In Your Shadow

Not only are Taylor and Louis twins, they're also best friends.
But with Louis getting even more perfect everyday, will Taylor manage to escape his shadow?
Or will she always be known as just 'Louis' twin sister'?


2. The Interview

My obnoxiously loud alarm clock wakes me up at 6 am. It's amazing that I actually hear it, I'm that heavy a sleeper. I can normally sleep through anything; my mum shouting me to wake up, my twin brother jumping on my bed, even our fluffy cat, Boo, climbing onto my face. But today I have a reason to wake up. A reason so important that my alarm clock had to be set.


I slam my fist onto the top of the alarm clock, wanting to turn it off before it woke up my sleeping twin. I then proceed to slope into the bathroom across the hall and strip down to take an exhilarating shower. I stand in the shower, blissfully enjoying the warm water washing over every part of my body before lathering strawberry shampoo into my dyed red hair. I then, unwillingly, step out of the shower and wrap my pale body in a warm, fuzzy towel.


Mornings are probably my biggest hate; hence why I avoid them whenever I can by sleeping until the early afternoon. But today I can't do my usual weekend routine of waking up in the afternoon, staying in my pyjamas all day and shovelling food into my mouth whilst sitting in front of the TV.


Surprisingly, Louis is the more organised twin while I am the complete opposite. He is ready every morning, wearing his full uniform after having a leisurely breakfast. I, on the other hand, sleep in late and then shove toast into my mouth while running after my bus with one shoe on.


This morning, though, I can't be late. Well, I can be late if I want to but then I'd be throwing away my future and I'd rather sacrifice a few hours of my precious sleep than miss out on such a big opportunity.


I throw on a simple sweater, a pair of skinny jeans and my worn converse before grabbing my satchel, which I packed the night before because I decided to be organised for once, and go out of the front door. (outifit: ) I'm sure both my parents won't even notice that I've gone out. They'll probably just assume I'm still asleep, and they won't bother to check. The only family member that will notice my absence is my twin brother but I'll try to send him some sort of telepathic twin signal telling him that I'm okay, and not dead.


I arrive at the tall, grand building with only a few minutes to spare until my interview. Thank god, I woke up early or I would have definitely missed it.


I take a seat in one of the large, comfortable chairs in the waiting room and drum my fingers on my legs to calm my nerves. You see, I'm not the best in social situations and I always manage to embarrass myself or scare people away. I don't even know what I do wrong but I always manage to cause people to run in the opposite direction when I have a conversation with them. But I can't let my awkwardness ruin this for me. After all, it is the only thing that I have been dreaming of ever since I can remember. A dream I have kept to myself.


“Taylor Tomlinson?” The strict-looking secretary calls into the room.

“Er, hi.” I respond, while staying seated in the chair. The tall blonde looks at me as if I am some sort of alien while we stare at each other, blinking in silence. Have I done or said something wrong already? She said my name so I said hi, what else was I meant to do?

After a few seconds she breaks the silence and says “They'll see you now.”


I pick up my Beatles shoulder bag and go into the room that I am directed to. The scary secretary watches my every move, as if she is waiting for me to mess up. She's not the only one. I too, am waiting for myself to fall over or bang into a tall man wearing a suit or to make a complete idiot of myself.


“Ah, Miss Tomlinson.” A kind-looking man sat at a large oak desk says to me as I enter the room without falling over. I instantly feel more relaxed. It must be the wrinkles or white hair that make me feel safe around him. I've always managed to get on well with elderly people.


I take a seat in front of his desk and feel myself sink into the chair. It's definitely going to be hard for me to get out of it when I have to leave.


“Thank you for meeting with me. We have a lot of things to discuss.”

“Oh no, it's fine. I wouldn't have been doing anything special, really. I don't do much on the weekend except eat and sleep,” Did I really just admit to this man, who is of high importance, that I am a slob? “AND PRACTICE.” I add on hurriedly, making it come out as more of a shout. This is going swimmingly.


To my surprise, the old man chuckles at my bad social skills and I feel myself relax again.


“Let's just get straight to it. There's no doubt that you have a talent, a pure talent too. I watched your audition piece and I found it so refreshing. Not many people manage to lose themselves in their music as much as you do, which is why I want to offer you a chance to attend this academy. Obviously it's going to be a lot of hard work. You're going to have to practice more than you already do. You're going to have to put your music as your first priority and of course you're still going to have to do a live audition as well as submit some composition portfolios, recordings and MMus essays. But I truly do believe you can do it.”


I stare at the old man before me with my mouth literally hanging open. I'm sure I look quite a sight, but I don't care. I am absolutely gob smacked. I never believed that I'd actually get a chance like this. I thought that I would turn up, they would then look at me and see that I'm not the ideal student for such a prestigious academy, and then they would send me home.


“Th-thank you so much!” I finally answer. “I'll do everything that I need to do, I promise!”

“Don't let me down, Taylor.” He smiles at me as I gracefully struggle to get out of my seat.

“I won't!” I reply after I finally manage to stand up.


I resist the urge to pull the old man into a bone crushing hug and instead leave his office and break into a little victory dance, which includes many fist pumps and jumps.


“Eckhem,” The stern secretary interrupts me with a cough.


I look up into her cold, grey eyes and give her a massive, cheesy grin. Somehow she keeps her stern glare so my grin fades as I walk out of the building with my head down in shame. What a spoil sport.


I make my walk back home with my heart racing and a smile playing on my lips as the image of a grand hall with an ebony piano as the only furniture, floods into my mind.


I actually have the chance to achieve my dream, to make my hobby something more, to do something which can actually make my family proud.


I skip the rest of the way home, ignoring the odd looks I receive from everyone I pass.




“Where have you been?” Is the friendly greeting I receive the second I step into my house. “You never get up early at the weekend... or in the school week.” Tell me something I don't know.

“I was out. Did you not get my telepathic twin signal I sent you?” I ask while moving past Louis the barrier so I can go take a nap.

“Where?” Urgh, Louis is really persistent and I hate it.

“I'll send you signal later, just let me go take my nap!”


Surprisingly, he seemed happy with my answer and actually let me walk upstairs without any more questions. He shouldn't be a detective because his interrogations suck.


I let out a sigh of relief as I yank off my skinny jeans that were beginning to suffocate my legs. I then pull on a pair of sweatpants and leave my grey sweater on. Happy with my comfort level, I collapse onto my bed and go out the second my head touches the pillow.


I take a deep breath and softly place my hands upon the ivory and ebony keys. I close my eyes and let my hands move freely along the piano as I get lost in the music. All of my worries simply disappear and all that is in my mind is the sound of a peaceful melody playing from my soul.


What are you doing?” I hear a voice whisper. I keep my eyes firmly closed, trying as hard as I can to remain concentrated on my music. “I really think that this is a bad idea... I read somewhere that this sort of thing can cause them to have a heart attack!”

Oh shush, it will be funny! She'll be fine, just keep quiet!”


I try to keep the music flowing from my soul but I feel myself losing control. The music starts to get faster and no longer sounds peaceful. It becomes panicked as my playing becomes a mess. I hit all of the wrong notes making the piano no longer sounding beautiful. I can hear my heart beating faster as the music gets louder and even more terrible.


I hear an erupting sound coming from all around me as my hands fall to an abrupt stop on the piano keys.


My eyes shoot open as my breathing comes out in short breaths. I am met with the sight of my grinning brother and his curly-haired best friend.


“What the fudgecakes?!” I snap, while my heart beat shows no sign of slowing down.

“Got ya!” Louis winks at me mischievously.


He knows that napping is a vital part of my day, and something that cannot be used for his little tricks. I shoot him an icy glare and try to send him a telepathic message along the lines of 'I would attack you right now if your handsome friend wasn't standing right there' but I don't think he received it because he continues to wind me up by attacking me with tickles; another one of my weaknesses.


“Lou, stop!” I scream, but did he listen? No.


I lose control over all of my limbs while his tickling increases. I feel my arm launch into the air and before I can stop it, it slams straight into Louis' eye. Serves him right, he should listen to my twin messages more often.


Louis falls to the floor clutching at his reddening eye while Harry stands there with his mouth hanging open. What do I do? I do the normal reaction to punching your brother in the eye – I burst into a fit of giggles.


I feel two pairs of arms latch onto my waist and my giggling comes to a stop. I see revenge present in Louis' eyes and, well, I don't know what I see in Harry's eyes but they sure do look pretty. Before I know it, I am rolled off of the bed and onto the floor as the two boys begin to tickle me once again. Honestly, you would think after last time they would know it is a bad idea, and that I am not in control of any of my limbs.


“Stop!” I scream in between the laughs that escape my throat. “No, please! It hurts now.” They're probably not going to believe my because I'm laughing, and that's a sign of joy and happiness, but I really am in pain.

“First you need to tell us where you went this morning. It had to have been important for you to miss out on your precious sleep!” Urgh, why does he know me so well. And now I'm probably going to have to tell him the thing that I've been keeping from my whole family ever since my first year in high school, because if I don't I'm probably going to die from tickles and never get to go to my audition. Life sucks. Unless I lie...

“I WENT TO NANDOS.” I scream at him.


The tickling stops and I finally begin to breathe properly again.


“What?” Both of the boys look really confused by my answer. Hell, I'm even confused, because I don't know where the hell that lie came from. I could have chosen something a little less random and more believable.

“I woke up, and was hungry so I went to Nandos.” The lie just rolls off my tongue.

“Why didn't you get something from the fridge? That's what normal people do...”

“Firstly, Boobear, I think we both know that I'm not normal. And secondly, I was in the mood for a Nandos so I got one.” Ha, he hates it when I call him Boobear, especially when he has a friend over but he deserves it after the trauma he has put me through by waking me up from a nap.


Louis scowls at my response and stands up, wiping away invisible dust on his trouser legs. Harry shoots me one of his cheesy grins and clambers off of me. I sigh in relief as the tickling has stopped and I've finally given Louis an answer to stop his questions. But for some reason my heartbeat continues to beat at a startling pace.


It may sound stupid, but I hate the thought of my family finding out about my love for playing the piano. Ever since we started high school Louis has been the talented twin and I've been... well I've just been his sister. As far as they know I have no talents and sometimes I want to keep it that way, because then I wouldn't have the pressure of having to be so perfect to match Louis. Sometimes I just prefer being the useless twin.


But then sometimes I don't. Sometimes I feel like I could literally walk out of the house and never come back and the only one who would notice would be Louis. Sometimes I feel so lonely in Louis' shadow, that if I were to scream at the top of my lungs no one would even bat an eyelid. It makes me feel trapped, having such a perfect twin like Louis, but I know that if I told my parents and siblings about my piano playing they would probably dismiss it, or not believe that, I Taylor Tomlinson, could be good at anything. And I'd rather not have those thoughts confirmed, hence why I keep it to myself.


Also with the pressure coming from my family, I feel like the fun would be taken out of it. They would all expect me to be as perfect as Lou, and then if I didn't get into The Royal Academy of Music it would be so embarrassing. I'd probably never live it down.


Don't get me wrong, if someone in my family said 'Hey Taylor, do you play piano?' I wouldn't lie to them. The only reason I lied to Louis about where I was this morning was because he didn't ask me directly about me playing the piano. It's not as if it's a massive thing I'm hiding, either. I'm not hiding something like me being secretly a man or a murderer or anything like that.


My main fear of telling my family is not only them not believing me or the pressure that would come with it, but them taking it away from me. They may view it as 'coming in the way of my school work' or something like that, so I'm taking no chances. I don't know what I would do if playing the piano was taken away from me. When I'm playing the piano all of my worries flutter away and I literally lose myself in the music. I don't have to worry about impressing my family, or keeping out of the way of a certain group of people at school, or hiding my blush as a certain boy flashes me a smile. All that I have to think about is the music. It is literally the only time where I feel like I can be myself, and I need it as much as I need oxygen to breathe. Playing the piano makes me feel so much more than just Louis' twin sister.





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