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When the Sun Sets (part 1)
“Night, Ro.” I say to Rochelle.
“Good night, Michelle.” She says to me as she enters her bedroom, and I enter mine.
It’s 10:11 p.m. on Wednesday night. Tomorrow, at 8:00 a.m. we would have to go to school. I am exhausted. I get under the soft, orange cotton bed sheets, turn out the lamp of my nightstand, and drift off into unconsciousness.
My name is Michelle and Rochelle is my identical twin sister. She and I are nothing alike, except for how we look. We both have soft brown colored hair, light blue eyes, sprinkled with bits of silver and pale, white skin. Rochelle’s hair extends below her bust. But we style ourselves so that we look the complete opposite of each other. She likes sparkly jewelry, skirts and frilly blouses, while I prefer skinny jeans, a v-neck t-shirt and a beanie.
Rochelle is more of the girly-girl; I am drawn towards my guy-ish side. The only girly thing about me is my name. We are both juniors at Wilhelmina High School here in Anaheim, California. She has more girlfriends, I have guy friends. Dance is Rochelle’s passion. Today, she had an intense practice, they were rehearsing Cinderella. She attends the Anaheim Ballet from 4:30-6. No surprise, Ro’s dancing the lead role, Cinderella. I knew she’d get this part because she’s been telling me about how she practically needed this role and she’s been doing pirouettes since she was five. As for me, I got into skateboarding. My life just about takes place at the half pipe in our backyard. I got my first board at five. Tucker gave it to me, and it was his first one too. He was the one who taught me how to ride it and how to do tricks. We’d spend everyday together either on the half pipe or around the city’s sidewalks.
Our family has known Tucker since I was born. He’s 1 year and 7 months older than Ro and I. He’s my mom’s best friend’s son. All three of us used to have play dates when Hazel, Tucker’s mother, came over to spend time with our mom.
The only physical feature different about Rochelle and I is that I have a 5 inch long scar on the side of my right thigh. I got it from falling off of my skateboard when I was seven. Mom and Hazel took Tucker, Rochelle and I to the neighborhood park. There was a path that winded around the soccer fields, playgrounds, picnic tables and baseball diamonds. Tucker and I brought our boards so he could teach me how to do an Ollie. This was a hard trick for me to do since I was only seven. After many tries and many minutes, I finally nailed it.
“Hey, Tuck! Did you see that! I got it!” I exclaimed.
“Yeah, Mitchie! Good job!” he said to me.
I was so happy I did it; I just had to show my mom and Hazel. So I skated over to the bench where they were sitting at.
“Momma! Hazel! Look what I can do!” I said. They looked up from watching Rochelle in the nearby sandbox and paid attention to me.
I backed up a little so I could have room to perform the trick. I raced towards them with great speed, snapped the tail down, slid my front foot along the board and jumped. It was perfect.
I felt like I was flying. A smile took over my face. I could hear my mother, Hazel and Tucker clapping. But you know what they say, “What goes up, must come down.” And I came down.
I landed, kept racing toward the bench and the board’s nose ran into it. Near the bench was a three foot stone wall that kept in many types of flowers. The crash had me airborne and threw me right to the wall. The stones were so sharp that they cut through my skin and the Bermuda shorts I was wearing. This little accident happened when the sun had set.
The people who worked at that park had the stone wall dulled.
Rochelle has a boyfriend, one whom she’s been seeing for ten months now. His name is Marco, he’s Italian. He has curly dark brown hair, a perfect tan and has biceps the size of baseballs. Rochelle is completely in love with him. I lost interest in dating after ninth grade. That was when I had my first boyfriend, Ethan. We’d dated for about six months.
One day, during the spring, I went over to his house to hang out and told me he had a surprise waiting for me. He wouldn’t tell me what it was, though. He had me close my eyes and everything. Ethan took my hand, led me up the steps and I heard a door close behind me.
“Okay, open your eyes.” He said and then kissed me.
“Ha-ha,” I laughed. I wondered why he had taken me to his room to make out. I mean, his parents never really minded us kissing in front of them.
Then I felt his hands on my stomach, they reached down further. Ethan started to unbutton my jeans. At first, I went along with it, thinking that it wasn’t going to be that bad. I took off his shirt that showed off his muscles so well. Then we were down to undergarments. I sat on the bed, him next to me. We made out some more. And then, I realized I couldn’t do it. I wasn’t ready.
“I can’t do this.” I said to Ethan.
“What?” he kissed my neck. “No, it’s okay. I know it’s scary at first, but you can do it.”
“No, Ethan. Really, I can’t do it. I’m not ready.” I said. I began to put my pants on.
“God, Michelle!” he exploded. He never screamed, ever. I froze. “You’re such a little kid! You can’t even handle doing this one little thing for me! I thought you loved me!”
“Wow, Ethan! You’re really going to play that card?” I was starting to fume. Of course I loved Ethan, or at least I thought I did.
“Yes, I am! God, if you’re not going to do it, then, get outta my house!”
“What?” I was shocked. Ethan was never mean to me. I began to gather my clothes. I was too slow for him so he threw them at me. Then he grabbed me by the arm, not even letting me get dressed. We ran out of his room and down the stairs. Once, we reached his front door, he shoved me out. I fell down. I tried covering myself with my tank top and shorts.
“God, Michelle! I hate you! Just get outta here!” he slammed the door.
Of course, I was going to get out of there! Did he think I was going to stay back there and beg for him to take me back? Even if I was slightly tempted to do so. My legs were scraped from the concrete I fell onto, it was getting cold outside, and I was half-naked and heart-broken. My eyes welled-up with tears. I gathered my clothes, slipped my feet into my flip-flops and ran as fast as I could back to my house. At least no one could see me; the sun was setting.