A Twin Tale
“You’re late Sabrina,” Mr. Lomax announced. “Stay after class.”
She wore headphones, hard rock music blared into her ears as she sauntered into class late. A cloud of smoke and the smell of cinnamon hovered around her. Everyone stared as she made her way to her seat in the back of the classroom. She had an average body for a teenage girl. Her breasts were confined in her extra small black KISS t-shirt. Her legs seemed miles long in her small pleather skirt accompanied by fishnet stockings. When she walked her high heel boots tapped the tile floor steadily. Sabrina drew in most of her attention because of her short black hair covered in pink and purple stripes. Her audience noticed her dark charcoal eye-shadow underneath a barbell in her eyebrow. Black eye-liner under beautiful almond shaped hazel eyes, accented by thick black mascara hid her thin short lashes. Her nose was small with a diamond in it. The color of blood easily swallowed her thin lips. Around her neck were two thin silver chains attached to dog tags and on her wrists are unique handmade beaded bracelets that she made. Acrylic paint stained her hard worked fingers that she tapped on the desk when she finally sat down.
The air was fresh; Mr. Lomax always opened the windows after lunch. He lectured about the body’s pH balance. Sabrina doodled. She copied the anatomy of human body charts that covered the walls. Salina watched herself apply light pink glitter lip-gloss in her compact mirror. Girls twisted their hair and wrote notes. Some boys had their heads down sleeping; a couple students watched the clock.
At the end of the class Mr. Lomax cleared his throat. “Alright, important announcement: Tomorrow we have a surprise lab. This is the last lab of the semester. It will be the deciding factor in which you pass or fail biology and may affect your graduation status. We will be testing very dangerous chemicals so proper lab attire is required. You will be working with partners.” When he paused a sigh of relief filled the air.
“I have chosen the lab partners for you. Let me grab the list.” Discouragement followed.
Tension floated. It was quieter than a soldier in the desert. Everyone wanted to work with their friends. Some people glanced at Sabrina and mumbled that they didn’t want to work with a weirdo and giggled. The bell finally rang and Mr. Lomax said he would announce partners tomorrow. Everyone rushed out leaving Sabrina sitting alone at her desk. Mr. Lomax sat at his.
“You were late again. Sabrina I am writing you a referral for in-school-suspension.”
“Alright.” She answered emotionlessly.
“Why are you always late anyways?” He questioned.
“Honestly?” She hesitated until he nodded. “They think they are so cool. They stand in circles in front of the soda machines. They won’t even let me through. They ignore me and block me out of spite. I have to wait until they go to class to get some damn vitamin water.”
“You don’t eat?”
“I’m a strict vegan, everything at this school has animal by product. I pack a snack or wait until I’m home. I usually hang out in the bathroom listening to music watching girls fidget with their hair.”
He stood a moment in embarrassment before he ripped up the referral. He picked up the test tubes from the drying rack. “This is your warning.”
Sabrina rushed over to help stack beakers on the shelf. “Thank you, can I ask you a big favor?”
Organizing the eye droppers, his eyebrows raised. He looked confused.
“Can you put me with Salina for this last lab?” she asked. “It’s just that they all hate me. She can only hate me to a certain extent, I think. She won’t be as mean to me as the rest.” She shuffled goggles into the cabinet. “Plus we’re going to college soon. This might be the last chance for us. We share DNA stands but we can’t even share a bedroom.” They both laughed.
The following day everyone’s ears perked as Mr. Lomax announced the partners. Some students were happier than others. When he announced Salina would be working with Sabrina some of the students protested.
His eyes shifted to Sabrina when he answered sternly. “Life isn’t fair.”
Salina moped all the way to her designated lab area, stopping to tell all her friends how unfair it was that she was stuck with the wicked witch. They all gave their sympathy and glared at Sabrina with hostile eyes.
When she walked up Salina grunted, “I don’t like you. I don’t want to work with you. Since we’re stuck together let’s just get this stupid thing done so we can like move on with our lives. When I go off to college I won’t have to look at your disgusting face any more.”
“Well that’s so sweet sis.” Sabrina answered sarcastically.
Together they began working on their assignment, gathering beakers, cylinders, and chemicals without a single spoken word. Ironically they were able to function well without conversation. It was something they practiced too often.
The assignment was the last. Therefore, the twins were stuck together for the last two weeks of school. The second day of the lab they had to fill out their first set of charts noting the chemical change of the constant and control over a 24 hour period. As Sabrina began to color hers in silence Salina stared blankly.
“Do you need help?” Sabrina saw her opportunity to break the ice.
“No.” She answered. Her pencil still did not move.
“The first thing you should note is the obvious. Things like color, size, and texture. The next chart we will test the pH level of everything.”
There was a long silence while girls drew on their charts. “You’re pretty smart at this stuff. I really don’t like science,” Salina paused “or math or English or history. Well, I like other stuff. Not, like school stuff. I like boys. But you, you’re pretty school smart.”
Sabrina was smart; she knew a simple conversation would break the ice. “I like other stuff. I like art and music.”
The twins started talking and almost joking. Salina asked her sister why she didn’t like boys and why she liked rock. She even asked her to rate John Stuart, her latest fling. Sabrina told her how boys only want one thing; since they can’t get it from her they’re not interested. They had a good laugh when Sabrina said rock and roll music was simply poetry gone hard core. Salina was shocked when her sister rated John Stuart a 4 because he was hot with a nice body but he had an ugly personality. Salina agreed that sometimes he was conceded and arrogant but he was cute and popular so she could totally date him for the last two weeks of school. Instantly they grew closer. In that hour of class the girls communicated, joked, and laughed more they have in years. As friendly as it seemed they were, after they scrubbed the test tubes and the bell rang Salina jetted off giggling with her friends. Sabrina walked down the corridor alone.
The girls quickly gained a friendship but it was as short lived as their class. Sabrina was feeling defeated when it came to building a real friendship with her sister. At home she still lived in silence. Their parents favored Salina because they thought she was a good little cheer leader. They believed Sabrina was going through some type of rebellious phase. They hadn’t treated her the same way since she told her parents that she smoked and would not quit. They said she liked to be deviant and they allowed her to express herself but they didn’t much to her. Both of the twins were accepted to colleges in different states but Sabrina was convinced her parents were secretly ecstatic to see her leave and depressed to see Salina go. She wanted her parents to love her. More importantly Sabrina wanted her sister to know her and make her own decisions.
By day four they were actually greeting each other in the halls. They were sharing conversations every day. Mr. Lomax was the target of their jokes because of his small build, bald head, and obsession with cleanliness. Everything was going great until the twins bumped into Caitlin Arbor and her gang walking out of class.
“Well look at these two best buds.” Caitlin began. “You know what they say two of a feather-flock together.”
“Don’t be ridiculous Caitlin; you know we have to do a lab together. That’s the only reason…” her voice trailed off when she saw the hurt and embarrassment in Sabrina’s eyes. Sabrina walked away looking at the toes of her shoes.
“No I don’t think so because I see the two of you conversing in the halls. I see how chummy you have gotten with the freak show. You have always told all of us that you had nothing in common with her. She is weird. Obviously you lied. You have way too much to talk about for people with nothing in common. Do you now or have you always worshiped the devil? Oh no I better watch what I say she might put a spell on me”. Caitlin did not stop; she had only begun. Her voice carried as she laughed bringing the crowd closer. “Is it true your parents are witch and warlock? Your whole family is like the freaks from Twilight. I cannot figure out if you’re vampires, witches, zombies, or just cult following Satan followers. Seriously we’re going to add your name to the school’s prayer list because you really need Jesus. I don’t know if he saves people that curse others. Just saying,”
“Give it a rest Caitlin!” Salina interjected. “No one in my family is a devil worshiper or a witch or any kind of savage that you’re talking about. In fact it sounds like you know about all that stuff way too well. You’re such a bitch sometimes. If I was going to do some kind of spell it would be the one to make your fat ass disappear! No one would miss you. No one even likes you. Your parents hardly tolerate you. Isn’t that why you still have a nanny living with you at 17”
Caitlin’s face turned a new shade of red, completely embarrassed she let Salina have it. “I am loved by many. I am a great member of society. People genuinely like me because I am a good person. It’s too bad that you can’t say the same. You got every ounce of your popularity from every boy in the school that you met behind the bleachers. You slept with half of the football and basketball team. You’re a slut. When I move on I will go to college and be successful; you will suck your way to the top.”
The bell rang and Caitlin walked away smugly. Her minions followed her into the ladies room. People stood in shock for a minute before the halls emptied leaving Salina all alone. When she looked up she saw her reflection in the school’s trophy case. In many ways she looked like Sabrina right now.
Over the few days Salina lost all of her social status. She spent lunch in the library or the counselor’s office so she wouldn’t have to sit alone. Her friends all took Caitlin’s side. They actually parted in the halls so that she could walk through. Salina became such an outcast overnight. People were saying their whole family was Wiccan. Girls were told to watch their hair because one of the sisters might cut it for a torture spell. John Stuart told Salina he didn’t want a girlfriend. Especially one that has slept with everyone he knows. Suddenly Salina’s world was upside down.
Sabrina noticed Salina’s mood change when all of her so called friends shunned her away. “Hey are you okay?” Sabrina asked innocently. “Is there anything I can do?”
“No. You have done enough. Thanks.” Salina replied.
“What did I do?” Sabrina was confused.
“Why do you got to be so weird? Huh? Why? Why are you a freak of nature? Do you get a rise out of making people cringe?” Salina let out a deep sigh and looked at the ceiling. “God, why do I have to be related to freak?”
Sabrina sat quietly as Salina continued ranting. “Can we just finish this stupid lab? Once again, I do not like you. I just want to move out and never see you again!”
The last few days of school were torture r for both the girls. With no friends and no alliance with each other they stood alone on the battle field every day at school. Even though Salina finally felt Sabrina’s pain she held her responsible for her demise. She was too stubborn to make friends with her sister. Both girls were excited when the last day of school came. When they left that day they knew the only stop before college was graduation.
Two weeks later when graduation finally came, the girls both dressed alone in their rooms. They both diligently did their make-up and had butterflies about walking across the stage. It was the first time Salina was nervous to see all her peers. Eagerly waiting downstairs were two proud parents and a Polaroid. After a short car ride in silence they reached the banquet hall. The girls both found empty seats in the second and fourth row as their parents made their way to the assigned seats for parents.
Sitting in the fourth row Sabrina noticed none of the girls were sitting by Salina. They were leaving all the seats around her empty. The mumbled and giggled as if it were planned. Sabrina sat and watched the entire scene. Salina spoke to one of the girls softly saying how happy she was to be finished. The girl didn’t respond she just walked away in disgust.
After the Principal announced the valedictorian he began to call their class to the stage to graduate on to the next stage of life. As he called five names he paused and said words of advice. Sabrina made her way to the second isle as the first tears dropped from Salina’s eyes. She sat down and cuffed her hand tightly.
“I never wanted to graduate alone.” She cried.
“You are not alone.” Sabrina whispered into her ear and wiped her eyes. “You are never alone.”
The Principal announced their names. “Sabrina Gomez; Salina Gomez.”
Salina grabbed her sister’s hand and stood. “Thank you” she mouthed to Sabrina. They walked hand in hand across the stage making their parents cry. Upon graduation a new life would begin.