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Romance People of Color Teens & Young Adult

Sara pushes her waist-length loose caramel curls to the side as she clasps the back of her silver heart necklace. A gift from one of her past lovers no doubt. Sara’s charming green eyes and her adorable freckles that canvas her pale ivory skin have always attracted attention from the male population. She was the type to get dozens of flowers on valentines day from a multitude of secret admirers. Her popularity contributing to the epidemic.

I can see why he chose her, my twin sister.

Sara has always been the beautiful, smart, outgoing twin. No one would dare look at me while I stood next to my gorgeous sister. Who would have thought that developing in two different amniotic sacs would cause such a difference in appearance? Sara grew up to favor our mother, with her striking green eyes, Italian-like facial features, and a lighter skin tone. While I grew up as the spitting image of our father. Dark kinky hair, chocolate brown eyes, African American features, and even a darker golden skin tone.

My whole high school life I lived in the shadows of my fraternal twin. I thought it would be different when we got to college and I got my first ever boyfriend. To only be disappointed when I overheard him saying he was just with me to get close to Sara.

I return to reality when Sara quickly turns toward me gesturing to her appearance asking for my approval. 

She is heading out to the bar near campus tonight for her band’s weekly gig. And of course, she is the lead singer with her angelic vocals. Just another on the list of things she has that I don’t.

I quickly shake those thoughts from my head and plaster a fake smile with a thumbs up.

“Hey Cara I know you don’t usually like going to bars, but why don’t you come out with me tonight?… get your mind off everything,” Sara asks referring to my messy breakup this morning.

“Thanks, S but I think I rather stay home tonight. Maybe even binge the Twilight Saga. You know that always makes me feel better.” I try to muster up the most genuine smile I can.

“Well, I will just stay home then. You shouldn’t be alone on a beautiful Saturday night. I can sit one gig out.” She bends down to the bed I’m sitting on and gives me a tight hug. 

I love my sister with all my heart, but I don’t want to have to spend time looking at the girl my boyfriend used me to get to.

“Sara it’s fine, I just rather stay home alone and wallow in myself pity,” I tried to joke.

“Well if you’re completely sure, then I better get going before I’m late,” Sara rushes to get her jacket and purse “I’ll see you later Cara, Love you.”

When she finally leaves I go onto the dominos app and order myself a large meat lover’s pizza, ready to pig out and watch awkward Bella fall in love with a hot vampire way too old for her.

The movie goes by slowly because the only thing I can think about is when I finally open myself up to someone I wound up heartbroken. My heartbreak isn’t because of my ex (Brandon), it was only three months and I was nowhere near in love with him. But my heartbreak is because I’m again playing second fiddle to my sister.

My whole life my parents wanted me to be more like her. They wanted me to be more outgoing, join more clubs, get more friends. When all I wanted to do was read books alone in my room and play stupid games on my PlayStation. Sara was the one in the drama club, on the cheer squad, with a large circle of friends. No one was interested in me when they could just have my twin, so I spent my weekends alone, while Sara went on dates and to parties. I thought I could escape it all when we moved two states away to start college.

The memories from my past bring tears to my eyes as I hear a knock on my dorm room door. This must be my pizza! I throw on Sara’s bright pink robe as I rush to open the door. As soon as the door swings open I freeze as I see ice-blue eyes staring back at me.

Luke Walker’s ice-blue eyes. My old high school crush, but only older, and more attractive. His black hair was long and messy but in a good way, with light stubble on his jaw. His pale arms that are now littered with dozens of tattoos -fitting with his bad-boy vibe from high school- are holding my large pizza. 3 years have treated him very well. 

He seems to recognize me as well when he says, “Hey you’re the cute girl from my freshman biology class! Cara right?” He pauses “Wait have you been crying? Are you okay?”

The fact that my high school crush called me cute completely slips my mind when I hear his last question. I’ve always had this thing where if someone asks me if I’m okay or how I feel all of the emotions that have been bottled up inside me come to the surface. This makes me break down entirely. 

I start wheezing and crying hysterically as I get flooded with memories of always being second place, of never getting chosen, and always being invisible.

Luke places the pizza on the floor beside the door and reaches to put his hands on my shoulders, “Hey hey hey, what’s wrong? What can I do? You’re scaring me here.” He whispers in a soothing tone, pulling me into a hug.

I just shake my head and continue sobbing.

“Cara how about we go inside?” Luke picks up the pizza and gently pushes me back into the dorm onto my bed. 

I probably shouldn’t be alone in a room with a man I haven’t seen in 3 years. His family has been close friends with mine my whole life and we did do a couple of projects together in high school. But is that enough for me to trust him this much?

“Tell me what’s going on beautiful,” Luke whispers as he is rubbing my back soothingly.

It’s like word vomit as I told him everything that happened from overhearing my ex Brandon saying he is using me to always playing second fiddle to my twin sister Sara. My emotions pour out of me in waves as Luke just sits and listens to me rant, nodding and rubbing my back.

I finally finish and just put my head in my hands. Shaking my head at my apparent jealousy for my twin.

“Hey is that Twilight? My little sister loves this movie. Mind if I stay and watch?” Luke swiftly changes the topic in an effort to get my mind off the topic.

“What about your job? You were here to give me my pizza? Shouldn’t you be heading back now?” I bombard him with questions, anxious that I might have put his job in jeopardy. 

Luke scratches the back of his neck “Uh about that,” his eyes look everywhere but at me “I was actually on my way to see a friend when I saw the Pizza on the floor near your door and knocked. I assume you paid online already.” He continued.

“Oh yeah I did,” I chuckled “Sure you can stay I need someone to help me with this large pizza anyways.” I joke accepting his request feeling the need for company all of a sudden.

“Meat lover’s?” He askes with a huge smile reaching his eyes.

“Of course,” I shrug with an equally as big smile as I press play on my laptop.

Watching the rest of Twilight and the whole New Moon while eating my large pizza, we just laugh and joke about all the cringe awkward moments. This movie is supposed to be a romance but we most definitely made it a comedy. Spending time with Luke makes me question why I never told him about my feelings, or at least tried to be friends. He is great company to have around.

“I’m sorry Cara but I should probably get going now. We should exchange numbers though and do something like this again.” Luke gets up and makes his way over to the door.

I follow him trying to muster up the courage to say something I should have said a long time ago.

“Thank you so much for getting my mind off everything. I appreciate it. Now I know why I had a massive crush on you all those years ago. You are a complete gentleman.” I try to joke to cover up my confession.

Noticing the awkward silence I continued “But you probably had a crush on my sister in high school like everyone else haha.”

He just shakes his head and takes my head in his hands. I freeze at the roughness of his fingertips. My knees almost go weak at the proximity of our faces.

“Cara you silly girl I had a crush on you since freshman year, but you were way out of my league. I was always getting in trouble and you deserved better than that so I never made a move.” He rubs my cheeks with the tips of his thumbs.

“No more playing second fiddle.” He whispers before bringing his lips to mine.

July 26, 2021 21:01

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1 comment

Triniti Brown
21:14 Jul 26, 2021

This story is a way for me to discuss colorism and how it affects some people. As a young black woman, I notice that people don't perceive darker black women as beautiful as light skin women with lighter eyes. Even people in our own community discriminate against darker women or men cause we don't fit the beauty stereotypes and standards. So I am here to show no matter how dark you are, or how kinky your hair is, there is someone out there for you.


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