Holden’s POV, an excerpt from his personal journal:
For me, stretching was where it was at. I loved how strong and flexible my body was. It felt the best, though, when I lowered my forehead to my straight legs and pointed my toes. I could feel the muscles sliding against each other and I imagined ropes and pullies moving smoothly into place.
While other kids were probably drinking and getting into the kind of trouble I hear teenagers do, I worshiped my best asset. There was no way I was going to muck up my chances of dancing professionally by doing anything stupid. My dance instructors told me more than once over the years that to make it, you have to really want it.
It wouldn’t be easy, I knew. Every performer started at the bottom, paying their dues when, hopefully, one day, their big break would come.
Standing, I did some barre stretches. Again, it felt so good. My body was getting stronger every day, my jumps higher, my turns quicker. My ultimate goal was a muscular, but not bulky, physique. Once I was accepted into the Royal School of Dance, I would be training six to seven hours a day and a lot of that would be lifting ballerinas. I was pretty sure this would also improve my build. It sure wouldn’t hurt.
When we were old enough, Rosetta and I began attending different dance classes. At the time, I was quite distraught at being separated from my twin. I didn’t want to continue and all I did was complain.
Finally, after this had gone on for some time, it was explained to me that male and female ballet dancers focus on different aspects and, therefore, Rosetta and I could not continue together until later. Even with this explanation, I found it hard to continue. It wasn’t until we compared notes about our classes and Rosetta told me her classes consisted of learning pointe techniques, focusing on soft upper body movements and flexibility that I understood how much better my classes were!
My instructors concentrated on different turn varieties, muscle strength and soaring jumps. I know I’ve already said it, but from the beginning, I liked learning how to jump properly. It felt like I could fly. When I felt my muscles working, the feeling of strength in my body made me invincible.
“Why are you just standing there?” Rosetta asked, making me jump slightly because I didn’t know she was watching me.
“I just finished my cooldown,” I mumbled.
“Dreaming of ballet,” she teased, wrinkling her nose.
“Pretty much,” I said as my cheeks flamed red.
“Mother and Father will be joining us any moment,” she said as she took a seat, folding her hands primly in her lap. “You don’t have time for a shower.”
Frowning, I dried my face off as best I could with a towel. “Are you sure? It wouldn’t take me but a minute – ”
Rolling her eyes, she firmly interrupted me, ” – There’s no time, you’re just going to have to deal with it. Put your OCD tendencies away for a half hour while they’re here.”
“I don’t have OCD,” I grumbled, flopping down next to her.
“You’ve never been diagnosed, true. You certainly do meet up with a lot of the characteristics, though, from what I’ve read.”
“Talk to me again about it when you have your medical license.” She never knew when to let anything go and her constant diagnoses were getting less and less tolerable lately.
“Oh, I will,” she promised.
“There is nothing wrong with me, Rosie.”
“Hmph. There’s plenty wrong with you. But really, there’s plenty wrong with everyone. I just wish you would confide in me as you used to.”
“You’re talking again about the incident behind the club with Fletcher Klark.”
“Isn’t it obvious that you need to confront your feelings for the opposite sex?”
OMG. Really? Was there no escaping this topic with her?
“Why is this so important to you?” I demanded.
“Why isn’t it important to you?” she countered.
My blood was boiling so bad, I could barely sputter out my words. “I’m not saying it is or isn’t. Why do you have to be so pushy and bitchy about it?”
“I care about you.”
“You care about me or you’re dying to know if I’m gay or not?”
“I simply thought it would be better to face this with your twin then floundering around later about it. I’m sorry. Do you really think I’m bitchy?”
I sighed deeply, trying to regain some semblance of control over my emotions. She was probably the only person who could push me this far and still be forgiven. That didn’t make me any less irritated, still, I lied. “No.”
She immediately laughed and I could tell she saw right through me.
We both became instantly quiet as our parents sat down on each side of us.
“What is funny?” Dad asked.
Rosetta stifled a giggle, then with all seriousness said, “Just a joke only twins would understand, Father.”
Without trouble, he accepted this and began speaking on something different altogether. “We have an important announcement.”
“Oh my…” Rosetta said.
“What?” Rarely was my sister short on words. She was perceptive enough, that the trepidation she was showing now was enough to make me concerned. “Is something wrong?”
Before our parents could say anything, Rosetta answered me. “Are you having a baby, Mother?”
“Good heavens no!” she exclaimed.
“Yes, I think you two are enough to deal with,” our father said with a small smile. “It is time we talked about what you will do once you graduate. We have no doubt you will both get into the schools you have applied for, but there are other arrangements to think about.”
I glanced at Mom who looked like she was about ready to explode from excitement. “We’re taking a trip! The four of us!” she blurted.
“A trip?” Rosetta said.
Mom nodded. “We realize that you’re of an age where this may be our last chance to take a vacation together as a family. So that’s what we’d like to do. We want this to be the best summer either of you has ever had.”
This sounded pretty good! “Where are we going?”
“We’re taking you to the very place we had our first vacation with you. The house on the cliff that overlooks the ocean.”
I perked up at this because what I remembered from that first vacation was watching fireworks from the swimming pool late at night and how much fun we had as a family. Those were good times.
“This is great!” I enthused.
Our parents smiled and I could see the relief in their faces that we were so positive about this trip.
“What else is going on?” Rosetta asked, an eyebrow raised.
Dad cleared his throat and said, “The schools you wish to attend are not too far from that vacation spot. Your mother and I were speaking about living accommodations for you while you go to school. It would be too far for you to commute from here. Rosetta’s school has dorms on their campus, but the dance school does not.”
“What do you propose?” Rosetta asked as I waited with baited breath. Were we getting the beach house? I didn’t even know we owned it.
This time, Mom spoke. “I was speaking to your grandma about all of this and she suggested you take the brownstone her father owned. It’s still a part of his estate and no one is living there right now. It’s situated near both schools.”
“Wow, that’s awesome!” I said, grinning from ear to ear.
“We were hoping you would think so,” Dad said. “After our holiday, we will swing by there and show it to you.”
I was beyond excited. Everything I ever dreamed of, it was all coming true!
Rosetta’s POV, an excerpt from her personal journal:
The beach house looked exactly as I remembered it from years before even though we were small children then. I was completely in love with it… the tall palm trees waving at the deepest blue sky you ever saw, the manicured gardens and the salty smell of the sea. Yes, I belonged here, in a fine house like this.
It wasn’t until Holden asked our parents what was happening with this house that we found out they didn’t own it. Rather, it was a home that could be rented for weeks at a time in a popular holiday spot.
While we were there, however, I pretended it was ours and that I lived there permanently. I hadn’t seen the brownstone yet but I was certain it could never be as grand as this.
Mother and Father settled in immediately and it was almost as if they became different people altogether while we were here. Mother’s face was so relaxed as she lazed in the sun, I imagined I saw all traces of wrinkles dissipate as if they’d never existed.
Father spent his time, stretched out next to her on a lounger and vegged. It was clear they desperately needed this. Every so often, their eyes would meet and a tender smile would spread across their faces.
I was happy they had found one another because it seemed to me they could never have loved anyone else the way they loved each other. In some ways, it made me question whether their love was so perfect they should never have had children. I suppose that sounds a strange thing to wonder but it isn’t the first time that has crossed my mind. In some way, I felt as if children had mucked the whole thing up that they had.
Don’t get me wrong. I feel no personal bitterness asking myself things like this. In fact, I have this weird ability to wonder such things with a certain detachment of feeling or emotion. That being said, I know they love us deeply… still, the question remains floating around my head.
Every day we were at the beach house, they had lists of things they said they wanted to do with us for the day. Of course, Holden and I were older now and preferred exploring life on our own. Without needing to consult one another, we assured them they should rest and let us do our thing.
The first few days they protested, but eventually, the dears gave in.
“You’ve got that goofy smile on your face, I know it,” Holden said from behind me.
“How do you know?” I mumbled as I watched my sweet, exhausted parents relaxing for the first time in ages.
“I guess I just know you.”
This made me smirk. I had never tried too hard to hide how I was feeling or what I was thinking. “What you see is what you get,” Mother had once said about me to Olivia. And that was mostly true. The fact was, there were things I wanted and I was just as determined as Holden to get them. I considered myself a good person even if I sometimes told the harsh truth, which also seemed to make me a bitch.
It didn’t matter, any of it. I was smart and driven. This would get me far and if that made people uncomfortable, so be it.
“You’re flexing your muscles again,” I said.
“How’d you know that?”
“I guess I just know you,” I answered with another smirk. The truth was, I could see his reflection in the pool water. He never thought of things like that. “It’s hot, let’s go to the beach,” I said, squinting against the sun at the ocean.
The beach house was on a cliff overlooking the beach and ocean but there was a pathway, albeit rocky that led to a secluded bit of beach. My hope was that if my brother was distracted, he would continue our conversation from a few days ago.
I know he thinks I’m horrible and pushy because I keep bringing his sexuality up. In my mind, it didn’t matter how he felt about how I was acting as long as he faced the truth of who he was, whatever that was. For the longest time, I’ve been extremely worried that he would continue on to dance school and find himself in tons of experimental relationships I’ve read about, never knowing what it is he’s after or needs. He would be taken advantage of and he would be hurt over and over again. It occurred to me he wouldn’t understand my reasoning, so I never wasted my time in providing an explanation.
He was just ahead of me, wading into the crystal clear water. The beach sparkled like a treasure chest of gold, just like his angelic hair. He was sweet and unsuspecting, all that was missing was his halo.
I couldn’t let anything happen to him.
“I thought the water would be cold but it’s nice,” he said, running his fingertips through the salty liquid, making little ripples.
“Yes, it is,” I agreed. After another moment of silence, I cautiously said, “I know I’ve irritated you a lot recently with my questions.”
I closed my eyes, half expecting a thunderstorm of inappropriate metaphors to be hurled at me.
Instead, he seemed to look out at the ocean and endless horizon with some thought. Then he said, very calmly, “It’s not easy to answer you.”
“Because I’m your sister?’
“Because I don’t know.”
“How can you not know? In everything I’ve read, people seem pretty certain they either like boys or girls. Or both, even.”
He shrugged and didn’t respond for so long, I didn’t think he was going to. Finally, he said, “I don’t think like that.”
This was getting even more interesting than I imagined it would be. “What do you mean?”
“It’s hard to explain. It’s like…” there was a long pause again, “… like, I might be attracted to someone and only think about it later… if they’re a guy or a girl.”
“So, you’re bi?”
Again with the pausing. “I don’t know. I don’t think so. I know I’m different. I’m just not totally sure how to explain it.”
Suddenly, I did feel bad that I’d given him such a hard time. He really didn’t know what was going on. All this time, I just thought he was refusing to confide in me and it was driving me insane.
“Do you know what I think?” I asked him. “I think it doesn’t matter. We’re all different in some way. I really am sorry I gave you so much trouble over something so stupid.”
He didn’t respond, but he didn’t need to. We spent the rest of the afternoon skipping rocks in a pleasant silence.
That evening, we went to a nearby teen club further down the beach. It was a pretty happening place considering this was a vacation community. I didn’t think there would be so many teens around.
Like the other nights we’d come here, we decided to play pool. We had a pool table at home that we were quite competitive with. It was in moments like these that I missed Christopher the most because he was absolutely splendid with billiards. He was on his own family trip with Olivia and so we wouldn’t see him until we arrived back home.
“You call that a shot?” I laughed, egging my brother on.
“You can’t beat me,” he said.
After I took my shot, I stuck my tongue out at him. “What were you saying?”
As the game went on, we became more serious, arguing with each oher about rules and who sank what, when.
We couldn’t help ourselves and Christopher wasn’t there to be the voice of sanity.
“Hey, I haven’t seen you guys here before,” a familiar voice said.
Holden’s face lost all color as we turned to face the kid that had greeted us.
“Fletcher Klark?” Holden sputtered.
I’d never seen him without his baseball cap so I didn’t recognize him for sure right away.
“Oh! It’s you two, what are you doing here?” he suddenly asked when he realized who he’d said hi to.
“We’re uh, on vacation,” Holden mumbled, staring down at his feet.
This drew me to anger more than anything else could. “What? Don’t answer him! He’s the dirtbag that torments you!”
As quickly as I said that, Fletcher grinned evilly and said, “Oh do the ballerinas have a problem with me?”
“No problem,” Holden said, much to my dismay.
“Leave us alone, Fletcher!” I shouted.
“Hey, twinkle toes, your sister is upstaging you again,” Fletcher laughed.
Holden took a deep breath. I was about to give this guy a piece of my mind but my brother shot me a strange look… it was as if he wanted to handle this himself. I cringed and closed my eyes, desperate for an idea what to do.
“She does upstage me, you’re right.”
Fletcher squinted his eyes tightly, glaring at Holden. “What? You’re so stupid.”
Holden’s gaze didn’t waver. “I can be, that’s for sure. I heard you’re pretty smart, though.”
As I stared from one boy to the other, I could see clearly enough that both Fletcher and I thought Holden had lost his mind.
“Didn’t you hear me?” Fletcher demanded. “You’re an idiot!”
“Yeah, I heard you just fine. I’m stupid and an idiot. Got it.”
“Holden – ”
” – I’ve got this,” he firmly said.
“I don’t get what’s happening,” Fletcher said. “You’re a pretty boy.”
“I’ve been told that. Maybe that’s why you think I’m gay.”
“Or maybe, you’re just gay!” Fletcher said, his voice going up an octave.
My brother stood there, calm as ever and said, “Maybe. I haven’t figured everything out yet but when I do, I’ll be sure to fill you in.”
Just then, Fletcher must have noticed he and Holden were wearing the same band t-shirts and he groaned loudly. “I like the same band as a gay ballerina! What will my friends say?”
Holden shrugged, “Who cares? Be your own person.”
I was getting less and less worried about Holden and found that I was stifling giggles behind my hand. I’d never seen anyone handle a bully this way before. Go, Holden!
Fletcher was clearly running out of steam but he wasn’t giving up quite yet. “Why do you wanna be a ballerina, anyway? Why not be a man and lift weights?”
“Real men don’t lift weights, they lift ballerinas,” Holden said with a straight face.
In spite of himself, Fletcher’s angry face suddenly cracked in half with a smile and he laughed. “OMG, that was funny.”
“Great. So, are you just going to stand there or are you going to play pool?” Holden asked.
Rosetta or Holden? Who will be the heir?
Rosetta Susan Sprague
Traits: insane, mean-spirited, good, cat person, star quality *
Reddish-brown hair, gray eyes.
Holden Leo Sprague
Traits: loser, neat, virtuoso, natural cook, genius *
Blond hair, gray eyes.
* Please Note: All traits in my story are randomized for every character.
Author’s Note: The quote: “Real Men don’t lift weights, they lift women” (which Holden changed to say “ballerinas” was said by Nigel Lythgoe).
Well, here it is, the big vote! Remember, you are voting for whichever twin you want to be the generation 5 heir. There will not be a chapter next week as I prep a gen 5 save and the poll continues. It will close at midnight on April 18th. Thank you for your participation and support!
It is all up to you. Vote as many times as you like: