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My Twin Sister Louise

by Gloria F. Watts

Louise was always the pretty one. I see her now, clever, smiling Louise with cloud-grey eyes against ivory skin; her hair, fair, streaked by the sun reached her shoulders, a mane of tangled curls. Small and slender, she always smelled faintly of lavender. That summer fragrance now reminds me of days long gone, of hot sun, blowsy roses, and the sweet shade to be found under the old oak on a hot summer afternoon.

Once we stood together, my face in tune with hers — identical but different. ‘Look at me, I’m Sarah look at me,’ I wanted to shout. ‘Can’t you see; I’m nothing like Louise? She dances, twirls, hair flying, and reaps applause.’

Her boyfriends come and go. She lures with promises, eyes downcast under heavy lids, and they fill the house with noise, their stale sweat lingering like a heavy mist at evening time. And I, I watch the stolen kisses, the tentative fumbling and a sudden heat flows, leaving me wet and wordless.

Sweet Louise, she wears long sleeves to hide her bruised arms, her skin soft and pliable beneath my fingers. They nip and pinch until a low cry escapes and her eyes dim with unshed tears.

He came into my life, John the man I loved. And she with downcast eyes and gentle smiles lured him to her. Her arm on his shouted, ‘He is mine’. Despair filled my heart as, mesmerised, he followed where she led. He chose her, Louise.

But he soon grew tired of her sickly sweetness. He whispered in my ear, held me close, filled me with every delight. His whispered words danced in my brain — round and round, a whirlwind that made me shiver. ‘Do it.’

And I did. By the river with the smell of him hot on my skin I held her down, Louise, the sister I loved, the sister I hated. My hands held her shoulders, pushed downward, fought her flailing arms until stillness came and with weed-tangled hair she slowly drifted away.

Louise was always the pretty one. And now, the summer fragrance of lavender and blowsy roses fill my head and here in the darkness of my cell I remember the sweet shade to be found under the old oak on a hot summer afternoon.

Copyright © 2012 by Gloria F. Watts

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