Makayla Rose Sunset
Hmmmmm, decisions, decisions. What shall it be today? A Healthy apple, or a sweet treat, or perhaps even a fry up? Sweet treat I think, but which one? Cinnamon Bun or Pecan Danish? I spend a few moments looking back and forth between the two. “Make your mind up lady! Some of us have lives to live and places to be!” Some arrogant bloke’s started screaming behind me, now he’s beginning to push past. I grab a Cinnamon Bun, trying not to fall flat on my face, pay and find a place to sit before somebody else tries to knock me off my feet (and not in a sweet, romantic way).Anyone would think it was just another ordinary day in New York for me, Makayla Rose Sunset.
June fourteenth, twenty- ten. My twenty-second birthday and apparently my sister’s too, being that she’s meant to be my twin. Even as me and Ben throw our suitcases in the boot, strap up our seatbelts and reverse off of the driveway, I still can’t believe it. After twenty-two years I’m finally going to meet her! California, here we come!
It’s the first day so far that we’ve had decent weather this summer, and we’re going to be stuck in a car and on a plane for the best part of it. Typical! How am I meant to tan now?
After ten minutes in the car we pull up at the kennel. Thank the lord. If Alfie had managed to get into the front once more I’m certain Ben would’ve crashed the car, I mean how are you meant to steer and watch the road with a great, big St. Bernard trying to weave his way onto your lap? “Ben can I have your wallet please babe? I don’t think there’s enough in my purse.”
“Sure, here you go.” I take the wallet and hop out of the car then I walk round to the back and slide the door open. I guess I should’ve thought this through better, the minute the gap was big enough Alfie dived at me, knocking me straight down, on my backside and started licking me. “Haha, you alright Makayla?” Ben laughed from the front. “Yeah, can I have the leash though?” I laughed back struggling back up onto my feet. I quickly grabbed onto Alfie’s collar to ensure that he didn’t go running off bounding on anyone else. Ben handed me the lead and although it took a while to get our stubborn dog to sit still long enough to get it on, I managed eventually. I walked Alfie over into the kennel and it was all going smoothly until…
Alfie jumped onto the mat as he walked through the door. The mat slid across the newly waxed, shiny floor and almost knocked some poor old woman and her cat over. “Oh, I’m so sorry, we’ve only just started training him, he’s very excitable.”
“That’s fine dear, he’s gorgeous, lovely fur and it’s nice to see such an active dog, mine’s quite old now and has become incredibly lazy.” The old woman replied, smiling. I smiled back and went up to the desk to pay. “Two weeks, right?” The woman at the desk said after I’d told her my name and address. “Yes, please.”
“Okay, no problem, hello Alfie.” She said taking his leash. “That’ll be fourty dollars, but there’s no need to pay upfront, I’ll see you in two weeks then.”
“Okay, thank you, bye and be good Alfie.” I said as I walked out the door.
After another hour in the car and two hours of queuing in hell at the airport we finally got on the plane. “You nervous?” Ben asked me; suddenly seeming a bit worried himself about this journey. “Why, what have I got to be nervous about? She’s my twin for god’s sake, we’re gonna get on like a house on fire.” I replied trying not to seem too insensitive to his concern for me. “I know, but not to crush your spirits or anything but you’ve never met each other and you’ve probably lived completely different lives, I mean she was brought up in California, no doubt five minutes down the road from Hollywood, you on the other hand were brought up in a little town in Maryland. How do you know she’s gonna approve of your Dad’s mate, Dave and his, well you know…” He lowered his voice in obvious shame “His homosexuality?” The volume was restored to his voice “I’m saying this because I don’t want you to be disappointed, not to try and break your spirits, but don’t you think this whole dream twin sister thing is a bit of a fantasy? There’s always a good twin and a bad twin anyway, there’s no way you’re the bad twin!”
Finally, that was it, speech over. I could’ve said a lot of things, like about how he didn’t approve of the Dave thing either, but he was still my boyfriend and how his wanting the whole world to be straight was a bit of a fantasy and of course how if he had a twin he’d definitely be the bad one. But I knew he had my best interests at heart and even though he probably should’ve been more careful about how he phrased things, now, of all times, was not the time to start a row. It was only another ten, fifteen minutes until our arrival any way so I just decided to reply with a simple “Mmmm”.
Once we arrived at the airport in California the awkward silence ended and the chaos began.
It was time to find the luggage. Anybody who’s ever been on a plane before will know that this is not a nice experience. You end up pulling off at least five of the wrong suitcases, obviously not realizing they’re not yours. Before you even get the chance to check it’s the right one, somebody will no doubt come marching over to you accusing you of stealing their case, like they’ve never made this mistake themselves! Your case will go round on the conveyer belt five times or more before you actually think Oh, that’s my case. You could be case catching for any length of time from five minutes to an hour and a half!
On this particular journey, luckily the suitcase hunt didn’t take too long, about ten minutes and for a change the first case we picked off the conveyer belt actually belonged to us.
The chaos began afterwards, when it came to getting a taxi to Chantelle’s house. We found our taxi, no problem; the issue arose when it came to telling him where we wanted to go. As far as he was concerned 15, Willow Avenue, Apple Valley doesn’t exist. Apparently that whole street was knocked down years ago and a mall had been built in its place.
I don’t know what this guy had been smoking because after another half hour of queuing, the woman at the desk claimed she lived down that road and could get us a taxi in five minutes!
Anyway, the main thing is that we did get there… eventually.
When we arrived we got out of the car, grabbed our cases gave the taxi driver his money and said thanks. Then we both nervously walked up to the door. I knew Ben was nervous too, because when he reached out to hold my hand it was all sweaty, his legs were trembling and more than anything I could hear the nerves in his voice. “Well, it looks like this is it.” He said to me, all chirpy and high pitched, like you talk to toddlers, so as not to upset them by sounding angry or anything.
We didn’t get a chance to knock on the door. Just as we got to it some guy (possibly a boyfriend or maybe even husband of Chantelle’s) stuck his head out of the window. “Hi, hang on; I’m on my way down.” He turned round, facing back into the room and I heard a muffled “Honey, they’re here.” What sounded like about twenty people running down the stairs followed this. “Does my hair look okay?”
“You look great, stop worrying, what about me?”
“The first impression’s everything! Come here, let me straighten your collar.” I could hear everyone fidgeting and fretting behind the front door and suddenly wondered if I looked a bit cheap in my new denim mini skirt, white dolly shoes, Pink t-shirt and cardigan. Oh well, I can’t exactly open up my suitcase and start getting changed now, can I? I thought to myself.
Suddenly the door swung open and I saw my twin sister for the first time. Well we definitely look like twins I thought to myself. She’s pretty tall, like me, we kind of have the same eyes too, but hers are green. She’s got curly hair like mine, it’s got a couple of blonde highlights, but other than that it looks exactly the same.“Urrrmmmm, wow, hi.” I say, feeling both nervous and excited. “Hi, sooo, ummm I’m Chantelle and this is my boyfriend Sam.”
“Okay, hi, well, I’m Makayla and this is my boyfriend Ben, nice village you live in.”
“Well I like it around here and it’s right by the school too, Bertie will be starting in a few years. Oh sorry, I never introduced him. He’s having a nap.”
“Oh, is Bertie your son or something? How old is he? I can’t wait to meet him.”
“Yeah, he’s my son, he’s just turned two, he should be waking up soon, he’s been sleeping for a good two hours, come on in; can I get you anything to drink?”
“Oh, umm not to be a pain but to be honest a coffee would be lovely after that journey.”
“Sure no problem, what about you Ben?”
“Errr, could I just have a water please?”
“Yeah, okay, Sam will just show you through to the living room, make yourselves at home.”
Wow. Their house is completely different to our little two bed in New York! It’s just so big and family orientated and most of all, tidy. We’ve only got the dog and our house is a tip, they’ve got Bernie, two cats that I’ve seen so far and a dog and their house is spotless, maybe I should take a leaf out of Chantelle’s book! Their living room’s gorgeous, they’ve got big cream sofas with little foot stools besides them which you can pull round the front, Lovely beige wallpaper and carpet too. There’s loads of pictures round the place too, a few of Chantelle and Sam, one which I’m guessing must be Bertie and a family portrait. It’s beautiful in here and so cozy. After a few minutes Chantelle comes in with our drinks, a bowl of crisps to snack on and a chocolate sponge cake. Wow, she prepared well. I thought to myself. She sat down next to me and Sam next to Ben, with the tray on the coffee table in between the two sofas. “So tell me a bit about your life then, our parents died in that fire and we went into care for a bit, what happened next I mean, did you get adopted, fostered, did a family member take you on, what happened?”
Well this could take a while. I thought to myself. I told her all about Martine and Liam, my adoptive parents who I’d happily spent my entire childhood with in Maryland. I told her about Liam’s best friend, Dave, who’d been like an Uncle to me and how he was gay. This lead on to me talking about all of the campaigns and speeches I did to stick up for homosexuals.
I then moved on to talk about my two best friends. Channel, who was a part time bus driver, art mad and dying to be noticed and sport fanatic Indigo with her dance school and two year old daughter Sasha. I spoke of how me and Ben met and moved to New York together and told Chantelle all about my little baby Alfie.
I also chatted about my career. I explained that I wrote a column as an agony aunt for the local paper and how I really wanted to write about the big stories, maybe even start up my own newspaper. Lastly I explained that my biggest dream, on the career part was to start up a talk show about homosexuals.
“So what’s your life been like?” I asked curiously. “Wow, how am I meant to top that off?” We both laughed. “Well, to be honest I grew up in this town, my adoptive parents were called Alison and Peter, we can go and meet them sometime if you’d like. When I started uni I met Sam, his grandma passed away just a few years before we met. She had quite a lot of money as she was a lawyer before she retired. When she died she wrote in her will that all of her money was to go to the family and they could split it between them. They decided that because Sam had done so much for his grandmother and the rest of his family he could have half. We used the money to buy this place. A year later along came Bertie. That’s it I guess.”
“Ohh okay, well I’m sorry about Sam’s grandmother. What do the two of you do?”
“Career wise? Sam’s doing teacher training and I’m just a stay at home mum for the time being. I would like to open a jewelry shop though, I love making necklaces and bracelets and I’ve just started making rings, maybe you could have a few things.”
“Aww, that’s a nice idea, I’d love to see some of it! Oh, can I just borrow the phone before Bertie wakes up please? I promised my friends I’d let them know when I arrived.”
“Oh yeah sure, here’s the phone, why not go upstairs? Get yourself a bit of privacy, it’s nice to have a girly giggle every once in a while isn’t it?”
“Haha, yeah, thanks, I’ll try to be too long, don’t want you getting a massive phone bill.”
“Haha, don’t worry about it, we are sisters after all” I smiled back at Chantelle and headed up the stairs. When I got to the top I heard Bertie fidgeting about and got a sudden urge to see what he looked like. I don’t want to wake him though. I thought to myself. I can always come and see him after my phone call, just in case he does wake up. I decided this was probably the best thing to do and continued along the corridor, wondering where to make my phone call. I saw a bedroom up ahead and wondered if that was where me and Ben would be sleeping. Then I looked across to the other side of the corridor and saw a little room and I could see through the crack between the door and the wall was a computer. This must be a study or something. I walked in, thinking this would be a decent place to sit.
Another beautiful room. Everything seemed to match so perfectly in this house; in this particular room was mint green wall paper with pale, laminate flooring and a chocolate brown rug in the middle of the room. Both the chair and the sofa were the exact same shade of brown as the rug and the desk was wooden, the same color as the floor. I sat down on the sofa and dialed Indigo’s number; Channel was working. “Hiya, Indigo here.” I heard her voice. “Hi babe, it’s Makayla, just wanted to let you know I’ve arrived and met Chantelle, she seems great so far, how are things with you?”
“I’m fine sweetie, glad things are working out with Chantelle too, unfortunately Dave’s been having a bit of trouble.”
“Why, what’s happened?”
“Relationship problems, have you got time, this is gonna take a while.”
“Of course, tell me all about it Babe.”
An hour later I put the phone down suddenly feeling a lot less positive about things. I kind of wanted to go home, I felt like Dave had been there for me my whole life and now it was time for me to give something back. I felt like I’d abandoned everyone at home when they needed me most. To put it briefly I just felt like I’d let everyone down. At the same time I knew I couldn’t leave my sister. Dave may have been there my whole life, but at the same time my sister had been there for none of it and now it was about time for me to make it up to her. I knew how hard it would be for Ben to accept me going home for Dave’s sake, especially being that it was to do with his “wrong” relationship. I had to stay here, in California. For the first time in a long time my family had to come before my friends.
I decided to keep what was going on with Dave to myself for a few days, didn’t want to upset anyone. See how things panned out, if it starts to look bad I’ll maybe let Chantelle know, she would take it better than Ben; she seemed a bit more open minded about the gay thing.
I walked back down the corridor and entered the bathroom. I looked myself in the mirror and put on the perfect smile. Not too cheesy, not too cold. I got the balance just right.
I wondered down the stairs whilst deciding that I was just going to tell everyone I was such a long time because Indigo wanted to know all the details about Chantelle. I won’t tell them what exactly I did supposedly tell her, that way if one of them talks to her about Chantelle and Indigo doesn’t know what they’re talking about I can simply say “Oh, I forgot to mention that.” See I’m a true genius!
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