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Variations on an Ending

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 Emily had it wrong the whole time. So much for being the clever twin. All up herself thinking she had it all sorted. And she had been lucky that her strong head-butt, Katie's pre-existing head injury and the pure embarrassment of standing in front of the whole form looking like a proper mess, had been enough to stun her twin into silence with her completely off-base accusation. Emily was just so fucking wrong, sometimes.

 Katie thought about it now. As if she was upset about Emily being different, as if that was a huge fucking shock. Of course they were bloody different and it was even more obvious that she wasn't Katie. It had never been about that. It wasn't that Katie had been worried that Emily wasn't going to be her double anymore, she was terrified that she was turning into Emily, terrified that they were the same.

 Like hell she'd want Emily to be her. There could only be one Katie Fitch, but to be Katie Fitch there needed to be an Emily Fitch. There needed to be the back-up plan, the shadow, the comparison, the girl she could stand beside and look so much better than, relatively speaking. And even more so, there needed to be Emily, dear quiet Emily, that could be her sounding board for when she came up with a witty, or often just plain poisonous, insult and she whispered it just loud enough for other people to overhear, and remark, “Oh, Katie, you're so right!” (or “cheeky” or “rude” or “funny” or “bitchy” or “clever”. Any of the above worked. They were all compliments to her, after all.)

 What didn't work is coming up with such barbs and saying them out loud to an empty space beside her. Then she just looked like bloody Pandora space-case, or something, fucking talking to herself like some mad homeless pigeon lady who lives in the park and eats chewing gum wrappers. Or minging Naomi Campbell always rolling those annoying eyes at no one – like anyone actually gives a shit if her Highness doesn't think something is appropriate.

 It was all her fault anyway. Fucking twat. If she hadn't come around, prancing around her sister and acting like such a blind stupid cow (which was obviously Emily's type) everything would still be fine and Katie wouldn't be sitting on the sofa glaring at them across the room as JJ shifts obviously uncomfortably beside her and babbles about something completely fucking boring. She wouldn't be sulking, forgotten, as Emily throws her head back with a laugh that Katie can hear sparkling all the way over here. Naomi can not possibly be that brilliant.

 Her eyes narrow as she watches her sister focus again on that blonde colourblind giant, her laughter settling, but the smile unwavering. She is fairly certain that she's going to be ill. And then Naomi fucking Campbell, carpet-munching Queen of everything cold and unholy, reaches forward and tucks a lock of red hair behind her sister's ear. It's so fucking lovey and sweet and Naomi's face matches her own sister's lovestruck dopey face so exactly that any one part of that scene alone is enough for Katie to, at any second, hurl all over JJ's lap. It's like no one else in the world even matters anymore.

 And it had been that way since college had started. There was no use pretending it only began after the Love Ball because even before that when Emily wasn't lying about not being with Naomi, she was thinking about it, or worse doing it and for the life of her, Katie couldn't see what the big huge deal was anyway. As if that shitstain was anything special. But everyday since Naomi came to Cook's massive cock-up of a birthday party, Katie started losing her shadow. Emily's mind was elsewhere, no doubt somewhere between Naomi's legs – metaphorically, of course. Katie couldn't – wouldn't – accept otherwise, because that really must be love or something.

 No. She wasn't upset about Emily being gay. So what? Less competition really. But that was easy to deflect onto. She could scream and bitch and downright beg about that and her pride would be intact. She'd rather be a bigot than a baby. (And honestly, Katie just really didn't like when Emily did things first.) So, that's what it became. And it was made particularly easy since her hatred for Naomi Campbell was pre-existing. Couldn't a girl just not like another girl for no other reason than said other girl was a complete and utter fucking twat, always has been, always will be?

 But she couldn't tell Emily why, not the truth. Emily resented her enough as it was, even she could see that, but it just looked bad and Katie hated looking bad, literally and figuratively. It was more than just losing her ability to impress other people by using Emily like a pet. (A less pretty and charming pet). Katie knew she didn't have anyone other than Emily, not really. She wasn't stupid and saw her friends for what they were most of the time. Outside the prying eyes of their classmates, she and Ems were sisters. Blood thicker than water or some bullshit. But that all changed. Emily's solitary journey began. It was for this exact reason that she hated everything that Naomi Campbell represented.

 She gave Emily courage and confidence and light (even though the dumb cunt totally didn't even deserve her sister's affections) and Emily stepped away and Katie became the shadow. She was the one forgotten at a party beside the weird guy in a corner. She was the one that was asked along as an afterthought, just because they had invited Emily in front of her, and it would just be impolite not to extend it to her as well. She was the one stuck rushing to pull on her shoes as Emily whined about how Naomi was waiting and if she didn't hurry, she wasn't going to get a ride to college since Naomi had no reservations about leaving Katie behind. Where on earth the hobo-hippie cow had even gotten a car was a mystery even if it was a shitbox on wheels, but it was still better than walking alone like a total loser.

 And she detested it all. Emily was just fucking rays of sunshine, except when she and the stroppy bitch were fighting, which was often enough, but even then Katie couldn't catch a fucking break because those blinding rays turned into massive thunderstorms that obliterated her either way. And that might be worse just because it was evidence --solid evidence-- that they cared about each other that much for things to matter enough to fight. Katie never cared enough to seriously fight with any of her boyfriends. They were twats, that was accepted and she didn't really care, not really. Not the way Naomi and Emily care too much.

 Everything was backwards and upside down and Katie had a hard enough time the right side around. It had taken practice and patience to build the reputation and confidence she had before. It was a fucking chore to become that normal (but fucking hot), and Emily (who couldn't be normal if it whacked her up the fanny) had no idea how bloody hard it had been to use all that jealousy towards her (just because she got tits before all the other girls, and then got all the attention first too) and translate it into power. And then keeping it, all the games and things she had to do to convince everyone that she was top bitch. Some secrets even twins can't share.

 And all that meant nothing now. JJ's stopped talking somewhere along the way and instead is bouncing his knee in the most annoying way possible, as she sits and glares, and chews what was once a perfectly manicured nail. The red paint chips off in tiny pieces and she moves onto the next nail. And there's Emily chatting to some fit bloke, her drink splashing over the rim of her cup as she gestures animatedly about something, likely something painfully stupid and boring, and he laughs – and not just politely like boys used to humour her when Katie was beside her. Poor sod probably doesn't even realise he's completely wasting his time since her raging lesbian sister only has eyes for the ugliest damn person in the world.

 Speaking of the she-Devil, Naomi comes up beside them, eyes flashing with something indescribable and Katie knows that there is a 70% chance that there will be a thunderstorm at home tonight but being the coward that she is, Naomi stands there fiddling with her own drink cup, eying Emily in an almost insultingly distrustful way. If Katie was half of who she used to be, before being knocked down twice and being stuffed back into the dark corner like the spastic cousin at a family reunion, she would have walked up to Naomi and swiped that poisonous look off her equally poisonous face. But now she just watches and waits. Fucking JJ starts up again and nudges her to pay attention and she gives in briefly, if only to keep him around so she's not alone on the sofa. She forces a smile when he does even though she hasn't the faintest what on earth he's talking about. By the time she turns back around, Naomi's got on that shit-eating grin again and dumb, happy Emily is wrapped around her like a bloody ape-baby on its mother's back.

 Fucking Naomi Campbell is smirking in that completely repugnant way of hers. It's like she fucking just knows what she's done. Like she's completely aware how much she's fucked things up for Katie, even if she's never even acknowledged her presence the entire night.

 A few months ago, Emily stopped trying to get Naomi and Katie to be nice to each other. It wasn't because she and Naomi had come to some sort of peace treaty to offer or whatever gay shit the two of them thought up, but it was more like Emily just... forgot to care anymore. Like it didn't even matter. There was Naomi and Emily, and that was it. But it still didn't stop Naomi from purposely doing things, small, inconsequential ones, to bait Katie. It worked sometimes, but Emily didn't even notice how unhappy she was around Naomi, who had informed her one night at a very similar and horrible party that “Payback's a bitch, eh, Katiekins?” And in a sense Katie knew that it was revenge, that she had brought on Naomi's behaviour herself after years of taunts and generally trying her hardest to make the blonde's life miserable. But, now, Naomi could stop. She'd obviously won. She didn't stop though and anytime Katie broached the subject with Emily --if and when she wasn't at Naomi's-- Emily would shrug, mutter something about just “trying harder, yeah” and poke at her bloody mobile until 1 in the morning to her giant twat of a girlfriend.

Everything was pushed aside for cuntface Naomi. She had lost her sister. And this is what Katie had been scared of from the very beginning. This is why sometimes, even before the camping trip from Hell, she had sobbed in the shower (just so no one would know). At this point, she isn't sure if she is even a shadow anymore. She is nobody and not even her twin sister can see her.

 So she turns quickly to JJ, seeing a spark of surprise (or maybe fear) in his eyes. And then she kisses him. Hard. Much harder than necessary and it's sloppy and awkward, but it's loud and when she's done, she straightens her top and glances around coyly. A smile is creeping slowly onto JJ's stunned face, but it's nothing compared to the aghast look on her sister's face across the room. Katie wipes a sleeve over her mouth daintily. It's the only thing she can do to stop herself from laughing out loud. She stands, pulls at her skirt quickly and strolls over to the counter, grabbing an empty cup, filling it halfway with vodka and winking at her sister. Naomi's eyes narrow suspiciously, darting between she, Emily and JJ like there is finally something she is not privy to. At fucking last, Katie thinks taking joy in Naomi's lack of inclusion and notices with a feeling of victory when Emily pulls her hand away from the tenuous grasp Naomi previously had.

 “Aren't you going to offer me some mix, Ems?” Katie says, trilling in a way she had thought she had forgotten. Emily's hand is tightly clasped around the bottle of Irn-Bru, but the question slowly sinks in and she pushes it forward slowly, her face a mess of confusion. There's a brief moment where Katie's pouring and the other two girls are mutely staring at her. She had forgotten what it was like to have other people's gazes burning into her skin. It's warm and comfortable somehow.

Katie turns on her heel and waltzes back to JJ, tossing a cheeky look over her shoulder at her twin and her obnoxious fucking girlfriend. Emily's still staring like she's seen a ghost and Naomi is, well, it doesn't really matter because she looks like that normally anyway. It's almost nostalgically familiar. She settles into JJ's lap, offers him a sip which of course he declines, and she cuts a glance at her sister again.

 Yep, she's watching with that oh so recognizable wounded puppy-dog look on her face.

 Katie Fitch isn't anybody's fucking shadow.