I looked towards the hallway where my name was being called from. I felt like I had been caught doing something bad. I was staring at a book I had in my hand. I had meant to return it to the library the other day and now it was over due. The fact that they had my name on record as issuing the book technically meant I hadn’t stolen it but I sure felt like I was.
Emerald came rushing in to my room. She was only six so she didn’t get the concept of knocking yet.
“What’s wrong, Em?”
“Alex is hogging the bathroom again! If he doesn’t get out soon I’m going to be late for school!”
I smuggled a laugh that threatened to escape from my mouth. Emerald was usually a laid back kid but when it came to school she was quite serious. She had never missed a day in the year she had been there. My parents often joked that she was their favourite because they had no trouble getting her to bed on a school night or getting her up for school in the morning.
“You won’t be late Em. I’ll get him out.”
“Okay!” Emerald grinned and went sprinting out my door and down the hallway towards the bathroom. I heard her banging on the door.
“Alex! Ruby said you have to get out now or else I’ll be late for school!”
I smiled, shaking my head. Alex didn’t care about being late for school or whether Emerald was late for school so her cries weren’t going to make much difference.”
I got up off my bed and placed the over due book in my bag. I felt almost sad that I had to take it back. I had been reading a book by Mitch Albom and at first I had been scepticle about the nature of the book and I had surprised myself by really enjoying it. I made a mental note to look for the book online after school.
I knocked on the bathroom door. “Alexandrite! If you don’t get out of the bathroom now I’m leaving without you and you can walk or take the bus to school! I know you don’t care about being late but Emerald does and I refuse to let you make her or me late!”
The bathroom door swung open. “Ew, Ruby, you know I hate that name. Just because Mum and Dad thought it was a good idea to name us all after gemstones does not mean I am on board with it.”
I shrugged. “Our names aren’t that bad.”
“Yeah, yours is fine and Emerald’s is fine but how many guys do you know called Alexandrite?”
“It’s not that different from Alexander.”
“It’s completely different and you know it. People already make fun of the fact that you and Emerald are named after gems when our last name is Rhinestone. People think my name is just Alex and they spare me, I prefer if it was kept that way, so please, call me Alex?”
I shrugged. “Okay.”
I knew people made fun of Emerald and I but if I was honest it didn’t really bother me. People just liked having something to talk about, if it wasn’t us then it would just be someone else.
“I’m also not on board with you bossing me around, we’re twins so technically the same age and I think Mum and Dad leaving you in charge is going to your head.”
I sighed. I hadn’t wanted to be left in charge. Mum and Dad had had to leave in a hurry when my cousin Jess had fallen from her pet horse and ended up in hospital. Emerald, Alex and I had wanted to go to but Mum didn’t think it was worth us missing school so she and Dad had left me in charge claiming that I was more responsible than Alex.
I was relieved when Em came rushing out of the bathroom, dressed in her school uniform. Finally, we were ready to go. Or, so I thought.
“I’ll just do my hair,” Alex said walking backl into the bathroom.
“Why?!” I cried in exasperation. “You’ll just come out with hair that looks like bed hair anyway.”
“You don’t know anything about the male species! The women that know a thing or two, they love my hair”
I made choking sounds outside the door as if I was being sick.
“Ha ha! Very funny!” Alex called back.
Emerald shot me a look and I sighed. Life was easier when I wasn’t in charge.
Alex finally emerged from the bathroom with, yup you guessed it hair that looked as if he had not brushed it at all. Alex shot me a killer smile; flashing his perfect white teeth that, just quietly, I was jealous of. Even though Alex and I were twins and we had the same wavy brown hair and green/blue eyes, his teeth were straight while mine were slightly crooked. This was the aftermath of face planting a desk when I was younger and knocking a few front teeth out, they had grown back crooked. I had-had braces to try to fix them which had helped a little bit but not enough to make them as perfect as Alex’s.
Emerald breathed a sigh of relief as I locked the house while she and Alex climbed into the car. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that we were probably still going to be late. My heart sunk as I realised that none of us had had breakfast yet.
I swerved into the drive thru at McDonald’s.
“Right, Em, what do you want?” I turned around in my seat to face her.
“Hot cakes!” Emerald squealed, excitedly. I winced; as her pitchy scream hit my ears.
“Alex?”I turned to face him.
“I will have two bacon and egg mc muffins please Rube.”
I pulled up to place the orders.
“Hi! Welcome to McDonald’s! Can I take your order please?” A female voice boomed from the speaker.
“Yeah, hello, can I please get two bacon and egg mc muffin combos and two hot cakes combos.”
“Certainly, that will be thirty dollars, pull up to the window when you’re ready.”
I pulled up to the next window and got my money out.
“Here’s half” Alex said, handing me a five and a ten-dollar note.
I smiled at him. “Thanks Alex”, he could be nice when he wanted to be.
I paid the woman at the window and handed Emerald and Alex their food and drinks. I drove down the road a little way and pulled into the scenic reserve. I pulled mine out and started eating.
Alex wolf whistled. “Nice!” He was referring to a brunette walking by who was showing a little too much skin for my liking. There were some parts of other women that I just didn’t want to see.
I shoved Alex, “You’re such a perve!”
Alex gave me a fake hurt expression. “Hey! She’s putting it out there, I’m just showing my appreciation! Besides, you have to admit, she’s hot!”
I shoved him again, “Alex! Can you not talk like that in front of Emerald?”
“Lighten up Ruby!, Besides, Emerald knows what hot means.”
“Yeah! I do!” Emerald said from the back seat.
I shuddered in fear of what she was about to say, “What does it mean little Em?” Alex asked.
“It’s when she’s been in the sun too long and she’s burning” Em exclaimed, “I guess her mum never taught her how to put the sunblock on.”
Alex and I looked at each other a minute, before roaring with laughter. Em was so cute.
I looked at the time on the dash. Shit! I quickly hopped out chucking our rubbish in the bin and then hopped back in, starting the ignition. Five minutes later, I was in front of Emerald’s school.
Thankfully Em’s friend Ginny Ahern was just pulling up with her mother in the car in front of us. “Em, can you walk with Ginny and her mum today? I’m really sorry I don’t have time to walk you to class today.”
“That’s okay, Ruby! Bye!”
“See ya Em!” Alex called as she went bounding over to Ginny’s mum’s car.”
Mrs Ahern climbed out of her car and waved at us. She looked at her watch, back at us then laughed. I shot her a sheepish smile and pointed at Alex. Alex faked a hurt expression and Mrs Ahern laughed as I pulled back out onto the road.
I could hear Alex chewing, he was so loud he might as well have been chewing in my ear. I looked over at him..
“Seriously? You’re still eating?” It looked as if he was finishing off the last of Emerald’s hot cakes.
“Seriously Ruby,” Alex said between bites, “You know nothing about guys! We need to eat a lot because we’re still growing.”
“Why do you always say I know nothing about boys? I do have a boyfriend, remember Jasper?”
Alex scoffed, “What? Lady boy?”
“Don’t call him lady boy!” I scolded.
Alex gave me a serious look. “Ruby? He has a Justin Bieber haircut and he wears the tightest jeans ever.”
“His mum makes him get his hair cut like that!” I defended Jasper, I couldn’t defend his jeans though. He did wear them really tight.
“His mum still picks out his haircuts? How old is he again? Sixteen months?”
I glared at Alex. I pulled into the school car park and parked in one of the far away parks. Alex got our bags out of the car while I locked it. I stopped to look at Alex a minute, trying not to laugh. He looked rather amusing wearing my pink back pack.
“There you guys are! You’re so late!”
I glanced behind me to see my friend Lily Crascall rushing up to us.
“I know. Alex had to do his hair.”
Lily looked over at Alex and smiled. “Wow, Alex, it looks as if you’ve just got out of bed.”
Alex beamed at me. “See, Rubes? Lily knows good looking hair when she sees some.”
Lily and I looked at each other, fighting back laughs. Neither of us had the heart to tell Alex that Lily was being sarcastic.
“Time for homeroom!” Lily exclaimed.
That was one thing I loved about my school. If you had a twin they made sure to put you in all the same classes. I got to share homeroom with my two best friends.
“Oh! I just need to go to the library quickly!” I exclaimed, remembering the overdue book I had sitting in my bag.
“No time! Bell is going to ring any minute!” Just as Lily said that, the bell rung, backing her up.
“Fine, I’ll do it later then.” Alex, Lily and I walked off to homeroom.