28 Jan 2009

Uh oh, Lara thought the moment she saw her twin charging through the hall in her “Mara” fashion, followed closely by her two friends. Mara was a petite and delicate looking girl who looks like she couldn’t hurt a fly, and everyone sees that, but she gets this certain look that only her twin would recognize when she was about to do something wrong.

Lara quickly closed her locker and followed the three girls, trying to look discreet. They went out of the school and all across the yard up to a black car, where a guy sat on the hood casually, talking to a girl whose dress looked so inappropriate that she could not be a student in the same school. Lara looked back at the guy and stopped short.

It was Ralph.

Memories of the past two weeks flooded her mind and she pushed them away. There’s no need to remember that, Lara told herself. But she did stop following Mara and her posse but instead tried to approach the scene as inconspicuously as she can, far enough not to be noticed but close enough to hear what they were talking about.

“Ralph,” Mara said, her voice still calm and sweet, but Lara could imagine venom dripping from them.

Ralph turned to look down at Mara from his position. He grinned, turned back to the girl and said a few words that Lara couldn’t hear, but then understood when the girl left, not without giving Mara a condescending look.

Bad move, Lara thought. She could just imagine Mara putting that girl next on her list, which she probably did, judging by the look on Mara’s narrowed eyes.

“To what do I owe this honor?” Ralph asked, turning back to Mara. His voice sounded smooth and carefree, without a trace of worry or fear. He sounded exactly the same as Lara last talked to him.

Suddenly, Lara felt dizzy. Her hand absently reached for the pendant of the necklace that hung around her neck. The memories she tried pushing back earlier flooded through her brain.

Ralph pursuing Mara.

Mara falling in love.

Lara thinking that Mara finally looked so happy after being an official couple with Ralph.

Her first real conversation with Ralph.

The party that Ralph invited Lara to go to together with her sister.

The dance.

Ralph breaking up with Mara.

Her sister, devastated after Ralph left. Locking herself up in her room.

The call.

Lara meeting up with Ralph, angry about what he did to her sister.

And then…

“So is that your new girl, huh, Ralph?” Lara blinked and her eyes focused back on the scene, where Mara was angrily pointing at the girl who just left. “Is she?”

Ralph’s face still showed no fear, and Lara had to commend him for that. “Why do you care if she is? We’re not together anymore.”

Mara’s eyes narrowed even more. “It’s that easy to drop me like a hot potato huh? Can’t handle me? No one dumps me, Ralph. I do the dumping.”

Ralph actually laughed. “You were always so arrogant, Mara. Frankly, you bored me.”

Lara gasped. Mara looked like she has been slapped.

“How dare you.”

“It’s true,” Ralph shrugged. “And there were more exciting people than you, closer than you think.”

Lara felt her heart race when she heard Ralph’s words. He wouldn’t bring it up, right? There were other girls who came after Mara with Ralph, so why would he mention Lara? In any case, if Ralph brings her up, she can always deny it, and Lara was sure that Mara would believe her. After all, they were twins. But first, she had to get out of there.

Lara tried taking a step, but her legs felt like lead from all the nervousness. She can remember that night at Ralph’s, when he confronted him about Mara. His sweet words to her explaining what happened. His hands. She could remember him picking her up and driving around town. The kiss. Lara remembered enjoying them all, but then feeling the guilt hit her when she gets home and sees her sister depressed. She broke it off with Ralph, but the guilt still haunted her. She could hear Mara speaking harsh words to Ralph back in the present time, and she could imagine herself being the receiving end of that, and more. She needed to get out of there. She closed her eyes and willed herself to calm down.

When she opened her eyes, she saw Ralph was looking at her. Fear gripped her heart and she froze.

“Why don’t you ask your sister, Mara? Maybe she can give you the answers you need.” Ralph nodded at her direction. Mara’s head whipped around and Lara’s eyes met hers. Mara’s eyes softened at the sight of her twin, and started walking towards her.

I can still deny it, Lara thought. Mara would believe me.

“Lara,” her sister said when she was close enough to her. She looked fragile but there was a fire in her eyes.

“Mara,” she replied.

Mara looked at her, face expressionless. Then she reached up, as if to touch her Lara’s face, but instead, pulled on the necklace around her neck. The chain snapped and Lara felt the skin where her necklace was pulled sting.

Lara’s heart pounded. Why? It was her unspoken question, the one in her eyes when she looked at Mara, confused.

“How. Dare. You.” Mara whispered menacingly, her eyes burning. She dangled the necklace in front of Lara, the necklace that Ralph gave her and the one thing she couldn’t let go of from their two week fling. Lara looked at the dangling pendant and then back at Mara until she spotted how she could have found out about Lara and Ralph.

Mara was wearing the exact same necklace.

[969 words]

Author’s note: This is my first attempt at using Talecraft, haha! My genre was Romance, my archetypes were The Reluctant Hero, The Vigilante and The Rake, my Keywords were Twins and Amulet and my Plotlines are Revenge and Rivalry.

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