The Perfect Shadow

Summer and Rachel are identical twins. They look alike, speak alike and when they were younger, they did EVERYTHING together. They live in a house with their mum, step-dad, step brothers and step-sister.

However, Summer has always felt second-best to her perfect twin sister. She feels that, in order to step out of Rachel's shadow, Summer must transform into a replica of Rachel - like when she was younger. But when her attempt to do this goes pear-shaped, it will impact the whole family, not just her.


2. LinkUp

After 15 minutes, any fruitless attempts at getting back to sleep have evaded me; I simply cannot. Sitting up in bed, my hand fishes underneath and eventually brings out a portable tablet. Slipping on my headphones, I deftly log in and switch on my rock music. It's so unlike me to even consider listening to that type of music - I fell in love with it the first moment a note touched my ears. Pure magic.

Of course, Rachel doesn't think so. That makes me think it's wrong. But is it?

I tap the screen lightly and my browser pops up, and I find myself typing in the search engine:


LinkUp is like the social networking site everyone is obsessed with. It hasn't gone far beyond our county yet but it's gaining attention day by day! All of us youths are on it, except Tasha. She'll be getting an account in the summer though; she can't wait! If you're asking about me, I don't go onto the social space that often. My life is not nearly that exciting. Rachel, however, goes onto it every day! She always manages to blog or message something, and always gets clean results.

I'm already logged in, and I realise I have updates. I speedily click on the small icon, my eyes struggling to adjust to the light shining in the darkness.

TheSummerDay: You have 3 notifications

FRIEND - Friend request from BellaGirl

TAGGED - RachTheGal tagged you 'Hangin' with my sister on the beach!'

ANNIVERSARY - Congratulations! You have been a member of LinkUp for 6 months!

That last notification is right. I haven't realised until just now, but I signed up on 16th May. Exactly six months ago. The ghost of a smile crosses my lips. The first thing I've achieved this week. I'm guessing BellaGirl is Isabella, my best friend. We've been best friends since I moved down here. She's from Spain originally, but moved her when she was young. Even so, she can switch tongues between English and Spanish like water. I click onto her profile. She's already commented loads... That's bizarre. I scroll down and my heart skips a beat. 17th February? She's had a profile for over two months? In secret? WHY?

When I get over my sudden - and surprising - surge of fury, I press accept on the invitation, and go to see who else is on her friend list. Many people in her family, lots of them Spanish. Looks like LinkUp is extended to Spain! There's one I recognise - RachTheGal. Rachel. Why is she on there?

MY head is a whirlwind of confusion. Why? I stab the portable so hard it shudders like a scared person in my grip, and it flicks onto her crowded page. It's full of posts from almost every day, with Rachel looking beautiful in almost all of them. It kinda grates at me. I wish it didn't, but if your twin was a flawless angel, it gets onto your nerves like a spider which is just out of reach to catch. I check her follower count:


Not all of them are close of course. That would be mad. No, she's got some online ones. However my count is something around 30.

Sighing, I flick the luminescent glow off, and allow my reeling eyes to focus again. I slip back under my covers, creating a barrier between my dream world, which refuses stubbornly to stick in my mind, and my reality, which frankly sucks.

I don't know when I fall asleep, but I remember waking to our creaky bedroom door closing. The dusty bedcovers is sill pulled over my head, and I feel that I'm coated in a layer of sweat. Throwing the covers off of me, I sit up. Rachel's bed is empty. That's my guess as to why the door banged - she must have forgotten I was still asleep. Nice. Slipping out of bed, my feet recoil as they touch the glacial floor. It feels like ice. I feel like I'm back in the snow centre, skiing down the long snowy slope, always following Rachel and Ben, Tasha usually - but not always - following me. Dom, of course, has too big of a brain to care.


"Hey Summer!" I'm greeted by Rachel as I walk like a zombie into our family kitchen. She, Tasha and Ben are busy eating on the breakfast bar. As usual, Ben is perched a little further away than the rest of us. He's never liked mum, me or Rachel. I think he believes mum will one day come back to us, her arms open for embraces. That won't happen. Ben just refuses to see it. As I climb onto the stool, I think. It's Sunday. Later today, we have a skiing lesson, and after Rachel and I are going to go out shopping with Bella and Phoebe - that's Rachel's friend. Tossing my lengthy, auburn hair behind my shoulders, I thoughtfully chew on a piece of crispy, buttered toast. My mum is slaving away in the kitchen, as she says as she sits down.

"So, girls, boy, how did you sleep?" She asks a bit too perkily for my taste. I shrug, dismissing my waking. Rachel beams

"Fine, fine, I was so tired!" She laughs.

"Same! I'm not entirely sure why..." Tasha joins in, staring into the distance. Ben doesn't reply. Of course he wouldn't.

"All ready for your skiing lesson?" Mum says, continuing on. Rachel gives an obviously dramatized sigh

"Muuum, that isn't until two! We have ages!" Mum's mouth is set in a thin line, and my eyes lazily drift over to the clock on the wall. My blood goes to ice. Rachel has obviously done the exact same, for she chokes on the toast she was just biting into.

"ELEVEN? MUM! I'm supposed to be going out with Phoebe in 10 minutes, and not coming back!" Rachel exclaims. She was? That's news. She bounds off her stool and runs up the stairs, panicked. Sighing, I figure I might as well go. With just one bite of toast eaten, I reluctantly follow my twin up the stairs. That ski bag isn't going to pack itself, after all.

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