All through the day, I had seen my best friend in a bad mood – I had come to know her after a few years of experience, and I knew that the way she looked, the way she talked, the way she walked, belonged to that mood, that awful mood.
She was sleeping over at my place, with the spare bed in my room, of course. We had gone to the zoo all day, and she just withdrew herself all through the visit, not looking for contact with anyone. When it was eleven o'clock, Cindy asked me if I wanted to go to bed – I was quite happy with that decision, and we went to bed together not soon afterwards.
It was only there that Cindy started crying, and I couldn't do much except for patting her uncomfortably on the shoulder – I hated to see her cry.
"How long has it been?" I asked: Cindy swallowed before she answered."Seven months. Seven months since that horrible, horrible day, and I thought I'd be over it by now… but I'm wrong," she said, and I heard her cry a little again.
"I wish I could tell you I knew what it felt like, but… I can't." I said.
"You don't want to know this," Cindy responded, and she shook her head. "Be glad. I'm still not over it."
"It's been great," Cindy said, swallowing away her tears. "You, Marisa, have been a very good friend to me for those past seven months… but I just want the crying to be over… and Max's been great to me too, but I just…"
"You can't remain sad and keep crying forever, I understand."
"Uh-huh," Cindy responded. "And I hoped a private conversation about anything – anything – would help me set my mind off the problem."
"What do you want to talk about, then?" I said, my head leaning on my hand, looking at Cindy, interested. "You get to pick the subject."
Cindy rolled over so she wasn't lying on her back anymore, and responded, her head leaning on her hands.
"You remember your very first day at choir?"
I remember that day to this point in time. Sure, not all the details are correct anymore, but I remember the most.
It was two years before Cindy came over to sleep at my home, and my twin sister named Gabriëlla and I were standing in the doorway of the room, which was a bit café-like, watching all the other choir-singers get along.
The teacher would come later: we had met her before, and she told us she always came too late, so we had to socialize as much as possible with the others, until she'd arrive. She was always too late, everywhere.
Gabriëlla made the first step to the others, and immediately seemed to blend in with the crowd. Of course, that was Gabriëlla. My fraternal twin sister was always the most social one of us: I've always been the more shy one of the two.
She walked back, though, and spoke to me in a very silent tone, almost whispering.
"I don't want you to remain standing here, Marisa, but I'm not going to be the one making you socialize. I'm not your babysitter."
"Good, 'cause I don't need one," I retorted. "I can do just fine on my own."
"Somehow, I doubt that."
"Now, that's what we call sisterly love," I heard Cindy sigh. "I never liked Gabriëlla that much anyway."
"Then you're wrong," I shrugged. "She's a good girl, and I'm proud that she's my twin sister. She's just more dominant, and she can be a bit easily angered sometimes."
"Who's the oldest one of you two? She, I guess?"
"No," I shook my head and laughed. "I am. That's what I call turning around of stereotypes," I said and smiled. "But, let's continue…"
I saw Gaby blending in with the rest of the crowd, while I chose a nice bit of wall to lean against instead: I usually did, and I leaned against that wall with my hands in my pockets, not paying attention to anyone around me.
"The shy one, huh?" I heard next to me and I jerked my head around immediately to look at whoever had been speaking to me – I saw a black-haired guy, wearing a light-brown shirt and blue jeans, looking back at me, offering me his hand to shake. I shyly accepted it.
"Max," he said, and I smiled at him.
"Marisa," I replied.
"That's your sister?" He asked and gestured at Gabriëlla.
"Twin sister, actually," I said.
"Wow, really? You don't look alike at all."
"Nope, we don't," I replied, shrugging: it wasn't the first time I heard this response. "We're fraternal."
"Ah, and you've come to join the choir?"
"Yup. Mostly because my sister felt she needed a pastime, and since my mum felt I needed a hobby too, I was forced to come with her. I'm not sure if I'm into this, I don't sing that often."
"Hm-hm," Max responded. "Well, I'm glad you're here, the choir can certainly use some new blood," he said, and smiled. "This is my best friend, Cindy," he said, and gestured at me to come closer: I shook hands with the girl. "She's very nice, very pretty and very cute, just like you." The blonde girl shook her head and gave Max a stab in the side.
"It's very nice to meet you," she said to me, and we shook hands.
"I'm still annoyed at his flirting behaviour," Cindy said. I just shrugged.
"You're annoyed easily, aren't you?" I said, mildly amused.
"Can't help that," she said, and now, she shrugged.
"Still, it's all just make-believe, that flirting of his, he's mostly trying to hide his insecurity that way. Through all his life…"
"…He has kissed only one girl, and he's got four sisters. I know, I know him too."
"So you know that there's not much wrong with him after all."
"Yeah, I do. But… you haven't told me everything, have you?" She asked, and grinned. I shrugged.
"If you really must know…"
The teacher finally walked in and I recognized her face immediately. Why shouldn't I? She was Samantha Chantale, a good friend of the family, and the mother of a good friend of mine, Kayleigh.
"Right, class! Everyone, get on your spots, we're going to sing today!" Everyone immediately went to the places they knew, while Gaby and I just looked at the teacher, a bit helplessly. We'd sung with her previously, so she knew our voices: she knew where we could probably best stand, but hadn't told us yet.
"Gaby, can you stand in the front row, in the middle? Marisa, I want you to stand on the left, next to Eric, that blonde guy." We both did as we were told.
"Nice to meet you," Eric whispered, and we shook hands.
"Nice to meet you too. You're Eric?" I asked.
"Uh-huh. And you are?"
"Marisa," I whispered back, turning around so I could face the teacher.
"Nice to meet you, Marisa."
"Likewise," I grinned.
"He seemed like such a nice guy at the time," I sighed. "But oh, how wrong I turned out to be about him. He just double-crossed me as if I was a dumb blonde, or a stupid toy. I still hate him, and I don't know what got into me at the time."
"Yeah, well, we've all got our problems," Cindy replied as she turned back around, to her back, facing the ceiling.
"How are yours?" I enquired.
"Getting better," Cindy responded. "But let's just keep talking, shall we?"
"Sure," I replied. "What else do you want to know?"
Author's Note: And that introduces the Gabriëlla-and-Marisa-story I've been hinting at during Rooting for Romance! To everyone who hasn't read that story: don't worry, this story has been written so that it can be read independantly. It functions as a sequel - of sorts - to Rooting for Romance, but you don't have to read Rooting for Romance to keep track of this story.
I have a confession to make to everyone who has read Rooting for Romance, though. In the Author's Note of the epilogue, I told you all characters except a handful would appear in this story. However, when I wrote that, I had an entirely different version of this story in mind, a much less exciting one. I had to rewrite the entire story to be satisfied, and therefore, a few more characters haven't made it into this story. You'll find out which ones soon enough.
And to everyone: there are three twists in this story! I'm already hinting a bit at them here, but you'll find out more about them as the story progresses. I challenge everyone: find the twists before I post them by paying attention and post them in a review. Two twists will be plot-related, the other one... not so much. And that's all I'm going to give away, for now.
I am going to post the next chapter of this story next Sunday: I hope I got you a bit curious! Please review, all reviews are returned, and I'll see you then!