’ll see you just now! Bye!”
I end the call before he can reply. I put my phone back in my pocket and make my way to the front door. Trisha is leaning against the wall, smoking. I won’t lie; it’s weird seeing my sister smoke a cigarette.
“Where are you going?” she asks through all the smoke.
“I’m off to Jay’s,” I answer as I start to run. “I’ll be back late.”
“Jamie, wait!” Trisha says. “Come here quickly!”
I hurry over to her.
“Yes?” I’m bouncing up and down.
“Demi told me about what went down between you, Ami, and that Lance guy,” she says. “I just wanted to tell you that Ami had no right to do what she did. I’m on your side no matter what happens.”
“Thanks Trish!” I give her a big hug.
She laughs and hugs me back. I grin at her and take off.
It feels good to have someone on my side. Someone who understands the situation that I’m in. Things are starting to look up! I just hope it stays that way.
Jay is more than friend to me. He is like my brother. More like a big brother but we’re still the same age (except he is three hours older than me). He goes to the same school as I do.
His name is Jamie too. Except I’m a Jamie-Lee and he is a plain Jamie. So people call him Jay and me Jamie.
We (including Ami) were born in the same hospital.
Our moms were in the same hospital room when they were pregnant with us. Ever since then, they’ve been friends. So basically, Jay and I have known each other since we were born.
Jay and Kal are the only ones out of all my friends that know about my Lance incident. Well actually my whole school knows but Jay and Kal are the only two people who know my side of the story – the true side of the story.
But, Jay was here to comfort me and he helped me get through most of the drama. Kal was in Miami at the time.
Enough of this Lance rubbish it’s over and that’s final! Let’s get back to Jay.
Most girls call me lucky because I hang out with Jay. It’s because...Jay is like, the perfect guy. He’s super talented when it comes to sport, he’s smart (though he tends to be lazy) and he’s a gentleman. Oh yes, and according to the majority of the female population at my school, Jay is “drop-dead gorgeous”.
I’ve never seen him in that light, though. We’re just extremely good friends. We’ve been like that for years so I think any traces of seeing him as a boyfriend have disappeared.
I’ve finally reached the Bakers’ house. I’m huffing and puffing and I think I’m my face is bright red. I pause for a minute and catch my breath. I’m so unfit! After catching my breath, I knock on the door. Jay opens the door and takes on look at me.
“You look like you’ve just run the New York Marathon!” he exclaims. “What have you been up to?”
“I… had… to … run… all... the way... here!” I gasp.
Jay gives a low whistle.
“You’d do that for little old me? You shouldn’t have!” he grins.
“No, I had to make sure I don’t bump into my mother, Gabby, and her” I say, adding bitterness and hatred to the last word. Jay raises his eyebrows; he looks confused.
“Is she on holiday?” he asks.
“I wish!” I wail. “She’s coming back and for good! And Lance is coming over, and there’s going to be a confrontation and...”
I’m crying now. Crying is an understatement. I’m sobbing my eyes out. All of this drama has overwhelmed me. I’m so irritated with myself; I just can’t stop crying. Beautiful timing, too. I’m having an emotional breakdown on my best friend’s doorstep. Lovely!
Suddenly, Jay puts his arms around me. He’s pulls me close to me and starts to stroke my hair. My tummy feels weird. It feels like my intestines have been tied up several times. What the heck?
“Let it all out, Jamie,” he says soothingly. “Everything’s going to be okay.”
I manage to calm myself down and Jay lets go of me. For some odd reason, I didn’t want him to let go.
“Are you feeling much better now?” he asks as he puts a few strands of my hair behind my ear.
“Yeah, I’m a lot better now,” I reply. I smile gratefully. “Thanks, Jay.”
“No need to thank me,” he says. “I’m just glad you’re fine now.”
He smiles at me and I feel a pang in my heart. What the heck?! A pang? First the twisted intestines and now a pang. Those are things a person usually experiences when they...like someone.
Could it be that I’m starting to develop non-sisterly feelings for Jay?
Breathe, breathe… panic! PANIC! There is no way that I like Jay! Me, Jamie-Lee Bansen, liking Jay...is like... a dog falling in love with a cat! It’s impossible! Okay, I need to relax. I’m just super emotional right now. I don’t like Jay. Well, not like in that way. My emotional state is just getting the better of me.
Jay and I are chilling in his room now, listening to music. His Greenday’s American Idiot album is playing.
“Holiday is an awesome song,” I say, nodding my head to the beat. “I think it’s one of Greenday’s best songs.”
“No way!” Jay objects. “American Idiot is way better than Holiday!”
We start to argue about which song is better than which. The topic changes suddenly. Now we’re arguing about whether Greenday is better that Aerosmith or not. The argument doesn’t last long, though. We stop suddenly and look at each other. Jay’s red in the face and his eyes are bright. I probably look worse. We look ridiculous. Jay starts to laugh and I join him. Jay’s mom walks in with a smile on her face.
“What is going on with you two?” she asks, feigning irritation. “I wonder about you sometimes. One minute you are sharing an emotional moment; the next minute you are arguing; and now you’re on the floor killing yourselves laughing! You two amaze me. I’d hate to see you two break your friendship.”
“Don’t worry Mrs. B, I doubt that will happen,” I say, ruffling Jay’s hair. “Jay would be useless without me. Who would be there to give him answers for his algebra?”
“Ha, ha, very funny,” Jay says, rolling his eyes. “Actually, you’d be the useless one without me! You’d be so alone at school! I can see it now. Jamie walking around depressed because I’m not there!”
Mrs. B rolls her eyes and leaves the room. Jay and I start to laugh again.
“Hey, let’s go to the park,” Jay says suddenly, standing up.
Jay and I love hanging out at the park. When it’s just the two of us, we end up acting like little kids.
We reach the park and look around. It’s a beautiful autumn day. The leaves have fallen off of the trees and now they’re all over the park. Someone’s raked them in and put them in neat piles. I look at the ground; the grass is full of acorns. It also seems like Jay and I are the only ones here. I look up at Jay and see that he’s looking at me. He’s grinning and there’s a mischievous glint in his eye. I know that look. I know it very well. Jay crouches and starts to pick up a number of acorns. Uh oh. Without hesitation, I start to run away from Jay. Suddenly, a number of acorns fly past me. I crouch down quickly and pick up a few. I turn around and fling them at Jay. He dodges them and picks up a few more and starts to chase me. I sprint away and dive into the shrubs. I can’t stop laughing. I feel like a six year old. I cover my mouth and laugh silently.
“Gotcha!” Jay shouts as he lunges at me. He lands on me and we roll out of the bushes. We continue to roll around, laughing our heads off. Suddenly we stop rolling and Jay is lying on top of me. He is looking into my eyes and I am looking right into his. He’s got piercing blue eyes and it feels like he’s looking right into my soul or something. Our faces are literally 5 centimetres away from each other.
The tingling sensation and dizziness has come back. Suddenly, we leap away from each other. Our faces are as red as over-ripe tomatoes. An awkward silence has fallen on us.
“Uh, I better get going,” I say, twisting my arm. “It’s getting late.”
“Yeah, I’ve also got to get going,” Jay nods, looking away. “Mom will start freaking out if I don’t call her and tell her that I’m okay.”
“See you soon?” I say, looking at him shyly.
“Yeah, I’ll see you tomorrow,” Jay says. “Good luck with the Ami thing and er, call me if anything goes wrong, ok?”
“Ok, then bye, Jay,” I manage to say. He smiles and waves at me.
We leave in different directions. But could it be that our hearts and feelings are going in the same direction?
I really hope that the answer is no.
I arrive home. I sigh and look at the house. I really don’t feel like using the front door. Everyone will hear me and I’ll be forced to sit in the lounge with Ami. I’ll use the kitchen door. No one will hear me and I’ll be able to get to my room unnoticed. By the time everyone realizes I’m home, I’ll be fast asleep! I enter the kitchen quietly, closing the door gently. It’s dark in here. I better not turn the light on; just in case someone comes in when I go upstairs. I tiptoe through the kitchen and pause for a few seconds. I can hear voices coming from the lounge. Suddenly, I bump into the kitchen table and a bunch of cutlery falls off. I guess I didn’t notice it whilst I was eavesdropping. I put my head in my hands and groan. There is no way all this noise was not heard.
“Oh! That must be Jamie!” I hear Demi say.
“Jamie!” she calls. “Jamie, come and greet your sister and our guest.”
I freeze. Did she just say the word ‘guest’? That must mean...
“Jamie!” Demi calls for a second time. “Where is that girl?”
I sigh, resigned, and walk towards the lounge. I enter and look around.
Trisha is sitting on one of the bean-bags. She’s reading a tabloid magazine. Demi is sitting on the single couch with her legs crossed; she’s holding a glass of wine in her hand. Sitting on the double couch are Ami and ... Lance. Great. I look at my twin.
She hasn’t changed much. Her highlighted blonde hair is shining in the light and her now green eyes are trying to avoid meeting mine. She must’ve taken off her contacts.
“Hey Demi. Hey Trisha,” I greet. I turn and look at Ami and Lance. I roll my eyes and sit down next to Trisha. Demi purses her lips and holds her glass firmly.
“Jamie,” she says tightly. “Could you please greet your sister and Lance?”
“I don’t talk to backstabbers,” I reply curtly.
Ami starts to blush severely and Lance is shuffling around in his chair uncomfortably. Coward. Demi is holding her glass so tight, if she squeezes it one more time she’ll crush it. Trisha is smiling but she’s hiding it behind her magazine. She puts her magazine down and gives me a warm hug.
“You are one calm sister!” she whispers in my ear.
I smile slightly. At least I have somebody on my side.
The tension in the room is so thick; Ami and Lance keep shifting in their seats. Demi’s taking short, agitated sips of her wine. I’m enjoying the awkward silence. I can feel the guilt radiating off of Lance and Ami. The silence is broken by the shrill ringing of the phone. I jump up and head for the hallway. Saved by the bell! I pick up the receiver and say,
“Bansen Residence, home of torture and betrayal how may I help you?” (I can hear Demi cursing from the lounge).
“Hello? Jamie? It’s me, Jay.”
I sigh with relief. Jay is my lifesaver!
“Hi! Thank goodness you called!” I say.
“How’s it going?” he asks.
I groan dramatically. Jay laughs and says,
“Is it that bad?”
“No one’s talking,” I reply. “It’s so tense in there. I find it hilarious.”
“Jamie! Tell whoever is on the phone that they should call later!” Demi shouts, interrupting our conversation.
Honestly, she can be a right pain in the bottom sometimes! I sigh loudly, making sure that Demi hears me.
“Listen Jay, my cruel-hearted mother is telling me to cut the phone, I’ll call you later,” I grumble.
“Alright, but call me back if anything goes wrong, ok?”
“I promise I will. Now, I have to get going before she drags me into the lounge. Bye!”
I hang up and return to the lounge.
“So, Jamie, aren’t you going to welcome back your sister?” Demi say, trying to ease the tension in the room. “Politely?”
“But I’ve already welcomed Trisha,” I reply sweetly.
I glance at Ami. She’s looking at the ground; she’s still blushing.
“Yes I know that, Jamie!” Demi snaps. “Just welcome to your twin sister, Ami!”
I can tell that she is getting very irritated. She’s turning an interesting shade of purple. It’s a mix between the colour purple and the colour magenta. I call it Purgenta. That’s the colour you turn when you are on the verge of getting peeved. Anyway, I don’t know why she’s getting peeved. It’s not my fault Ami went and betrayed my trust.
“I don’t have a twin sister,” I point out. “Those words imply that there is an existent relationship between us. As far as I know, I have no relationship with this backstabber.”
Demi glares at me and I match her gaze. I am not about to act like everything is all fine and dandy; because it isn’t.
“Listen, I’m going to go and get some tea,” Demi exhales whilst rubbing her temples. “Trisha, come and help me in the kitchen, please.”
I know what she’s trying to do. She’s trying to force me into a situation where Lance, Ami, and I will have to talk. Well, two can play this game. I am not going to speak at all. Demi stands up and walks out of the lounge. Trisha stands up and begins to follow Demi.
“Good luck” she mouths in my direction.
I nod. I really am going to need that luck.