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C3 03


My heart beat wildly in my chest, thumping around with so much force I thought it was going to beat right out and land at their pretty feet.

Feet that were clad in unnecessarily big fluffy slippers.

Two purple, two black.

I knew this, because my eyes were currently glued to them. There must be something so captivating about them, I wasn't quite sure what, but I was positive I would find that out within the next five minutes of my one-sided stare down. There was a possibility that the bodies might be just as interesting, even more so, but my eyes hadn't seemed to find the courage to make the rest of the journey.

All through the car ride, I'd been itching to know what they looked like. Dying to. Now, here I was, standing in front of them, with nothing stopping me but my stupid self. I had to be pushing a new level of stupidity with my delay.

Say something so I can look at you.

Talk to me so I can stare at you.

They didn't however. But that didn't stop my eyes from feeding their curiosity.

My eyes trailed up the legs wearing the purple coloured slippers, passed thick thighs hidden by a beautiful flowery gown, a surprisingly cinched waist and at last they came to rest on the face.

A face that belonged to Mrs Lawson.

She was the exact replica of her mother. The same softly curved face, same friendly eyes —although friendly wasn't the word I'd use to describe them right now, same straight nose and full lips. She and her mom could definitely pass off as twins. I even felt the same easy connection I'd felt with her mom.

In fact, the frown she was directing at me looked out of place on her face.

She was beautiful and had an aura that made me want to befriend her even though the chances of that happening were less than zero.

The other twin, though, gave me pause.

I knew a lot of pretty girls, had met even prettier girls, but never had I seen a face like the one in front of me.

She wasn't merely beautiful, she was devastating to look at. Heartbreakingly so. She had the same nose and eyes as her sister, with full down-turned lips that gave her an unimpressed look.

I chose to believe that was her usual look and not just a reaction to my presence, because hell, there was only so much I could handle.

I could easily see boys falling at her feet, irresistible to her beauty. I was straight, yet even I was finding it hard to stop gawking. I was pretty sure she could see the awe written all over my face —my gaping mouth was a dead giveaway. Anytime now, I'd pick my jaw up off the ground before flies swamped my mouth.

Anytime now.

Two pairs of brown eyes bored into me, threatening to incinerate me with the scorching heat in their gazes. My eyes dropped automatically, not interested in fighting a battle it would woefully loose, and instead, decided to have a conversation with their newly found friends; the fluffy slippers.

Three minutes passed. Five. They still hadn't said anything.

I shifted my weight from one foot to the other. It was seventy-five degrees and I wasn't sure how long I could pretend that it didn't bother me. Really. How long did it take to size me up? I wasn't that tall or interesting to look at. Whatever they were doing, they had to do it fast.

"Your eyes are pretty. " a soft voice broke the silence.

I froze, glancing up at the speaker, whom I was very shocked to find out was the goddess. I hadn't expected her to be the one to break the silence, neither had I expected such a delicate topic. She'd pointed out the physical feature I was most sensitive about; if her aim had been to make me feel out of my element, she'd succeeded.

Heterochromia was a pretty easily seen condition in a lot of countries —just not in Nigeria. I had different coloured eyes, one green, one blue and as if two colours weren't enough, I was told they changed colours from different angles. It was quite amazing and a whole lot freaky —in people's words. They'd always been a problem for me growing up since all they ever did was bring attention to my person. The bad kind.

I'd learnt to hide myself behind hoodies and ball caps, my skin too uncomfortable to live in, but long gone was the time when my eyes made me feel ashamed. All I ever felt anymore was self conscious and even self-consciousness could go to hell right now. If there were a set of people I'd grown to hate in this life, they were bullies. A long time ago, those words she'd said, would do serious damage, now though, the taunts simply bounced off me. And if my new sister had decided she was going to be one, then she could knock herself out.

But as I assesed her, a sudden realization hit me that she might have actually meant it. There was absolutely no expression on her face to let me in on what she was thinking which meant trying to read her was a lost cause.

"Let's go in. " the second twin announced, effectively changing the topic, before turning on her heel and in sure strides, closed the distance between her and the door leading to the house, I assumed, and pulled it open.

Saved from the possible conversation that might have ensued between me and the goddess, that would have been without a doubt, terribly crippling, I hurried after the safer twin, not wanting to be left alone in the presence of said goddess for even a second. She followed after me and I instantly regretted my decision to walk in front of her, which placed her behind me and which meant I was a gazillion times more self-conscious than I was before. I tried to walk slowly, careful to mask my excitement at having to see the inside of the house.

Cool, artificial air welcomed me as I took my first step inside and, oh, how good it felt to be free from the suffocating afternoon sun. I heard the faint sound of the door closing behind me as my eyes took in the living room in one long sweep. Humongous TV, plain white walls, black leather couches with throw pillows discarded carelessly on them, a tiny table at the centre that looked too small to have any use asides decoration really, and a beautiful spiral staircase.

I saw the beginnings of something just behind the staircase, although I couldn't see clearly what it was. From my angle just behind the staircase, I'd never be able to tell, but if I moved to the left just a little....

"That's the dining area. "

The velvety voice drew me out of my thoughts, reminding me that I wasn't alone. The voice belonged to the friendly twin and apparently, I'd been caught staring. I might even have taken an actual step in that direction, who knew?

"You can go see it if you want to. " she added and I shook my head. I didn't want to take up too much of their time unnecessarily and after all, that was where they had their meals. So I would be seeing it sooner or later.

She shrugged, climbing up the stairs as we resumed the 'tour'. The other twin followed closely behind me and her soundless feet hitting the tiled floors made me hyper aware that she was there, even if she didn't say a word. Was she scrutinizing me right now? Did she mean what she'd said earlier? What did she think of me?

I could keep asking myself these questions but I wouldn't get the answers because I was asking the wrong person.

Rows and rows of brown mahogany doors occupied the walls of the wide hallway on the second floor.

"All the rooms are on this floor. " the friendly twin explained, leaning on the railing, "The only rooms on the next floor are dad's home office and the library. "

"Just two? " I asked too quickly, almost cutting her short.

She nodded. "Well, yeah. The library's pretty big so it takes up a lot of space. "

She continued up the stairs, heading to the first floor, but she paused when I spoke up.

"Please can you tell me which one of you is Abi and which is Zoe? " I asked because, hell, I was getting tired of referring to them as the friendly twin and the goddess.

She pursed her lips as though she hadn't expected such a question. Well, they hadn't expected me to figure that out myself, had they? I mean, it's not like they had stamps on their foreheads with their names written on. In my opinion, that was a pretty valid question I'd asked.

"I'm Abi. " she answered eventually, tilting her chin to the person standing behind me, "She's Zoe. "

I was going to ask who's older but then I decided against it. Pushing one's luck was never a good idea. Also, let's not forget first impressions.

Libre Baskerville
Gentium Book Basic
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