The grief of parting
The sun was shining. The yellow flowers in the field reverently bowed and swayed to acknowledge the passing breeze while the sun’s rays generously bestowed their warmth to all below. However, none of that warmth reached Iola. In her heart was only the cruel frigidity of betrayal.
“Why are you doing this me?” she asked her twin sister, Ebony. Her voice was dry and her eyes stung from the threat of tears.
“What do you mean?” Ebony seemed confused and slightly irritated at the question.
“Why are you accepting your offer to Blue University? I thought we were going to the technical college together?” Iola questioned.
“I never said I would,” Ebony responded with her characteristic coldness. “Besides, I’ve always wanted to go there.”
“But I didn’t get accepted!” her emotional twin cried.
“And?” A single brow was lifted as if to ask ‘What’s your point?’
“That means we can’t go together!”
Iola was incredulous at her sister’s attitude.
“We’ve always been together, Ebony,” she reminded her twin. “Why do you want to change that?”
“Iola,” Ebony took a deep breath as if to gather her patience, “you know that it can’t stay that way forever, right? This is just a fact of life. There would eventually be a point in time in which we’d have to be apart.”
“D-did I do something?” Iola sniffled out. At this point she was already in tears. “Are you mad at me or something?”
“No,” Ebony shook her head. “It’s just how things worked out. I applied for Blue University because I really wanted to go,” she shrugged. “Are you telling me that you only applied there because I did? And that you only would have gone to the same university because I was going there?”
“Of course,” Ebony wiped her nose in her sleeve, much to Ebony’s disgust.
“What about your own plans?” Ebony was bewildered at her sister’s apparent irrationality.
Iola did not respond. Instead, she fixed her gaze on the field of marigold’s that were in full bloom behind their high school. Their bright colour seemed to mock her as it clashed with dark mood.
Standing up, Iola seemed to have enough of the conversation, and instead decided to head back first. Ebony was left facing the field of flowers that seemed to mock her but in a different sense to her sister. To her, the physically represented her sister’s emotions: grief, jealousy, despair. All of it was present in the pretty clusters planted in the school’s garden. As much as Ebony would like to feign innonence at the effect that her decision would have on her sister, she knew better. Truth be told, her heart was breaking as well. But, she knew that this was necessary for the both of them,
They had been together since conception. Ebony and Iola. Iola and Ebony. They shared the same birthday, same room, same friends and same face. If it were not for their different personalities, it could be argued that the shared the same life; that they were the same person. But Ebony did not like that. She loved her sister, no doubt, but even she felt the bitter taste of jealousy in her mouth when being labelled as the ‘dull twin’ or the ‘boring twin’. She wanted to live her own life, and she wanted that for Iola as well. What was worse for her, was being labelled as the ‘smart twin’ and despaired at the implication that it had for the unsuspecting Iola.
Sighing, Ebony decided to go look for her sister. It was the last day of school and it was be a waste to start of the summer, the last summer she would spend home, being on bad terms with her sister.
Plucking one of the marigolds from the garden, she took off to intercept Iola.
“Lola!” she called her sister’s nickname.
Turning around with tear-stained cheeks Iola turned around to face her twin.
Ebony did not say anything at first, but placed the flower in her sister’s hair before grabbing her into a hug.
Stunned at first, Iola’s nose twitched at the characteristic scent of the flower before reciprocating the hug.
Her heart was breaking but it still felt warm. The summer, though it started off with the grief of parting, still held the promise of happiness and joy in time spent together.
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