As we leave the burbling waterfall and sort, green grass in the clearing I see Mo touch her scar. In an instant I can tell what she's thinking about. Her life. My life. It happens every day, times when she just get's quiet all of the sudden. I feel my fingers tingling, urging me to touch my own. The memory of Frisca lashing the knife into my neck frightens me. While I was only four then, I can still remember it as clearly as if it was just yesterday. The stinging pain that can not be described through words, the lake of blood by my head. Her toothy smile, the bobbing head. It's all like a vivid dream, only it's all real. Only it's not like a dream, it's a living nightmare. And at every turn I'm haunted by the faces. An old lady with her same hair, a little girl with high cheekbones like hers, everywhere I look I can see her. And while I could never admit this, even in Mo I can see her eyes. The exact same neon green eyes. But not the exact same. No, Frisca's are cold, like a tunnel that never ends, darkening with every step. Mo's are electric, filled with life, sparkling with mischief. Not dull and empty like Frisca. This is why Mo is like my provider, she's always there when I need her. Mentally. Physically, I can fend for myself, I can take on a full grown adult if necessary, and be invisible on sight. Mo can do the exact same thing, but she's more reckless, too eager to jump into battle, and I too shy. This is why we work beautifully together, we equal each other out. The teachers at Maple High don't mind us always being partners, the neighborhood mothers don't find it strange that we almost live together (well, we do, but they don't know that. The tree house is practically invisible if you don't know it's there)
Quickly I brush the thought away and speed up. "Come on Mo!" I cartwheel on the path, getting my recently freshened hands dirty. Figures. Wen Mo doesn't keep at my pace I jog on, facing forwards. "Come on Mo. We've got to get to school on time." Mo grins. "Yeah. And since when have you cared about school?' But she speeds up, mimicking my cartwheel. When we're at equal pace, she suddenly starts forwards. "Race you!" I don't wait a second before chasing afterwards. It's become another never ending game for us. We've never truly beaten one another, it always ends in a perfect tie. Which means that now Mo has a 3 second head start so far. Not good. Quickening my pace I begin sprinting. The ground becomes a blur or green, brown and peach and the trees blend into the sky. I pass Mo by a hair before I can sense her getting faster besides me, backpack trying to keep up with her, thumping her painfully on the back. We pass three students, staring at us as we almost spin them a full circle. My own pack tightens against my neck, whacking my side, flopping against my back. Finally the school comes into sight, it's shiny orange letters spelling MAPLE HIGH glitter in the pink and red sky. "The bench?' Mo gasps out, I don't bother to nod before changing direction, and tightening my muscles to get there before her. My hair flies out from behind me, my fists clenched in a determined stance. Mo's neck strains to get there before me, and… We tie. I slump down on the hard golden bench, leaning my head back against the table. My hands automatically run through the wavy mass of short black hair that have been swept to the back of my head, back to their usual place in front of my face. Already recovering I take in a deep breath and roll my head around. Mo's normally neat curly hair has been blown out of it's ponytail, messed up and tangled. She closes her eyes, then turns her unseeing face towards me. "I won." Half smiling I shake my head. "No. No you didn't." She opens one. "And I suppose you did?" I raise both eyebrows and tap on her head. "Nope. Duh, course I didn't." She opens one of her eyes, revealing those shockingly green eyes, and I don't think of Frisca. Until I think of not thinking of Frisca. As I sigh she speaks. "Well, then I win. Because if you don't win someone needs to, and that someone's going to be me," I frown. "No. It's a tie." she opens the other. "Right. Well, I'm sick of having a bunch of ties, and eventually someone is going to win. That someone will be me." Sitting up I shake my head roughly around, fully aware of the fact that I whip Mo in the process. "Too bad. It was a tie. It's always a tie." Mo holds in a breath creating a bubble in one of her cheeks. "Hermp." Yes, she actually said, "Hermp." I stand and swing my backpack over my shoulder. "Let's go."
Two identical twins- Simon and Kim walk past. "Hey Mo." They don't speak to me. I can tell them apart- Kim has two dots at the bottom of her neck and is generally more talkative. They resume walking on, chattering about how they failed the English essay. She waves then turns back to me. It comes suddenly, a random strike of surprise. "Do you ever hate it?" It takes me a few minutes to wrap my mind about it. "Hate what?" I say, but as soon as she says it I know what she's talking about. "Being… invisible." She blurts out. The twins have reached the door, unaware that I remain standing there. I look at Mo out of the corner of my eye, curling the sides of my lips. "No, Mo. I don't really hate it." She lifts her chin up a notch. "Yes, but have you ever noticed… Well, we look close to identical." I flicker my eyebrows- a short up before putting back that calm uncaring face back in place. "Yes?" I prompt. "The same height, same weight, same age, same eye shape, hair color, skin color. Everything." She opens her mouth to continue, but doesn't get a word out before I interrupt. "Same rash when eating pineapple, same love for art and gymnastics, same eyebrows, same cheekbones, same finger shape, same love for animals. Everything, BUT," She continues my sentence, "eye color." She blinks. "You do think about it." My eyes are icy blue, electric, and hers a close to neon color. It comes out softer then most of the things she says. Not with the same ferocity or courage. No, this time she sounds so… depressed. Defeated. "Everything," It's barely a whisper. "Py. See Kim and Simon? They're identical, and yet people tell them apart through the two dot's that Kim has at the base of her neck. But you… except for our eyes, we're identical, and yet no one ever mistakes you for me, because they don't even ACKNOWLEDGE you. And yet… people notice me. They wave in the halls. People like," she nods toward Kim and Simon's retreating forms. "say hi when they see you, and yet they ignore you entirely." I give a slight shrug. I am most certainly not liking where this is going. "Mo...why are you talking about this?" Eye contact at last. "Py. We could be twins for all you know. Identical. We don't know." I look down. "But Mo. I think about it too you know. Frisca may be my Mom, but who's my Dad. And Joe is your Dad, but who's your Mom. We have Frisca's tininess and hair and you have her eyes. Joe's freckles, his round fingers, and I HIS eyes. So. What." I spit the last two words out with such strength that Mo is leaning away from me. I don't realize that we've stopped. We both loosen up a bit, then relax. "I'm sorry." In unison. After I say that, I realize that it's the last bit of information that I've been holding out from Mo. People are making wide circles away from us, and teachers are rushing kids inside, yelling, "HEY! KIDS!" at the top of their lungs. "SANDY! DROP THE BALL AND GET TO ENGLISH!" I roll my shoulders, then my eyes, and shift up my backpack. Mo mimics my move, then grins. "Let's go."