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Two Sides of the Moon
Congratulations, you got your wish. The words were written on the card in the devastatingly familiar handwriting, and Mia’s eyes began to fill with the never-ending tears as she read and re-read the card over and over. Even after nearly two weeks, Mia could not get over what happened. Nearly two weeks, and the loss still effected her every day. Looking over at her bedside table, she studied the single red rose that sat un-wilted even after all the time that had passed. Whenever Mia read the card, Callie’s face was in her mind, as clear as if she had never left, and there was a stab of regret that never faded. Every time she saw the rose or the card, her mind went back to that week at their lake house in Michigan . . .
They had spent weeks preparing for this day, the day that almost everyone in the region could see their work. It meant the world to both of them. Callie and Mia were nothing alike; the two of them had nothing in common, and that would be an understatement. Other than being identical twins and loving art, with brown hair and green eyes, Callie and Mia were extremely hard to tell apart, until you talked to them, or unless you knew them. Callie was introverted and and shy, while Mia was very extroverted and outgoing. For them, most things were just friendly competition, except for when it came to art. Art was the only thing that was complete and absolute competition. To them, it was the world.
Sitting together, Mia and Callie worked on their own personal sketches, Callie sketched the tree, while Mia was painting the lake, which could just be seen through the trees. “Mmm . . .” Callie said tilting her head up to the sky, “I have missed this tree so much!” Throwing her arms around the trunk of the tree, she leaned her head against it and breathed in the smell of the grove and the lake. “I am going to win that art competition! This is going to be the best sketch ever!” Smiling to herself, Callie looked down at the drawing on her lap, and kept working.
“Honestly,” Mia said, turning to Callie with a smirk on her face, “I highly doubt that you are going to win, because I totally plan on winning!” Turning to get a better view of the lake, Mia continued her work. The sisters, backs to each other, convinced themselves that they would win the art competition.
“Thank you all for coming out here today,” The announcer said into the microphone. “We have some very talented artists, and I am so excited for you all to see their work!” With nervous expressions leading to strained smiles on their faces, Mia, Callie, and ten other artists their age stood on the stage, waiting for their art to be presented. “For about five minutes, we are going to let you all go out and look at all of these wonderful pieces of art. Please take a look!” With a sigh of relief, all the other artists walked around to look at their competitors work. “Alright everyone, the five minutes are up! Please take your seats right now, and we’ll get started with the awards!”
Quickly the noise died down, and the only sound was that of people shuffling to their seats very quickly. “In first place, we have Callie Whynningham! Congratulations Callie!” Trying to hide her excitement, Callie made her way to the stage, to receive her prize.
Glaring up at the stage, I hate you, echoed through Mia’s mind, and to make matters worse, Mia heard her name called next as runner up. Formulating a plan in her mind, Mia slowly walked up to the stage, and “tripped” into Callie’s drawing, and created a giant tear going directly down the middle. “Oops!” Mia cried in false sorrow, “I am so sorry Callie!” With a smile to herself, Mia took her place next to Callie, knowing that she had successfully ruined Callie’s special moment.
I hate you, thought Callie and tears filled her eyes as she glared at Mia from her place on the stage. Through the entire ceremony, Mia and Callie glared at each other from their opposite sides of the stage. War had officially begun.
From then on, between the two of them, everything was a competition. Who had the most friends, who was better friends with whom, which drawing or painting was better, and so forth. To them, it was a matter of life and death, making sure that the other paid for what they had done. “Yesterday, at art, Mr. Cansel said that I have amazing potential!” Mia boasted to Callie, “He also said that it doesn’t matter if I win or lose any art competitions, because there doesn’t need to be a trophy for me to know the value of my art!” With a satisfied smirk, Mia turned from Callie.
“Well at least,” Callie began carefully, “I’m not so insecure as to need someone to say that to me to feel good about what I do.” The smile now on her face, Callie walked away to the welcomed peace of her room. Arguments persisted between Callie and Mia, Callie usually coming out on top because of her patience, tolerance, and careful answers, but they only made Mia hate her more. Animosity grew on both sides, and eventually, Mia reached the breaking point.
“I hate you Callie! Why can’t I be an only child? I wish you were dead!” Throwing the words in Callie’s face, Mia stormed off in a huff, leaving Callie with tears pouring form her eyes.
“You don’t mean that,” Callie cried, just above a whisper, “you don’t mean that, and one day, you’ll regret saying that. I just know it.” Overwrought with sadness and anger, Callie disappeared into her room, and cried. She cried for hours upon hours, and nothing and nobody could console her, except for Mia. Mia was the one who had created the problem, and the only one who could fix it. But at that moment, Mia still believed every word she had said to Callie, and had no intention of apologizing. With despair growing in her heart, Callie decided to take matters into her own hands.
The next morning, Mia woke up with a pounding headache, bloodshot eyes, and a very upset stomach. I cannot believe that I was so mean to Callie! Mia thought with a groan, I’d better apologize . . . “Callie?” Mia said tentatively, softly knocking on her door, “Can you hear me? I’m so sorry about what I said, I didn’t mean it, I swear!” Still without an answer, Mia pushed open Callie’s door and walked through. “Callie, where are you?” Running out to the hall, Mia called out, “Mom, where’s Callie?”
“I don’t know!” Came the slightly muffled reply from the kitchen, “Does she have a place that she goes to when she’s sad, because she seemed really upset yesterday!” Thinking through the places that Callie went to, Mia’s mind finally landed on the grove of trees, and she made her way over as quickly as she could. When she finally reached the grove, she looked around, and could not see Callie anywhere.
“Callie?” Mia called into the air, “Where are you? I know you’re mad at me, but I’m really, really sorry! Please Callie!” Running around to the opposite side of the tree, Mia came to a complete stop when she registered what was there. “No, no, NO!” Mia exclaimed, “Not you Callie, not you!” To Mia’s horror, no reply would ever come. It was Callie, hanging from her favorite bough of the willow tree, a single red rose in her hand, and a card addressed to Mia. “MOM!” Mia screamed, “Come here now! Please!” With a sob, Mia landed at Callie’s feet and began to cry.
When she had mostly composed herself, she got up and took the rose and card from Callie’s hands, and tentatively opened the card and read the words, Congratulations, you got your wish. Reading them over and over, Mia began to cry again, wishing she had never spoken, next to her sister who would never speak again.
San Francisco, California
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