Matilda and I always had the same birthday party growing up. The candles, the paper cups that got soggy after two sips, the party hats. Everything was always the same. Our parents always forced us to invite the same people every year, even if we truly didn’t even like them. Things were different now. Matilda and I were teenagers, we were opposites. Even though we were twins, we couldn’t be more alike. She wanted a huge party with all of her friends, truthfully she just wanted the boys to notice her. I didn’t want a party. My birthday was never anything special, just another year. I had a few friends and they always tried to force me to do something for my birthday but I didn’t budge. This year was different.
This year my sister and I were turning sixteen. We were told by our parents that we had to have a shared party, for “old times’ sake”. Matilda was not too happy about that one. She practically resented the idea, and me if we’re being honest.
“I am not having a party with her! She’s such a loser, it’ll ruin my night!” she cried from the staircase after our parents told us the news.
I didn’t object. I was in fact a class A loser. I knew it. I was fine with it. Less attention drawn my way. My parents finally got Matilda to apologize, even though she didn’t mean it. That’s the bad thing about being twins, you know when the other one is lying. It’s just science. I honestly didn’t care about our shared “Sweet 16”. I gave full control to Matilda. That was my first mistake.
It was two nights before our party and I could tell that this party was only for Matilda. Banners that said “Happy Birthday Matilda & Melissa” were placed all over the house. One subtle thing that I must point out is my name was much smaller than Matilda’s on the banner, much smaller. It didn’t bother me that much and I wasn’t surprised that she could be so rude. It was nothing new. Our party was dreadfully getting closer and Matilda was freaking out about her dress. I was wearing a simple, black dress with lace sleeves. Matilda took money out of my wallet and bought a two hundred dollar rose gold dress. She was always the “expensive twin”.
The morning of our birthday was a disaster. Matilda was running around like a queen trying to get our things together, I mean her party things together. I was in my room, reading as usual when she stormed in with the force of a thousand volcanoes.
“Melissa where is our guest list?” she asked, acting like I was even involved with the party planning.
“Matilda, why would I have it? You’re the little miss perfect who is running this shit show.” She hated being called little miss perfect.
That sentence caused her to storm out of my room in an angry rage, thankfully she didn’t slam the door this time.
Our party was starting and I really couldn’t believe my eyes. Hundreds of people were lined up outside the dining hall Matilda reserved. Hundreds of people I didn’t even know. Hundreds of people I think Matilda barely even knew. I walked into the hall with my hand over my face, hoping no one would notice me. That’s when I saw my ex best friend, Casey. Which is Matilda’s new best friend. Talk about drama. I darted out of the room faster than I have ever ran before in my life. I couldn’t deal with this, not on my birthday.
Matilda was the life of the party, of course. She was dancing and laughing with a bunch of boys. She was singing and jumping with the rest of her friends. She looked happy. That was until some random boy led her off the dance floor. Her smile turned to a half frown. I think she was actually scared. Matilda, showing feelings? That was new. I had to follow her.
When the unnamed boy and Matilda walked around the corner of the hall I saw her slip him an envelope and he slipped back a bag. They exchanged looks without words. He headed back into the dining hall and my sister went straight for the bathroom. Did I just witness my sister taking drugs?
My sister was pretty strict and bossy growing up. Everything had to be perfect. She was a bit of a priss but she was never a drug pusher. She was never a druggie. I couldn’t picture this. I followed Matilda into the bathroom and it was empty. Not a single noise was coming from any of the stalls. I kicked all the doors in and there was nothing. Where did she go? I turned to my left and saw the small window in the corner open. Did she escape? From her own party?
Matilda never ran away from the popularity. She was like a moth to a lamp.
Did this mean that my sister was a fugitive on the run. I mean I knew we were different but I didn't know it was that different. I never expected this. Ever.
I guess some truths are too good to be told.