We were alike. Our first memory was of being told we were the same except for the color of our clothes. At the time even our names weren’t separated. We were GlennaandCandace or CandaceandGlenna. No spaces in between.
Eventually our world opened up and into the spaces we allowed more people. Daddy, Mama, and Granpa. It was our first separation. Glenna was Daddy’s girl. I was Granpa’s princess.
Mama, we shared.
School opened an even wider separation between us, though we were still very much alike in appearances and we pretty much kept to ourselves. But we started to notice that there were others in our world besides our immediate family.
We brought home ‘friends’ from school. We were selective in these friends. We liked the ones who tried to conform to our world best of all. Being alike was very important to us.
We had a lot of power, which I recognized right away. If Glenna and I changed even one thing like having two ribbons instead of one, the other girls would follow suit. It was so easy to control them. Glenna just thought they admired us, but I knew better. They envied us.
And then the unthinkable happened. My Granpa died right in front of me. Suddenly I had a gap in my world, one that couldn’t be shared with Glenna. It was our first real separation. I knew from that moment that there was something that I had that she didn’t. Suddenly being the same didn’t mean as much to me anymore.
Glenna didn’t understand my sadness. She tried to interest me in the things we used to do together, but I no longer had the desire to play. I often stared off in space wanting my Granpa back. I wished there was a way that I could return him to me. But there wasn’t.
During that period of mourning, I met a boy who would change my life forever. His name was Jean-Paul Schick, and he was a vampire. JP, as I called him, was the only one who understood how I felt about death. I wanted to conquer it. I wanted to crush it. I wanted to defy it.
And he got that. “That’s what vampires do,” he said.
“Can you make me into a vampire?”
“No. I’m not a full vampire yet. My mom was human and my dad says that children aren’t supposed to be turned.”
“But you could turn me someday, right?”
“If my parents will let me.”
High school separated Glenna and I even more. We stopped dressing alike, though our hair was pretty much the same. Jean-Paul was friends with both of us, but I knew he liked me better. He still wasn’t a full vampire, but I couldn’t wait for the day when he turned. I had plans to get him to turn me as well. JP didn’t know it, but we’d be together for eternity.
At least that’s what I thought until my family went to France for my oldest brother, Aaron’s wedding. Glenna and I met Pascal. I could tell she was infatuated with him. He was all she could talk about. Pascal this and Pascal that. It infuriated me. There was no way I was going to let some French boy take my place in my sister’s heart!
So I set out to ruin that relationship before it started. It was easy to get Pascal to turn from her to me. Too easy. He was definitely not worthy of Glenna’s idle thoughts let alone her affection.
I’ll say this for the French, everything they say about them being good lovers is true. I decided to go all the way with Pascal just to see if I could. I didn’t think it would be a pleasurable experience. I felt energized and powerful all at once. Who knew?
Of course I swore Pascal to secrecy. He still liked my sister. They spent time together, but I always made sure I was around. I didn’t want him to have her and I also didn’t want her to have him.
So imagine my surprise when I found out that Pascal was going to be visiting us in Twinbrook. I wasn’t sure whether I should be furious or excited. Glenna had invited him, but I’d be the one he was with.
Poor Pascal. He was so confused. He really did like Glenna, but I wouldn’t let him alone. I set out to seduce him and that’s what I did. He didn’t stand a chance.
And there was poor JP, too. He didn’t understand what was going on with me and the foreign exchange kid. I wasn’t about to enlighten him. What Jean-Paul didn’t know, he wouldn’t have to worry about. How could I explain it to him that this thing with Pascal was about power, not love. It was about the moment, not about eternity.
God, how wrong I was. Pascal eventually returned home. Glenna didn’t seem to be that broken up about it. Unfortunately, I would have to pay for what I’d done. I was pregnant.
The first person I told about it was Glenna, of course. She was very disappointed and upset. Though I refused to tell her who the father was, I think she knew. It was a measure of how much she really didn’t care about Pascal that she didn’t disown me or turn me away. Instead she forgave me. Here was yet another separation between us. I would never have forgiven her.
I would have reacted more like Jean-Paul did when he found out about the baby. He was furious because he knew it wasn’t his. I begged him for forgiveness and tried to lie and say that Pascal had seduced me, but JP didn’t believe me.
“I know you Candy,” he said. “You never do anything you don’t want to do. I’ve known that since we were kids. You wanted to be with Pascal. You didn’t want Glenna to have him. Well, now you are stuck with the consequences.”
He turned to leave and no amount of begging would get him to come back.
And that’s how I came to have Lila. But I never thought of her as my baby. I pretty much ignored her and let Nanny Lucy, or Glenna or my mom take care of her. In my head, I thought of her as Glenna’s daughter. Pascal was supposed to be with Glenna and not me, so in a lot of ways the girl belonged to my sister.
Eventually I was able to mend fences with JP, though our relationship wasn’t exactly the same as it had been. But I had a plan to fix that.
The plan hinged on our birthday, which came a few months before Jean-Paul’s. I knew when he saw me as a full woman, he wouldn’t be able to resist me. And I knew that once he became a full vampire, he’d remember his promise to me. We were meant to be together for eternity.
My only regret when I left my family’s home for good was that I was leaving behind my twin. She was the other half of my soul, but this was the final separation for us. She needed to stay here and be with her daughter, Lila. She needed to be a part of this family. I was going to go out and make a new life for myself.
Eventually Jean-Paul would help me do what I knew I needed to do. I would become powerful and strong, and I would conquer everything in my path. I would defy even Death himself.
And perhaps someday I would come back to Glenna so that she and I could be whole again.
Once again the guys at the Twinbrook Police Agency were unable to trace the lead I found regarding my sister’s disappearance. If she was ever going to be found, I’d have to find her myself.
I’ll do whatever it takes. I’ll hack into government files, blackmail the mayor’s assistant, whatever. I knew Candice was still out there. She was alive somewhere. And when I found her…
Well, when I found her, she better be able to give me a good explanation for why she’d abandon her own daughter. Why did she abandon us both?