Prentiss – 7.3: The Lost Twin II

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(Previous post: The Lost Twin I )

Maja was running the answers she wrote on her math test trough her head while trying hard not to bite her nails. It was a nasty habit she knew that, and her mother had bothered about it enough times, but it was hard to get rid of it especially at boring situations. Sitting in a  horrible waiting room, waiting for her regular appointment with the school psychologist qualified as such.

The school mandated those appointments to every student that had suffered some kind of trauma and at first Maja was okay with them, it was nice to vent to someone, someone outside her home, someone who didn’t go trough the exact same trauma but as time went on it was just getting annoying, how many times, and in how many ways could she say she missed her mother, she missed her sister, her twin? How many more times did she have to say she felt empty and incomplete and how sure she was that is how she was going to feel from now on until she died herself and could not feel anymore. It just wasn’t helping. Yet her dad didn’t want her to stop coming here and what could Maja say to that? The man had been trough so much, he didn’t need her disobedience on top of it all.

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She had even grown to hate coming to school. She used to like it before, in the times when her greatest problem was that her father was her science teacher. But now it was insufferable. She was almost always alone on recess, trying to catch up with all the schoolwork she missed and dodging people and their pitying stares. Even Domynika, her cousin with whom she didn’t speak ever since she stole Jacob Gradle from her would find excuses to give her a kind word, she even came over their house to see if she needed anything. She didn’t need that. She hated that.  It was stupid and annoying.

She tried to push it all out of her head, force her mind back to maths when the door that lead to the hallway opened and a boy walked in. He was a bit slouched under the weight of his backpack, dark haired, with glasses and a funny little mustache.  He murmured a hello as he worked his way to sit in a chair next to hers dropping his bag on the floor next to his chair and looking relieved to be able to do so.

Maja hoped that would be the extend of their conversation. She had little interest in talking, she just wanted for her damned appointment to start so she could get away from here and back home.

The boy however had different intentions. “Do you have an appointment at two?” He asked turning to face her. “She had to reschedule mine because I had to go to the dentist yesterday, seems she forgot about you and gave us the same slot.”

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“Seems so.” Maja said politely still refusing to give the boy her full attention, hoping that might discourage him. It didn’t work.

“Well I hope she reschedules mine again – to never.” He said and smiled. Maja looked him over briefly. He did have a nice smile, it lit up his face. A part of her was glad someone else hated these sessions as much as she did but still she didn’t respond.  “Be honest, do you find these useful?” He pressed on.

“I did a first.” Maja said honestly. “Now not so much.” The boy nodded and his eyes saddned a bit. Here we go again…. Maja thought fuming internally.

“I get it.” He said. “After what you went trough….”

“And why are you here?” She asked sharper than she intended at first.

“My mum died.” The boy said sadly and it made Maja feel bad instantly. “It wasn’t anything traumatic like what happened to you… But she died. She is gone.” He sighed. “My stepfather, Mr. Borders, the principal, he thinks this would to me good… Talking to someone about it since he is pretty lost about the whole ordeal himself, they had just gotten married you know…”

It was then that Maja recognized the boy.  It had been a while since she had last seen him, and he had grown a lot since but she wondered how could she not recognize him earlier. His name was Waylon, Waylon Borders now, and he was Jacob’s little brother. Now she felt even worse, she heard their mother had passed away but she had so much on her plate at the time she simply forgot to call or say anything. She debated if she should say something now but he went on.

“There is one thing that helps though, I think it might help you too. ” He smiled when Maja turned to him curious and produced something from his pocket. It was a pill. A bright orange pill with a line etched in it.

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“What is that?” Maja asked.

“A magical malady. Helps with every ache.”

“And where did you get it from?” Waylon looked around before leaning towards her and whispering.

“Freddie Hoves.” Maja frowned. Freddie was a girl from her class, another cousin she was not close with. Her dad was a cop and she knew her mum worked for the hospital. Still she wasn’t likely to be giving people medicine…

“Is it… Legal?” She asked in an equal whisper. Waylon chuckled.

“I am not exactly sure. I don’t think Freddie is either if I was to be honest with you…. But it is good, better than weed or booze… It really is magical. And I have two left.” He added. “Maybe you should try it, see if it will help you. We can get away from here together, ditch this appointment…”

Maja knew she should have said no. She should have stopped talking to Jacob’s little brother right away and patiently wait to her appointment. She should have gone there, talk about her problems and feelings caused by the traumatic death of her mother and sister. Then she should have gone home and done her homework. Yet she did none of those things.

Her father always said she had a scientist mind, she was naturally curious, eager to learn and experiment. But it wasn’t what made her come with Waylon that day.  It wasn’t his cute smile, the one that was very like Jacob and unlike Jacob at the same time, either. She just wanted to escape… Escape everything, the appointment, school, her pain, her life… Everything…

“Where should we go?” She asked Waylon when they were out of the school. She felt adrenaline rushing trough her veins. She felt more alive then she had in months. “Behind the school?” Waylon let out a laugh.

“Hell no, if I was caught popping pills my stepfather would trow me out on the street…” Maja kind of doubted that but she said nothing. “I have an idea… Come…” And so she followed Waylon all the way to the most unlikely of places – the graveyard.

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She felt uncomfortable just looking around, she hadn’t been here since the day of the funeral. They buried mum, Lena and aunt Alyssa all on the same day. Waylon however didn’t seem phased. She wondered if his mother’s grave was also here, it had to be, this was the town’s only graveyard.  He walked in big steps towards the mausoleum ahead.

“Come.” He said. “Inside, no one will come looking here.”

“How do you know?” Maja asked slightly uncomfortable.

“My brother works here part time. He told me when it’s empty. Come.” He added again waving towards the door with his hand. Maja sighed and she followed him inside. It was cold when she shut the heavy door behind them. The cold seemed to be emanating from the stone walls around them and she couldn’t help but shiver. Waylon offered his jacket and she took it. He turned on some switch and a weak light lit the chamber. Still Maja felt uncomfortable in this place. Suddenly she wished she had stayed behind.

“Is everything okay?” Waylon asked concerned. Maja just nodded. There was no going back now.

“Just give me that pill.” Waylon smiled and pulled two orange pills out of his pockets and handed them to her. She took one and just swallowed it. Waylon followed. “How long until it lasts?” He shrugged.

“It depends.” Maja sighed.

“So what are we supposed to do until it does?”

“Talk?” Waylon asked.

“What about?”

“Whatever you like.” He said. Then added. “Anything you wouldn’t talk about on your appointment today.” Maja laughed.

“I was in love with your brother.” She said. “I don’t think I am anymore though…”

“Which one?” Waylon asked and she laughed.

“Jacob.” She replied unsure why she was saying anything.

“He has a girlfriend.” Waylon said.

“I know.” She replied. “She is my cousin.”

“You are prettier.” Waylon said and she dismissed him.

“I don’t need to hear that.”

“What do you need to hear? That he is a tool?”

“No.” She said smiling. “It is over now.”

“Good.” Waylon said with a broad smile. “You know why? Because I don’t have a girlfriend!” Maja laughed and then Waylon laughed with her. And so they talked about silly things and laughed a lot. She wasn’t sure if it was the pill they took or if it was all just a placebo effect but she felt good, she felt happy… Better then she did in very long time.  And she was ready to ask Waylon to get her some more of those pills, or even go to Freddie herself if it wasn’t for something that happened as they headed home…

The sun was going down but there was still some light left when they stepped out of the mausoleum and the brightness hurt her eyes. She had to squint and when she opened her eyes normally she froze solid.

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Before her stood something that could in no way be real. The figure had a feminine shape, complete with the long hair and she had her aunt’s features. Her dead aunt’s features. Her dead aunt Alyssa’s features. Her aunt died the same day her mother and Lena had died, the same meteor had killed her and her dog and nearly burned down her house. Yet the figure was transparent and glowed orange. If Maja had to describe it with a word she would have to use ghost. But there were no such things as ghosts.

“What is wrong?” Waylon asked concern obvious in his voice.

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“I think I am hallucinating.” Maja said not taking her eyes of the apparition. She thought it might do or say something. But it didn’t. It just stood there floating in the air.

“I think that is to be expected sometimes… The I’s have that effect….”

“I’s?” She asked puzzled but not taking her eyes off the thing that looked like her aunt Alyssa.

“That is how I call those magic pill’s. They have an I etched on them. Come, I’ll take you home.” Maja nodded finally managing to tear her eyes of her aunt’s ghost. She looked around hoping to see her mum, or Lena. But when she turned back even her aunt had disappeared. She sighed and let Waylon walk her back home.

The very next week Maja told her dad she wanted to quit seeing the school psychologist. Her father agreed. A week later she realized she was feeling better, she was not yet complete but something changed that day with Waylon. She didn’t take anymore I’s, the hallucination scared her too much but one day after school she found herself standing outside Waylon’s door.

She had come here many times before, she and Jacob had been friends for years. And all those times there was this same flutter of butterflies in her stomach, yet this time it was different and she knew it, this time she had barely thought of Jacob. Only about Waylon. He smiled when he opened the door and let her in.

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“Are you here to see my brother?” He asked.

“Nope.” She said and smiled herself. “I wanted to see you.”

“Do you need more?” He asked his face suddenly serious. She shook her head.

“I am done with those. I wanted… I guess I wanted to spend some time with you.” Waylon laughed.

“Me?”

“Yes. I think…. I had fun the other day. I didn’t have fun in a long time…” She said. Waylon smiled again. Such a nice smile… She thought.

“That is cool. I can do fun. Fun is how they call me on the street. Come with me.”

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They spend the afternoon in his backyard. They talked and laughed and watched the sun set. And then they watched the fool moon raise and light up their faces. And it was nice. Even for just a while Maja could let go of the pain, and although the emptiness was still there, and always will be Waylon made it hurt a little less at least…

 

Prentiss – 7.3: The Lost Twin I

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(Previous post: The Scarred Sister)

Maja Prentiss tossed and turned in her bed. Sleep would just not come. It wasn’t anything new, for the past few months more and more nights were like this. She sighed. What disturbed her most was the silence of her room. She knew she would never get used to that. Her whole life she had shared a room with her sister, from their time in their mothers womb to that terrible day that would never leave Maja’s thoughts…

She looked over to Lena’s empty bed. Her pink covers were pulled back and unmade, just as she had left them the last morning of her life. Maja could never bring herself to make the bed, or take them off. She knew Della would freak out and do it one day but not even Della was herself these days. It would take time before everything gets to normal, if it ever does…

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Prentiss – 7.2: The Scarred Sister

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(Previous post: The Broken Scientist)

Delores Prentiss was alone in the school’s library. There was a time when she wouldn’t even notice it, she would loose herself in her work until her phone rang and it was her mother or one of her sisters calling saying she would miss dinner if she doesn’t hurry back home. But now her mother would never call again.

That was the worst part of being alone. Her thoughts would stray away towards the dark memories that made her wish she could jump out of her skin and runaway as far as her legs would go. Run away from her life, from everything she had become.

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Prentiss – 7.1: The Broken Scientist

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Tomas Prentiss willed himself to concentrate on the numbers before him. He needed to finish this report today, he should have finished it earlier but it was so hard to have anything done with her so close, with her smell all around him, around his lab, with the way he would catch her looking at him… He had hoped she would leave, that is why he had stayed late but alas she was still here.

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He tried his best not to turn, feeling her gaze on his back. Eventually however curiosity got the better of him. He saw her propped against one of the lab counters, despite all the lab regulations she had taken of her white coat and was showing off her long legs her short skirt barely covered. When she had seen him turn she threw him a smile that made him wish he had just continued writing the damn report.

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Brown – 7.4: The Painting

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(Previous post: Ballerina)

The sun was already setting when Hazel got to work in the garden. He didn’t mind the night, he preferred it all his life. The garden was situated in the back yard of the home he had shared with his older brother Harry. The garden was originally planted by their mother but Hazel had been the one in charge of it ever since he finished school. It was relaxing for him to be out with the plants, it helped his creative juices flowing, and helped him make new music. He didn’t even mind that tonight he wasn’t alone, his brother was out in the garden as well, working on a painting.

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It was the moment that Hazel glanced at that painting that his evening was ruined. Harry seemed completely emerged in putting the finishing touches to notice his brother staring at it behind his back gaping. Hazel wanted to say something to get him out of his trance but he just couldn’t find the words while he watched his brother’s hand move swiftly over the canvas. Harry had painted a dark skinned woman with long black hair, wearing a white wedding dress holding her head in white gloved hands and obviously crying.

Even if it was a free interpretation Hazel knew what his brother was hinting at with that damned painting and he felt his hands clench into fists as he thought about it. Years ago, before his brother married his beautiful Rhaenys Hazel had planned his own wedding, it was to be a great deal, he had planned it into minute details with his godmother Dina, he wasn’t wearing white, nor did he have long hair, or been a woman, bu the evening had ended with him in tears. Why? Because Donovan Alto, the man he was to marry did not show up…

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It had been so long ago, and yes Donnie had broken Hazel’s heart but they had found peace afterwards, peace and much more. They got married in the end, signing a paper in the City Hall, without much fuss, they were happy now, yet Harry just didn’t seem to accept it. Even though Donnie had been living with them for years now, and even though Hazel was obviously happy he would often catch his brother casting Donnie dirty looks or even saying nasty, plain offensive things to the man.

It bothered Hazel, it bothered him a great deal, he wanted his brother and his husband to get along. But he could not get angry at Harry, Harry was his big brother, he always had his back while they were growing up and Hazel knew it was the same now. Harry was making sure he doesn’t get hurt again, that’s all… He just didn’t know how to make him see that this time he wouldn’t… He knew deep down inside that Donnie would never hurt him again….

He confided his worries to their oldest sister Cocoa when he went with her to her doctor’s appointment.

“I just want him to see that Donnie is the light of my life, he is my everything… My soulmate, my best friend…”

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Cocoa tried to speak back but she was too out of breath running at the treadmill for her cardio exam. Hazel sighed.

“He is just so supportive in everything you know…. You know my client, Latricia?” He asked. Latricia was the young girl he was managing, daughter of Nina Caliente and the late Riam Gradle, formally educated in music she was a star in the making and he was there to help her get to the top. The only problem was that the girl was too quiet and timid for a young aspiring musician, Hazel had learned, on his own skin, that the part of making it big in that cruel world was clawing your own way to the top, making sure it was your voice, your music that got heard… Latricia had none of that spirit. She was pretty content to keeping to the sidelines and letting her angelic voice, and mesmerizing guitar skill speak to herself. Hazel was afraid that would not be enough.

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And so he dragged her to parties, all kinds of parties, events, wherever he could… And while he was wooing the crowd in her name Latricia still hung back and Hazel didn’t know how to bring her up to the front… That is where Donnie stepped in. He would be the one who would sit with her, talk to her, make her feel comfortable, and make her get off the damn couch. Hazel would be nowhere without his Donnie.

The reason he wanted Harry to see it now more then ever, the reason the damned painting hit him so hard was that he and Donnie had started talking about some big changes, changes that would affect not only the two of them but the whole household. He and Donnie were talking adoption.

Hazel had always wanted kids. He loved the little ones, he had played the part in raising Harry’s kids, and enjoyed every second of it, Aenar and Vaela were adorable. And Donnie had his own experiences, he had been running his daycare that had been growing more and more every year, he had three regular kids now, three toddlers he had to take care off at the same time, little Earl Hoves, Jillian Fegel and another little one whose name eluded Hazel. He knew the two of them would make great parents, and wanted Harry to know it.

“But why is it so important Harry knows it?” His sister asked stepping out of the treadmill at least. The sentence came out it short bursts as she fought for breath. He handed her a towel to wipe her sweat but he said nothing. Why was it important? “Maybe you are the one insecure in the whole deal and you are just using Harry as an excuse. I mean it is your life, it will be your kid, not Harry’s. I don’t see why your brother would be an obstacle there, maybe it is something else after all?”

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Could it really be something else? Hazel wondered looking at the man he had loved for most of his life. Was something standing between the two of them? Between them and children? The only answer he could come up with was work.

He was just so busy lately, he had taken on so many side projects that he barely had time for anything… Working with Latricia Caliente had opened up his mind as too how much advice he had to offer young, aspiring musicians so while Donnie slept he would get on his computer, log into SimTube and look for promising young stars that he mentored online, there was also Latrica of course, his day job, and Nina had gotten him a spot at the Sunset Valley Symphony, he was to perform with them for the New Year Concert, it was a great deal and he had to practice for it, which took time of course… He barely had any time left to plan his nephew’s birthday party and he promised he would… What would happen when he had his own children? Would he brake promises to them as well?

Was he really ready to be a parent?

Hazel barely slept that night tossing and turning. He still blamed that stupid painting.

Brown – 7.3: Ballerina

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(Previous post: Piggy)

Like Harry predicted both of kids loved the puppy he got Aenar as an early present for his thirteenth birthday. Piggy was adorable, she was warm and cuddly, she had the energy to keep up with the kids always running around on those little black and white legs of her. And she never peed inside the house! She was a perfect little thing.

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Vaela would spend every morning with her, playing until she was almost late for school and she had to run so she wouldn’t miss the bus. Aenar was more responsible, he would wait until after school, and after he had finished his homework to go and play and often he would invite his friend Melissa Gradle over as well so they can both spend time with the puppy. Harry was very pleased with himself for bringing Piggy into the family.

Now that his kids were grown, and could entertain themselves he found more time to go back to painting, he had been putting his job aside in order to spend time with the little ones but he was eager to back to what he loved, and how he brought food to the table.

He was in the garden, coloring the sketch he had been working on one evening when Vaela interrupted him.

“Hey daddy, can we talk?” She asked softly.

“Sure princess.” He said smiling and turning towards her a brush still in his hand.

“I wanted to sign up for these ballet dances in my school… Do you think that would be okay?” She asked nervously.

“And why wouldn’t it be?” Harry asked smiling. Vaela just shrugged.

“Could you take me there tomorrow after school?”

“Of course princess!” Vaela smiled brightly.

“Thank you daddy!” She exclaimed and ran inside to get ready for bed, hopefully. Harry let Rhae his wife deal with that tonight as he got back to his painting.

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The next day Harry found himself at the nearly empty corridor of his children’s school. He used to go to school here as well, there was only one school in all of Sunset Valley, and the same building hosted both the elementary and the high school. He looked around unsure if he should be happy or sad that so little had changed in the years that had passed between him and his school days. He got so lost in his nostalgia that he had almost forgotten the little hand squeezing his own.

He had gone and spoken to the school’s ballet teacher and Vaela was officially enrolled and in fifteen minutes her actual class was starting. He looked down at her and noticed she was nervously biting her lip her light green eyes glued to the door to the girl’s changing room.

“Is something wrong princess?” He asked curiously and his daughter turned to him.

“Do you think I’ll be horrible at it?” She asked in a faint voice. Harry smiled.

“Of course I don’t.”

“Melissa is very good.” Vaela continued. “She had a great recital at the beginning of the school year. She was very good, everyone clapped.”

“Well Melissa is older than you, she is in Aenar’s class right?” Vaela nodded. “Well there you go, she had more time to practice. I am sure you’ll catch up with her in no time if you work as hard.” Harry told her. “And you will have your own recital and me and mom would come to watch, and uncle Haze, and uncle Donnie…”

“And Aenar?” Vaela asked quietly.

“Even Aenar. In less then a week he might become a grumpy teenager but he will always be your big brother.” Vaela smiled.

“If he gets too grumpy I will need my own room…” Harry smiled back at her.

“We’ll see about that. Now go dazzle everyone, my brave princess.”

“I will, thank you daddy.” His daughter said and pushed open the door leaving Harry alone in an empty hallway.


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When he got home Harry found his son in his room, doing his homework.

“Need any help?” Harry asked and the boy shook his head.

“I am good. There is just a lot of work, nothing hard…”

“Good to hear.” Harry said smiling.  It would surprise him if he had answered any other way, both his children had As in school.  “Are you excited about your birthday?” He asked and Aenar nodded.

“Uncle Hazel is throwing me a party. I helped him with the guest list.” Harry smiled. His little brother sure did love parties.

“Who did you invite?”

“Melissa and Silvester.” Aenar said. “They are the only kids from school I would like there, except for Vae of course. And I told him to make sure to invite uncle Tomas and Luther and Jerod. Because you know… They might need some cheering up…”

Harry just nodded unsure as to what to say. He was often amazed at just how good and caring his little boy was., he must have gotten it from his mother, Rhaenys was the kind of person that wanted to save the world, from everything that was bad… And Aenar was like that sometimes, when he had the chicken pox awhile ago and they went to the hospital for a check up he saw some other sick kids and begged Harry to let him donate his allowance to the pediatric ward. And now at the time of his birthday party he was thinking about the less fortunate… Harry just hoped his son would never change, he hoped he would always stay so innocent and sweet.

Browns – 7.2: Piggy

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(Previous post: Children)

Getting up before his wife on a Sunday morning, or any morning, was a rare occurrence for Harry Prentiss. So when that Sunday he managed it he hurried to get up without waking her, made two caramel non-fat cappuccinos, sliced up two bananas, put it all on a tray and carried it to the bedroom.

He hoped to surprise his wife and have her start the day in a good mood. He knew Rhaenys had a stressful week, just the other day her boss, the aspiring young politician Laquita Hoves, asked her if she should fire a member of her staff. Rhaenys fought her coworkers case and Laquita agreed to keep her on, and even awarded Rhae with a raise for her honesty. Still Harry knew his wife had at least one sleepless night over the whole ordeal.

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