If He Didn't Have a Twin
Chapter 9: When Everyone Knows, No One Really Does

Second period was a disaster, too. I hated it when people knew every single little tiny itty bitty detail about what had happened to me in the last hour. In the halls during passing time, about, oh, I don't know, fifteen people had asked me if I was ok/if my head hurt/if I had lost brain cells/if I'd be their girlfriend/if I now suffered from amnesia/if I remembered who James was, and if not, could they please take me out for a pie later this evening?

Holy jeez.

Then, of course, in second period, Mr. Henning just had to have me come up to the front of the class, where he announced that he was pretty much in love with the way I wrote (heh). Then I tripped on the way back to my desk, at which point I was about ready to kill something for my clumsiness today.

I blame it on the Skeeter kid. He was the source of all of my graceless woes today.

I don't even know how word about my little Calculus book incident got around to so many people so quickly. It was kind of scary, really, how people tended to totally pounce on that kind of information so fast. They were probably being all sneaky like, texting each other during class and laughing evilly at my expense. I bet that was what they did all the time. Stupid high schoolers. How they scorned the elite!

Okay, I was so not being serious right then. Come on, I didn't really think like that. High school hierarchy was a joke, anyway. (Says you, Evelyn. Yes, this was me talking to myself. You were the one who could say high school hierarchy was a joke and not have it matter because HEY! What? You were already at the top, dumbass. Tell the kids who are looked down upon every day that high school hierarchy was a joke. They'd only agree with you to appease you and to get you to stop talking to them. …Thanks, self.)

James caught me in the hall after the second period bell rang, and we passed one another on our way to our third period classes. "Yes, James, I'm fine. Don't worry about it."

He looked down at me worriedly. "Ev," he said exasperatedly. "I wish you didn't hurt yourself." He touched the spot where I'd been hit multiple times, by a book and desk that were, I was guessing, rather offended by me... though I couldn't imagine why. He frowned. "Ev, there's a bump. A tiny one, but it's there. You want to go to the nurse? Get ice?"

"Already had it, James. Really, I'm fine. Believe me. I am."

His mouth went to the side. "Okay. Just text if you need anything, okay?" He held up his phone and grinned. "I'm always here."

I smiled warmly at him. "I know. Thanks. I'll see you later!" I waved to him, and we parted.

When I got to my third period class, Yvonne had caught up to me and demanded (yes, that was demanded you saw there) to know if I was okay. "Are you okay?" she asked hurriedly then shook me by the shoulders. "Who do I have to beat up for doing this to you? I was in class when I got the text that you'd been hit a few times in the head, but no one was saying who hit you! Was it that Millie girl? The new sophomore that we saw the other day at James's soccer practice? You know, the big, scary looking one? Can I beat her up?" The look she gave me was mostly concerned, but her eyes were filled with a touch of some sort of malicious glee.

"What? Yvonne, no! That's not nice at all! You don't get to beat up anyone, sorry to say. These wounds weren't put upon me by people, but rather," I put my hand on my forehead dramatically, "by my Calculus book and my desk in calc."

"What?!" Yvonne exclaimed. "What the hell! Those aren't even animate objects! And I thought this was a serious matter, too. You had me freaking out over nothing! Shame on you!" She crossed her arms and frowned at me.

I rolled my eyes. "Like getting hit over the head twice by heavy objects isn't something to be concerned about? Come on, Yvonne! James said that he could swear that there was a bump on my head. A small one, but still a bump!"

Yvonne reached over into my hair to search for the bump. After she'd apparently found it, she took the opportunity to muss my hair up, moving her hand quickly through it as she made it go all over the place. My face stayed expressionless as I looked at her. Sometimes she did that kind of stuff just for fun. Yvonne was like that. She felt around on my head some more, and finally said, "Oh, here it is. It's tiny! See, it's right…here." She pressed on the spot where she had located the bump, and I cried out.

"Yvonne! What the hell?!"

"Oh, oops, sorry! I didn't realize it would hurt that much. I'm sorry!" she cried after me. I waved her hand away from my head when she tried to appease the area she had hurt. I didn't want to suffer any more damage. Suddenly, her eyes lit up. "Hey, Ev, did you know that Eric Slater has a little brother? I didn't find out until a couple days ago. Apparently his brother looks pretty much exactly like Eric, so at first when I saw him in the hall I thought it was Eric, so I called out to him, but he just like, glared at me. It was kind of scary…" She trailed off, then perked back up. "But yeah, Bailey," that was her sister, also a freshman, "said that Skeet Skeet is like one of the most popular freshman in the school. She can't say if he or Eric is hotter, though, because she's never seen Eric before, but still, isn't that weird?"

"Skeet Skeet?" I asked incredulously.

"Yeah. Bailey says that everyone who's anyone calls him that. I don't know why; it sounds kind of kiddish if you ask me. Not something that you would call a popular hot kid… but whatever. It's still weird, huh?"

I nodded stiffly. "Yeah, weird." I was still a little touchy on the subject, especially since the little…incident... that James, John, Indie, and I had in the parking lot with "Skeet Skeet".

That little jerk off.

"Bailey says that's she is probably in line to be his first real girlfriend."


Yvonne looked at me funny. "What's wrong, Evie? You look like you swallowed a lemon whole. Would that be bad?"

"Does she like Landon? And what do you mean by 'his first real girlfriend'?"

"Well, see," she said, leaning in to whisper conspiratorially to me. "Landon hasn't had a girlfriend since about sixth grade, is word in the school halls. All of the girls are pretty much falling all over him, but he doesn't care. He just flirts and talks and hangs out with them, but none of them have ever been his girlfriend, except for that one girl in sixth grade, who now just happens to hate his guts. Or, well, that's what Bailey says."



My eyes widened in surprise. "Lemone? Really?" Yvonne nodded wisely. I whistled. Wow.

Lemone was a social outcast, to put it nicely. If you were to categorize her Mean Girls fashion, I'd guess that Janice and Regina would fit her into the "Coolest People You'll Ever Meet"/"Art Freaks" group, respectively. Her hair was mostly blonde, but her bangs were literally tons of shades of blue (she created her own shade effect… kind of cool, really), and she had a tattoo of a dragon and a rose intertwined wrapped around one wrist. From what I'd noticed, she had a different color contact for each day of the week (either that, or her eyes changed color), and she painted her nails to match her eyes.

Overall, not the kind of person I saw Landon Skeeter dating. Or anyone dating, really. She seemed like an "on her own" kind of girl. I've never actually talked to her… but then again, no one really did. At all.

"I heard Lemone started to get really messed up after Skeet Skeet broke up with her, though. Bailey says that she'd been the one to call him Skeet Skeet in the first place, but when she tried to talk to him after they broke up everyone just made fun of her for trying. All of her hair was originally blond, too, but I think it'd end up white now with all the dying she's done to it. It was like she changed over the weekend." Yvonne was bouncing, obviously made excited by this interesting piece of information.

Interesting indeed.

"So he hasn't had a girlfriend since Lemone?"

"Nope. Never even asked a girl out or to a dance or anything since then. Bails says he didn't even go to their eighth grade graduation dance because too many girls would try and attack him or something." I laughed. It was probably true.

"So Bailey will be the new Lemone?"

"Ha! Yeah right," Yvonne scoffed. "Bailey will be way better than Lemone."

I doubted Landon was even thinking about asking Bailey to be his girlfriend. Somehow I highly doubted the possibility. If he was unwilling to ask any girl to be his girlfriend so far, why would he now? I mean, I'm not implying that the possibility was absolutely and completely impossible, but come on—though I didn't state this thought out loud. I'd let Yvonne have her little moment in the sunshine.

It really was interesting about Lemone, though. I had never thought that Landon would have had it in him to have dated a girl like her. I actually liked her, despite me never having talked to her. She didn't care what other people thought… or, at least, she didn't make it obvious that she cared. But then again, Lemone never really was like that until after she and Landon had broken up, so… well, I didn't really know. Whatever. Something or other.

"So you're really okay?"


"Why can't people just shut up about Eric Slater? It's like everywhere I go, all I hear is Eric this, and Eric that, and Skeet Skeet this, and Skeet fucking Skeet that! It's so annoying!" Indie pulled her hair a little in frustration. "Why are they so stupid? Why do people pay so much attention to them? I do not understand what is so great about them. Really." She glared at me questioningly. "Do you know, Ev? Will you enlighten me?"

I shrugged. "I really have no idea, Indie. Sorry I can't be of any more help."

"Seriously, though. People have to talk about them all the effing time! They really aren't that great, but it's like they have endless good things to say about both of them, even though Landon," Indie had also adopted my way of actually addressing Skeeter by his first name; we seemed to be the only ones doing so, "is such a jerk off, but every little freshman I pass by in the hall is giggling about him or writing notes about him, or throwing themselves at him like he's a dumbass celebrity."

"He kind of is, Indie. At school, anyway."

"He doesn't deserve to be." She tore her eyes off of a sign in the distance, on the far side of the school cafeteria, that was decorated with many small hand prints, and said, 'Thanks to all of the volunteers at Skyview Elementary! We love you! Love, Skyview Elementary,' and turned back to me. "I can't believe he called you James's bitch."

"I took care of it," James rumbled from behind me. I jumped in surprise.

"James!" I said, and hugged his waist from my seat at the table. "Hi!"

"Uh, hi, Ev," James said, confused at my exhuberant greeting. I only smiled up at him happily. What? Can a girl not be happy to see her boyfriend? Was it not allowed? (Maybe not that happy. Oh, shut up, self. I've heard enough from you. Go hide under a rock or something.) He smiled back at my childishness and kissed the top of my head. "Well, I'm glad you're happy," he said. (Aww! Hehe, I know.) "Are you okay?"

"Yeah," I answered. "I'm fit as a fiddle." Okay, maybe I wasn't okay. For one thing, I never say 'fit as a fiddle'. Ever. For another thing…well, I don't know what the other thing is. Maybe that's what the other thing is: my brain is not functioning correctly.

"Hey, Indie," John came over to the table and sat across from me, right beside Indie. She looked at him strangely.

"Hey, John."

I scoffed. "What, no 'Hey, Ev?' Not even a 'What's up, little clumsy girl, how's your head?' That's indecent, I say!"

John and James exchanged glances, and John twirled his finger by his ear. I laughed. "Shut up. I blame calculus and its evil books and desks. But really, John, not even a little bit of acknowledgment?"

His eyes locked on mine. "Skeeter is a fucking dumbass."

I smirked. "Tell me something I don't know."

He grinned back at me, leaned back a little in his seat, and said, "Nice, Evelyn. Hi, how are you, little clumsy girl? How's your head? Suffering any mass injuries that your boyfriend here would need to patch up? One Doble twin will be on it; I'll just sit here, m'kay?"

"I still say turkey wins," Indie said abruptly. She grinned when John turned to look at her.

"Gravy always wins. Don't play me for a fool; you know it's true. Turkey is nothing without gravy. Nothing." He crossed his arms stubbornly over his chest.

"Unless it's in a sandwich," Tamaryn said, joining in on the conversation.

"Whatever," John said, shaking his head. He turned to James. "Can you believe these girls? Turkey over gravy. They're impossible!"

James remained expressionless. After a bit of silence, without even cracking a smile, he said, "Personally, I like the pie."

I pulled the muffin tin filled with small, miniature pies, out of the oven (what can I say? James mentioned pie, I want pie, therefore, I make pie) and set them carefully on the kitchen island. Shannon tottered over to me from the television set that was blaring Clifford the Big Red Dog loudly and grabbed onto my leg, gazing up at me with her dark chocolate eyes. "Pie?" she asked innocently.

See? Even the kids liked pie.

I lifted her up and positioned her comfortably against my hip. "Yes, Shanny, there's pie! I made pie just for you, are you happy?" She grinned and hugged me to her. I left and went back into the living room, which was adjoined to the kitchen, and set her back on the couch. I lounged with her while I waited for the mini pies to cool before I could take them out of the tin. Shannon squealed when puppy Clifford started barking ridiculously at some round ball and Maggie (that was her name, right?) yelled at him to come back, come back.

I half-wanted to throw a book at the screen and tell the stupid dog to go back to his master so it would please stop barking. It was getting annoying. When I reached for the remote to try and turn the volume down, Shannon only screamed at me until I leaned back, leaving the remote untouched. Suddenly, I felt my phone vibrating in my pocket. Shannon looked at me oddly; it's not every day your older sister starts vibrating uncontrollably against you.

I laughed at her expression while I pulled out my phone. "Hello?" I asked. "Who's calling?"

"Why are you being so formal?" Indie's voice asked me. "It sounds kind of weird. Anyway, guess what?"

"What?" I asked. Her excited voice was making me more and more interested by the minute. "Is something wrong? Did something good happen? What's happening? What?" I started freaking out. What if she'd gotten into a car accident?! What if she was stupid and was now standing in the middle of Death Valley (yes, the same Death Valley that was around, oh, a thousand and a half miles away from here)?! It could happen! What if she'd been kidnapped? What if she had DIED?!

She's talking to you, genius.

Oh, right.

Indie laughed happily. "I won!" she exclaimed brightly. "I won! John finally conceded defeat, and turkey has won the competition between us! Although, James actually won the whole thing with his whole pie shenanigans and everything."

"Pie!" I shouted, shocking both Shannon-who had been laughing and clapping at the screen-and Indie into silence. I giggled nervously at the both of them. "Oh, sorry. I just remembered I had pie out on the cooling racks. Here, I'm going to go take them out. I'm going to put my phone on speaker."

"Pie?! You made pie? Those little itty bitty adorable pies that I love ever so much?"

I nodded, not realizing that I was on the phone and that she couldn't see me. After a few minutes of silence, her voice rang out into the kitchen on speaker phone. "Hello? Evvy?"

"Oh, what?" I stared at the phone. "Oh! I'm sorry Indie, I forgot you were on the phone. But uh, yeah, what was your last question?" I licked a bit of the apple syrup off of my finger.

Indie sighed dramatically. "Ev..." she said, exasperated. "Are they the little itty bitty teeny weeny wonderful mini pies that you make sometimes that I love oh so much?" she asked.

"Yeah," I answered, out loud this time.

"Okay, I'm coming over. See you in a few!" The line went dead and I laughed, shaking my head. Indie always invited herself over; her parents didn't care and neither did mine. Besides, it did help that we lived about a block away from one another, so it wasn't like getting a ride or driving to either of our houses was an issue. A couple minutes after she had hung up-oops, forgot to turn off the phone; no wonder I was hearing a really, really, really loud dial tone everywhere I went in the house-a knock on the door came, and someone barged into the house without my opening the door. "I'm home!" Indie called out, and then laughed at herself.

"Hi!" I called from the kitchen. "In the kitchen, Indie!" Shannon, to whom I had been feeding the warm filling from inside one of the apple pies, screamed a greeting when she saw Indie. She held out her arms to be held when she spotted Indie by the partition leading into the living room from the kitchen. She dribbled apple pie sauce all over her chin, and I hurriedly cleaned it up before Mom could see that I fed Shannon more sweets than she should eat by the time my mom came home.

"Hey, sweetie!" Indie cooed to my sister. "You're good, right? Are there any boys that would need some beating up by big, awesome cousin Indie? Indiana Giles to the rescue, you know?" She pretended to flex a muscle in her arm. "See this?" she asked Shannon, pointing to the flexed arm (which was really rather puny). "These are cousin Indie's guns. Aren't they lovely?" she joked.

Shannon giggled in response, putting out her lips in a kissy fashion. I took the opportunity to wipe her protruding mouth with a napkin before she could slap any more of the sticky apple pie sauce onto any counters or faces.

The house phone rang, and I ran to answer it. "Hello?"

"Hi," an animated voice said. "This is Sadie from the Snohomish Health Department, and I'd like for you to answer a few-"

"Bye Sadie," I said, and hung up. Stupid telemarketers from the Snohomish County health district. Always trying to mess up my groove. Shame on them, right? Right.

"Telemarketer," I explained to Indie, who had been looking at me oddly. She nodded in understanding, and jumped suddenly when the house phone rang again unexpectedly (well, it's not like you would actually expect the house phone to ring; if a friend needed me, I'm sure they would turn to my cell phone first, not my house phone. Who used house phones? *The Indie in my head raised her hand* Oh, right. Sorry. Until February!) I decided to let the phone continue ringing, since it was probably just another telemarketer calling about wanting to sell me the magic bullet or something like that. I mean, believe me, I'd be first to admit that the magic bullet thing and those other cool gadgets people sell on TV were pretty cool, but practically, they just weren't worth my time. Yes, I could be that cocky. Shut up.

The phone stopped ringing presently, but then it started to ring again. Dang, that was one determined telemarketer, was it not? The phone continued to ring for another few minutes, and Indie and I exchanged glances. What was wrong with this person? Why would they not give up? Finally, I rolled my eyes and picked up the phone.

"Who is it?" I asked innocently.

"Evelyn, what in the name of all that is good took you so long to answer the phone?! Do you realize how many times I have tried to call you?" Aunt Libby scolded me from the other side of the line. I gave Indie and 'uh oh' look, and she looked at me curiously.

"Oh, sorry, AUNT LIBBY, I was a bit caught up in making my mini apple pies. I'm so sorry if you felt like I was ignoring you!" Indie nodded her head sagely in understanding, and went back nonchalantly to chewing on the apple pie she had snagged from the cooling rack. She looked ridiculously happy, but hey, so would I if I just got a free pie after walking over to my cousin's house. (Ha! Like that would happen with Indie. Maybe with Renee, who lived on the other side of the country and was the daughter of my mom's brother, but not Indie. And I wouldn't want to walk all the way to New York City for a pie. If you ask me, it's much too far.

I heard Aunt Libby laugh. "Oh, then of course Indie is over there, right?"

I laughed. "Yeah, she is. She helped me take them out of the oven and things."

"She would, she would. Anywho, I'm calling because someone called the house to talk to her. Said his name was John Costa? Isn't that your boyfriend? How long have you two been dating now, two years?"

"Aunt Libby!" I said, shocked and laughing. I knew she was joking; she always took a solid account of how long I was dating a certain someone (at least, that's what she said. But considering that James was my first real boyfriend—elementary school so did not count—I didn't really think she has to keep a huge record of me at all). "But no, John isn't my boyfriend. It's James."

"Right, right. Just tell Indie that he called. He said it was important, and that it had to do with food. Does she have some class that she has to make food for? Why didn't she tell me? I'd do it for her if she asked." Aunt Libby loved cooking, just to be clear. "Anyway, enjoy that pie of yours! And tell Indie."

"I will. See you later, Aunt Libby!"

"Bye!" she said cheerily, and hung up.

I turned around to look back at the kitchen after I hung up the phone. To my surprise, neither Indie nor Shannon were in there as I had expected them to be. I heard a scream of laughter coming from my room, and I walked into a quaint little scene. Indie and Shannon were sitting atop my bed, Indie pointing to embarrassing pictures of me in yearbooks past and Shannon screaming in laughter at just how ridiculous I looked when I was in the second grade.

Heh. Thanks a lot, Indie. Way to make me a good example for my little sister.

Shannon smiled up at me, an apple piece stuck between her tiny teeth. I went over and plucked it out, and she wiped at her face in the most adorable manner-like she was a chipmunk or something.

"Your mom called," I said to Indie, and sat next to her.

She rolled her eyes and looked at me pointedly. "Yeah, I kind of figured that when you went all wide eyes on me and said the words 'AUNT LIBBY' in the loudest way possible when I was sitting right next to you. What did she want?"

I grinned mischievously at the comment of how I had said her mom's name especially loudly. It wasn't my fault Indie was deaf. Really. "She told me to tell you that John called the house. Well, he called your house, and he wanted to talk about food."

"How typically male," Indie commented. Suddenly, she whipped around to face me. "No! Do you think that he's going to challenge the ruling on turkey again? No! He can't! That's not allowed! I won't let it happen. No. No, no, no."

I looked at her strangely. "It's just turkey," I said. I stayed quiet for a little bit, then turned to Indie in an interested way. "You know, Indie, you and John seem to have been talking a lot lately. Especially after..." I didn't finish my sentence.

Indie smiled. "Yeah, we have been talking a bit. I talk to him via AIM, too, at home. FaceBook works too. He can be really funny sometimes. He has the craziest stories of his adventures with and without James when he was younger. And when he went to Spain and Italy! God, those are so funny. The girls were pretty much all over him. They're really funny to read." She completely ignored the sentence I hadn't said. The reason for that, I think, was pretty clear.

Especially since I meant to talk about Eric. Eric Slater, the hottie from Hawaii, the Uke Dude, the everything that seemed to make Indie happy in the world, at least for a couple days. But she was, apparently, at this point completely happy without him.

She just turned to my boyfriend's twin brother instead. How grossly cliché.

"Yeah, it's pretty cool. So, do you, like, like him like him? Or are you guys just friends?"

Her cheeks went slightly pink. "Well, Ev, it's not like I even know him that well right now or anything. I don't think I like him; he's just fun to talk to. It's...fun."

"So you've said." I grinned at her. "Oh my gosh, you do like him, don't you? If he asked you to be his girlfriend would you say yes?"

"Why," she asked eagerly leaning forward to look at me, "did he say something? Is he going to do something? What's he going to do? Tell me!" Indie begged.

I shook my head quickly. "Oh, no, nothing like that." Her face fell. "That I know of. James hasn't talked about John recently, so I don't know, maybe something will happen?" I put on a hopeful face for her.

Indie laughed at me. "Ev, it's not like James really talked about John much before, either, unless you don't remember that little incident and point in time when you didn't even know that John existed. Remember then? Remember? It was before Eric-" She stopped.

"Yeah. It was before Eric got here," I finished for her. I patted her on the shoulder. "How are you?"

She looked at me incredulously. "Bull shit. Eric's gone, and I've accepted that. Why haven't you?" she said angrily. "And I guess I like John. A little." She bit her lip, looking down quickly and pretending to busy herself with showing Shannon what I looked like in my fifth grade school play. Her cheeks were tinged pink.

My eyes widened, and my lips parted into a smile. "I bet it's more than a little, right?"

She smiled. "Shut up and don't say a word, will you? Nothing is going to happen anytime soon, I know it."

"I know, I know, it's just funny. It seems so cliché, you know, or at least an ideal thing for us, since we're like, best friends. Best friends dating brothers would make for an interesting set of double dates, don't you think?" I nudged her playfully.

"Evelyn? Shannon? Indie? I'm home!" My mom called up the stairs.

"Hi Mom!" I called back, before stopping abruptly in my walk toward my door. "Wait." I turned to Indie. "How the heck did she know you were here?" I made a face and frowned.

Indie shrugged. "I don't know. Your mom just has magical powers, I guess. Let's go; I want more pie." She linked arms with me, held onto one of Shannon's hands, and lead the way down the stairs.

My phone beeped incessantly. I opened my bleary eyes and dug around in my blankets, finally emerging after much searching (and after much more phone beeping) with my phone. Reading the too bright screen, I learned that I had gotten a new text message from a phone number that I didn't recognize. I opened it suspiciously, and gaped at the picture I saw.

The picture was pretty mundane; nothing that would really be gape worthy. It was a picture of Indie and a guy, hugging. John. I wouldn't be so surprised, since they seemed to be getting along so well now, and they were probably just good friends, blah blah, so they hugged.

I wouldn't be so surprised…if there weren't a banner behind them in the picture that clearly read, in large, bold letters, Indy, will you be my girlfriend?




He didn't even spell her name right.