New York was buzzing with activity, like it always did apparently. Dad had told me about how New York was the city that never slept and I hadn’t believed it until these last few days, the thought being slightly ridiculous at the time.
After taking a small sip of my steaming coffee,I pull my scarf tighter around my neck, the cold January wind biting my exposed skin. Why did we leave the Australian heat for this harsh cold again? Oh right. Sophie, I can’t help thinking bitterly, clenching my eyes shut as another gust of wind attacks me.
Almost immediately, I feel guilty. She had it harder than me.
I think of the day we took her back, a little more than a month ago... She had some bloody bruises and scars almost everywhere on her body. And that’s not counting what they did to her mind. Those boys really messed up her head. She keeps defending them; even after all the emotional and physical turmoil they put her through.
I scowl at the thought, fury bubbling inside me. They’re going to pay one day.
Taking another taste of my coffee, I walk up the couple steps separating me from the warmth of our apartment and open the door.
“I’m home.” I say, removing my coat, boots and scarf. Still clutching my coffee between my cold fingers, I walk to the living room. “Dad?”
My eyes fall on Sophie, whose hands are tied behind a chair as well as her ankles. Guess Dad questioned her again this morning...
“Where is he?” I enquire. Maybe she locked him somewhere...
“Hello to you too! I’m fine, how are you?” She mocks.
“Where is Dad?” I repeat.
“He left.” Sophie sighs irritably, slumped on the chair. “Not that I care. At least that way he’s not bombarding me with questions and lectures about how they have changed me,” she rolls her eyes.
I frown. It wasn’t like him to leave me all alone with my sister, especially since the day she almost got away under my watch. It was at the airport in Ireland last December, and my Dad had gone to check in our luggage and buy the plane tickets, leaving me alone with her. He warned me beforehand though that the boys of One Direction had heavily messed with her mind and she’d do anything to go back to them. But then she’d been very sweet and persuasive with me and without thinking; I let her go to the washroom alone, feeling pity for her. Luckily, Dad saw her as she tried to leave the airport and he caught her before she could go any farther. He rarely let’s me forget that day.
“Where’d he go?” I ask worriedly.
“Said he needed to go check out something important in Times Square.” She shrugs, sighing again in annoyance. “Could you maybe undo the ropes? They’re a little tight on my wrists and I can’t feel my fingers.”
“I’m not approaching you.” I shake my head.
“Jeese I don’t bite. And don’t you want to do some sister-bonding?” The brunette scoffs.
“We’re sisters by blood. It doesn’t mean much. And you did try to bite me a couple days ago.” I point out, sitting on the sofa beside her. I open the telly, setting it on a news channel.
“Not my fault your fingers we’re too close to my face.” She mumbles.
I ignore her completely as she struggles on the chair, drinking my coffee calmly.
“I swear I can’t feel my fingers anymore!” Sophie whines.
“Tell someone who cares.”
“What a bitch.”
“Now that’s what I call bonding. Love you too sis.” I state, batting my eyelashes at her. I can’t help shuddering at our resemblance when our eyes meet. Every time it’s like I’m looking at myself in a mirror, but with brown hair. It’s creepy.
My eyes drift back to the television. “Hey look it’s your boys.” I notice, frowning.
She stops moving, her eyes riveted to the screen. Identically to mine.
“They’re starting a new tour?”
“Yes. They had an album coming out soon when you took me away.” She responds dryly. “The tour is supposed to start in-mid January.” She starts getting excited, realisation dawning on her. “In a couple of days. I bet they’ll come to New York and find me!”
“They won’t find you if you’re locked up in here constantly. Hell Soph they haven’t even tried to find you.” I try to resonate with her. “I don’t know how you managed developing feelings for any of them. I mean, they practically look like zombies these days. Harry and Niall seem angry all the time, Louis has lost his spirit, Liam rarely speaks and Zayn seems tense.”
“Oh wow you actually know their names? And how do you know that’s not their natural selves?”
“How long do you think we’ve been researching on them to make sure everything would go as planned?” I counter, tossing my blonde hair out of my face.
“Probably too long: you two are crazy.”
We stay silent, watching different things about One Direction and their upcoming tour passing on the TV, all of them good.
“They could’ve gone to jail you know?” I pronounce, finding that the way they were portrayed as down-to earth lads was utterly ridiculous. “If you hadn’t begged Dad to shut down the magazine he created to find you, they probably would be quite miserable today.”
“Yeah well your Dad is an asshole for even trying to get me out of a place where I was living okay!”
“He’s your Dad too you know.” I say softly.
“Was. Now he’s just another one of my kidnappers.” She mutters heatedly.
“Well then good thing you tend to have feelings towards your kidnappers.” I retort, all my sympathy gone.
“Shut up.” She seethes angrily.
I hear Dad enter the apartment.
“Hey Anne?!” He says.
“I need you to go on Broadway and fetch these from the drugstore.” He continues, handing me a list. “I’ll be trying something new with Sophie here.”
“Notice he’s using the word trying.” My twin chuckles. “Maybe this time it’ll be different.”
We both ignore her, used to her bickering.
“You we’re just outside?! Why didn’t you go? And why at Broadway? That road makes my skin crawl.” I protest, not even looking at the list.
“I didn’t go because I was worried of what would happen if I left you two alone for longer than an hour. And I was right to worry; I came in and you two we’re yelling. Plus, last time didn’t end well.
“Okay but why Broadway?”
“It has to be Broadway’s drugstore. The guy said certain things can only be found there.”
“A friend of mine. He’s a special kind of psychologist that gave me the instructions to make a substance that might help Sophie out a little... Can you just go?” Dad huffs. “And don’t be long alright?”
“Fine.” I grumble, standing up and taking the list from his hands.
“Please Anne take your time!” Sophie shouts.
“Sophie be quiet.”
Throwing the rest of my coffee in the trash, I grab my coat, tuning out their arguing. “This better be worth it.” I mumble, walking out the door and into the cold for the second time today. God I miss Australia.
○ ♥ ○
I’m at the bus stop near the drugstore when I decide to look at the list my father gave me. Maybe there are some things that can be found at a supermarket or something less creepy than that drugstore...
“What the fuck is carbogen?” I mutter in disbelief. “And ayahuasca?” I groan. “He’s going to kill her...”
I flinch as the loud motor of another bus halting at the stop fills my ears. Keeping my eyes on the sheet of paper, I scroll down the different things skeptically, paying no attention to the couple of footsteps making their way out of the bus. After a minute though, I realize the bus doesn’t leave. Shuddering, I turn around to walk to the drugstore. I stop dead in my footsteps.
I freeze as two pairs of blue eyes meet mine.
“Hey Sophie. Long time no see?”
His accent is thick. I recognise him from the numerous times Dad told me to be wary of them. That’s Niall. And he thinks I’m Sophie.
I start screaming but he shoves himself against me, his hand over my mouth.
“C’mon love. I know it’s been awhile but we can skip the introductions.” He grabs me by the waist, and drags me inside the bus, his hand still over my mouth to muffle my screams. The Irish boy practically drags me up the stairs, and the bus starts moving again. I struggle harder. “Shhh stop making so much noise love you’ll ruin the surprise for the others,” he chuckles before tugging me through a door at the end of the bus.
I’m shoved onto a bed, Niall immediately on me.
“At least I’m going to be able to enjoy the surprise before the others...” His hands grip my hair tightly. “I would’ve never thought you’d actually dye your hair to try passing unnoticed...”
“I’m not Soph―!” I yell but he shuts me up, with a kiss. I feel like vomiting.
“Oh and you’re even role-playing?! Wow. So if you’re not Sophie, than who are you?” He plays, his body pressing against mine.
I don’t like our closeness. At all.