Where is the moment we needed the most?
You kick up the leaves, and the magic is lost
They tell me your blue sky's faded to gray
They tell me your passion's gone away
And I don't need no carrying on….
“Mallory, please shut that off,” I groaned. “now is not the time for that song,”
“I mean, it kind of is,” she replied, sweeping broken glass into the trash can.
You stand in the line just to hit a new low
You're faking a smile with the coffee to go
You tell me your life's been way off line
You're falling to pieces every time
And I don't need no carrying on
“SING IT SISTER!” Mallory bellowed at me, and we both inhaled, screaming over the song. I used my broom as my imaginary microphone.
'Cause you had a bad day
You're taking one down
You sing a sad song just to turn it around
You say you don't know
You tell me, "don't lie"
You work at a smile, and you go for a ride
You had a bad day
The camera don't lie
You're coming back down, and you really don't mind
You had a bad day
You had a bad day
“Do you two need a repeat of the scolding you got?” our mother asked, interrupting our karaoke session as she walked into the living room. Her silver hair fell out of her loose bun, and she pulled it back up. A corner of her mouth twitched as she heard Daniel Powter’s song over the speakers. We looked at each other, then at her.
“We thought it appropriate for our situation,” Mallory offered, her blond ponytail swishing as she dumped the fourteen empty pizza boxes into the recycling bin. Mom looked at me, and I shrugged, picking up the red polo cups from the stacks on the floor. Most of them were still filled with red punch. And by the smell of some, they had been spiked, as well.
“Seriously, you guys, what were you thinking?” mom sighed, turning and going. I looked at my twin, our minds flitting back to two hours ago.
“Come on, Jules. You have to say yes. It’s our senior year. We’ll be gone next year!” Mallory pleaded, her gray eyes imploring me to understand. I shook my head firmly.
“Mom and dad don’t know about it. And plus, we don’t need to break their trust,” I replied, crossing my arms. Mallory pouted.
“Jules...only fifteen people. And we’ll order stuff from our own money. And clean up before they get back in the morning,” she begged. I stared at her.
“Only fifteen people?” I checked. She nodded vigorously, her blond ponytail bobbing up and down. I pulled my dyed-blue hair into a bun. “Fine. Let’s get this over with,” I said.
An hour later, the party was in full swing.
And it looked like our entire grade was here.
I waded through the throng of people, smiling and saying hello to people I normally never talked to. Jefferson Archer, one of the football guys, slung an arm over me, his breath smelling like the rear end of a pig.
“Babe, neat party,” he slurred. I smiled sweetly, then unslung his arm from my shoulders and went off to find my sister. I caught a glimpse of her blond hair from the kitchen, so I waded through the throng that was definitely not fifteen people, trying to find her.
“Mall!” I called, and I saw her whip around, expression immediately contrite. I reached her, after being bumped by over five different people.
“Julia, I’m so sorry,” she said, shaking her head in disgust as one of the cheerleaders spilled her red solo cup all over the hardwood floor. I closed my eyes and tried to calm myself down.
“How did this happen?” I demanded, feeling a headache begin at the bridge of my nose. She shrugged.
“I invited my freinds, but they invited their friends, and their friends invited their boyfriends, and somehow the entier football team got here and then I think the swim team-” she said, but I cut her off.
“Mall!” I whisper-screamed. “How are we going to get them out of here? How are we going to clean up? This is all your fault,” I said. She rolled her eyes.
“Goddammit, Jules. It’s not the end of the world. Like what are mom and dad gonna do? Walk in here right now?” she asked sarcastically.
"Oh, I don't know, Mallory Elise Thompson. If only your mother didn't forget his keys, you might just have gotten away with this," we heard our father's voice behind us, and we froze, turning around slowly. Our father was standing behind us, just inside the back door, their gazes murderous. Mallory squeaked in fear.
"Dad? This is not what it looks like," she whispered. Our father crossed his arms.
"Oh really? Then tell me, what is it? 'Cause from my perspective this is a party that doesn't look like something we approved," he said. Then he raised his voice.
"You all have five minutes to get your crap and get out of here before the cops get here," he shouted. Mallory and I cringed, as instantly, kids ran out of different places in our house, scrambling out of closets and under the stairs. One couple came out of our linen closet, their clothes rumpled in an obvious make-out sesh. My dad glared at them. “Really?” he demanded. They laughed awkwardly and ran out of the house. Within two minutes flat, the house was cleared out, and the only person remaining was the DJ someone had hired, standing next to his makeshift booth. My mom looked at him.
“And what are you waiting for?” she asked him. He looked at her, nervously.
“My $100, ma’am,” he replied. My mother sighed and looked at us.
“That’s out of your pockets,” she gritted out before handing over five twenties. He took the money, tipped his white cowboy hat at us, and then ducked out of the house.
It took all of two seconds for our parents to explode.
“Ugh, someone left a...gods is that…?” Mallory asked me, wordlessly handing up a clump of latex, her upper lip curled in disgust. I shuddered and motioned to the trash can.
“Put it away, put it away,” I told her, retching a little.
“It’s what happens when over fifty high school students are in a small area together,” she said, and I cracked up.
“Yes it is,” I replied.
Our parents had obviously asked whose idea this party was, and since we didn’t rat each other out, I had said it was both our ideas. Except we obviously didn’t invite all of them. Our parents had sighed and told us to clean up before going to bed and that in the morning, they’d dole out an exacting punishment.
And so, until three in the morning, we cleaned unmentionables off the floor, scrubbed the fruit punch from the ceiling, and dug out food from the couches.
We collapsed, exhausted, onto the sofa.
“Moral of the story?” I asked Mallory, my eyelids drooping.
“Make sure we don’t get caught,” she murmured. I elbowed her and she laughed. “Okay, okay. Um, not at our house next time,” she tried. I rolled my eyes.
“Really?” I asked in disbelief. She smiled.
“Don’t-” she started but I cut her off.
“Always listen to your twin.”