Jessica Wakefield, 27 left her therapist’s office with a spring in her step. Maybe it was the California evening breeze gently tousling her sun drenched blonde hair, or maybe it was the Prozac, but she hadn’t felt this happy in years.
Reapplying her clotty period blood red lipstick in the rearview mirror of her fiat Punto she tried to recall what had put her in such a bad mood in the first place.
Oh yes, she thought to herself, running a perfectly manicured hand through her sun caressed hair, my deeply traumatic childhood. She was about to have a flashback, but in a piece of expert timing her iPhone rang. Her ringtone, “Moves like Jagger,” blasted out as she rummaged through the mess of her bag, because she’s really ditzy and unorganised, for the piece of modern technology. It was Elizabeth Wakefield. Her twin sister.
“What’s up sis?” She said breezily, snapping out of her near flashback mood.
“Not much, are you still coming to dinner tonight?” She asked.
“Yes,” Jessica replied sulkily. “I did remember.”
Why did Elizabeth have to treat her like such a baby? Just because she was two minutes older, she thought she had the right to treat Jessica like a child. GAWD.
“Just checking, see you in fifteen.” Elizabeth said in her voice.
At least she’s not a robot, Jessica thought, but she stuck her tongue out at the phone anyway for good measure. But she also felt guilt. So much guilt about what had happened in the fire. Oh if only Elizabeth knew, she thought, she wouldn’t talk to me at all. She was about to go into another one of her patented flashbacks, when she remembered her finance’s penis, and how lovely it was.
“Stop thinking negative Jessica Mavis Wakefield,” she told herself as she started the car. “Especially not when you have a hot man to go to.”
At that moment former class clown, now cult leader, Winston Egbert strolled past. He thought about knocking on the window to say hi, but then he realised he hated Jessica and she was one crazy bitch, so he just carried on with his life. Because he wasn’t dead. HE WASN’T DEAD YOU HEAR ME. He is breathing and well in my version of Sweet Valley: The Reunion, not Francine “I never actually write these books, some ghost writer does, so therefore I don’t really know or understand the characters AT ALL,” Pascal’s shitty version.
Winston thought how nice it was to be alive, whistled a little tune to himself and picked some imaginary lint of his white robes as he watched Jessica zoom away.
Jessica thought about the last ten years of her life as she drove to La Rue de France, a quaint Moroccan place in the centre of Sweet Valley. After all the proms, murders, failed marriages, car accidents, rapes, near rapes, shootings, drugs, spiked punches, cults, alcohol problems, hijacked cruises, divorces, helicopter explosions, racist attacks, investigative journalism, rigged elections, anorexia and doppel ganger lesbiasm her and her friends had endured throughout school and university it was a wonder any of them were still sane. Or alive.
Well, Jessica reminded herself, they aren’t all alive. Bruce Willis and Lila Robertson died in that fire. She frowned. Apart from that, things had gotten quiet around here. Sure she had to have therapy twice a week, take four different kinds of drugs to stop the flashbacks, and tie herself down at night but it could be worse. And at least she wasn’t barren.
Unlike Elizabeth. Poor barren Elizabeth, she thought to herself as she turned left down main street. Elizabeth Wakefield, her twin and best friend had longed for nothing more than a child with her husband and high school sweetheart Todd, but sadly Elizabeths eggs had all exploded in the fire.
Jessica got out the car, stretching her long trim legs and congratulating herself on looking so hot in her python leggings. She checked herself out in the mirror. Yep, she thought, I still have an oval face, green eyes, long blonde hair and a size 6 figure. Good for me.
She entered the chic restaurant, intimately lit with candles and flashlights, to find her fiancé Barry already waiting for her. Her face lit up as soon as she spied him across the room, and she felt a shiver in her groin (which was haunted by a ghost) as she contemplated his strong jaw and rock hard abs. He should have worn a t shirt, it being a family restaurant, but she liked the view. She still couldn’t believe she hadn’t noticed him in all her years at school, university, or at family gatherings.
“Hi cousin!” She said lightheartedly as she approached him.
He hugged her warmly, but said sternly “you know I don’t like being reminded of our close genealogy,” and they sat down opposite each other.
“How long can our parents stay mad! I mean really,” she said, popping another pill and running a fork through her sun fondled hair. Barry eyed the pills suspiciously, and opened his mouth to say something but in a piece of good timing her sister arrived with Todd.
Jessica still marvelled at how Elizabeth could be so happy with reliable boring old Todd Wilkins. She was practically floating as she led him across, the room, but to Jessica he was as exciting as a turd. But, he would have to do, as they were double dating tonight, and hopefully indulging in a fourway later.
“Hey Sis, hows your womb? Still an empty husk?” Jessica joked when she got to the table.
Elizabeth offered a stiff laugh, but soon saw the funny side too and before long they were all laughing at her infertility. After all, she couldn’t stay mad at Jess for long.
Liz marvelled yet again at how similar they looked, it’s like she couldn’t get the concept of them being twins into her head no matter how hard she tried. She then marvelled as what different personalities they had, as if she couldn’t get the idea of relatives, although identical in nature, having differences in their approaches to life and thoughts. She shook her head, and Todd pulled out the chair for her, smiling as he realised how lovely her face was.
Elizabeth Wakefield, 27, was a full time housewife. She never became a writer, or a journalist, or got a big break. She made Todd egg and steak every morning before he went to his job as a quantity surveyor, then crocheted jumpers for orphans whilst watching old re runs of threes company. It made her happy. She wasn’t going to do anything else, learn new lessons or grab hold of life. She liked to drink though. That was her only vice. And the gambling. And the meth.
As the waiter came around to grab their orders, Elizabeth ordered a bottle of single malt Irish whisky and one glass. Todd shot her a look, but in a piece of good timing, Jessica ordered an eight ball of cocaine from her dealer on the phone. Todd and Brian shot each other looks, and then both burst into laughter.
“To the Wakefield girls,” Brian toasted, and the twins blushed as the men began to compare tiling techniques.
“Are you going to moms birthday party?” Liz asked Jess after they had eaten. Liz and Jess were both fucked, with half a bottle of whisky gone, and blood dripping out of both their noses due to the rough cut of the coke.
“No way,” Jess said, but her heart ached. She desperately wanted to go to her mum’s birthday, but since her and Brian announced their engagement, they had both been disowned.
She remembered the night they told the family. It was a Thursday and Brian and Jessica had gathered their entire family and group of friends around a fire in order to tell them the good news. But it had not gone down well. No one even knew they were dating, so the engagement came as a bit of a shock. “It’s not right!” her mother, Alice Wakefield, had screamed as she chased Jessica down the street waving the arm she lost in the Iraq war at her. She tried to explain to her mother that the heart wants what it wants, but Alice’s robotic arm had clamped its fingers over her mouth, and she couldn’t speak. It was meant to be a night of celebration but instead it was a night of despair. And revenge. Jessica could still feel the heat of the flames from the burning house…the match in her hand… the petrol can at her feet… the lighter in her other hand… the flame thrower on her back…
She pulled herself out her expositionary flashback, popped another pill, and focused on Elizabeth.
Liz looked sympathetically at Jessica, and handed her a napkin before taking her hand. “Come with me.” she offered. “Be my guest.”
“No,” Jessica said stubbornly, and Elizabeth recognised her tone. It meant she would not budge anytime soon. Elizabeth marvelled at how stubborn Jess could be, and briefly contemplated her own insignificance in the universe before reminding herself how much better then everyone she was. She wouldn’t even let Todd cum inside her. He had to go in a designated bucket. Maybe that’s why she wasn’t pregnant yet? Nah, she thought, cum is made of Satans hair gel.
After Jessica had composed herself, she made sure Barry and Todd were still talking about sports, before leaning in and whispering, “But I do have to tell you something.”
“What,” said Elizabeth, leaning in as well, her hair catching fire on the candle. She politely put it out, but the smell of burnt hair lingered.
They both suddenly imagined themselves as slices of pizza.
“Tell me,” said Elizabeth, snapping out of her pizza imaginings, and suddenly noticing how anxious Jess looked.
“I’m pregnant,” Jessica announced, before lighting up a cigarette and doing an Irish car bomb.
Elizabeth felt her empty womb sink. She tried to smile, but she couldn’t. Jessica? Pregnant? That was so unfair! With all the medication she was on, the five abortions she had had, and the gypsy curse on her bloodline? How could she get pregnant?
“Congratulations,” she whispered through a forced smile, but she was trying not to cry.
“You’re not mad,” Jessica said, frowning loads.
“Why would I be?” Liz replied, twisting a napkin in her fingers and stabbing her leg with a fork.
“Because you’re never going to be mother, and I hate kids and don’t want any, and I am about to have a child with my cousin, so….” Jessica pointed out.
“But I’m about to be aunt!” Elizabeth said, suddenly seeing the bright side. Sure it sucked that her selfish incestuous sister was pregnant, but she could help raise the child, pretend it was her own and kidnap it one day. That bought her some comfort and she put down the tattered napkin and squeezed Jessica’s hand in support.
Jessica breathed a sigh of relief. She had been so worried about telling Elizabeth, but she had been the first person she wanted to tell ever since she noticed her period was late. Suddenly a flashback threatened to engulf her but she felt Barrys webbed fingers on her shoulder, rubbing her reassuringly, and she was back in the room. She popped another pill, they paid the bill and all walked to the car park together.
They stood by their cars, and hugged each other goodbye. Todd, a deaf mute, was too tired for a fourway, and besides, had to get up early to survey some quantity’s. But everyone was in such a good mood, and had had such a lovely time, and Jessica was high on pills, life and booze that she decided it was time to tell Elizabeth the truth. After all, she couldn’t be mad a pregnant woman? Could she? As she hugged her sister farewell, she whispered to her.
“I started that fire which burnt down our mom’s house after she rejected me after I announced my engagement, killing Lila, Bruce, Enid and everyone else we know and causing all your eggs to combust like a poached egg in a microwave. SOZCOPTER!”
She didn’t check to see Elizabeth’s reaction, as she was sure she wouldn’t care. Instead she got into the car next to Brian Barry and they rode off into the sunset despite it being night.
The next day Jessica Wakefields mutilated body was found in a hayfield, and Elizabeth Wakefield was never seen again.