||[Aug. 10th, 2007|04:41 am]
Merc's Note: Hey everybody! Uh. By which we mean ... anybody! Welcome to the first of five chapters that together comprise Roseview: Origins, wherein we choose to use really Marvelesque titles for what is essentially a brief reintroduction to each of our five main characters. As somebody who'll be leaving home for the first time EVER in just a few weeks, this is especially fun and pertinent for me to write. So enjoy!
“I can’t believe you’re not packed yet.”
Juliet Greene whirled around to see her brother Miller lurking in the doorframe. Of her room. This was a clear violation of the Greeneva Convention of ’98.
“Well—I can’t believe your face,” she shot back.
Miller rolled his eyes. “Mature and intelligent.”
Miller had kind of a point. He and Juliet were twins, and insults to the face of one had certain implications for the face of the other. Juliet had asserted since sixth grade that she was the hot twin, but for some reason the middle school girls of Boulder, Colorado all had brain damage and refused to admit this.
Also, Juliet totally hated Miller.
“Juliet?” her mother called from down the hall. “I still need more of your underwear, honey. This trunk’s not going to pack itself!”
“Just a minute, mom!” Juliet called back sweetly.
In the doorway, Miller snickered. “Did you pack your fluorescent thongs yet?”
“I’m going to boarding school because you suck,” Juliet informed him cheerfully, rooting around in her sock drawer for socially acceptable undergarments. How did Miller even know about those thongs? Probably found them looking for money or more of those decoy diaries she’d started leaving around in fifth grade. Oh well, she figured, time to change the locks again.
“And I need socks.” That was her mother, now coming to the door with a laundry basket in her arms. She glanced warily between Juliet and Miller; though it was Marianne Greene’s fondest wish that her children would someday learn to get along, she was always at least a little suspicious when the two of them appeared to be willingly spending time in each other’s company.
“Socks are for the weak,” Juliet scoffed over her shoulder, burrowing through the drawer.
“Or the hygienic,” Miller pointed out.
“Shut up, Lord Vader.”
“I just know you’re going to miss each other when Juliet’s gone,” Marianne sighed, sounding somewhere between exasperated and prayerful.
“Doesn’t matter how many times you say it, mom,” Miller said matter-of-factly. “Won’t make it true.”
Daniel Greene sighed despondently, dipping a french fry into the ketchup on the corner of his napkin. For her last meal in town, Juliet had requested McDonald’s, on the grounds that “I don’t know, isn’t New York like the wilderness? What if they don’t have any up there?” So there they sat on the hard plastic benches, with burgers, fries, milkshakes, and a handful of apple pies. Daniel sighed again.
“What am I going to do without my baby girl?”
Juliet patted his arm. “Don’t worry, Daddy. You’ll still have Miller! He’s almost like a girl.”
Miller rolled his eyes and took a disdainful sip of his milkshake.
“It just won’t be the same, Julie,” her father said as if she hadn’t spoken, shaking his head. “I mean, who’s going to tape American Idol for me when I get stuck in a meeting?”
“That’ll be a loss,” Miller muttered. Marianne shot him a look.
“It’s true, I guess I am gonna miss our deep discussions of Janet Jackson’s hair,” Juliet admitted, taking a large, philosophical bite of her cheeseburger. “Don’t listen to Miller, Daddy. He has no soul.”
“Julie,” her father said reproachfully. Juliet grinned.
“Things sure won’t be the same around here, that’s for sure,” Miller muttered, mutinous.
The thing is, Juliet had been plotting her escape for months. Years, if you counted the time in second grade she stole Miller’s bike and ran away to live with then-husband Max. (He was eight, and thought she was icky.) Her current bid for freedom, however, had been far more successful: When she’d stumbled across the Roseview Academy website on a routine Yahoo! search for “boarding schools” and “rodeo clowns,” she’d requested a brochure and acted very innocently surprised when it had shown up one day in the mail.
“They must really want me to come,” Juliet had said earnestly.
Miller snorted. “What is it, a school for crackwhores?”
Whereupon their mother had given him a very ugly look and snapped, “Miller!” And that was that.
… Sort of.
Anyway, the point was that the Greene family still had forty-five miles of rural highway left to navigate before they hit Roseview, and Juliet was bent on making them count.
“Ra, ra, Rasputin, lover of the Russian queen—“
“Oh my God, will you shut up?” Miller groaned.
“HE WAS A CAT WHO REALLY WAS GONE—“
“Juliet!” their mother said sternly from the front seat. “Not so I have to hear it!”
Miller sighed, pressing his forehead to the window. The sooner the complete freak who purported to be his sister was gone, the better. It wasn’t just that he hated Juliet (though he did); it was that having her around was starting to seriously detract from his Cool Points. After that not-really-accidental chem. lab accident in the spring, there was hardly a member of the Math Team who would speak to him. It was dire.
Not that Juliet cared.
“You’re gonna do great, Julie,” their father said, for what was possibly the eightieth time since the airport. “You’re gonna make tons of friends—“
“That’d be a change,” Miller snorted. Juliet pinched him. “Ow!”
“We couldn’t be prouder of you,” their father concluded. “It’s a big step, coming out to a school like this. Not everybody could’ve hacked it.”
“Gee, thanks Dad,” Miller muttered.
Daniel Greene glanced to the rearview mirror in concern. “Hey, come on, buddy. That wasn’t anything about you. All I’m saying is there are some people who are adventurous, and some people who are more …”
He trailed off. Marianne shot him a look.
“And some people are Miller,” Juliet chimed in cheerfully.
Miller rolled his eyes.