Note to All Readers: Jamie Lynn Jackson is a real person, and a good friend of mine, and the beginning of this story is adapted from her diary- with her consent- and almost all of this story is based on this summer's happenings, though the ending, obviously, is of my making, though I have a very strong belief that it will be what happens. So, though mostly non- fiction, this story is still to be regarded as fiction. (You may see my name in here a few times (Rebecca/Becca (yup, that crazy person is me)), but those are only in the parts from her diary, and I quoted them word for word. Sorry if you know me and that bothers you.)

Their Two Faces

Rebecca Jones

Chapter One

I guess, in truth, it started when I was twelve, and my father moved our family from a small town near New York to a slightly larger, though sleepier, town called South Bend. I was rather upset about moving, but sucked it up, as I do most things, and let live. In the end, I was very thankful that had happened. Because that move is what brought me to Kelly and Elisa, the two people really responsible for my life's happiness.

Elisa had known my parents since they were in college- in fact, I think she had roomed with my mother for a semester- but I had never met her. Not until the day my mother's car broke down on the way to my swim practice and a lady rode by, her jet black curls billowing about her, her bright green eyes seeming to look through us, past us, as though we weren't important enough to see. But she did happen to spot us, and she stopped, a wide grin on her face, opening her arms up for my mother to run into.

I stood at the car, my eyebrows raised, wondering why in the world my mother was embracing this complete stranger, this witchy-looking lady whom I know I would have remembered seeing, I had never seen her before.

They let go of each other and the lady looked at me, smiling widely with bright, shiny white teeth. "This is?"

My mother smiled, grabbing my arm and beckoning me forward. "This is my daughter, Jamie. My oldest."

I grimaced. "Yes, I have two lovely brothers."

The lady laughed, looking me over. "So you did end up with Corey?"

I looked at my mother, whose brow was furrowed as she regarded the lady. Witch woman smiled and pointed at my face. "She has his eyes. I'd know them anywhere."

Before I had time to respond to this rather ridiculous remark, seeing as I had two different colored eyes, one my father's nut brown, the other my mother's perfect blue, she had laughed, and said, "Well, one of them at least. Tell me child, what is it like having two different colored eyes?"

I rolled my eyes, the question that had been haunting me since the day I could talk, being spoken yet again. "It's just like having two of the same colored eyes, I would imagine, except that when you look in the mirror, you see one blue and one brown."

She laughed again, and I began to wonder if she did anything but laugh and smile. "Oh, Julie, she's precious! Now, do you need a ride somewhere?"

My mother smiled at me and nodded. "To swim practice, at the South Bend Country Club."

And as she ushered me into the car, I managed to get the question that had been nagging me across in a very secretive manner, though I think witch woman heard, because she looked back at me and smiled, though she might have just done that because it's all she really did. I might never know. But in any case, I whispered in my mother's ear, "Who is this woman?"

"She's Elisa Cothers, one of my best friends from college-"

She would have continued, but my mouth had dropped momentarily, then I had managed, "That is Elisa?" My mother smiled slyly and nodded, and I sat down, shaking my head, shocked. This annoyingly cheerful, strange looking, though beautiful, seemingly in her late twenties/ early thirties, this person was the Elisa Cothers whom my mother had been corresponding with as long as I could remember? The letters they wrote back and forth had always seemed so dull, mainly about politics and the terror of growing old. I looked at my mother with her thinning gray hair, her rapidly increasing wrinkles, her sunken and worn eyes- she looked every bit the fifty six she was, maybe even more, but the lady sitting next to her, with dark, glossy curls, healthy, pale, blemish less skin, wild and lively green eyes- she was fifty six as well? And she had written countless letters crying about growing old?

Silently I prayed that I would age like Elisa. Be just like Elisa, forever young. But as the year slowly made its way into winter, aging like Elisa became the only thing I wanted to copy her in. My mother and father had married just out of college, had tried to have children for eight years, then divorced at age thirty, my mother's depression too much for my father to handle. Three years later, they stared dating again, taking things slowly, working past hurts and hates away, filling gaps with all that had been missing in the past. Finally, at thirty five, they remarried, and they both saw counseling for three years before they were ready to begin trying to have children again. My mother was thirty eight then, too old, in most eyes, to even attempt having children. But it would be five years before the dream she had held so dear finally came to be. When she had me, she was forty three, and she had my brother Dennis two years later, then little Corey nine months after that. Some called her crazy for not adopting, for waiting until it was almost too late. I was thankful, very thankful, she had continued insisting on having her own children. But some people, I realized, should never, ever, breed their own children.

Elisa was one of them. She'd grown up with a dream of being a doctor, and getting rich, marrying a millionaire, and living a life of ease. She ended up dropping out of medical school after she had an affair with one of her professors and was pregnant with his kid, unwilling to abort the child- the only thing I admired in her- and unable to continue with her studies while she had the baby to worry about. She dated for a long time, some relationships lasting years, some, days. But she never did get married. Guys she would have had a chance with tended not to appreciate that she got pregnant with other men's children while she was dating them. In all she had seven children, no husband, a crappy job, and the body, attitude, and sexual appetite, of a twenty eight year old woman. Her youngest, Kelly, was a year older than me, but the same grade in school, since Elisa, with her hectic life as a single mother of seven who couldn't sit still for ten minutes, thus unable to hold a job, had forgotten her youngest daughter's age and enrolled her in kindergarten a year late.

This, too, I would be thankful for in the end, though Kelly herself was forever grumbling and complaining about it. It was about this time, when Kelly and I became fast friends, and Elisa began her next affair- with a married man no less (apparently marriage was no longer her goal)- things began to happen, things that changed my life forever.