by Kirsten (age 12)
“I knew it!” I pounded my fist against the bed and waited for him to tell me actually what happened. “I can’t tell you.” Jacob traced one of his cuts. “Ughh… I’m your freaking twin sister. Why can’t you tell me?” I was starting to get impatient. “You wouldn’t understand.” He didn’t dare look at me. “I wouldn’t understand?! Then make me understand!” I yelled. “You’re making this even harder for me to explain.” Jacob put his hands to his head. “You’re not even explaining,” I said, lowering my voice. “Never mind!” he shouted for the whole world to hear, “I’ll tell you when I’m not filled with pain!” “Fine. When you get out of this place, I will be waiting for you to tell me what actually happened.” I walked away and opened the door. “Done?” Dad asked me. I nodded. They all went back in. I sat in a wooden chair that was across from Jacob’s bed. “Looks like you’re in a bad mood,” Anita told me, pacing in front of me. I rolled my eyes. “What happened? Did your boyfriend break up with you?” she asked sarcastically. “No. You know he’s my brother, idiot.” I kicked my legs in front of my chair. “I was just kidding.” Anita looked at me. “What the heck is wrong with you?” she asked again. “Nothing! Just leave me alone!” I yelled so loudly that my parents turned around. I regretted the words right after they came out my mouth.
We were still at the hospital, but it turned out that Jacob could come home. We walked slowly to the car. Mom, Grandma, and Aunt Silvia were going in Grandma’s car. My cousins’, Dad, Jacob, and me were using Aunt Silvia’s car. “Where are we going?” Jacob asked when we got settled for the ride. I turned to look at Dad. Apparently, Jacob didn’t know about the burned down house. “Aunt Silvia’s,” Dad replied. “Why?” Jacob continued with his questions. “Our house had a fire yesterday, Jacob,” Dad reasoned, “while you were sneaking out.” “What?!” Jacob yelled. “What’s gonna happen to our house now? Just leave it rusting there?” “No, I hired workers to fix it up. It should be ready in a couple of months.” Dad held the steering wheel tightly and looked like he didn’t take that very well. Once we got to Aunt Silvia’s, I pulled Jacob aside. “Mmmhmm, you’re back and I’m waiting,” I told him. “Okay, okay.” Jacob started. He told me a whole different story than what Mom had told me. He told me that he got beat up by the quarterback. He said that he tried to hit him with a fire extinguisher and it landed on his arm, hard. And that’s how he got the broken arm. Punched him a couple times, too. Jacob tried to run away but then bumped into the pole and that’s how he got the bump. I was speechless. Who would do this to Jacob? “I need you to do me a big favor,” he said after his big explanation. “Okay…” I said. “Can you be me? For the big game in two weeks?” Jacob asked. “Whoa… That’s big,” I gasped. “Well, I can’t do it. Look at me.” He showed me his broken arm. “You like football anyways,” he added. I breathed slowly. I didn’t know how to answer this one. I know how much care Jacob puts into his football.
Later that night, I thought about what Jacob had asked me. It will only be for two weeks. How hard can that be? What will Mom think? I can’t tell her. I can’t even tell Dad. I can pretend to go to a school trip for two weeks. No, I forgot, it’s summer. I can pretend to stay at my best friend, Carla’s house for two weeks. She moved to Georgia last summer. Thank god that it’s summer right now. I don’t have to worry about school. I couldn’t wait to tell Jacob. I had to tell him now before I forgot. I tiptoed to the living room where Jacob was sleeping. “Jacob?” I whispered, shoving his shoulder. He moved onto his back. “Jacob!” I said more loudly. He groaned and sat up. “My shoulder is sore! You’re going to be the reason for my death,” said Jacob. “Sorry, but listen,” I said. “What do you want,” asked Jacob, rubbing his eyes, “it’s the middle of the night.” “I would forget in the morning,” I started. “Anyways, I decided to take your reasoning that you told me earlier.” Jacob sat up straight. I knew he would like this. “I figured out to pretend to be at Carla’s house for two weeks, so Mom won’t be wondering where I am,” I continued. “But Mom will want to talk to Carla’s mom,” Jacob reasoned. “True, but Carla can fake her voice probably,” I answered, “I’ll call her tomorrow to tell her the plan.” “When does practice begin?” I started questions up again. “It’s gonna be everyday at 1,” he replied. “Shoot. Where will I sleep?” I asked. “You can be at your other friend’s house,” recalled Jacob, “Angie, I think her name is.” “Good idea. I’ll call her too… But what about her mom?” I looked up at the ceiling. “Oh yeah, I forgot! Her mom and dad are on their honeymoon. Her grandmother is watching her and she is a clueless women.” I got excited. “Well, aren’t you lucky?” Jacob smiled. “Thanks,” he said. “No prob, bro. This will be fun.” I smiled back, “A girl’s gotta get some adventure.”