Letting my last cigarette fall to the floor, I slip into Helena’s favourite night club by the back door. The sudden rush of electronic noise and flashing lights makes me wince. Ignoring the growing throb in my head, I sit by the bar and scan through the mess of dark shadows lost in reverie. Lee isn’t there. I take another swig of my dark beer.
The night goes on. My search is in vain. As I slam down my fourth pint glass in frustration, I almost gasp when I see Helena in its reflection. But I recognise my inebriated self in seconds. A version of me. Thick eyeliner and cherry red lipstick have turned my face into a mask of my sister. Every strand of my brown frazzled hair stays hidden under a blonde wig that smells like smoke.
The guise works perfect. Still, I feel ill at ease. I felt the same way when Helena had dragged me out here on our last birthday. Sisters we might have been, we shared little in common. Decadence that I run from, was what Helena chased. One never knew what the other was thinking, though we had always been told that twins ought to. We led two different lives, which held two different fates.
Was. Had. It grieves me to speak of my sister that way. Yet that is how it will always be from here on. Our fates have been set in stone since that night. I can no longer pretend that everything will be all right, after seeing Helena’s broken, pregnant body behind the cordon.
Anguish sears anew as I recall that first night I had felt my twin completely, and for the last time. Overwhelmed by the memory, I have almost forgotten what I had come here to do. That is when I spot Lee exiting the bathroom, white powder on his black jacket.
It is a face that I can never forget. Not in this lifetime. This is the bastard who had sworn he loved my sister, until the day he found out that she was carrying their child. This is the coward who hides from his responsibilities, behind the name of his family.
I keep watch as the snake slides into the crowd. Under what little light there is, I can see the fresh scar on his cheek – from Helena’s final fight. The thought strikes me with blunt force. But my tears have already run dry. There is only numbness in me as I watch Lee dance with a young girl, oblivious in his drug-induced ecstasy. Free as an innocent, guilty as hell.
I fiddle with my empty cigarette pack that once belonged to Helena. My other gloved hand finds a gun’s edge in my hidden jacket pocket. I look back at my reflection – Helena’s reflection – in my glass, and practise a forgotten smile.
Behind shut eyes, I imagine Lee blanching at the sight of his dead lover. I relish in the vision, and let go of the stranglehold on my rage. My sister comes alive within me, our fiery eyes opening to the man who had done this to her.
Daily Prompt: Lifestyle