Hilda Oakley

Australian author and poet

   Apr 12

Sisterly Love

“No! No I won’t!”

“Just one last time!  I mean it!  Why don’t you want to?” Suzie pleaded.

“Well, the Harrison girls tried it only once and their parents caught them.  Although they tried to talk their way out of it they were still grounded for three months,” Ava replied, matter of factly.

“But why?  It’s not illegal, just a bit of fun,” Suzie stated.

“It’s too risky!  We might get caught!” argued Ava.

“You’re too soft,” Suzie quickly replied.

x   x   x   x

When the sisters were little and because they were born close together, their mother, Avril, hired a pram for two.  Everybody who looked at the children was amazed at their beauty.  They had dusky coloured skin and jet black hair, which were in a mass of curls.  Their skin colouring and dark brown velvet eyes came from their parents, a Maori mother and a Caucasian father.

The girls were often dressed in handmade pink dresses, trimmed with beautiful embroidery.  They wore a royal purple band in their hair to compliment their outfits.

Suzie was the more adventurous of the two.  She walked at eleven months.  Ava however, didn’t start to walk until fifteen months.  Everyone was relieved, as she was getting rather heavy to carry.

Ava was very placid and could entertain herself for hours.  Their mother Avril would place a couple of blankets over the table, so that the sides hung down to form a cubbyhouse.  Here Ava spent many hours at play.

Not for Suzie.  She’d spend all day climbing trees.  Her cubbyhouse was in the thick undergrowth and bushes of their home.  She’d invite Ava to her special place.  The girls would play happily together with just a few spats.

One day Suzie said to Ava, “Come outside and help me make some daisy-chains.  You’ll love doing that and it’s not as dangerous as climbing trees!” They were having a competition of who could make the longest daisy chain.  Suddenly Ava screamed out, “Help! I think I’ve been stung by a bee!”

A quick look at Ava’s foot and Suzie sensed Ava was in real trouble.  She could see that the sting was still in there.  “Wait here and I’ll go and get Mummy!”

Suzie raced into the house yelling urgently for their mother.  “Come quick mummy!  It’s Ava!”

They could tell Ava was seriously ill.  Her foot was swollen, her neck was expanding and she was gasping for breath.  An ambulance was called. The paramedics quickly arrived and gave her an antihistamine injection, to prevent an anaphylactic shock.  They then proceeded to remove the remaining bee barbed-sting from her foot.

“We will have to take her to hospital.  The doctors and nurses will be able to monitor her and observe her overnight.  I’m sure she will be alright now!” they assured Avril.

When she returned home, Avril could hear weeping in the bushes.  Following the sound, she found Suzie sobbing her heart out.  Tears were streaming down her face.

“I didn’t know Ava would get so sick,” she sniffled. “All we were doing was making daisy-chains and having fun.  It’s all my fault!”

“No-one knew she was allergic to bee stings until now, darling.  Now, dry your eyes and we will pop over to the hospital and you can see how she is now.”

“Oh, that would be great, Mummy!” Suzie said in a happier voice.

Arriving at the hospital, they could see Ava’s foot and face had lost all the puffiness and swelling and Ava was talking again without gasping for air.  Suzie was pleased to see Ava had recovered and was her normal self again.

x   x   x   x

Years passed.  Suzie’s shelf groaned from the weight of all the sporting trophies.  Ava, on the other hand, had certificates and minimal amount of money for her poems and short stories she’d won in competitions.

They were each interested in the others activity.  Ava went to see Suzie win and accept her sporting achievements and Suzie was there happy to see Ava win her distinction in poetry.

One day, Suzie and Ava were invited to a birthday party at the local skating rink.  Suzie was thrilled!  Being good at sports she’d be a natural.

As the invitation was for both of them, Suzie thought she would have to coax Ava to come along.  To her astonishment, Ava said “Yes” straight away, without any hesitation.

The rink was decorated in vivid pink with fairies hanging everywhere.  Suzie’s bright orange jeans contrasted with Ava’s mauve pair as she helped Ava put her skates on.

Suzie was a real show-off from the start, skating round and round with hardly a fault.

Then all eyes were glued on Ava.  Her performance was flawless.  She skated around doing unbelievable twists and turns, jumps, and finished by pirouetting round and round and round at astonishing speed.  Ava thrilled the audience.  Everyone was stunned at her routine and stood up and applauded her.

Suzie was shocked.  How could Ava be so skilled?

“How did you do that?  It’s what I usually do!  When did you learn to skate like that?” she asked, riddled with the sulks.

Ava, puffed with pride, replied, “I was sick of people putting me down, so I took skating lessons.  I have been skating now for the past six months.”

Suzie was downcast, “So all the time you were meant to be in the library you were having skating lessons?”

“Not all the time, only two days a week after school,” Ava announced.

x   x   x   x

Back at home, they were still arguing.  Their mother called out, “What are you girls arguing about?  Is everything alright?”

“Everything’s fine,” they replied, “We’ve sorted it all out now, just a quarrel about the skating party, that’s all!” They started laughing, “Let’s forgive and forget,” they said simultaneously.

Suzie gave a giggle. “You know what!  I still think you’re a sneak!  Now let’s go shopping and I’ll shout you a Devonshire Tea to celebrate!”

“What a great idea!”  Being Ava’s two greatest loves – scones with jam and cream and shopping for clothes – how could she refuse?

After morning tea, Ava and Suzie went on the hunt for new dresses.  It was only the best for them, from the most exclusive boutiques in town.  They were both extremely excited anticipating what they may find.  No matter what style of dress one of them picked, the other would also pick the same dress, or similar style or fashion.  They decided it didn’t matter, if they were both invited to the same party, they would each know what the other was going to wear!

As they were both similar in size, Suzie would wait until Ava went out.  If the style suited her, she would brighten up her dress by wearing a diamante belt or a bright expensive scarf, and to compliment the outfit, a handbag covered with extensive bling.  Everybody always remarked on how beautiful and perfect Suzie looked.

x   x   x   x

One night Ava arrived home early, to find Suzie in one of her favourite gowns.  Suzie did not expect Ava’s reaction. “So this is what happens when I am not here!” she exploded.  “One day when you least expect it, I’ll get even with you!  So for now, just watch your back and leave the contents of my wardrobe alone!”

Ava waited until Suzie went on a date.  She had plotted and planned for this day.  Just before Suzie was due home she put her plan into action.

Suddenly a loud scream rent the air.  Ava had put a slimy frog in Suzie’s bed.  It did the trick!  The rivalry continued until the tricks got out of hand!

One day there was a knock at the door.  Suzie answered it.

“Who is it for?” Ava called out.

“Just something for me,” her sister replied.  It was unusual and strange.  Suzie usually shared everything with Ava, even if it was just to gloat.

Sneaking up to Suzie’s room, she noticed a manuscript on her dresser.

Suzie, turning around, realized she had been caught out.

“What have you got there?” Ava demanded.

“Nothing you’d be interested in!” Suzie replied.

Ava snatched the letter and manuscript out of her sister’s hand.  “You cheat!  This is my poetry!  Why Suzie! Why?”

“I was feeling down and needed someone to appreciate me.”

“Does that mean that every time you’re down, you’re going steal something of mine, or do something despicable to me?”

Suzie admitted. “I probably shouldn’t have stolen what was so precious to you. I admit it was over the top.”

Ava softened. “You silly goose!  We’re inseparable.  The only differences we have are different gifts,” Ava assured her.

As time passed by they found things they both liked.  Suzie helped Ava overcome her fears of gymnastics, and now they enjoyed practicing it together.  They both did so well in the state finals that Suzie came away with a gold medal, while Ava took home the silver.

x   x   x   x

The days now were peaceful.  They both went to a lot of parties and went out with different boys.  One afternoon, sick of the blazing heat, they put on their swimmers, wrapped a sarong around their waist, and went to their favourite swimming hole.

Ava was the first one into the water.  Suzie sat on the bank resting and relaxing.

“Help!  Help me!  Please!  Help-p-p-p!”  Suddenly Ava disappeared underwater.

Suzie was a strong swimmer.  She raced flat out to the water’s edge and dived in.  Finding her sister, she pulled her out and managed to drag her up onto the bank.  Ava wasn’t breathing.  Suzie immediately started CPR.  At last with a lot of spluttering and coughing, she got her sister breathing again.

Another person nearby was quick to phone for an ambulance.  The paramedics arrived quickly and took over, checking Ava to make sure all was well.

By now, a large group of onlookers had gathered.  Suzie, seeing Ava in capable hands, quickly moved away and disappeared out of sight.  Although a confident young woman, Suzie was camera shy and didn’t want to risk being in the limelight.

But the next day, splashed across the front page of the local newspaper were the headlines: “Mystery woman saves young lass from drowning!”  Witnesses reported they did not get a good look at the woman, but paramedics attending the scene stated, “Without that woman applying C.P.R. immediately, the girl surely would have died.”

Arriving home from hospital, Ava immediately went up to Suzie’s room and hugged her.  “It was you who saved my life, wasn’t it!  I was so full of water and groggy that I thought I was hallucinating.”

Suzie held Ava in her arms. “We’re sisters forever, remember!”

x   x   x   x

Their entertainment and partying was entirely separate, until one day, the inevitable happened.  They had both somehow ended up with an invitation to the same New Years Eve masked ball.  Without realizing it, they both dressed as Cleopatra.

They were already late, but Suzie had a plan to solve the problem of their shared identity. As their faces did not need to be seen until midnight when everyone took off their masks, Ava was to slip out to the ladies powder room at ten to twelve.  From here, there was a door leading to the outside of the building and no-one need to know she had gone.’

Ava was more like Cinderella; she was enjoying herself so much she didn’t notice the time until it was five minutes to midnight.  She raced to the ladies room then out to the car-park to her car and went home.  Her partner Forrest did not suspect that she had disappeared.

Then Suzie came running up to Forrest, also dressed as Cleopatra.  As she removed her mask, he looked straight into the most beautiful velvet brown eyes he had ever seen.  Forrest could hardly believe his luck.  Unbeknown to him, however, Suzie had previously plotted all this out so that she could be with Forrest for the rest of the night. Suzie, having secretly loved Forrest from afar, had schemed for this ever since the town gossips had told her Forrest was home from University.  Now it had finally come to pass.  Suzie and Forrest spent an enchanted evening together.

x   x   x   x

Some time passed.  Then, one morning their mother Avril heard them squabbling.

“I can’t!  I already told you No!” Ava said firmly, “Nothing will make me change my mind.”

Their mother left them to work out their differences.

“We’ll see about that!” Suzie replied, “Look what I have here, a travel brochure for the holidays.”

“This time it was Ava who said, “Hooray! What a great idea!”

“It’s going to be fantastic!  They have just opened a new Riding School and an Animal Park for endangered species,” Ava read out as she studied the brochure.

“Please agree to come!  It will be fun.” Ava pleaded.  Although Ava was usually a book-worm she loved horse riding.

“I will agree to come on the condition that you do something special for me, Ava,” Suzie suggested.

“Oh! No! Not that again!” Ava pleaded.

“This will be the very last time,” Suzie assured her.

“OK” Ava relented, “I’ll do it for you this one last time.”

x   x   x   x

Suzie had met Ashton Bartholomew at the local skating rink.  He was a really handsome guy and a lot of fun, at first.  Then after getting to know him a little better, she found him to be more of an academic, University book-worm type of person.  In this area, they had little in common.  Suzie had made this date with him weeks before and she didn’t like breaking it off and hurting his feelings.

The front doorbell rang. Ava came bouncing down the stairs.  She opened the front door to greet a handsome looking young man waiting there.

“Hi Ashton! It’s lovely to see you again!” she said as she swung on his arm, playing the part to perfection.

“Suzie, you look absolutely gorgeous tonight.  Let’s go!” Ashton remarked.

As Ava and her handsome new friend disappeared into the night, the real Suzie was on the phone making a date with the man she really loved, Forrest.

Suzie didn’t need to worry anymore tonight, as Ava would be out partying with her new friend Ashton well into the early hours of the morning.

The front doorbell rang again.

Suzie leapt up to answer it.   “Wow, Ava, you look extremely gorgeous tonight,” Forrest remarked.

“It’s not hard to be beautiful with my gene pool, Forrest.  You see, my real name is Suzie.  Ava is my sister.  We happen to be identical twins!”


Hilda Oakley     Copyright © 16.07.2012

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