Monday, 21 March 2016

Short-Delay for Short Story Sunday: The Wentworth Boys Part II

Written by Kris Kaila

     “Carla, would you stop staring at me. It’s so creeeeepy.  Isn’t there something else you can be doing?” Jocelyn screeched.
    “Not really, “ I responded.

      Jocelyn, my sister, was only two years older than I and got to do everything before me. She got to do stuff I would never get the chance to do.  She was now getting ready to go to a Wentworth Boys’ party, while I was getting ready to plan Gin with my mother.  While my mother questioned me on non-existent life, Jocelyn would be playing spin the bottle with Hunter Wentworth.  Since the day that she was born Jocelyn had been invited to the Wentworth parties.  There was not one party where a Wentworth boy had not invited Jocelyn Fisher, the reigning Beauty Queen of Avella.  She was beautiful, only for a lack of a better word.  My sister was everything I wanted to be, and was not. Long white-blonde hair, and shimmering blue eyes that were almost too cliché, and yet on Jocelyn were perfect. The left and right sides of her face were even perfectly symmetrical.  Due to that, Jocelyn never had a good side, because on her a bad side did not exist.  Her skin was flawless and lacked any sort of blemish.  At 5 foot 6 inches she was tall and willowy without towering over any of the boys she fancied.  In short, she was simply the Beauty Queen.  And I, at fourteen, was nothing.  I was just the other Fisher girl.

       Jocelyn had my mother’s features and my father’s colouring.  She received all their shining qualities.  I had both of my parents’ hair, medium length brown hair that was straighter on the left side, and curlier on the right.  I had my mother’s chocolate brown eyes, but on me it made my skin look pale.  Worst of all I was a bit on the heavy side. Okay, I was fat.  My Aunt Bertha gets the credit for that.  To be polite, people just describe me as, “The other Fisher girl.”

       “I’m off, Mother,” Jocelyn sang out, grabbing her pink sweater off the ironing board.

        I stuck my tongue out at her, but she didn’t see it. As if I really existed to her.

      “Have fun dear,” Mother was shuffling the deck as she nodded to Jocelyn.

       Walking to the living room window, I watched mutedly, as my sister got into Wendell Jones’ new shiny blue 1958 Ford.  Each boy with a car was assigned to a street and had to pick up the girls who received invites to the party.  The parties of the Wentworth Boys seemed to have more rules than the army.

      “Carla, are you coming? The ice in the cokes is melting.”

       I looked back at the kitchen where my mother was sitting dealing out the cards, looking as lonely as ever.  Wearing an old shirtdress from the early 1940s, the faded blue material matched her ratty old slippers.  Her once long hair was cut too short, and it hung just past her ears.  I turned to look back out the window and saw my sister and Wendell laughing as they finally drove off.  Tonight she was wearing her pink sundress with the matching sweater, shoes and purse.  It was the outfit my mother had worked extra long shifts to buy.  It was all done for my sister, so that then maybe she could forgive my mother for not being more than we could be.  My father had been a miner who had just made enough money to feed and clothe a family of four. When he died, my mother paid his debts and bills and was left with hardly any money.  She had to take a job as a secretary for the mining company my father had worked for. Working overtime was the only way my mother could afford to buy Jocelyn her pretty clothes.  Without looking back out of the window I scurried over to my mother with as much enthusiasm as I could muster.

      That night I heard my sister sneaking up the creaky stairs outside my door. I could picture her hunched over a bit as she walked slowly up the steps.  She would have her new shoes in her hand, and hair just as perfect as when she had left.  Sitting up in my bed I wanted to scream or throw something that would wake my mother.  If Mother knew that Jocelyn came home at 3 am (and on some nights even later) she would surely be in big trouble.  Then maybe Jocelyn would not be so perfect.  When I heard her shutting the bedroom door, I slipped out of my bed.  After a long shift at work, Mother could sleep through an earthquake.  This enabled my sister to sneak in late almost every night.  Knowing this we would still move around quietly, just in case.  Softly I knocked on Jocelyn’s door.

     “I’m sleeping,” Jocelyn quietly hissed.

     “It’s me, Carla, “ I put my face closer to the door as I spoke.

       Jocelyn opened her door partway, “No shit, Sherlock.”

      Leaving the door open partway, Jocelyn walked back to her closet.  She was hanging up the outfit she had worn tonight, and already picking out tomorrow’s.  I did not wait for my engraved invitation.  I walked in and looked around her spacious room, well in comparison to mine.

     “Do not touch anything,” Jocelyn hissed again.

     “Like I would.”

     Everything was neat and in its place unlike my room.  Next to her closet was a collage of black and white photographs of Jocelyn and her billions of friends.  There was even a picture of my parents before they got married.  The only photo missing from the collage of her life was mine.  I looked away because I did not need to be reminded of how little I meant to my sister.  Everything was pink in her room, including the matching white curtains with the pink rose buds.  My father had made Jocelyn’s pink bed himself, so that his little girl would be happy.  My room was a hospital white, except for my pink curtains, which were hand-me-downs.

    “How was the party?” I asked cheerfully.

    “It was okay.”

    “What did you guys do?” I inquired, as I touched some of her make-up that was left on her homemade vanity table.


     “You had to have done something, it was a party.”

     “We partied.” Jocelyn gave me a look as she continued to browse through her closet.

     “Well that sounds kind of boring.”

     “It wasn’t.  Now get out,” Jocelyn said a little louder this time.

     “Fine, I’m going.  Who cares about your stupid little party anyway,” I said.

      As I walked out of her room, I knocked down one of her dolls that had been perfectly in place with the others.

      The next morning, after all the death glares my sister threw at me all through breakfast, I decided to walk over to my friend Amanda’s house.  Jocelyn, of course, was going to spend another day at the beach with her friends, to get the last tan of summer vacation. On my way to Amanda’s I saw Cameron Wentworth coming from the opposite direction.

     “Hi Carla.”

     “Hi,” I greeted, looking to see if Hunter was anywhere around.

     “So, how was your summer?”

     “Good.  Yours?”

     “Good.” He kept looking away every couple of seconds, as he dug his hands further in his trouser pockets.

      I wanted to ask him about the party last night but couldn’t.  I would look exceedingly desperate asking about a party that I was never going to be invited to.

     “How’s…Hunter?” I asked casually.

     “Good.” He paused for a second. “Where are you off to?”

     “I’m going to Amanda’s house.  You?”

    “I’m meeting couple of the guys down at the theatre.  You should come.”

    “I…,” I started to say.”

     “I mean you and Amanda,” Cameron clarified.

      “Oh, I know.  It’s just that…we already saw the movie.  Maybe we could meet up next month when something new is playing.”

      The truth was, I had no money.  Things were so tight at our house with the bills and groceries.

      “Okay.  I’ll see around then,” Cameron said as he turned to walk away.

      “Bye.” I waved until he was couple of houses away.

      I never made it to Amanda’s house that day.  Instead I ran into Spencer and Hunter Wentworth ten minutes after Cameron.  I was so exited to see Hunter that I waved over to them hoping that we could chat.  I heard Hunter mutter to Spencer, “Who’s the fat girl?” Spencer shrugged, and they kept walking.  I turned around slowly and raced home.

       After a good cry, face down on my bed, I dragged myself into Jocelyn’s room.  I flung open her closet and went through her wardrobe. Picking out the pretty pink sundress that Jocelyn wore to yesterday’s party I held it close to my body.  I knew right away, without actually trying on the dress, that it would be a cold day in hell before it would fit me. More importantly, I would never ever look like Jocelyn.  Everything about me was wrong.  I hung the dress back up in the closet, and decided right then and there that I not only had to lose weight, but most of Carla too.

                                                    *                     *                     *


k (My Novelesque Life)

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