The Scanlon Sisters

Harold Cronin didn't pay much attention to the sexual innuendo and juvenile humor that surrounded the identical twin Scanlon Sisters when they first moved into the neighborhood Freshman year. Harold saw from the start that even though the two sisters looked alike, they definitely didn't think alike or act the same.

It didn't take Harold long to figure out that Ally was incredibly smart and disciplined and he liked having her as his new competition since he was among the smartest kids in the school.

Ally's sister Alexie was much more laid back and easy going in her nature than her sister, not interested in hitting the books or applying herself to her studies and quickly earning the reputation as a party girl.

Harold became naturally attracted to Ally because of her intelligence and after a year of competing and sparring against each other they began hanging out because they liked each other's intellectual company. They never formally announced their courtship - it just sort of happened.

Alexie liked to tease and flirt with Harold, mostly to annoy her much less humorous sister and to embarrass Harold. Harold learned to ignore Alexie's razzing although he was flattered by her attention.

The two sisters did look alike - they wore their long black hair in the same style and their features were the same. Ally sometimes wore glasses to accent her reputation as a brain master, but she really didn't need them. Harold didn't mind because he was half-blind and had to wear glasses and he liked looking intelligent next to Ally who mostly wore hers to differentiate herself from her much more outgoing sister.

Ally was insulted whenever she was confused with her sister. "I'm the serious one," she would remark.

"I'm the cool one," Alexie would counter with a laugh.

Harold liked that Ally was serious. He finally found a kindred spirit and while Alexie was out at parties and dances and other adventures, he and Ally were studying together in the library, attending poetry readings in town, or watching foreign art films at the trendy small theater over by Green College.

Ally was very neat and organized. She liked having routine to her life. Alexie rarely paid attention to that sort of discipline. Her bedroom was constantly a mess. She'd forge to do homework assignments and she was constantly misplacing items and belongings. She'd poke fun at Ally for having a system and writing everything down, including a giant white board in her bedroom that tracked virtually every moment of her daily activity.

Alexie was always adding stupid things to the white board to annoy her sister. "Four o'clock, take a dump," " 6:35, Look Out The Window," " 7:40, drink a glass of water."

It wasn't until junior year when kids started to talk about their collective GPA and potential college choices that Alexie realized that she might be behind most of the pack and that her future might not be as promising as Ally's and Harold's.

"Oh, so now you're finally going to get your head out of your ass?" Ally asked with annoyance. "Now that it's almost too late?"

But Harold took pity on Alexie's dilemma even if he couldn't resist the 'I told you so' lecture.

"If you had taken your education seriously before you wouldn't be panicking now," He told Alexie as the three sat in the kitchen after school one afternoon.

"Maybe I'm just destined to be a working girl," Alexie shrugged. "We can't all be brains like you and Ally, Hal." She was clearly being sarcastic.

. "You saw how enthusiastic I was about excelling with our studies while you were busy going out, goofing off with your friends and doing stupid stuff that had nothing to do with studying," Harold said critically.

"Is there anything you'd like to do besides go to college?" Ally wondered.

"I like to cook," Alexie replied. "Maybe I'll pursue the culinary arts."

"You'll still need a high school diploma to do that," Harold said.

"I'm not flunking out, Hal," Alexie said with annoyance. "I'm not that bad."

"You should have been much more serious and focused," Harold complained. "Like your sister."

"Don't you think my sister is boring?" Alexie asked.

"Your sister is very smart," Harold replied, throwing Ally a look of affection.

"Being smart doesn't make you interesting," Alexie countered.

"No, but it makes you successful," Ally replied.

"Excuse me while I go throw up," Alexie said, rolling her eyes as she stood from the table. 'I obviously don't rate being in your company," she added as she left the room.

Harold tried to say something but Ally held her hand up. "Let her go," she advised. "She's always so dramatic."

"I think we hurt her feelings," Harold worried.

"She's always hurting mine," Ally reasonred.

Ally was reading a book at the table while eating some Oreos with a glass of milk.

"Why I don't I go check and make sure she's okay?" Harold suggested.

"Suit yourself," a disinterested Ally replied.

Harold went upstairs. The door to Alexie's bedroom was open and she was lying on her stomach on her unmade bed. There were clothes strewn on the floor and her desk was a mess.

"Go away," Alexie said, not bothering to turn to see who was in the room.

"I'm sorry if I was condescending," Harold said as he cautiously stepped into her room.

Alexie glanced over her shoulder and made a face at him. "For a dweeb, you've got a lot of nerve telling me what a loser I am," she complained.

"I didn't say that," he said defensively.

"Because I'm not a loser," she said emphatically.

"I know that," Harold said gently.

"What do you care anyway?" She wanted to know.

"Look, Alexie," Harold said. "I've always thought highly of you."

"Don't you have something better to do?" She asked with annoyance. "Who are you to come in here and tell me I'm a loser?" Her tone was bitter.

"I've never said or thought that," he insisted.

"What is it, Harold?" She said with disgust. "I'm not in the mood to listen to your superiority."

"You probably think I'm the loser," Harold realized, taking a seat at the end of her bed and looking at her as she squinted at him over her shoulder with a menacing look on her face.

"What is your problem?" She wanted to know. "You're dating my sister. You're the smartest guy in the school. You have it made, right?"

"Is that what you think?"

"It obviously doesn't matter what I think," she said cynically. "You don't even think I think at all!"

"I don't think you thought much about school," Harold admitted.

"You want to become my mentor?" She asked sarcastically. "My tutor? You going to make me smart all of a sudden?"

"You are smart," Harold replied. "You just don't care."

"You and Ally look at life differently than I do," Alexie said, rolling onto her side and peering at him.

"True," he admitted.

"But you two are so wrapped up in your books and your IQ and your self-importance that you don't know how to have fun," she complained.

"We just believe in hard work and discipline to achieve success," he said.

"Are you through?" She asked with disgust. "You two really are of a one track outlook."

"Do you want to go to college?" Harold asked.

"Leave me alone," Alexie requested. "You'll think less of me no matter what I say anyway."

"Why don't you research some of the culinary arts schools?" Harold suggested as he stood from the bed. "See what the requirements are."

"Look, if you want to drill me with some of the SAT practice questions, that would be okay with me," Alexie said, softening some.

"I'd like to do that," Harold said cheerfully.

He re-joined Ally in the kitchen.

"Did she throw you out?" Ally wanted to know, not even looking up from her book.

"She's going to let us help her with her SAT preps," Harold proudly revealed.

"Oh, goodie," Ally sarcastically replied.