Huitzer and Roman Scott
Melanie sat at the foot of her sister’s bed. Megan sat at her desk concentrating on her homework. Melanie was reading, as always. Wuthering Heights. She had a habit of counting down from ten if she wanted Megan to do something. She tried not to use it too often. Only at the most important moments. Megan found it dreadfully annoying. Mel didn’t want her sister to see her as a third parent. But sometimes, she just knew better.
“Did you want some help?” Mel asked. Megan looked up from her multiplication tables.
“No,” Megan said. It irked her that even though Mel had never formally attended school. She far surpassed her in intelligence. They were both nine years old, twins separated by five minutes. Both had lovely vermillion hair, cute freckled faces complete with Cyan eyes. Identical in almost every way in physical appearance.
Megan enjoyed sports and playing video games. Melanie on the other hand was quite sophisticated and well-read with bouts of childish behavior tossed in. That, and she was dead. Melanie was born first. A stillborn. She was a ghostly apparition that only her sister could see. She told Megan never to mention her to her parents. That it would only frighten them. Or worse make them fear Megan. You see, they had never told Megan that she even had a twin. Megan didn’t really understand why Melanie had to be kept a secret. Megan thought if she were to reveal her to their parents. She might lose her. Megan sensed that Mel didn’t have to be there. That she could be gone at any moment. Sometimes she found herself just staring at Mel. In a very real way, she had already lost her. The idea of her not being there was unbearable.
“Megan, it’s time for bed!” Her mother called out to her from the living room. Megan sighed and put her hands on her face.
“Did you finish?” Mel asked.
“No,” Megan said. “You shouldn’t have put off doing the homework.” Mel Said. Megan tossed her pencil down on her desk, meandered over to her bed and slid under the covers. Melanie floated up from the foot of the bed. She waved her hand across the light switch turning it off. Megan rolled over. It wasn’t a minute, she had fallen asleep. Mel floated down. She kissed her sister on the temple.
Mel floated down to the floor. She stood beside the bed. She would watch her sleep all night. Sometimes read too. She had been doing it for years. Megan didn’t like it. But she didn’t hate it either. Mel acknowledged it was creepy to stare at your twin sister all night as she slept. But there was so much to think about. Mel never slept, she never dreamed, she wondered what it was like. She envied her sister’s life. She saw in her sister, all her missed potential. Who would she have been if she had lived? It’s true that Mel was just a child. But she did not comprehend like a child. She knew more than her parents. In the middle of the night, Mel allowed herself to feel all the things she didn’t want Megan to see. Sometimes she cried. There was so much Megan didn’t know. So many horrible things.