When Penny invited me to the new dance club in town, I didn’t know what to think. She knew I was an absolute disaster in social situations, but she didn’t want to be alone, in case no one else showed up tonight. I couldn’t say no. She may be a bit strong-headed and stubborn, but she’s my sister. So I put on my best clothes and hoped for the best.
There was no way I could prepare for what was about to walk through my bedroom door.
“You ready yet, Lu-luuuu?” she called to me. “Lulu” was her nick name for me, though everyone else called me Lucy. It was just a twin thing, really. I slipped my bookmark into my book and tossed it on my bed.
“Just about…Oh Penny what did you do to your hair…Mom’s going to kill you…what are you wearing!” My heart was racing a hundred miles a minute. Was that an eyebrow ring? When had she gotten that!
“Wait, wait, back up. I asked you if you were ready…how is…that ready? What is that?”
“This? It’s my favorite outfit…I think it looks pretty nice.”
“Lu, it’s atrocious! You look like you’re going to church or something!”
“What’s so wrong with that?” I thought the phrase ‘Sunday Best’ would apply. Apparently not.
Penny was fuming, and I just didn’t understand. Clothes were clothes. As long as they looked nice for this event, what did it matter? Then again, I was covered neck to knee and her dress was, well…
My sister is a beautiful person, I swear she is. Athletic, great in social situations, very charismatic…But when she gets upset the claws come out and she can turn into a very ugly monster.
“You look like someone’s grandmother Lulu! You’re going to absolutely embarrass us!”
“The Symphosia boys are supposed to be there! I can’t show up with my grandma of a sister! They’ll never notice me that way!”
The Symphosias were a family that had moved into town recently from Bridge Port. Avalon and “Holiday” Symphosia were well known celebrities, their daughter (and oldest child), Melaina, had been a best selling author since she was thirteen (and author of my favorite series when I was a little girl). Their oldest son was already a promising scientist. The triplets though, John, Mathew, and Peter, were two years older than us in school. And now that the lived in Sunset Valley they were going attending our school when the year started in two weeks. Now Penny’s invitation made loads more sense. Mathew and Peter were known for their partying. We were twins. At this point I was ready to go back on her offer and just stay home. This was not the kind of event for me.
“Penny, you’re crazy!”
“Lulu, think about it! You could make friends with one of them and maybe they’ll introduce you to that writer you like, and I can get close to the other one, maybe he’ll ask me to be his girlfriend! Don’t you understand? We both win!”
“This could be our only chance to meet them! Come on! Mom wrote the music for their parents’ last movie, we have things in common, it would be an instant trip to being the coolest girls in school.”
“And that’s something you desperately need.”
She was definitely not winning with that one.
She knew it too. So she changed tactics.
“I’m sorry Lulu, I just…It means so much to me. High school is just such a big deal. How you’re remembered can affect your future…And you know, getting associated with them probably wouldn’t hurt my chances at getting noticed by scouts…The more help the better. Professional sports are so hard to get in to…”
“High school isn’t the end all be all Penny…”
“But it really is! Don’t you understand? Some of the people we go to school with could go on to be very big people. If they don’t like us, they could hurt our futures! Plus, remember all those times Sheridan was bragging about her daddy having an influence over the scouts? She wasn’t lying…” No, I wasn’t on the volleyball team, I didn’t care about Sheridan at all. “Please Lulu! This may be my only chance!”
With a sigh, I relented. “Fine.” How bad could it be? Show up with Penny and smile for a few hours. Sounded easy enough.
My sister. The manipulator.
“I still don’t have anything better to wear.”
“Oh, you leave that to me.”
“Oh no no, I will not go out looking like that…”
That gave her a good laugh. I wasn’t sure weather to feel reassured or insulted. “I bought this myself. All the dresses Mom got me though, those are another matter.”
“Let’s see…Oh! Do you still have that old-timey looking hat?”
“I thought you didn’t want me to look like a grandma.”
“That hat isn’t ‘grandma.’ It’s ‘classic.'”
“Just trust me!”
Oh how those words terrified me.