Today is the day we meet Lawrence Everett and his family. Never heard of dear old 'Uncle' Larry? He's an old college friend of my dad's, and appearently he introduced my mom and dad to each other. Here's the crazy part (as if flying out to California for the summer isn't crazy): Lawrence Everett's son is none other than Kyle Everett; America's Mr. Perfect. Perfect face, perfect body, perfect voice, perfect blah, blah, blah. I have to spend three months of my time with Kyle and my "OMG! HE'S SO HOTT" sister? Ew, with a million capitol 'E'.
Kyle is a womanizer, and I don't understand why Valerie swoons over him like such a little girl. We're eighteen, shouldn't she be more mature by now? Am I wrong? Is Valerie right about him being the, and I quote, "Dreamiest California hunk I've ever had the honor to lay my eyes on?" Well, everything with estrogen seems to agree with Valerie. I just don't get it. Kyle is a pretty boy, and I've never really been attracted to him.
And that "Pop-Rock Combo" shit he sings burns
my ears. Some of his songs are so cheezy I feel sick by just
looking at the titles; My Beautiful Blue Eyed Katie (who
the hell is Katie?), Life Won't Go On Without Your Love,
(and my 'favorite') Just Kiss Me and Never
Say Good-Bye. Gross! He sounds like something out of a trashy
romance novel (which Valerie reads,
I'm more of a man than Kyle will ever be, and
I'm a girl. I seriously doubt he ever even played baseball on a
team, or goes muddin' on the weekends, and I really doubt Mr.
Vegan has ever been hunting like I have. Does he even know the
difference between shells and bullets? God, he and Valerie are
going to be so perfect for eachother. She's
already making plans for their wedding. Seriously. She's intent
on marrying the guy, and I WILL NOT be a bride's maid, no matter
what. I pity their nonexistant
Well, we're almost to the Everett's house, so I need to hide you, Diary. If Valerie sees any of this I'm sure she'll turn into Miss. Teenage Drama Queen, again.
Til next time, Rory.
I sit up straight and put my diary in my booksack. Valerie, my older sister -by ten minuets- is sitting next to me, wearing a sleep mask and lightly snoring. We'd been driving for a little less than an hour from the airport, toward San Fransisco. Valerie, my dad, and I had to catch two flights in one day from our home in North Carolina to California. Unlike Valerie, who nearly puked three times on the first flight alone, I love flying. It gives me an amazing, almost dream-like feeling. That, and flying first class was pretty sweet.
"Lorelei, wake up your sister, we're almost there," my dad called back to me. Since before I could remember, my dad refused to call me anything but Lorelei, my real name, instead of Rory. It bugs me, but I got over it a long time ago. He has every right in the world to call me Lorelei, even though I hate it. He has raised both Valerie and me as a single parent sice we were six. Of course, it helps that our family is rich, I guess. "Do you remember Lawrence at all? You girls were so young when you met Larry and his family. Only one or two I think?"
"Huh, oh," Valerie yawned herself awake after I poked her in her stomach several times, like when we were kids. She took off her sequened sleep mask and rubbed her eyes, careful not to smudge her mascara. On both plane rides Valerie had been frantic about her makeup, her hair, and her outfit. Meeting Kyle Everett was like meeting Jesus to her. "Rory, how's my hair?"
"Fine," I say, before seeing her eyes grow wide. 'Fine' isn't good enough, apparently. "Okay, so it's better than fine. You look perfect," I try to assure her, but she pulls a mirror out of her purse anyway. It took her hours to pick out what to wear and to curl her hair into perfect ringlets. And Valerie's makeup? God, I swear it took less time to build the pyramids than for her to fix her face up, but all the hard work paid off.
Even though Valerie and I are identical twins, I still think she's the pretty one. She keeps her dark red hair straight and long, and this morning she spent forever curling it. For some reason she made me help pick her outfit, finally deciding on tight, faded jeans that hang lowoff her hips, and a lavender-and-white striped tank top that shows off her belly-button ring, with matching purple sandles. The day before we left, she even got a manicure and pedicure. And this morning, I watched her carefully put on layer after layer of dark mascara and eyeliner, and covering her full, wide lips in a lip gloss called "Rose Blossom" to finish the makeover off.
I was much simpler. No make up. Ever. It takes five minuets to brush out my short hair and tie it back, and my nails are short from years of gnawing on them when I get stressed. Instead of taking an hour to choose an outfit, I simply threw on whatever was clean and not already packed. A football jersy, a pair of blue jean shorts, and my Skechers. And then I was ready to go. I swear, if Valerie is a rose blossom, I'm a dirty weed.
"Okay, girls, we're here," Dad calls back to us.
The Everett's house is huge, way bigger than my family's, back in North Carolina. The Everett's have a two-story house, with windows on every redbrick wall, covered in ivy and bright flowers, not a weed in sight. Hedges try to hide a large iron fence protecting the Everett's property, two big 'E's on the part of the gate that opens. We drive inside, and park in the driveway of the Everett's huge three-car garage. Five people live in the Everett's mansion, Lawrence and his wife, Kyle, Kyle's older sister, and his younger brother. I forget their names, but apparently Kyle's older sister is going off to Yale soon, so their family of five will be reduced to four.
When we get out of our rental car, a man, maybe in his early forties, comes out. It's Lawrence Everett. His hair is begining to gray, but he is nearly wrinkle-free. Mr. Everett's blue shirt is spotless and tucked into his khaki pants. He looks like the stereotypical country-club attending, rich white guy. An almost spitting image of my dad.
"Hello, Charles, nice to see you again," Mr. Everett says, shaking my dad's hand. He turns to Valerie and me. "Ah, good to see you two again. Charles, the Twins look so different! You girls were just toddlers when I saw you last." God, I hate how people act like they're shocked to see how much you've grown after almost sixteen years. Why does everyone still call us The Twins, like we're still babies? Sure, people dressed Valerie and me up alike years ago, but we're both our own person now.
"Nice to see you too, Mr. Everett," Valerie says. She's too much of a perky people person for my taste. I put on my best phoney smile, trying not too look annoyed, and basically repeat what Valerie just said, of course lacking her natural charm.
"Girls, girls, don't call me Mr. Everett. It's Lawrence, please. I insist," he says, motioning us into his home. My dad and I grab our bags, while Valerie walks off, saying something about not wanting to break a nail. We follow Lawrence into his home, which is even more stunning than the outside. The walls are all a glossy cream color, and streakless hardwood floors weave throughout the house. A winding marble staircase catches my eye, just before I see the huge plasma screen television, totally out of place in this antique-art setting.
Everything is so shiny and new, and I hear Valerie let out a gasp as she takes in the beautiful paintings and statues around the house. She's a sucker for art. "Wow," I hear my sister whisper to herself, eyes wide.
"Heidi! Josh! Down stairs, now," Lawrence calls up to his kids, although skipping Kyle's name. He's probably out on the town, just like how the tabloids depict him. Then again, they are the tabloids...
The first down to greet us is a little boy, maybe eight or nine, wearing glasses and old cloths covered in drying paint. A girl chases after Josh, telling him to grab the stair's railing, but he pays his big sister no attention. She looks nothing like her gray-haired father. Heidi has to be one of the prettiest girls I've ever seen. Curled strawberry blond hair, sun kissed skin, and legs up to her chin...I can already tell she and Valerie will either be best friends or bitter rivals. Isn't that what usually happens when you put two pretty girls together?
"Whoa," the little boy, Josh, says when he sees Valerie and me standing together. "You look the same!" My sister and I look at each other and smile.
"We know," both of us say in unison, as if we rehersed it. Josh's eyes grow wide, and we smile again. Ever since Valerie and I were little, we've had the uncanny ability to say the same thing at the same time, perfectly. I think some people call it twin telepathy?
Josh's older sister laughed at his stunned expression, and offered her hand or a handshake to Valerie, and then me. "Nice to meet you. I'm Heidi," she said, and patted her brother on the head, "and this is Josh."
"Heidi, where's Kyle?" Asks Lawrance. Valerie's face perks up at the mention of his name. "I thought he'd be home."
"He will be home, eventually. I think he and Todd are coming over for dinner," she replies, rolling her eyes. Her smile fades off into an annoyed expression. Lawrance sighs, and he and my father excuse themselves, heading off to find Mrs. Everett.
"We -I mean I, am really excited over meeting Kyle," Valerie says to Heidi, trying to tone down her happiness. "Do you think he'll mind?"
"Please," Heidi responds, "Kyle loves twins."