Chapter 7

Written by: Donna McTavish

I don’t know why I drove away without stopping after the accident. I remember seeing Barry, his skin shining ghoulishly in the artificial glow of the streetlights and immediately my heart started to race. That was a strange sensation for me. My pulse didn’t even flutter when I was with Jerry. So I was distracted and then there was glass splintering and I jammed my foot on the gas pedal and all I could think about was why I wasn’t terrified. I was excited.

But of course I can’t tell Donna. She’s totally consumed by doing the right thing but it is suffocating. It’s all I can do to look her in the eye and god, will she ever stop touching me?

“Lucinda. Lucinda?” Donna’s voice pierces the bubble that I’ve been in and I’m back in the room with Barry sitting opposite and the hard plastic chair digging into my back. 

“Where did you go, dear?” she says gently and I want to scream again. “Why don’t you tell Barry what you remember of the accident. It might help him to understand.” Donna shoots a glance at Barry that clearly says otherwise.

I want to say that I don’t want to help him. What I want to do is to reach across the table and hold his hand. What I want to do is to tell him that I’m sorry, not for the accident (but I am sorry for that too), but for what happened all those years ago. I am overwhelmed with the urge to come clean, to break the promise I made to Maddy and tell Barry that it wasn’t him. It was us. Both of us playing a silly game just because we could. Playing Barry along, making him believe that he was going out with Maddy but in reality it was me. I always liked him more and Maddy didn’t care enough to object so I went on the dates, made him laugh, gained his trust and it was me, not Maddy, who fell apart when he left.

“I don’t know what to say,” I whisper but Donna nods encouragingly so I pull myself together. I raise my tear soaked eyes and look at Barry and my heart melts all over again.

Outside, there is no sign of Jerry or his truck. Barry shuffles his feet impatiently.

 

“That was intense.” I try a nervous laugh but he doesn’t respond. He is biting his lower lip and staring at his scuffed shoes. Blood is pounding in my head again and my words burst out and hang clumsily in the chasm between us. “ Do you want a drink?”  I motion to the cafe across the road. He jerks with surprise and lifts his head and looks at me. Then he shrugs his shoulders and starts to cross the road and I wonder if I will have the courage to tell him that it was my heart he broke.

Comments

This chapter picks up the story and creates a wonderful twist which takes full advantage of the fact the protagonists are twins. It's beautifully done with pace and clarity. I was absorbed as I read it and I felt for Lucinda. It was cleverly crafted.I loved the awkward - 'that was intense'. In those words I could hear Lucinda's voice and nervous giggle. Terrific.
Twin sisters: what a couple of bitches. Great chapter Donna.