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Double Take

Double Take

A Story by Archia

There’s a song playing in your head, something from memory lane. The tune tinkers around, spinning over and over again. You can’t remember any of the words, but you know you hated the song. Nevertheless here it was, stuck in your mind in that annoying way songs managed to do. You bang the steering wheel with the palm of your hand and turn down the small cul-de-sac.

Slowing down to let the birds spook out of your way, you pull up beside a small, dreary house. The paint had cracked long ago and was past the ‘just needs a fresh layer’ stage. A single fence post stood just beside the road, a reminder of the bright yellow stakes that had once been there.

She’s gardening under the window sill, planting something which as she would say, probably won’t grow. She liked the garden, but her methods were always a little unorthodox.

She raises her head, the wide-brimmed hat wobbling a little in the wind and the mass of curls bobbing underneath. Her hand lifts in a wave and a smile comes across her lips as her blue eyes shine towards you. You smile back, but you don’t want to. Inside of you is coursing questions; twisting thoughts that make you wonder what you’re even doing here.

She comes over and knowing you can’t avoid it, you get out of the car.

“Hey Mick, how’s my bro doing?”

You regret going out for that coffee with her brother. If you hadn’t of sat there with him across from you he never would’ve said it. You wouldn’t be feeling this right now.  

“Good.”

“I’m planting a sunflower.”

Dragging you by the hand she proudly presents a shining flower wedged into the dirt.

“It probably won’t grow but I thought I’d give it a try. Then we can have sun all the time.”

You look at her, at the face beaming with the hope of a shining sun. She shines enough for you. Except right now there’s something shadowing the sun in your mind.

You take a deep breath. If you don’t ask her, it will always plague you. It would be easier to forget it, to ignore what your friend said, but you know it won’t go away.

“Carla, you know your sister…“ you begin.

She flicks the hat off and wipes a bead of sweat off her cheek, smiling up at you.

“Did I go on a date with your sister?”

In an instant her face shudders, every little piece of the shining sun gone.

“What?” Her voice is no longer melodious but riddled with worry. “Why would you think that?”

“David mentioned something today.” Part of you feels bad for dobbing him in, but another part feels like he deserves it for telling you the bad news. The news which sent every little bead of doubt coursing through your veins.

“Sit down.” She says and flops herself onto the grass.

You put yourself beside her, hoping that you haven’t ruined something wonderful. What if David’s wrong, had you really considered this enough instead of just rushing into it?

“Do you think that you went on a date with my sister?” Her voice is soft and slow, carefully choosing it’s words.

Your mind flicks back over the past two years and the moment that you had met the sister of your girlfriend.

 

“This is my sister, Georgia.”

In a daze you spun from one to the other, hoping that you didn’t look like a crazed rabbit but knowing that you probably did.

“It’s a bit trippy aye?” Georgia laughed.

You nodded, unsure of what to say. There was an uncanny familiarity to her.

“You’re very alike,” you stuttered.

“Don’t worry, we’ll give you a couple of months until you have to tell us apart.”

 

 “I don’t think so.” You tell her, looking at the ground. Picking at a blade of grass you rub it between your fingers.

“Then that’s the best thing to think. David says some funny things sometimes.”

She was right, David was a joker. He easily could be cracking up in the background. Still though, there was something you couldn’t shake off.

Out of the corner of your eye you feel her smiling at you. She wants you to believe her. You want to believe her.

You hadn’t noticed the car pulling into the driveway but now as you glance up, you see the young woman getting out. The curls are pinned away from her face and the blue eyes that stare your way come across with a reserved smile.

“What are you two doing sitting there, don’t you know gardening involves actual work?” She heaves two bags of groceries out of the back seat.

“If you get something done I might be nice enough to cook you dinner.” She saunters away into the house as you give a small, polite smile.

Carla’s looking at the ground, fidgeting with the dirt.

“I don’t think David’s messing with me,” you say softly.

When she looks up at you, there’s a haze in her eyes.

“I’m sorry,” her voice trembles.

Your mind whirls, unsure of what to think or say or do.

“Why?” You ask.

She sniffs and scratches her cheek.

“Do you remember the first time we met, at the party?”

You nod.

“I fell hopelessly in love with you there.”

“So you had to send your sister on a date with me? To suss me out?”

“No.” She shakes her head. “I cancelled our first date, I got sick remember, and then you were going away on that holiday just a week later. I thought that if you went away for a month you’d forget about me.”

You’re lost, unsure of what to think. Part of you still hopes this is all just a game. “But we rescheduled for a few days later.”

Her eyes become hazier.

“I was still sick and I was desperate for you to not forget me. I asked Georgia to go in my place and I thought that after a month you wouldn’t be able to tell which one of us you went on a date with.”

It’s not a joke, or a game, or anything but the truth. You’re annoyed at her, for lying all this time. For letting your first date, a day which you treasured, be with her sister instead. Was it really her that you had fallen in love with?

“How did you think you could get away with it?” As you say the words, you realise the truth; she had gotten away with it. If David had never say anything, you never would’ve known.

“All this time I thought our first date was together and now I find out I went on a date with your twin, your bloody identical twin; what am I meant to think?”

She shakes her head. “I don’t know, I’m sorry.”

You dust the dirt from your hands and push up from the ground.

“I’m going to go.”

As you slip back into the car you take a look back. She’s sitting on the ground, head tucked into her knees. Normally you’d be there to comfort her. Starting the car you turn away and drive to the end of the cul-de-sac. You didn’t want to drive past her again but you have to.

Taking a breath in, you sidle past the house and can’t help but have a glance. There she is, still on the ground but now with her sister’s arms around her.

You remembered the first date and how you thought there was something different to the girl you met at the party. You had wished you could see that girl in her come out, and that was why you didn’t forget her when you went away.

You stop the car in a sudden. Taking a sharp turn and scattering the birds you drive back, pulling up by the house. Both of them are still outside.

She looks up as you jump out and run over to her.

Your breathing is heavy but you don’t know why.

“You know that sunflower is going to die, you’ve planted it completely in the shade.”

She sniffs. “So?”

“I didn’t forget you because I was scared I would never see the girl from the party again. I was scared I had smothered you in shade. You’re the girl I fell in love with, and that’s all I care about.”

A smile comes across her face, the shining sun erupting from behind the clouds.

You pull her into your arms and she slips her head in your shoulder. Breaking away you glance up to see Georgia smiling slightly at you both. For the first time there’s a mischievous twinkle in her eyes, and then she walks back into the house, ever the reserved person.

You slip your arm around Carla.

“Shall we move that sunflower into the sun?”

She smiles up at you.

“Let’s do it.”

 


© 2018 Archia



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Added on January 17, 2018
Last Updated on January 17, 2018
Tags: twin, date, girlfriend

Author

Archia
Archia

About
Really, I'm just one of you. Come in, sit down, grab a cup of tea and enjoy a good read (now that may be a questionable statement). If there's anything in any of my stories that you want to be exp.. more..

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