The Other Twin

Carrie Tomlinson. Recognise the last name? You got it, she's the lesser twin to the one and only Louis Tomlinson. With a life that's seemingly going no where whilst her brother's status is endlessly increasing, distance between the two of them seems to be the only thing that's ever growing in her life. But what could she do? An average girl living in one of the most 'make it or break it' countries known to mankind...

***

Curly was stepping out of line. I decided to ignore his little rant, but he showed no signs of stopping. “So do you just follow your brother around or something? You’re awfully quiet. Are you like, ‘the other twin’, you know the one that no one even notices is there?”

Before I knew it I was screaming at a rather shocked looking boy. Well, it was his own fucking fault.

“HARRY STYLES YOU MASSIVE PR-”

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1. Run Down And No Where To Go

*Tuesday 17th May 2011*

I got into the car after what seemed like the longest dance session of my life, I did the usual – fling bag onto the backseat, put seatbelt on, pat the dog’s head and turn on phone – I looked up at my dad who was sat in the driver’s seat. He looked tired, worried and upset; this wasn’t anything out of the ordinary though. It reflected how we had all been feeling for the past 11 or so months. Deciding to dismiss the feeling in the pit of my stomach that was telling me something was more wrong than usual, we continued home in silence.

I got in to my overly cold house; amongst my other responsibilities turning the heating on was one that I was meant to do – meaning it was another one of the many things that rarely got done around here.

“LOUIS?!” I yelled, running up the stairs to the spare room where we spent most of our time together, because it was peaceful, where the games consoles were and where I could get the best internet signal in my house. “Louis?” I questioned again, this time a little more concerned as to his where-abouts.

“In here” I heard a faint voice come from under the duvet, something was majorly wrong. And I knew it just from the tone of voice that came from my twin brother, a voice that was usually so strong and reassuring.

Without speaking I got into the double bed and Lou hugged me – something that he would never have done merely a year ago, but like many things, that had changed. For a few moments we just sat there together, I concentrated on his heartbeat and heavy breathing, concentrated on anything but her because for the past couple weeks I had gotten into a habit of crying every single night until my eyes were red raw and to be honest I didn’t think I had any tears left to cry. This time however, he didn’t release me from his hug after a matter of seconds. No, this time he kept hold of me, shaking slightly.

I looked up at him; he had always been the taller out of us both, “Louis, what’s wrong…?” I eventually dared to question

“She’s gone”

Everything fell deafeningly silent.

I could no longer focus on Lou’s breathing, or his heartbeat, or the faint murmur of the TV downstairs. She was gone. And I knew it. I knew it from the very moment I got into my dad’s car. I just hadn’t wanted to admit it to myself, and I certainly didn’t want to be hearing this.

Before I knew it I was pouring my heart and soul out whilst Louis still gripped onto my shivering shoulders.

“Are..you sure? I..I..mean, she can’t be. It’s not fair Louis. I..it’s just not right” I sobbed out between deep breaths.

“Don’t Carrie,” he half snapped back, I knew how hard he found it even though he didn’t want to admit it “Mum…she drove up to an emergency appointment this morning whilst you were at school cause…we got a phone call, and well, they said when she got there she practically collapsed through the reception doors” he struggled to say, utterly breathless “Shh it’ll all be okay” he reassuringly added at the end. I jumped back pushing him away from me

“How can you sit there and act like it’s even vaguely alright?!” My sadness had momentarily turned into sheer anger, but once again I found myself being cradled by Louis as he brushed off my angry remark as I collapsed into a giant mess on the floor. A mess that once would have resembled a reasonably healthy, 18 year old Carrie Tomlinson.

“I’m sorry” he said over and over “I’m sorry, we have to come to terms with it though. She’s gone. Mum’s gone and she’s not coming back…”

Sorry just wasn’t going to cut it this time.

***

I remembered that evening well, possibly too well, every movement that was made.  Maybe I thought about that heart shattering time way too much, maybe even more than I thought about the good memories we had together – that’s what my therapists says to me anyway, he says that the only reason I haven’t made any progress since the ‘event’ is because I’m dwelling on the bad things. Hasn’t it always just been one bad thing after the other though?

The day my 36 year old mum, lost her 11 month battle, to an ever growing brain tumour. How was that right? Who could justify it? No one. People have tried to explain to me on many different occasions how this could have happened, how it was ‘nature’s path’, but every time someone from outside my family tried to make it better I dismissed them. How the hell could they know how I was feeling? How could they say it was ok? They could try to understand, and God knows I love my friends for trying, but the simple fact is that none of them had been through anything like this. None of them could tell me it was going to be alright because the simple fact is; it wouldn’t ever be the same.

Louis was the only person that understood me 100%, we had been through everything together and there was nothing we didn’t share. From first kisses to failing school exams, we knew every single detail of each other’s lives. We shared everything too; friends, food and classes at school being a few examples. I could even count the number of times I had been out at the weekend without him on one hand – that’s how it was between us and that’s exactly how we wanted it to be. Of course we had our differences, but nothing major, and I can’t think of a single time that we have ever fallen out over something big.

***

8 months and 11 days later. Any improvements in life? Nope, not one tiny little bit. As I mentioned before, my dad got so concerned that I was the only one not even making an effort to regain a semi-normal life, that he got me a therapist. A freakin’ therapist?! Yes because that’s exactly what I needed, someone to annoy the hell out of me whilst I let my anger out on them. Good one Dad. Could he be blamed though? Along with my new found ability to get constantly irritated and to be angry the majority of the time, I was losing my appetite and along with it my weight, my keen participation in sport and dance had totally evaporated into thin air and my ability to hold a conversation without blanking out? Let’s just say being emotionless is currently my number 1 trait. On the upside my school grades had improved, and I actually think I did reasonably well in my recent A level exams, all due to my social life being non-existent because my friends officially gave up on me about a month or so ago. But again, who could blame them. I used to be considered the life and soul of our social group, now I’m just the empty shell of a person who used to be considered ‘popular’.

Do I want my friends back? Yes. Do I want my old daily routine back? Yes. Basically, do I want to get my life back on track? Hell yes. So what’s stopping me? It’s just too painful…

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