I knew that something was coming. For once, I was right and Lilly wasn't. Two weeks after that particular argument, my parents were divorced and I suddenly found myself without a twin sister. For years after the big argument, I have always tried to convince my mom to go visit Lilly.
"No way, kiddo," she always told me. "That environment is dangerous, and I'm surprised that Dad even got Lilly in the first place."
Sometimes I wonder if Dad says the same thing about Lilly visiting me. So now, it's time to try asking again.
"I heard Megan's sister is coming to visit from college," I tell my mom. She's standing at the counter making an iced tea, and I saunter over. Maybe if I ease into it, my idea will work.
"Is she?" Mom asks, stirring her tea. "That's lovely. Will you get to see her at all?"
Mom has always been a fan of Megan's family. Megan's a good Christian girl, and she's not one of those teens who goes to parties or experiments with drugs. According to my mom, that means that the rest of her family must be the same way.
"I think so," I say. "You know who one of her best friends, is, though? It's the weirdest thing." I bite my lip, hoping she won't see through my blatant lie.
Mom raises an eyebrow in that way I hate. I'm busted. "Alexa, if this is one of your ideas to get to see your family…"
"Um, no of course not!" I struggle to find an argument. "I...just thought it was interesting, is all."
"Alexa, I kept you away from them for a reason. I didn't like the way your father's life was going at all. It's for your own good. You have a lot of good friends to hang out with, don't you? Why don't you talk to them?"
"Screw you, Mom. You're unbelievable!" Furious, I storm upstairs to my room and shut the door. When it doesn't shut as hard as I'd like it to, I open it and slam it harder. I open my laptop and log onto AOL. If my mom won't let me see her own daughter, fine. But I think I have the right to at least say hi to my own sister. I wonder why I didn't think of this over the past couple of years. I guess because it would have been awkward. My parents have refused to see each other over the past couple of years, and I refuse to let them stop me.
Lilly and I used to send each other letters when my parents first split up. I could always recognize which letters came from her without even looking at the address; they usually arrived in a colorful envelope dotted with stickers. I'd write back right away, getting out my fanciest purple gel pen so I could be as creative as she was. Even if we didn't have anything to say, we'd play games, like Hangman, Tic Tac Toe, or even writing our own stories. The stories were Lilly's favorite, and she made me send all of them back to so she could keep them all. Then she moved away and we lost touch. Mom, of course, didn't bother to get their address. So Lilly could be in China or Antarctica for all I know. After scrolling through hundreds of names, I come across her profile and click on her name.
The face in the profile picture shocks me. The Lilly that's shown doesn't have messy brown hair. Instead it's blonde and wrapped neatly into a bun. She's surrounded by a group of tall, thin girls. Some of the girls hold up cardboard symbols and letters painted purple. It looks like she's in a sorority. I laugh it off as I continue scrolling down her profile. We're not even in college yet, so I shouldn't have to worry. What's she up to anyway? According to her profile, she's sixteen years old (duh), and studying journalism at UCLA. I don't want to believe she's actually a college student. But as I skim through photos, the proof is there: wearing a free T-shirt at orientation, sitting with a group of girls crammed in a dorm room, taking a group selfie in a crowded auditorium full of girls, and flirting with a guy at a local club. Is the guy her boyfriend? But she definitely skipped a couple of grades. Or something. What makes me feel sad is that I'm not in any of them, and she doesn't seem to miss me at all.
Her profile information automatically moves down a few notches on the screen, meaning that she's just updated her status. It's funny how she's actually a real person living somewhere and living her own life.
But what really bothers me is the status update she's just typed. Written in big text, she writes, "Going on a coffee date with Mom to take my mind off of initiation tomorrow! Luv catching up with my fam even when I'm away!" This is followed by several winky faces. The faces, and the grammar, make me cringe. Has she transformed into a complete...girl? Now, it doesn't strike me as funny.
It's too much information to take in. She's no longer in high school, and she's probably some really intelligent prodigy whose artwork graces the walls of her college buildings. And somehow I don't think she's going out to coffee with my mother.
My fingers tremble as I struggle to open the little pink envelope that had been placed under my chair. The auditorium walls seem to close in as the disappointed sighs and happy cheers ring out around me. "Go ahead, open it!" Trina giggles. As my rush buddy, the information in this envelope is extremely important. In fact, I'm preventing Trina from running to her new house with every second I struggle.
I finally pull out a small card with the words written in bold script. "Delta Sigma! I'm in!" Trina's shriek pierces my ears, but I find myself joining her as we run as fast as we can toward our new home.
"You're finally gonna meet some cool people, Lilly!" Trina says, huffing and puffing. "You can't hide behind your dad and his hipster culture now. You can define yourself! Oh, this is gonna be so fun, you and me in the same sorority together!"
I consider this. Sure, living with my dad is cool. Ever since he and mom split years ago, he bought this apartment in San Francisco. It's really artsy with brick walls and big windows that give you huge views of the city. So tres-chic. But the art isn't why we're here. My dad took it upon himself to show me all the ins and outs of the city he grew up in. When he remarried, my stepmom joined us and we often go out to see the latest cultural stuff. We've made it a goal to see the latest coffee shops, and just yesterday we went to...ok, I'll stop harping now. My stepmom is like the mom I barely had; so much better than the one who always fought with my dad years ago. We've been to rock bands of local groups who haven't gotten famous yet, and my room is plastered with all sorts of goth-ish posters. The cool thing is, my dad approves of all of them.
But I never really fit in with anyone until college. I was just the artsy girl trying to make her way through crowds of Hollister-wearing preps. So when my roommate convinced me to go through sorority rush with her, I agreed. One of the girls complimented my homemade skirt at the first house I went to, and the rest was history. I've always wanted to say that.
Trina and I run as fast as we can toward the looming brick house. I can barely catch up, and as I start to fall behind, I regret not sticking with the sports I loved as a kid. If I don't start working out more, the freshman 15 will get me for sure. She sees me and runs slightly slower so we can run next to each other.
"Hey, slowpoke," she says. "Don't run so fast. We don't have new sisters to meet, or anything!"
"I'm sorry," I say, panting. Every word is an effort as I struggle to breathe and talk at the same time. "I'm not a good runner."
"Well, tell that to your former self," Trina replies matter-of-factly, still running. Her face is barely flushed, while my throat burns of scratchiness and sweat beads run down my face. Finally, the house is in sight and we get to slow to a jog. Fifty jumping, screaming girls in teal T-shirts are waiting to greet us in the front yard, and the smell of barbecued goodness hangs in the air.
"Hey girls!" says a peppy brunette. "Welcome to Delta Sigma!" She reaches for two gift bags and hands them to us. "There are T-shirts in here for you guys to put on, so you can go inside, get changed, and come back out to party with us."
She shows us into the large bathroom, which I'm surprised to learn looks like a regular communal bathroom, only larger. Trina and I get into two of the stalls and put on our new shirts, which match the ones that our new sisters are wearing, which turns out to be a lot harder when you're in a hurry and surrounded by a crowd of other girls. When we come back outside, we head straight for the grill. Where am I again? I've arrived, weaved through the halls, changed in a bathroom I don't recognize, and went back to the lawn all in 5 minutes.
"I'm so glad we're in the same house!" Trina giggles. "We're going to have so much fun. Too bad your roommate couldn't join us, though." My roommate, Kara, has no interest in sororities. She much prefers the stay-in-and-watch-Netflix life. But me? I'm ready to begin a new social life.
We enjoy mingling, talking, and exchanging "So glad to meet yous!" Finally, the sisters call everyone inside, where we all join hands in a circle.
"Future Delta Sigmas, you are about to embark on a crazy, exciting, journey that you will never forget," says one of them. "Are you ready to begin your new lifestyle as part of our family?"
"We are," we say in unison. A shiver goes up my spine. Trina's grin is spreading across her whole face. For the first time in our lives, we're getting something that we never really had: sisters. When the circle disembarks, Trina and I head back to the dorm. I can't wait to tell my parents everything about the magical night I've had.
First off, I apologize if some of the details are off. I don't know if UCLA has a Delta Sigma sorority, or whether it exists for that matter. It's just minor details that I'm not too hung up on. Also, I apologize for any formatting issues; sometimes this copy-and-paste thing doesn't work the way I'd like it to. Hope you enjoy; I'll try to get some more chapters up soon. I'm not sure if this site is as popular as FanFiction, so if you enjoy, review, favorite, or share with your friends!