Content Warning: foul language, a derogatory term for homosexual, violence, slight blood. Please note, any derogatory terms used in this chapter are in no way reflective of the beliefs of the author.
Dear Diary, as unexpected as they were, when I had the twins, I dreamed of giving them everything I never had. If you remember the way I grew up, I was going to be giving them a whole lot because I didn’t have much. Not that I’m complaining. We had love and all the basics which is probably all a kid really needs. Materially, though, we were lacking much. The only thing I could really call my own on that little farm was a pair of rainboots. Everything else, I had to share with an abundance of siblings.
Because we grew up without modern conveniences, there was never much need for extras like piano or dance lessons. We had fun with community picnics that often broke out with music and dance, but nothing you’d ever find being broadcast professionally.
I wanted my kids to excel in these things I never had an opportunity to try. As soon as they were old enough, I enrolled Holden and Rosetta in dance. Rosetta seemed to take to it right away and even asked me once if she could go to class more often. Holden, on the other hand, was a quick learner and good at dance, however, he wasn’t nearly as interested as his sister.
There were many recitals over the years in which the children looked darling in their little costumes. Xalen and I encouraged them to continue with it all since they seemed to be good at it as well as the fact it provided good exercise and discipline. Xalen, as you can imagine, especially liked the discipline side of it.
Now that the twins were facing their first recital as teens, I was anxious to see what their lessons had accomplished. Over the years, Holden began complaining less and less about the classes whereas Rosetta began to say things like, “It’s so grueling,” and “I want time to read!”
I guess it goes to show how time can change things.
Finally, the night of their recital came and the high school gymnasium was packed solid. Rosetta and Holden were doing a paired number somewhere in the middle of the performances.
When they came out on stage, I gripped Xalen’s hand until my knuckles turned white. All I wanted was for them to do well without any slips or falls.
I didn’t need to worry, though. By the time they began their number, I realized there was nothing to be concerned about at all. They were graceful and poised, moving through the steps with a beautiful fluidity that only a dancer can manage.
Although she still had the coltish body of a teenager, Rosetta was graceful and delicate. Holden was strong and handsome, yet he maintained the dramatic charm required of the dance.
I admonished myself because I hadn’t expected them to be so good. Tears sprang to my eyes and I searched my bag for a tissue as I sniffled. Finally, Xalen put his arm around me and with his free hand, he provided me with a handkerchief. He gave my shoulder a little squeeze of encouragement as I dotted my bleary eyes with what he once told me “a gentleman should always carry.”
Looking up once again at my beautiful children, I was amazed all over again. They were growing up and had their own interests. Soon, there would probably be no more recitals and my heart grew heavy with that realization.
Holden’s POV, an excerpt from his personal journal:
… Chris was the brother I never had. I loved growing up with my cousin because it was like having a brother and best friend all in one. We did almost everything together and if one of our parents was looking for us, they knew once they caught one, they’d catch the other.
My twin sister Rosetta and I were close, too, but it wasn’t the same. I love her and everything but sometimes she can be a snoot. She likes to be alone a lot and someday, I wonder if she’s planning to take over the world or something. Me, on the other hand? I live for dance. I used to hate it, but now, it’s all I think about and want to do.
Someday, I’m going to dance professionally, on stage. Don’t get me wrong, the fame and money would be cool, I guess. What I really want, though, is to do what I love. Chris said I should tell my parents but I just can’t bring myself to do it. I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t understand. And my dad has this idea that I’ll join their secret society The Inheritance.
“We got trouble,” Christopher said, stopping in his tracks.
We were walking home from dance class (Chris likes to tag along even though he doesn’t dance) and making our usual cut through The Grind’s parking lot. There’s a gap in the fence that allows us to do this. Still, I think my parents would be mad if they knew we were sneaking behind a nightclub.
Chris was right, we’d walked through the gap in the fence and straight into trouble.
“Well, who do we have here?” Fletcher Klark said to his two ugly buddies.
All three grimaced at us like they were in the mob or something, not three juvenile delinquents near the dumpsters in a parking lot.
“It’s pretty boy,” one of the others said.
I never bothered to learn their names since we don’t go to school with them and when I have had the misfortune of running into them at the arcade, they’re just one of the rabble of henchmen types that like to hang around Fletcher and take mindless orders.
“Yeah, that’s right, the pretty boy from the dance recital,” Fletcher sneered, as if he didn’t already know.
I stared directly into his smug eyes, my voice as bored and emotionless as I could make it. “You were at the dance recital?”
Fletcher’s mouth twisted into a disgusted smirk, his voice dripping with disdain. “Yeah, I was watching my little sister, you fag!”
The two idiots with him cracked up, their ugly laughter echoing off the asphalt.
“You’re such a fag,” one of them jeered.
“Why? Because I actually do something with my time that’s important?” I testily asked.
“C’mon, let’s go,” Chris muttered, attempting to move past them.
“Oh no,” Fletcher said, “Did I hit a nerve with your friend? Is he your boyfriend?”
As if on cue, the two side-kicks laughed like that was the most hilarious thing they’d ever heard.
Chris grasped my arm, trying to propel me past them but my feet were planted.
“OMG,” Fletcher abruptly shouted as he squinted at me. “This sissy’s wearing eyeliner! I knew it! I knew he was a faggot!”
“Long, pretty hair, ballet, makeup,” one of the henchmen counted off on his fingers, “yep, gay af!”
“Don’t forget the best one,” Fletcher said with a snarl, “his partner is his sister! Did you see the way he was feeling her up during their routine? It’s so sick!”
I was trying so hard to stay calm, I think a blood vessel was about to burst in my forehead. I gripped my hands into fists at my side as the staredown continued.
“Seriously, let’s go,” Chris urgently said.
“Where is that hot piece of ass anyway?” Fletcher asked. “What’s her name? Rosie or something?”
That was what sent me over the edge. Before that, I’d been standing on the precipice and could have fallen either way. That was until he brought Rosetta into it. Suddenly, all I could see was red as this jerk puffed out his chest, just daring me to knock that smirk off his face.
Then, he put his hands on my chest and shoved me backward…
Rosetta’s POV, an excerpt from her personal journal:
… As soon as estúpido put his hands on my brother, I knew there were going to be fireworks. Holden honestly doesn’t have as much of a temper as me but as I stepped through the opening in the fence, I heard what was being said. Despite all our differences, we always stick up for each other. It’s true what I’ve read about blood being thicker than water.
Just as Holden looked like he was going to punch this dufus, I screamed and ran forward. I think this is what distracted my brother because instead of punching…
… he got punched. As I tried to reach him, two of the morons blocked Chris and me, holding us back. I saw my brother’s body lurch backward and pushed against the moron blocking me but to no avail. Twisting this way and that, I managed to see Holden hit his head on the stair railing before he hit the ground with a loud thud.
I screamed at the boys. I don’t remember anything I said, but I let them have it. Laughing, they sauntered away like nothing had happened.
Chris and I knelt next to Holden who tried to lift himself up on an elbow and then slid back down with a groan.
“We’d better call an ambulance and get our parents, too,” I said as I touched the back of Holden’s head. Sure enough, there was a growing bump where his skull had met the railing.
Chris pulled out his phone and Holden, who seemed a little better, hoisted himself back up on his elbow, knocking my hand away.
“I’m okay, I was just dizzy for a minute.”
I watched as Chris hesitated to dial. “Are you sure, man?”
Slowly, without our help, because he wouldn’t take it, he sat up and touched his bloody nose. “Damn.”
“Don’t worry, you’ll still be pretty,” Chris joked, offering his hand.
Holden groaned again, his lips curling into a slight smile, and accepted Chris’ help getting to his feet. I stood by helplessly, watching.
“You dumb kids get your asses outta here or I’m calling the cops! I’ve had enough of you boneheads hanging out here, causing trouble!” a man yelled from the club entrance. I suspected he was a bouncer because his muscles had muscles. Anyway, he looked like he meant business.
Before Holden could stop me, I hugged him tightly. We get mad at each other so easily, yet I wanted him to know how grateful I was he was all right.
He embraced me back briefly before gently pushing me away and muttering, “Cut it out. I said I’m okay.”
We must’ve lingered there longer than I thought because next thing I knew, a cop car showed up.
The officer said she’d never seen us before and when we told her our names and they didn’t come up in her database, she agreed to let us off with a warning. It was a long drive home, or so it seemed because I knew mother and father were not going to like this one bit. Already, I began to form arguments in my head.
Marty’s POV, the diary of the heir:
After arriving home from a fundraiser for the Arms of Love Orphanage, we realized almost immediately we were missing some children. Three to be exact. We didn’t have long to wait, however, because a nice police officer walked them up to the door and made sure Xalen and I knew what had happened. Or should I say, what the kids had told her.
Needless to say, I was very unhappy to see my son sporting a bloody nose and generally, looking unkempt.
“Well, goodnight, everyone, sorry we were out so late.”
Xalen blocked Holden’s escape up the stairs and said, “Wait just a moment. No one is going to bed until we have an explanation that is satisfactory.”
Holden’s shoulders slumped forward slightly and he avoided looking in his father’s eyes. I knew Rosetta would be speaking up any second now.
“It was the most bizarre thing, Father,” she said, right on cue. “You see, we were coming home from dance class and we took this shortcut.”
“Shortcut?” Xalen asked, his right eyebrow going up slightly.
“Uh, yessir. We’ve taken it countless times before and it’s never been a problem. But tonight, we had more than one contretemps before our night was over, as you can see.”
“Mmmhmm,” was all he said.
NOTE TO SELF: google “contretemps” ASAP so as to keep up with daughter!
“It wasn’t Holden’s fault,” Rosetta added.
Xalen turned his gaze to our son and stared at him for a few moments. “What do you have to say for yourself, young man?”
Holden tried to hide a smile when he answered, “I have no idea what she just said but I agree with her one hundred percent.”
Rosetta and Christopher stifled snorts of laughter as Xalen’s expression didn’t change. I myself had my own little smile to hide.
“Did you hurt anyone?” Xalen asked him.
“No sir, I was taken off guard.”
“That’s a good thing!”
“And you, Christopher, what would your mother say if she was home right now?”
The boy’s face grew serious once again as he regarded Xalen. “She would say it’s a good thing I didn’t get in a fight, sir.”
Xalen stood there, looking from one to the other.
Then his eyes met mine. “Don’t look at me,” I told him, “I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop.”
Sighing, he turned back to Holden. “Are you all right?”
“I don’t want you walking that way anymore.”
“Yessir,” he mumbled.
“You know, when you are working in The Inheritance, I will expect you to be more forthcoming.”
“With all due respect, sir, I will not be in The Inheritance. I’m going to be a dancer.”
My eyes grew wide at this unexpected turn in conversation and Xalen looked uncharacteristically like he was going to lose his mind.
To his credit, he kept his cool. “I do not understand. I thought you hated dance.”
“I hated it when I was seven. Honestly, if you talked to me more, you’d know how I live and breathe dance.”
Xalen looked like he’d been slapped in the face. “You don’t think I talk to you enough?”
Holden sighed and stared at his feet.
“You look at me right now and answer me.”
I could visibly see Holden take a few deep breaths before he obeyed his father. “Even when you talk to me, I can tell your mind is with some relic somewhere.”
Before Xalen could say anything, Rosetta stepped forward with a gracious smile, took his arm and said, “Father, perhaps we should get ready for bed. We’ve had quite an ordeal this evening and I think it’s making tempers run high.”
“Well, I suppose you are right,” Xalen said, patting her hand. “We’ll discuss this another time, Holden.”
As the children hurried upstairs, taking them two at a time, I turned toward my husband. We needed to have a talk.
A long talk.
Contretemps – 1. an inopportune or embarrassing occurrence or situation; 2. dispute or argument
The other thing I want to bring up is that we will be having an heir vote very, very soon! Whichever twin does not make the cut, will end up in my spin-off story called The Inheritance where they will be working with Xalen and Marty. I can’t wait to see who you want where!
As always, thank you for reading,