By Amber Wyckoff March 19th, 2006 September 17th Thursday 10:12 pm “Oh. My. Gosh. Are you serious? Well, do you like him? No, I mean LIKE LIKE…well, duh, he‟s cute.” Cilla twisted the telephone cord in her fingers, and plopped down on her bed, pushing off her tan Ugg boots and settling herself on top of a silky magenta pillow. “What color are his eyes? Green? He‟s a keeper!” Cilla collapsed into a fit of giggles as she and her best friend Serena laughed over the phone. “Hold on,” Cilla said, “I‟ve got to get the headset so I can paint my nails, kay? OK.” Margery watched her sister set down the phone, scoot across the bed, and hurry over to a drawer to search for the hot pink Sony headset. “Marge did you take my headset?” Cilla hollered, her eyes still in the drawer. Why would I? Margery wanted to say. Instead she replied cheerfully, “Nope. Haven‟t seen it.” “Ugh,” She groaned, and slammed the drawer shut. “Mooooom!” Cilla shouted at the top of her lungs, pulling out the vowel “O” like a used bungee cord. Margery tried to tune her out by putting all her focus on the computer she sat in front of. It was Cilla‟s own pink Apple computer. Margery was allowed to use it since she didn‟t have one of her own, but Cilla still kicked her off whenever she felt like it. “Yes?” Came Mom‟s voice. “Have you seen my headset?” Cilla bellowed. “Did you check the computer desk?” Came the answer. Margery glanced down beside the mouse and winced to see the headset in her full view, on top of the printer. Cilla ran over and snatched up the headset glaring at her all the while. “You little liar!” “I wasn‟t lying! Honest! I didn‟t see it!” “Is that because you‟re blind or something? Get off my computer.” Without a word Margery stood and left the room. It wasn‟t worth arguing about. Closing the door, hung heavily with Jesse McCartney posters, she left, hearing the faint sound of Cilla‟s voice saying, “Hey, I‟m back. My dumb sister was hiding my headset. Now which color for my nails? Green, like Jackson‟s eyes?” More laughing ensued. “I‟m sure Lillian will be green with envy when she sees you with her ex!” Margery rolled her eyes as she headed to her own bedroom. People often thought that twins were alike. Carbon copies of each other with the same interests, dreams, and lifestyle. Chubby women with vibrant dyed red hair would come up and say, “Oh you two must be twins! Who’s the oldest?” Or, if they were smarter then the average hamburger bun perhaps “Are they fraternal or identical?” If it was the first question Cilla would pipe up, “I‟m the oldest by fifteen minutes and the smartest by two grades.” This was a lie, since Cilla was not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed, but everyone laughed anyway. If it was the second question Cilla and Margery‟s mom would say, “they‟re identical.” Margery hated the word identical. Partly because they were ANYTHING but identical, and partly because they were undoubtedly seen as one. Stuck together in the twin mold. Margery figured some twins probably were “twinny”. Like Mary-Kate and Ashley or the girls that used to go to her elementary school named Tasha and Sasha. Tasha and Sasha not only looked alike, but they acted alike in everyway. So much in fact that the teachers often made them wear name tags so they could tell the difference. They even dressed alike! Right down to the socks and sneakers. Margery thought that was pathetic…and told Tasha her opinion on the subject one rainy Tuesday, during recess, when both sisters had worn matching pink rain jackets. Tasha had started crying and Cilla had told her that if she was going to act like a baby she might as well go back to pre-school. That was back when Margery and Cilla were friends. They had always been different but by the time they were in High school they hardly talked to each other unless absolutely necessary. Living in the same house was like torture. Margery entered her room, decorated pale green with sports posters hanging all over the walls. Margery loved every sport and played almost every one she loved. Walking over to her closet she swung open the wooden doors and dug through the clothes on the floor until she found her plaid pajama bottoms and a large white T-shirt that said “SIX FLAGS”. Margery pulled off her socks and threw them in the general direction of the hamper without bothering to notice whether or not they made it inside. Grabbing her no-name brand face wash off her dresser, she headed for the bathroom, situated between her own room and Cilla‟s. Cilla appeared from her own room wearing an American Eagle tank top and girl‟s boxer shorts, with fluffy hot pink slippers on her feet. She was holding her Bath and Body Works cinnamon-vanilla face wash and lotion. “I was here first,” She stated flatly, bending one knee and putting her free hand on her hip. “Besides, I have Serena on hold and if I wait too long she‟ll wonder what happened to me.” “Well, I‟m just going to bed so let me in there.” Margery said, reaching over to open the door. Cilla pushed her back. “Well, I have to use the restroom.” She waltzed in and slammed the door behind her in Margery‟s face. Margery shouted through the door, “Don‟t fall in!” then stepped back, trying to control her temper. Seeing her sister‟s door open, Margery headed over, wishing she had a dead fish or something to put into Cilla‟s pillowcase. The light was off but the room glowed a faint pink purple from Cilla‟s lava lamp. Margery stood for a moment as if mesmerized, watching the globs of “lava” float through the illuminated liquid. Then she noticed the phone, lying on the dresser, the pink cord tangled around the bedpost. Picking up the phone Margery said in her best Cilla impression, “Yellow!” instead of “hello” like the greeting normal people gave. “Oh, hey, Cil,” came Serena‟s voice. “Sorry, I dropped my face wash in the toilet.” “In the toilet?” “Yeah, I was using the toilet water to rinse my face. It‟s a new thing. I read about it in Seventeen.” “Eww, don‟t even joke like that!” Margery grinned as she sat down on Cilla‟s pink bed. Serena was such an airhead. She didn‟t even know she was talking to her best friends sister. “So, anyway, about Bryant. You said he won‟t even talk to you?” Margery gave an involuntary snort. Did these girls ever stop talking about boys? “What? Did you say something?” “Uh, no, nothing,” Margery answered, making sure to keep her voice high pitched. “Yeah, he doesn‟t want to talk to me. Maybe it‟s because I forgot to put on my deodorant last week and he got a whiff of my armpits.” There was silence on the other line for a moment. “Who is this?” Margery opened her mouth to say, “your worst nightmare” in a low gravely voice, when Cilla charged in the door and ripped the phone out of her hands. “AH! Get out of my room, you freak! Moooooom!” Margery hurried off to the bathroom and locked the door behind her. Once she was safe inside she laughed hysterically. Oh, if only Cilla had been a little longer in the bathroom. Margery quickly washed her face and, taking out her clear braces, brushed her teeth. Turning out the light before she opened the door, Margery glanced out at the hallway and was relieved to hear the faint sound of Cilla‟s voice behind her closed door. Margery hurried to her room and, turning off the light, climbed into bed and fell into an almost instant sleep, dreaming of beautiful revenge against her twin sister. September 18th Friday 6:31 am Margery stomped loudly down the stairs and into the living room. Her Grandma, Lois, sat at the TV, as usual, watching the home shopping network. “Good morning, Cilla.” Grandma said with her gravely voice. “Good morning, Grandma.” Margery replied, not bothering to point out that she wasn‟t Cilla. “You see that ring there?” Grandma pointed at the screen. The volume was so high Margery had to resist the urge to run over and turn it down. “Yeah?” “Four hundred dollars for a piece of rock! Four. Hundred.” She repeated, looking at Margery with her watery gray eyes and waggling her finger back and fourth. “When you get old you make sure to watch out. Don‟t get trapped in the silly idea that a piece of rock on your finger makes you more important then other people.” “Yeah, Grandma, no prob.” Margery hurried out of the living room before she got another lecture. As Margery entered the kitchen, her mother, who worked as a part time office assistant, was seen wearing her back suit and had her short curly brown hair sprayed to an unbelievable height above her head. “What are you wearing today?” Mrs. Keeling snapped at Margery as she pulled the Cocoa Puffs out of the cupboard. “Good morning to you too,” Margery grumbled, pulling out a yellow-green bowl that said, “Welcome To New Mexico” on it. What an ugly color. “Why wear wristbands if you aren‟t going to be sweating? I thought they were to help soak up sweat.” Margery shrugged. “And those jeans have rips in the knees” “Yeah, that‟s because practically everyone else on the planet wears ripped jeans.” “I don‟t and neither does your sister.” “That‟s cause you‟re both obviously from another planet,” Margery mumbled, while pouring the cereal into the bowl. Her family had never even gone to New Mexico. Where did this stupid bowl come from anyway? “And what does your shirt say? Billy‟s Dog Wash? Is that supposed to mean something?” “No.” “Then why wear it?” “Because it‟s comfortable.” “You can get comfortable shirts that don‟t say anything.” “That‟s called boring.” Mrs. Keeling finally gave up on the clothing argument that reoccurred every morning and filled the little watering can with water from the sink and began pouring the contents over the plants stationed in the windows. Margery, balancing dish and cereal box under one arm teetered over to the fridge for some milk. She groaned at the 1% label on the milk carton. “I thought we were a 2% family.” Mrs. Keeling ignored her daughter. Margery, mumbling under her breath, dumped the milk over her Cocoa Puffs and returned to the island where she set down her bowl and hopped up onto a stool. Plucking a spoon out of the nearby drawer she ate fast, banging her spoon against the sides of the bowl. Margery could smell the aroma of Cilla‟s T-Girl perfume before she even entered the kitchen. Once her sister came in, Margery observed what she was wearing. A tan sweatshirt with AE across the front, a brown pleated skirt, and a large chunky belt. Her long light brown hair was wavy…she must have put it in “loose curlers” the night before…and her eye shadow was a heavy brown. It looked like two smudges of dirt surrounded her eyes. Mrs. Keeling turned around to examine her other daughter. “That skirt looks a little short, honey.” Margery rolled her eyes. Of, course, Cilla got called “honey”. Cilla tilted her head and lifted her eyebrow. “Mom, this is like, the longest skirt I have and you let me wear the other ones ALL the time.” “Oh, really? Well… all right, but no shorter from now on.” Margery snorted. Cilla used the same excuse at least twice a week and always got away with it. Soon her skirts would be so short people would think they were ruffled underwear. Cilla brushed past and stuck a mug of water in the microwave for her usual cup of Chi tea. As the microwave hummed Cilla admired her nails and then sniffed at her wrist were she was undoubtedly soaked in perfume. Margery ignored her. Beeep, beeep, bee…Cilla slammed the release button and the microwave door sprung open. Setting down her cup across from Margery on the counter Cilla walked over to the cabinet where the tea bags were. Her chunky sandals clip-clopped all the way over and all the way back. Sitting down, Cilla motioned to the glass bin of creamer. Margery slid it over, not bothering to look at her sister. Cilla added one teaspoon of creamer to her water then slid in the tea bag, stirring all together rapidly with her spoon. “Where did we get this bowl?” Margery asked no one in particular, motioning towards her cereal. “From Mexico, dummy,” Cilla replied, taking a sip of her tea. “New Mexico,” Margery corrected. “New or old what difference does it make?” “New Mexico is a state. Mexico is another country.” “Oh, brother. Soon you‟ll be saying Canada isn‟t part of the US.” Margery opened her mouth and then decided Cilla wasn‟t worth her time. Getting up and drinking the excess milk out of her bowl she slid the dish into the sink and hurried over to the door to put her shoes on. Margery caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror, hanging on the hallway wall. Besides her oval face and large brown eyes she looked anything but Cilla‟s twin. Cilla wore makeup, and Margery did not. Cilla had her ears pierced once. Margery had her ears pierced twice on each ear and once in the cartilage. Cilla‟s hair was always perfect, and Margery‟s was…well, was not. Margery‟s hair was almost as long as Cilla‟s, but she always kept it in two messy buns at the sides of her head, sprouts of hair coming out like little waterfalls from each twist. Cilla also had thin bangs and Margery did not have any at all. Margery had freckles all over her nose and Cilla‟s had been banished by lemon juice and concealer. Margery decided not to look at herself anymore and focused the rest of her attention on her dirty brown and white Vans. After the laces were tied more then a little unevenly Margery ran back into the living room and gave her Grandma a kiss on the cheek. “Bye! See you after school.” “All right, sweetie.” Grandma called after her, no doubt unsure which twin she was talking to. Margery wondered why old people couldn‟t seem to tell the difference, while people at her school were shocked when they found out the sisters were identical. Not feeling the need to say goodbye to her tight lipped mother or her fashion plate sister, Margery grabbed her backpack and hurried out the door, just as the bus pulled up to her house on 102 Maple Wood Terrace. Cilla, who felt she was too sophisticated to ride the bus, got picked up everyday by Serena and her Dad, who was on his way to work. Margery was not invited to ride with them, nor did she want to. It was only the beginning of a day staying as far away from her sister as possible. September 18th Friday 12:13 pm Margery reached over for strawberry Jello, then paused, glancing at the chocolate pudding. “Go for the Jello,” Margery‟s best friend, Darcy, said, reaching out to get one herself. “Why the jello?” “It‟s better for you in the long run.” Darcy replied, putting a package of Jello on Margery‟s plate. “Besides, the chocolate pudding expired yesterday. See the label?” Darcy was a very pretty girl, but didn‟t play on her looks much and instead wore large T- shirts and capris with a red bandana covering her snow blonde hair. People mostly described her as petite, cute, and sweet, but Margery knew she was as tough as nails when she needed to be. “Are there any peanuts in that?” Darcy asked the lunch lady, motioning toward the chocolate cake. “Don‟t think so. You allergic?” The lunch lady‟s nametag said Elva and she pronounced allergic as “ Ay-lurg-jick”. Must be a new worker. Margery thought. “Nope. I just don‟t like the feeling of them in my mouth,” Darcy answered, examining the cake with her wide blue eyes. “You, know, they‟re sort of…slippery and crunchy all at the same time.” Elva shrugged. “Well, as long as you ain‟t gonna get sick on account of 'em, I would guess that they‟re ain‟t no peanuts in there.” Margery flinched at her bad grammar but Darcy flashed one of her million dollar smiles in Elva‟s direction. “All right then.” She took a piece of cake. “Thanks a bunch, Elva. Have a nice day.” Elva, who had looked rather perturbed at first, smiled back. “The same goes to you, sugar.” That was one more person on Darcy‟s never-ending list of friends. Margery took pride in knowing she was at the top of the list. “All right, where shall we sit today?” Asked Darcy, running her tongue over her braces in thoughtfulness. Darcy hated cliques more then anything else and to show her disapproval she sat with a different group of people every week, whether they wanted her or not. Margery shrugged. “How about them?” Darcy motioned at some tall kids trying to spill each other‟s milk across the table. Margery gave Darcy a look. “We sat with them five days ago.” “Oh, right. Umm, how about over there?” Darcy pointed at the table where seven girls and two boys sat. The girls were all nibbling salad and flirting with the boys, the smell of their perfume mingling in a huge cloud above their heads. “No way.” As soon as the words were out of her mouth Margery regretted them. “Why not?” Darcy said. “They are just people like us. We aren‟t any better then them and they aren‟t any better then us. We‟re all equal and…” “I know, I know,” Margery interrupted. “But she’s over there.” Darcy bit her lip. “Oh, you mean your sister?” “Yes, I mean my sister. Who else?” “So?” Darcy shrugged her thin shoulders. “She‟s not gonna bite.” Margery snorted. “I wouldn‟t put it past her.” “Oh, come on, Marge,” Darcy said, giving her a little push toward the table. “It‟s time to break barriers…for us all to unite.” “OK,” Margery said, finally giving in. “But good luck with your “uniting”. I have a feeling we aren‟t going to be very welcome there.” Ignoring her, Darcy walked up to the table and sat down at one of the open spaces. Margery sat beside her friend, waiting for the insults. She didn‟t have to wait long. “What do you freaks think you‟re doing?” Asked one girl with auburn hair. Margery remembered that her name was Trisha and that she occasionally called their house to talk to Cilla. Darcy offered Trisha her hand. “I‟m Darcy. This is my friend Margery.” Trisha looked at Darcy‟s hand as though bacteria and mold were growing along her fingers. “That‟s nice,” She said, not extending her hand. “Listen, this is a private table.” “Private?” “Yeah, it‟s invitation only.” Trisha laughed, but she sounded like a cackling witch. Margery wondered if she should tell her it might not be a good idea to laugh like that, incase someone decided to drop a house on her, but then decided against it. Cilla, who had been laughing at something one of the boys said and twirling her hair around her finger, suddenly noticed the intruders. Leaning over so she could see down the table, Cilla‟s eyes met Margery‟s. Standing, she brushed off her perfectly clean skirt and walked over, tilting her head from side to side so her hair flew out behind her. When she reached her sister she stood, bending one knee and with her hand on her opposite hip as usual. “OK, what are you doing here, reject?” Margery winced. Darcy answered for her. “Margery and I are here to help unify the school.” “Unify?” Cilla‟s perfectly shaped eyebrow shot up skeptically. Margery wondered if Cilla knew what unify meant. “Well, why don‟t you go „unify‟ (here she held up both fingers and put imaginary quotes in the air) somewhere else? Some people here have a life.” Turning to Margery, Cilla bent down and hissed into her ear, “Get away from me and my friends before you regret it.” “Listen,” Margery whispered back. “It‟s a Darcy thing. She likes sitting with new people.” “I don‟t care!” Cilla snapped, digging her manicured nails into Margery‟s arm. “If you‟re here too long, my friends might actually realize we‟re related.” “Serena knows,” Margery replied haughtily. “Yes, and she‟s the ONLY one who will ever know.” “Cilla, please,” Margery felt a sudden tug at her heart. “I know we‟re both different but that doesn‟t mean we have to be enemies.” Cilla rolled her eyes. “If you think you can get yourself into the popular crowd just because you‟re my sister your wrong.” “That‟s not what I meant!” “Yeah, right.” “You know, I‟m getting really sick of you acting like this. I just want a sister! Not an enemy!” “Oh my gosh, Marge, you are so pathetic. Now beat it before people notice you‟re here.” With that, Cilla waltzed back to her seat. Margery watched her go, anger burning up inside her. “Come on,” She said to Darcy, standing and walking away from the table. Darcy followed without argument. As the two hurried away they could hear the girls laughing behind them. “Are you alright?” Darcy asked, once they were seated safely away from Cilla and her friends. “I‟m fine,” Margery answered, willing her eyes not to start tearing up. She was used to negative comments from her sister on a usual basis, but for some reason, today it hurt more then usual. “I just don‟t understand why she hates me so much. We‟re different, that‟s for sure, but does that mean we have to hate each other?” “No, it doesn‟t. I‟m really sorry, I shouldn‟t have even made you sit there.” Darcy apologized, handing her a tissue with little pink hearts printed on it. Margery blew her nose then tossed the tissue into the nearby trashcan. “It‟s not your fault I have an evil twin.” “But it‟s my fault that you had to talk to her.” “Darcy, don‟t worry about it, OK?” Darcy nodded, her big eyes looking sad. “Man. I‟m going to get her back one-day,” Margery mumbled angrily. “Somehow, I‟ll get pay back for her treating me like dirt all my life.” Darcy bit her lip. “Pay back won‟t make things any better.” “Yes it will!” Margery snapped. “It would make Cilla realize the whole world doesn‟t revolve around her.” Darcy put her arm around Margery. “It‟s OK. I‟m sure everything will get worked out somehow.” And, in a way, it did, but quite differently then anyone could have imagined. September 18th Friday 6:40 pm Margery watched her sister across the dinner table spoon a quarter-sized amount of applesauce onto her white plate. “Noodles,” She said, snapping her finger in Margery‟s direction like she was a dog. Margery didn‟t move. Mrs. Keeling passed the noodles to Cilla. Cilla spooned exactly eleven roteni noodles onto her plate. Margery wanted to dump the whole pot of noodles on her sister‟s hair-sprayed, highlighted head and shout: You aren’t fat! Stop eating baby-sized portions! Grandma took a long drink of her water and ice cubes banged against her glass. “Mmm, mom?” Began Cilla, her mouth partly full of noodles. “Can I go camping with Vivian this week? I‟d be gone from this Sunday till next Saturday.” Margery nearly gagged on her applesauce. “You? Going Camping?” Cilla rolled her eyes. “As If. Not like tent-bug-covered-campfire, camping. Vivian‟s family is like, super rich, and they OWN a lake with a campground on it. We‟d be staying in her family‟s lakeside cabin. Vivian said we could spend half our time on the cabin roof getting tan.” Margery snorted but everyone ignored her. “So? Can I go?” Mrs. Keeling frowned. “Well, this is sort of sudden…. and what about school?” “Well, I‟d have to take off a week, but it‟s totally worth it. I‟m sure I‟ll learn tons of new things there about...like…nature and stuff.” Grandma and Margery exchanged glances. “I don‟t know, honey…like I said, this is very sudden. And who‟s Vivian again?” “She‟s only like one of my bestest friends in the world! It will just be her and her mom going. Well, and her younger sister…I think she‟s like twelve or something…but we probably won‟t be spending much time with her.” “Is Vivian the one with curly blonde hair?” Margery asked. Cilla, without turning her pleading face from her mother, snapped, “Yes!” If Margery remembered right, Vivian was one of her sister‟s nice friends. She sometimes even said hello to Margery in the hallway, even though she didn‟t know she was her best friend‟s sister. Mrs. Keeling stood, and walked over to her day planner, which she called “Her Life” sitting on the microwave to flip through pages. Cilla tapped her nails absently on the tabletop. Margery put of spoonful of applesauce in her mouth. “You‟d be leaving day after tomorrow? The twentieth?” “Yesssss.” Margery could tell Cilla was working hard not to sound bratty. “Only one day to get ready? And absent from school for a week?” “I thought we went over this already, Sandi.” Whenever Cilla called Mom Sandi it meant she was teetering on the edge of being disrespectful. “Besides, we all know that our family won‟t be vacationing this year, so can‟t I call this my fall break? Basically like, everyone in school takes off this time of year except me.” Margery had to agree with Cilla. Darcy had just come back from Florida last week, and plenty of other friends had taken off for vacation. Though Margery‟s family usually took trips this time of year as well, Mrs. Keeling had pointed out that money was too tight this time around for the normal trip to Virginia Beach. Cilla, who had previously begun an intricate scheme to catch the attention of one of the lifeguards at the beach and then come home with a picture of her “new boyfriend” in her purse, had been devastated. This of course, made good substance to the guilt trip she was currently dumping on their mother. Mrs. Keeling heaved a little sigh, and then, as usual, let Cilla have her way. “All right, you may go. But I don‟t want to have to buy you anything for the trip.” “Totally. That‟s fine. Thanks.” Cilla smiled to herself and giving Margery a triumphant look, finished off her eleventh noodle and excused herself from the table to start packing. Margery watched her leave and felt an unwanted sting of jealously. She knew that her mom would never let her go on a sudden weeklong trip. Cilla was the favorite. That was how things had always been, and always would be. September 19th Saturday 4:21 pm Margery stood in her sister‟s doorway watching her stack neatly folded shirts into her suitcase. Margery counted quickly as she watched. Twelve shirts for a six-day trip? Next came some brightly colored ankle socks, all with different logos on them. Nike, Gap, Abercrombie and Fitch, Addias. Who could afford to buy all brand-name socks? Margery answered her own question. Cilla could. Or at least their mom could. No wonder their mother was always complaining about the bills. They were going bankrupt because Cilla had to have a different name stamped on each pair of socks. Margery was just beginning to count the large collection of skirts, jeans, and shorts that were disappearing into Cilla‟s bag, when her sister turned and glared at her. “Why are you standing over there?” “It‟s a free country,” was Margery‟s witty, if not exactly original, reply. “Get out of my room.” “I‟m not in your room.” Cilla pointed a manicured nail at Margery‟s blue painted toenails. “You‟re on my carpet.” Seeing that she was indeed standing on the precious lavender rug, Margery took a step back. Cilla packed in a pair of flip-flops before turning around again and scowling. “Beat it, Marge! It makes me nervous having you staring at my back.” Margery spent a moment trying to deicide on a sarcastic comment, and in this moment Cilla unceremoniously walked over and slammed the door shut. Margery, now face to face with Jesse McCartney and Brat Pitt, whose pictures hung on the door, turned and headed for her own room. On the way she picked up the hall telephone and dialed Darcy‟s number. “Hello, this is Darcy speaking.” “Hey, Darcy it‟s Marge.” Margery slipped into her room and closed the door, locking it behind her. “Oh, hi!” Said Darcy excitedly. Margery didn‟t say anything because whenever she called there was always some story attached to the phone call. Darcy didn‟t let her down. “I thought that you might be my uncle Garth. I just called him and I had to leave a message since he wasn‟t home. I really don‟t want to talk to him since I hardly know him and I don‟t even remember ever meeting him but my mom says I did when I was, like, five or something. But anyway, the only reason I was calling him was because he sent me a check for ten dollars. I mean, that‟s nice and all, but it isn‟t my birthday and my mom and I were trying to figure out whether he just had a sudden spurt of gratitude or messed up on my birthday. But he‟s never sent me anything before now, so that seems kinda unusual to me.” When Darcy finally stopped for a breath Margery cut in, “Guess what?” “What?” “Cilla is going away for a week.” “Really? Wow, what for?” “Some camping trip. But, you know,” Margery mustered up her best Cilla impression. “Not like tent-bug-covered-campfire camping.” Darcy laughed. Lapsing into her normal voice, Margery continued. “She‟s going with her friend Vivian.” “Is that the nice girl with curly blonde hair? The one who always wears sparkly blue eye shadow?” Though Margery had never noticed the eye shadow she agreed. “Yep, that‟s her.” Margery went back into her Cilla impression. “They‟re gonna spend “half of the time on the cabin roof getting tan.” Darcy giggled again. “You‟re really good at that, Marge. I have to remind myself that I‟m still talking to you and not Cilla!” An idea suddenly hit Margery like a freight train. She stood perfectly still, the very thought of what had just occurred to her building up with increasing speed. “Darcy. I think I just got an idea!” She walked around her room excitedly, letting the plan form in her mind. “What? What is it?” Darcy asked sounding excited too. Lowering her voice, Margery answered, forcing herself to speak clearly. “What if Cilla never left? What if I left instead?” “Huh? You mean…go on the trip as her? But Cilla would know she wasn‟t there…” “No, no, not quite. Cilla leaves on Sunday. On Monday I show up at school…dressed as Cilla. People may ask me what happened to the trip idea but I‟ll just tell them I didn‟t go, and also spread it around that my “sister” Margery went to go visit my grandparents or something.” “So you would go to school as her?” “Yes.” “And take all HER classes?” “We‟re in social studies and science together already. Besides, for the other classes I can catch up. She‟s not that smart anyway.” “But what for? I mean, what‟s the point of going through all that trouble?” “Darcy,” Margery replied, grinning into the receiver. “It‟s finally pay-back time. Do you realize what I fool I could make of her while she was gone?” Darcy couldn‟t help but giggle. All the same, she said nervously, “I don‟t think that‟s such a good idea, Marge. I mean, it sounds like fun but…you could get in a lot of trouble. And someone‟s feelings could get hurt.” Margery, hardly bothering to listen to her friend anymore, just snorted absently. “Everything will be fine. It‟s time for Cilla to finally get a good punch of reality. Can you come over tomorrow around 2:00?” “I think so…” “OK, have your mom drop you off at my house. You can sleepover. Trust me, I need all the help I can get to pull off this Cilla thing. Oh, this is gonna be sweet!” Darcy‟s voice still sounded uneasy. “I‟ll help. But just promise me that doing this won‟t hurt anyone else.” Margery rolled her eyes. “I promise.” “OK,” Darcy sounded a bit more cheerful. “I guess it‟ll be pretty funny. I‟ll see you tomorrow then.” “Right! Tomorrow! Bye!” “Bye!” September 20h Sunday 1:33 pm Are you sure you have everything? Yes, Mom. Toothbrush? Toothpaste? Yes. Do you need a lifejacket? No, they provide them at the lake. Not like I‟d be caught dead in a fishy lake anyway. What about bug spray? If there are any bugs I‟m leaving. How about Sunglasses? Wouldn‟t be seen without them. Margery watched as her mom scanned over the checklist she had made for Cilla‟s trip. And you‟re sure you have enough clothes for the week? Margery snorted. More then enough. She answered for her sister. As usual, everyone ignored her. Yes, I‟m sure. Mom heaved a little sigh and folded the checklist. All right, I guess you‟re ready to go. Make sure to call me as soon as you reach the lake…. you do have your cell phone, don‟t you? Yessss. Cilla whined. Mom finally wrapped her daughter in a quick hug. Goodbye, Cilla. Have a good time. I will… if I don‟t miss you too much. Cilla answered smiling up at her mother. Margery nearly gagged on the phony sweetness. Bye Grandma. Cilla hugged Lois and gave another sickeningly sweet smile. I‟ll see you all next week! She called and waltzed out the door towards Vivian‟s waiting car, dragging her huge pink suitcase behind her. Cilla never gave a second glance back at her sister, but Margery only smiled. Revenge was near. When Darcy arrived nearly half an hour later Margery wasted no time in getting her upstairs. Darcy, lugging her flannel sleeping bag behind her, glanced around nervously. Did she leave? Yeah. Does she have any idea what you‟re going to do? No. Darcy still looked uncomfortable. What if she forgot her sun block or something? Darcy, honestly. What? Like my sister would wear sun block. It would ruin her stupid tan. Right, right. Darcy finally seemed to relax. Once all of Darcy‟s overnight stuff was in Margery‟s room, Margery pulled out a notebook and opened to a clean piece of paper. In large letters she titled the page: THE SWITCH. OK, We need to work out every single detail. One mistake and the whole thing goes down the drain and I get grounded. Or detention. Or suspension… Or… Darcy! Sorry. OK, plans. What will you need tomorrow? Number one will be Cilla‟s class schedule. She has that in her room somewhere. I know it. How are you going to get out of the house without your mom noticing that you look like the wrong daughter? No problem. I‟ll eat upstairs and hightail it outside before she even notices. She never notices me anyway. Darcy pursed her lips but said nothing. All right what else? Margery chewed on the end of her pencil. What about how you look? Huh? You‟ll have to do your hair differently. And… you‟ll need bangs. Margery looked queasy. No, that‟s not necessary. Marge! You‟re the one who just said everything has to be just right. You worry about school and I‟ll worry about how you look. And what are you, Seventeen magazine? That‟s not what I‟m saying. No offence, I think I know a little more then you when it comes to style. Margery snorted. And you‟ll have to take out all your earrings except the bottom ones. And stop walking slouched over. And…OK, OK I get the picture. Margery finally laughed. I can‟t wait till tomorrow! But what about the teachers? Darcy cut in. Your mom must have given them a release or something. You know. Like that Cilla won‟t be here for a week. Already fixed. After my mom put the paper in an envelope and left it on the table to take to school, I re-opened it and using white out, put in “Margery” Keeling instead of “Cilla” Keeling. Then I sealed it back up, and I‟m sure it‟s at the school by now. Darcy stared. You just told me everything was going to be fine, and now you are lying to the SCHOOL? Not a big deal! Margery assured her friend again. Like I said, as long as I‟m careful no one will notice. People get twins confused anyway. Besides, you said it yourself. I can sound and act just like Cilla. Darcy sighed again but shrugged her shoulders. Well, if you are going to do this thing we‟d better get to work right now. Margery impulsively hugged Darcy. OK, what first? Your hair. Margery moaned. Hold still! I am! No, you aren‟t. If you don‟t hold still your bangs are going to be lopsided. I can‟t believe I‟m letting you do this. Margery mumbled carefully opening one eye and watching her friend snip away the hair around her forehead. Relax. I‟ve trimmed bangs many-a-time. My little brother always needs his done. Margery closed her eye again. Right. You‟re lucky you spend so much time out in the sun. Your hair is almost as highlighted as Cilla‟s, except yours is real. Yeah, because I definitely wouldn‟t be letting you highlight my hair. Darcy only laughed. OK, your bangs are done. Hold on, I just need to give you a few layers. LAYERS? Cilla‟s hair isn‟t one length you know. So? No one will notice. Do you realize what superficial, image conscious, girls you‟re going to be hanging out with, Marge? They‟ll notice. Before Margery could say anything there were snipping sounds behind her head and she opened her eyes to see brown hair fluttering to the ground. This had better be worth it. She mumbled. Five minutes later after there had been so much snipping that Margery was sure she was bald in back Darcy pronounced her “done” and let her over to the bathroom to admire herself in the full length mirror. Oh, my gosh, Darcy!! Margery stared at her reflection in disbelief. See? I told you I could cut hair. I—I look just like her! The bangs and—and the highlights? You can see them even more now. Yeah, layers make your highlights more prominent. Darcy replied with a knowledgeable tilt of her head. Margery lifted her shoulders and raising one eyebrow glared at her reflection. Putting one hand on her hip and bending her knee she imitated one of her sister‟s favorite lines, “I‟m sorry, you must be at the wrong place. The circus freak show is five miles downtown.” Darcy doubled up laughing and Margery glared at her. What are you laughing at, reject? Don‟t you know that the whole world revolves around me and my name-brand socks? No one dares to laugh in MY presence. Darcy only laughed harder and finally Margery surrendered too and they both fell in a heap on the floor laughing hysterically. Oh, this is going to be so much fun! Margery said between laughs, and suddenly, she wasn‟t worried about being found out at all. She knew she could pull off the switch easily, and no one would be the wiser. September 21st Monday 4:22 am Monday: Wakes up early and picks out clothes. While eating upstairs a message is left on Cilla‟s phone from Sererna and she is mad b/c of trip and informs Cilla that she no longer wants to be friends.
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