Two Connections

Image by aophotos at morguefile.com

Image by aophotos at morguefile.com

Walking to my bathroom mirror, I address my reflection. “Kevin, you were an idiot for accusing her of cheating. You admitted this. There is no way Stephanie holds it against you.” She went out with your brother! “She didn’t know it was your brother.” It was retribution for accusing her of cheating. Besides, you weren’t dating anymore. “Shut up Kevin! And stop talking to yourself.” I shake my head and go to the kitchen grabbing eggs, goat cheese, jalapenos, mushrooms, milk, and chives from the fridge. “Stephanie always loved omelets.” For a dinner date? “Bad idea.”

“I have to woo her again.” I just said woo. Yikes. “Don’t be cheesy. Cheesy, mac’n’cheese. She likes that.” No. That’s immature. “Pizza it is! Wait, with garlic and onions she’ll never let me kiss her.” I pick up a chef’s knife and tap the handle on the counter. “Sushi! It’s elegant, impressive, finger food fun.”

 

When the doorbell rings, I set the bouquet I bought her on the coffee table and run my wet palms over my jeans. My knees weaken when I open the door. “Hi, Stephanie.” Wow she’s gorgeous. “Come in.” Her perfume envelops me. Keep it together, idiot.

“I almost didn’t come.”

I hang her coat by the door and reach for her hand, but she pulls away. I clear my throat. “I’m glad you did. Please, sit down. Is cherry soda still your favorite?”

She shrugs.

“I made some today.”

“You made soda?”

“I wouldn’t be a chef if I didn’t.” Oh yeah, major points there. I wink. “Easy idiot, Don’t scare her.”

“Excuse me?”

Stupid! “Nothing.” I pull a bottle from the fridge and pour two glasses. Our hands touch as she takes hers. Resisting the urge to kiss her becomes almost impossible. “Do you know why I started making soda?” I sit across from her.

Stephanie shakes her head, her hair falling over one eye.

“You.”

She frowns. “Oh, right! My allergies certain food colorings.” She lifts her glass to the light.“It’s still dyed.”

“But not with actual dye.” I smile, taking a drink. “It’s colored with concentrated beet juice. It was the most scared I’d ever been when you called me from the hospital.”

Her eyebrow rises. “It was?” She takes a sip and seems pleased.

“Yeah.” Setting my glass down, I pick an orange flower from the arrangement and run the silken petal between my fingers. “When I got there and you were still hardly breathing, I thought I’d lose you forever.” I hand it to her with a smile.

She shifts in her seat, smoothing her hair. “How long ago was that?”

“The month before you—we broke up.” I frown. “You don’t remember?”

“I can’t remember every little thing!” She folds her arms and huffs.

“Stephanie, what’s wrong?”

“Can we just eat, please?”

I stretch as I get up. How can she still be mad? I glance over my shoulder at her and see the bouquet again. Moron! She hates the color orange!

I plate the sushi and clear my throat. “I bet,” I say, handing her the tray, “you thought I forgot your favorite color.”

“What?” Stephanie stuffs a piece into her mouth. “My—oh! What color is it, if you remember?”

I sit beside her and take a piece of sushi. “Pink, not ugly baby pink like your sister likes, but like the sunsets your favorite author describes.” Nailed it!

She scowls, “Kerry has good taste!” Clearing her throat, she smiles, black sesame seeds dotting her teeth. “But, I’m glad you remember.”

I stifle a laugh.

“What?”

“Nothing.” I take her hand. “You look perfect.”

She straitens her shoulders and flips her hair. “Thank you.”

“You don’t mind me holding your hand?” I’m surprised she hasn’t pulled away.

Her cheeks turn red. “No.”

Same old Stephanie. Her eyes are so beautiful. I run my thumb over her palm as I move closer. My thumb drifts onto the smooth skin of her wrist—smooth skin? I’m holding her right hand. I turn her hand over and see her raised birthmark is gone.

When she notices my frown, she pulls away. “I—Oh forget it! Acting is too hard. I’m Kerry.”

My mouth goes dry. Stephanie’s twin?

“I have questions I need answered.”

“That makes two of us! What the heck—”

“Hold it!” She pokes my chest. “You broke my sister’s heart. You don’t get to be angry.”

“Does she know you’re here?”

She laughs. “Do you think she’d set you up?”

I shake my head going for my front door. “You need to leave.”

“Oh no! I need to know she’ll be safe with you.”

“Are you saying you want to help me?”

“Answer my questions first.”

Wow, she is annoying. “What?”

“Do you really care about Stephanie?”

I nod.

“Not enough. How do you feel about her?” She folds her arms and taps her foot.

My shoulders tense. Who does she think she is? “Stephanie knows that.”

“Pretend she doesn’t.”

I lean against the door, inhaling deeply and running a hand over my face. “You’ll help me get her back?”

She shrugs.

“Without Stephanie, I’m not who I should be. I’m a better person when I’m with her. I work harder. I laugh more. She helps me see the good in everything. Saying I love her isn’t saying enough.”

Kerry nods. “I think we can believe him.” She’s pulls out her phone and holds it up. “Did you hear all of that Steph?”

“I’m coming up, Kerry.”

Opening the door, I run from the apartment, leaping down the staircase three steps at a time. As I near the lobby I catch sight of a wet floor sign, but it’s too late. My feet fly in different directions and something rips as I hit the floor.

“Kevin! Are you okay?”

I test my limbs and nod.

Stephanie laughs.

Looking down, I see my baby pink boxers through my jeans. That’s what I get for doing my own laundry.

Tweet: http://ctt.ec/Up268+

 

Have a question for Kevin? Leave it in the comments and you might get your question asked and answered in my next character interview! 

Want to read Stephanie’s story? Here’s the link! https://justinaluther.wordpress.com/2014/06/30/connections/

Thanks so much for reading! This story is affiliated with When Readers Write’s Blah Buster series. To read more Blah Busters visit: http://www.whenreaderswrite.com

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51 Responses to Two Connections

  1. Sharmishtha says:

    priceless story… absoluely sweet! loved it!

    Like

  2. Warden says:

    Nicely done, drug me right in.

    Like

  3. bntorre14 says:

    That was amazing! (:
    The commitment to not only the individuality of each of the characters, but also the intensity and shift in atmospheric and personal emotion is effortless and jumps off the page!

    Like

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  5. My question for Kevin is this: Can you love them both?? 🙂 Which one do you think you can love more or is it equal?

    Like

  6. Nicodemas says:

    So cool! I love the twins working together.

    Like

  7. shanx says:

    Good one 🙂

    Like

  8. Hmmm, i loved this but as an identical twin, well. I have to say that i know kevin, if he really loved stephanie, would have, should have, known sooner which one was his true love! I mean that, but it doesnt matter, cuz i enjoyed the tale anyway…the issues of jealousy – kevin of stephanie and kerry’s relationship and kerry of kevin and stephanie’s relationship might be something to explore. But perhaps you have done so already. You might “ask” kevin if he is a bit jealous of kerry, though…just a thought. Great job!

    Like

  9. sheketechad says:

    Nicely done! My question for Kevin: “What emotion did you feel at the moment you knew it was not the twin you love?”

    Like

  10. wlloydjr says:

    I absolutely enjoy this. Can’t wait to read more!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Loved this!
    I have been slacking on reading lately, but I am catching up!
    🙂

    Like

  12. I’m trying to get caught up on my reading :$ Your first few lines definitely drew me in 😀 Kevin seems like a nice guy. It kind of reminds me of the Friends episode where Rachel kind of breaks it off with Ross. He goes out and sleeps with a girl who stays over. Then Rachel comes by to apologize, learns what Ross did, and gets really upset. Situation is a bit different, but love is complicated. I thought the ending was cute, and was a nice way to end the piece :3

    This struck me as being off was this word, “straitens.” I think you meant straightens? And this line, “Her eyes are so beautiful.” So, I’ve never written in first person, but the way I understand it is that the thoughts and descriptions are all filtered through one character. I think he’s the sort of guy that might be more elaborate on eye-descriptions. I think it would add something here 🙂 I think since he’s so in love with Stephanie he might notice something is a bit off about her, but pin it down to her mood or something like that. Everything else was great ^^

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    • Good catch!
      As for the eye line, he’s a chef not a poet, so I tried to keep him from gushing over her too much. It didn’t seem in character to me. He also explains his missing the small details in his interview. I’m so glad you enjoyed this piece. (-: Thank you SO much for reading and commenting. (-:

      Like

      • Ah okay, that’s why I write exclusively in 3rd person limited XD I was going to write the story of the little girl with an abusive father in 1st person, but I’m going to chicken out and write it in 3rd person limited. I might try 1st person someday, but there’s no way I could write elaborate prose from the POV of an 8 year old little girl. I mean I could write it in 1st person, but it would be very plain. Half the fun of writing for me is the prose :$

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      • My novel is in 3rd person, but short stories are easier for me to manage in first. I tend to get wordy. Haha

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      • I tend to get pretty wordy too :$ I’m editing a 5k word short story, and I’m trying to add stuff in and cut other parts to keep it around 5k. I just cut out a 500 word chunk and it felt pretty good XD I never really liked that part anyway. Short stories are helping me focus and trim off the unnecessary bits in my writing. I’m like that in conversation too XD I just have a lot to say about everything, lol.

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      • Nothing wrong with that. (-: I’ve taken a lot of writing courses and my mentors have trained most of my wordiness out. They also taught me to edit. I try to take about a page out of every chapter I write.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for sharing 😀 You’re a great writer, and I’m always curious how different writers get to that point. Your writing appears effortless. But any writer who knows anything about writing knows how difficult that is. It’s like professional ballet dancers. They look so beautiful on stage and make it appear easy, but it’s not. Ballet is difficult and requires years and years of training 3-4 hours a day to get to that point. I know because I was a pre-professional ballet dancer and ended up teaching years later XD

        I just read something I had written 5 years ago when I first started and it was not an easy read XD I still struggle with awkward phrasing and too much narrative and exposition :$ Definitely something I’m working on along with everything else. One of my best friends is a great writer but has a plainer style of writing than mine, so she is super helpful at pointing out awkward phrasing or boring segments that should be cut. I rely on her a lot :$

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      • Thank you so much for your kind words. I don’t always feel my writing is good.
        Haha I’ve been writing since I could hold a pencil and recently found a notebook full of stories I had written when I was 12. Haha Including the short story that turned into the book/series I’m working on now.
        Keep up the writing! You’re quite good.

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  13. daisycandle says:

    Well done, this is the first story i read and i am hooked 🙂

    Like

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