What was she doing at his family’s Thanksgiving dinner? He hadn’t seen her since the day he had left high school....”
...I stared at her. She looked good, Amy Lennon. Smooth walnut colored hair and eyes. I remembered playing BS with her during play practice and one night making out in a corner behind some curtains in the dark. That had been fun right before graduation. She was staring back at me intently, i broke the gaze finally, realized that my family was arranging the food busily on the table and finding places to sit. My brother, Zach, was sitting next to Amy, my mother was bringing mashed potatoes to the table. My younger sister sat looking obliviously at her smartphone.
”Well if it isn’t Amy Lennon here to listen to family politics and eat sweet potato pie! How are you, Amy? Hey moron, scoot over.” I said to my younger brother.
“Nothing doing, Chuck, I’m sitting next to my girlfriend.”
The girl spoke for the first time. “Hi, Nice to meet you. I’m Sara.”
“Since when have you gone by Sara?” I asked.
“Since always.” The girl looked at me curiously. There was an awkward silence.
“I’m sorry, but what was your name again?”
“Sara Hockins. I’m Zach’s girlfriend.”
“I’m sorry but you look just like someone I know.”
“Who? Amy Lennon?”
“Yes! How did you know?”
“You used her name earlier. Also, I know almost everything about Amy Lennon.” The girl turned to face me,smiling. This was incredible. This girl didn’t look like Amy, she WAS Amy, i was sure of it. There wasn’t a doubt in my mind. Zach was busy talking to grandma, my father was ordering my sister to put down her phone and as if in a world of our own Amy Lennon stared at me, smiling, pouting her lips and saying slowly, “I can say hi to Amy if you want, Charlie.” One eyelid dropped in a quick wink.
My trance is broken by a pat on the back from Dad who has just entered the dining room.
"Take a seat, Charlie." Dad tells me as he pulls himself a chair.
I sit across Sara, trying hard not to stare. I look around the room and, behind Zach and his girlfriend, I see the familiar mahogany display cabinet with mother's old china, complementing the matching Hepplewhite dining chairs. The worn-out carpet underneath the dining table looks as if it had ceased to erode since I last dined in the room some three years ago. The familiar surroundings of my family house help me regain some of the composure I had lost in this perturbing encounter. Just then my mother, who is now sitting beside me, passes me the pot roast. Apparently, they had begun eating.
"Charlie, you've barely taken any; here, have some more." My mother starts filling my plate ignoring my protest.
I have lost my appetite so I pretend to eat for a while before I excuse myself and head out to the yard for a smoke. I light a cigarette as I step through the french windows into the yard. An involuntary sigh escapes my lips as look up at the sky and spot the crescent moon surrounded by its twinkling companions. The rose bushes bordering the yard look as lovely as I remember them. The rhododendron trees on either side of the white gate, and the queen's wreath climbing up the garden's fence still retained their pink blossoms. I go to the farthest end of the yard so as to escape the notice of my parents if they decide to come looking for me. I hear laughter coming from the living room and soon afterwards, I hear the humorous sound of my dad playing Beethoven's rage over a lost penny
on the piano; I let out a chuckle.
I notice someone coming through the french windows and then I see Sara coming out, talking to someone on the phone. She doesn't notice me. I light another cigarette as I wait for her to finish her call and go back inside. She finishes her call and spots me as she's turning around to go back. I wave at her and she waves back and makes her way towards me.
"Hi!" She says, smiling as she approaches me.
"Hi" I return the smile.
"Cigarette?" I offer her my pack, she takes one. As I lean over her to light her cigarette, I catch a whiff of something that I recall smelling somewhere a long time ago but I am unable to place it. She coughs as she takes her first drag. I chuckle and tell her that she doesn't have to smoke; she takes another drag.
"You must be wondering how I know Amy Lennon"? She asks me breaking the awkward silence.
"You think?" I reply.
"Well, it's a long story but, to put it briefly, Amy Lennon and I happen to be monozygotic twins who were adopted by two different families; we were unaware of each other's existence until quite recently when my parents decided that I should meet my sister." She replies.
At that moment, I see Zack headed towards us. Sara quickly throws down the cigarette and crushes it beneath her heel.
"I have been looking for you all over the house." Zach says to Sara as he approaches us. "Mom wants us to come in for some coffee and cake."
We head inside and find the rest of the family in the living room. My mother and sister are sitting on the settee leaning over some magazines. My grandmother is napping on her wingback chair, and my dad is sitting at the piano, studying a score. My mother gets up to serve dessert as we enter the room. Sara walks over to my dad and I hear her start a discussion on music. I grab a cup of coffee and settle down on a chair beside my grandmother with a book from my dad's Chomsky collection. When I look up from my book after having read for quite some time, I see my dad excitedly pointing out something on a score to Sara. They seem to be having the time of their lives. I walk over to them and join in.
"So, Sara, what did you say you were studying?" I ask her.
As Sara tells me about the research she's doing; my eyes fall on dad who's looking out the window with an expression betraying such anger that it scares me. Our eye's meet, and for a moment there I feel as if he's going to hit me; then quite suddenly, his anger is replaced by a look of utter confusion. Perhaps noticing my disinterest, Sara excuses herself saying that she's going to go check on Zach.
"Are you alright, dad?" I ask tentatively.
"Yes, yes, quite." He replies, all the while looking down the carpet with his brow furrowed.
I go back to reading my book but find myself unable to concentrate. I begin to feel a rush of emotion stirring inside me that I am unable to put a finger on. I look across the room and see Zach and Sara huddled together on the sofa, speaking in hushed tones. My abstruse emotion quickly turns into envy coupled with murderous rage towards my little brother. I rush out of the room into the kitchen for a drink of water. I gulp down a glass of water and sit down on a stool sipping my second glass of water while trying to make sense of what I was feeling. A few seconds later, I hear footsteps behind me. I look around and see Zach standing in the doorway, who had apparently followed me to the kitchen.
"So, what do you think of Sara?" Zach asks.
"Seems alright." I shrug.
"Alright? I thought you two were best buddies now." I detect sarcasm in his tone.
"What makes you say that?" I ask.
"I saw you two smoking together in the yard. Sara doesn't smoke." I notice the colour rising in his cheeks.
"I was smoking, I offered her a cigarette. She's a big girl, Zach."
"Stay away from my girlfriend, Charlie."
I raise my eyebrows in disbelief
"I'm sorry, that was uncalled for. I don't know what came over me."
"That's alright, don't worry about it. I think I'm going to go to bed. I'm not feeling very well. Say goodnight to everyone for me."
As I turn around and walk towards my room, a very strange thought occurs to me. I feel as if all three of us, Zach, my dad, and I are somehow competing for the same woman. I'm about to shrug off the idea as some ludicrous notion arising from a particularly long, tiring day when something occurs to me. I return to the kitchen and find Zach sitting on the stool, staring into space.
"Zach, how did you and Sara meet?"
"Oh, we met ... " Zack stops mid-sentence looking as if he's struggling to remember something. He looks up at me in bewilderment.
"I don't know." He says.
Over to you, @Alesha
, or anyone who wants to give it a go. :laughing: