A Twin's Redemption | Teen Ink

A Twin's Redemption

May 21, 2015
By yassyjazz, Townsville, Other
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yassyjazz, Townsville, Other
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Favorite Quote:
If life gives you lemons, make lemondade

Author's note:

I am a twin myself. The content in this book is purely fiction. None of it is real. 

The author's comments:

Point of view from protagonist Mildred

It was our first day of kindergarten. I clutched my sister Angelica’s hand, squeezing it tightly. She was gripping mine even harder. My sister and I were not your typical four year olds. We believed that we had the brains of a tenth grade kid – well, maybe not in book learning, but life had taught us a lot.
All the kids were in the classroom with their parents. The students all looked so weird. It was as if they had all met before today. They were waving and smiling at each other and were shouting out to the others what they had done with each other before they started school. The parents and children stood in multiple small groups, laughing and hugging each other. We were outcasts, standing there by ourselves in an open space. To tell you the truth, this is what my sister Angelica and I felt all the time at home. Our parents had simply just dropped us off at the school gates this morning, lured us to the office by our hands and bags, and then left without saying goodbye.
“Good morning, children and parents,” Miss Vlanet said. "Today, you will start school, and you have to let your parents go."
The children began to cry as soon as Miss Vlanet finished. Other four year olds ran to grab their parents as they tried to back out the classroom door. Angelica and I just stood there. We were fine. We had each other. And what could be so wrong about school? All of these kids must have loved their parents a lot. But my sister and I were the exact opposite.
“Children, gather around, please,” Miss Vlanet said soon after the children’s parents left. “We need to start.” We all sat in a circle facing the teacher. I do this a lot when I am watching TV at home with my sister.
“We will start by getting to know each other. Who would like to begin?” she said.
Even though Miss Vlanet had a weird name that sounded ghastly, my first impression of her was that she was an excellent person. She was tall and had long, curly hair. A bit like mine, actually, but my hair was red. Hers was blonde.
“Miss, I’m John and I like the toilet,” a dark-haired boy said, sticking up his hand.
Miss Vlanet blinked. “How rude of you to say that. If you do that again, you will go to the naughty corner.”
She pointed to a corner. There was a mat, surrounded by shelves with books that were easy for us children to read. It didn’t look that bad over there. I would love to read a book. I might be able to find out more about my parents and why they do certain things.
“I’m Mildred and this is my twin sister, Angelica,” I said.
“Well, hello, Mildred and Angelica. Pleased to meet you.”
“You too, Miss,” I said.
The whole class had a chance to say something about themselves. Many of the boys were naughty and childish. The girls were polite. It took a long time for all the kids to introduce themselves. By the time it was over, I knew who to make friends with and who not to. Not the boys: I’m too calm for them. Most of the girls seemed fine; others had significantly large problems. They were complaining about their looks and what they should and shouldn’t eat for most of the time when Miss Vlanet was trying to talk. Was I going to survive here? I didn’t like when people talked about their looks and food habits. I wonder what would happen if they compared their lives to mine?

The author's comments:

Point of view from protagonist Angelica

Today, Mildred and I are at Kindy for the first time. We have not met any friends yet or done anything. All we are doing is sitting in a circle around Miss Vlanet talking about ourselves and sharing things like what our favourite sport is, or maybe our favourite food, what our hobbies are, and many other topics. I’m a boring person. Mildred never seems bored and is always happy wherever she goes or during whatever she does.
Not me. I am a very shy person who is not very fond of life. I’m the younger of the two of us. I have no cousins on either my dad’s or mum’s side. I have one aunty and uncle on my dad’s side and two grandparents on both my mum’s and dad’s sides. My mother was the only child in her family. My dad always had his big sister, Courtney, who was a famous songwriter and singer. I wish I were famous, but I’m way too shy. I don’t know what it is with twins. One is always girlie and more outgoing than the other. I’m the shy one, and I’m not as girly as Mildred. I would some days consider myself a tomboy.
“Angelica, would you like to tell the class what you do and what you like?” Miss Vlanet asked, pointing at me.
I blushed. Everyone watched me. I whispered into Mildred’s ear, “I can’t. I’m scared.”
Mildred nodded, obviously knowing that I was in one of those fancy moods where I am too scared to move or speak. I didn’t like talking to people – never have – and I hated being stared at.
“Something wrong, Miss Angelica? You look a bit pale and flushed,” Miss Vlanet said.
I ran out of the room. Mildred and Miss Vlanet followed. Why did everyone have to follow? Everybody was out in the hall. The other kindergarteners were instructed to go back inside, except for my sister.
“Miss, Angelica is shy. She has trouble speaking,” Mildred said.
“Oh, I see. Do you two want some time together outside for a while, or maybe watch some TV in the playroom?”
“Miss, can we sit in the naughty corner?” Mildred asked cheekily.
Miss Vlanet stared at my sister. Why would my sister want to do that? We were not in trouble at all.
“Mildred, why do you want to be in the naughty corner?” she said.
“I would like to read books with my sister there for a while.”
Now I was suspicious. Mildred had never read a book before. She could hardly read. What was so remarkable about these books in the naughty corner?
“Well, if Angelica wants to do it, you can,” Miss Vlanet said.
Mildred jumped around as if she had just won a prize. It’s normal, though. She does it all the time. I had to find out what all the drama was about, so I went inside with her and sat in the naughty corner.
“Mildred, what’s going on? I’m embarrassed being over here. I haven’t done anything wrong.”
“Behaviour books. Our parents. Get it?”
I gave her a what-are-you-talking-about look. We both believed we were telepathic. We had once watched a science show about telepathy and decided to test ourselves.
We closed our eyes and read each other’s thoughts. She must have been concerned about our parents. I do believe her, however. We never seem to spend much time with them at all. I was lost in my own thoughts. I felt sorry for my sister. However, I didn’t get the part about the behaviour books and how that was supposed to help us. It all seemed a bit odd to me.
“Angelica, there might be answers in these books to all of our concerns.”
I still didn’t get it. It’s impossible to solve others’ problems. I don’t know what she was getting up to, but she needed a break. A long one, too. All this starting school business was going to her head. Mother and Father told us both that it was where we were to learn things, not muck around and go wild like she was now.
I stuck with the plan. If I had to read a book, I had to do it. Mildred was already reading a picture book and studying the images. I went through the shelf. A small, blue book caught my eye. “Do not open,” it read. I hid it in the jacket I was wearing. I know it’s bad to steal a book, but I needed to find out what it was about. I listened to Mildred mumbling as she carefully flicked through the pages. She obviously found nothing important or interesting in the book. It was in her facial expression that I could tell this. She finally finished.
“Get anything?” I asked.
“I’m ready to go back to learning, Mildred. Can you come with me?”
“Are you sure? You didn’t look all right before.”
“I’m fine now. Come on.”
We re-joined the circle of kids.
Miss Vlanet and the class were playing a game. Mildred and I sat out and watched. They finished soon. In my current condition, I would never be able to make a friend. I would have to rely on my sister to do it for me. I frowned. Something inside me told me that I would never survive without my sister. I felt the fear coming that I might lose my life. I removed the thought from my head just in case Mildred was listening.
“Class, who wants to make something?” Miss Vlanet asked.
My sister and the rest of the class put their hands up wildly. I didn’t. I didn’t know what was happening to me. I felt lost and uncomfortable. I had never been this far from home in my life. I always did something with my sister alone, but now that is all changing. If my parents had shown more love and respect for me, I wouldn’t be feeling this way right now. Mildred always found the light at the end of the tunnel; I never have. It was too far away; I couldn’t see it. I wasn’t blind, and I wasn’t dumb. It all came to me so quickly that I could never have time to find it. Mildred cannot help me find it. No one can. It’s a person’s responsibility to find the light for themselves, not another’s.
I wish things could be different in this world. The problem is that days come and go with either bad or good effects. Everything that was going around my brain now was giving me a huge headache. I felt myself drifting off.

The author's comments:

Point of view from protagonist Mildred. 


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“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?”
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 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.
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 and went to pick her up. 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. We didn’t want to attract attention in the office due to past experiences like this morning when they dropped us 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.
We left the school immediately without telling anyone where we were going. We headed down to the nearest park, because today we 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 mother’s charity clothes and steal lots of her 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.

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