Girl Next Door
She is a cheerleader, I'm sitting in the stands
I get a little bit, she gets a little more
She's miss America, and I'm just the girl next door.
Being a twin can be hard, it's even harder when you are considered the "ugly twin".
My entire life I always felt as if I was in competition with my sister Kelsey. As identical as we looked, there always seemed to be this spotlight that shined on her that made her stand apart from me. We were never seen as the "McKellar twins", instead I was known as Karlyn, Kelsey McKellar's sister.
It honestly never used to bother me too much growing up. That is, until Devon Workhouser came into the picture.
Devon Workhouser moved next door when Kelsey and I were ten. I thought he was the most gorgeous thing I had ever seen. He had these adorable dimples on each cheek, thick brown hair, and these deep blue eyes I could get lost in. When I caught a glimpse of him from our living room window, I became almost too nervous to go over and greet him and his family.
It was my mom who had Kelsey and I go over with her to meet the Workhousers'. My mom brought over a blueberry pie and gave it to Devon's mom, Christine.
"Oh well isn't this a nice surprise! Thank you!" Christine smiled at my mom and as they exchanged pleasantries. "I'm Christine and this is my son Devon, my husband is in the house carrying some boxes in. Devon introduce yourself to our new neighbours!"
He came forward and shyly looked over to the three of us with his big blue eyes, "Hello," he said very softly.
"Hi! I'm Kelsey and this is my sister Karlyn! We're your neighbours!" Kelsey, ever the social butterfly, grabbed a hold of his hand and shook it enthusiastically. Devon looked surprised at first, and then his face grew into a smile as he looked at my twin sister.
After she was done I took my turn to shake his hand, "It's nice to meet you," I said just as softly as he had greeted us. He smiled at me and from the moment I touched his hand and had that smile directed at me, I knew I was hooked. I was in love with this boy.
I didn't realize this at the time, but Devon himself had fallen in love that day as well. It just wasn't with me.
By the time we had reached high school Devon and I had become best friends. My sister and I on the other hand became distant. By the time we reached junior year Kelsey had become a popular cheerleader, the one that everyone liked, while I was a member of band. Kelsey was the top of the pyramid, and I was a French horn player.
Kelsey also made herself look as different from me as possible. She dyed her hair, the hair that was naturally the same shade as my auburn locks, to bright blonde. When you looked at us, we looked like two people that shared the same face, with no other matching qualities. Kelsey liked high fashion; I had next to no fashion sense. Her hair was always well groomed, in a different hairstyle each day, the most I could do to my hair was bun or ponytail. Her nails were manicured, mine were chewed. She hung out with the popular crowd, I hung out with the artsy folk.
At least in those artsy folk was Devon. He wasn't a member of band like I was, but we took music theory together because Devon played guitar and I played drums. Now I know what you're thinking, drums are a far cry from French horn, well I like to be versatile. We had a garage band with some other friends from school; Meg, the keyboardist, Ryan, the lead singer, and Colin on bass.
Devon's place was where we usually had our practice, mostly because he had the most room. He was also the only one out of all of us that didn't have any siblings, and his parents worked a lot and were almost never home, so they were never bothered by the noise. It was at our band practice on the 8th of October, that I got the most soul crushing news of my pathetic high school life.
"Hey Karlyn," Ryan said, looking up from some lyrics that he had been reading over.
"Yeah?" I asked while fidgeting on my seat at the drum set waiting for practice to start.
"I heard your sister broke up with Wes the other day," he casually said. "That true?"
I let out a big sigh. Wes Goodman had been my sister Kelsey's boyfriend for the last four months. He was captain of the football team, so it had only made sense that a cheerleader like her would be dating him. "Yeah it's true, she broke up with him a couple days ago. She ate a pint of half baked to make herself feel better about it."
I chanced a glance over to Devon and saw his eyes get wider with interest. Crap. This was why I hadn't said anything as soon as it happened. I selfishly had wanted to prevent Devon from knowing for as long as I possibly could. I guess that was all of two days.
"Kelsey's single now?" the hope in his voice was unbearable.
"Hey look at that Dev, you might finally have a shot!" Colin piped up from tuning his bass guitar.
"Oh come on guys, don't encourage him, the last thing he wants to do is get her on the rebound, it'll never last if he's the rebound." Meg chastised them. She looked over at me and gave me small, sympathetic smile. She was my best friend, and the only person I had ever openly admitted to liking Devon to, although I'm pretty sure it was obvious to everyone except Devon.
When I looked over at Devon he had gotten a sad puppy dog look in his blue eyes, I almost couldn't stand to look at it. "You think I should wait? I've been wanting to ask her out for a long time. I thought if I played a song for her that I wrote on my guitar she'd agree. But if you don't think it's a good idea I guess I could wait…"
I wanted to scream that I should be the one he should be writing songs for but I bit my tongue, "Maybe you should-"
"Just got for it!" Colin and Ryan yelled in unison, cutting me off and overpowering my voice.
"Okay! I'm going to ask her out tonight!" he had this look of resolve on his face that I couldn't stand to look at so I looked away. "Maybe I'll pull a Say Anything and play it for her under her window, do you think she'd like it?"
"That's lame," Meg said flatly. I'm glad she said something because all I could think was that I wanted him to play the song under my window instead.
"So lame it's brilliant!" Colin chirped. Meg shot him a dirty look, which he ignored.
"Do it how ever you feel Dev, and just pray she likes it enough that she says yes. This is a popular cheerleader we're talking about," I wanted to kill Ryan in that moment. I wanted to kill both him and Colin for encouraging Dev to ask out my sister. My sister whom everyday I was extremely jealous of because she had Devon's love and had done nothing to earn it, while all I had was his friendship. God I was pathetic.
"Okay can we stop talking about Dev's love life for a little bit and actually get some practice in? I have a test tomorrow that I really need to study for," I may have spoken a little too harshly. No one seemed to be bothered by my tone though and picked up their instruments and we finally started to practice. I may have been using the drums to vent out my frustrations a little too much this practice.
I came home a couple hours later to find Kelsey sitting on the couch watching a movie on Netflix. I took a seat beside her and took a second to figure out which movie she was watching.
"Is this Say Anything?" I felt a lump forming in my throat.
Kelsey stretched her legs out a bit and sat them on the coffee table. "Yeah," she smiled. "Who doesn't like a young John Cusack? Plus the boom box scene is classic. Gotta love the 80's."
I swallowed the lump in my throat hard, "What would you do if a guy actually asked you out in that type of fashion?" I asked cautiously. If Devon went through with his idea, I was seriously scared now that it might actually catch Kelsey's attention.
Kelsey got a thoughtful look on her face. She was quiet for a little bit before she answered.
"Well I don't feel like I'm really that upset over that jerk Wes anymore, and I have always liked this scene…I think if a guy actually had the guts to do it, I'd actually give him a chance." I was afraid of that answer. "What about you?"
"Depends on who the guy was," I said quietly, there had only ever been one guy that I would want to do that for me, and he wants to do it for you. God I hated how bitter my thoughts were sometimes.
"Well I have to study for my chemistry test, I'll see you later." Kelsey said goodnight as I got up and walked upstairs to my room.
I was sitting at my desk; looking through my notes, furiously cramming when at 9 o'clock I heard it.
It was the sound of Devon's graceful fingers strumming his guitar, his smooth baritone voice drifting up from the ground outside. I guess I was a sucker for punishment because I couldn't stop myself from peaking out the window and watching him serenade the girl in the next room.
"And I'll swim the ocean for you
The ocean for you, whoa, oh Kelsey
And I'll swim the ocean for you
The ocean for you, whoa, oh Kelsey
I chanced a look at my sister who was leaning out her window with a big smile on her face. She looked over and saw me looking at her and gestured to what was going on in front of us, in our backyard. I sent her a hesitant smile and turned to look at the boy I was in love with standing on our front lawn. He didn't even notice me. He was focused on Kelsey, and Kelsey only. I couldn't take it anymore and closed my window and went back to studying, trying my hardest to ignore what was happening. My worst nightmare was coming true.
The next morning I found out they were a couple. Life was so unfair.
A/N the song is actually lyrics to Kelsey by Metro Station.