It’s been three days since Danielle died. Three whole days and I still don’t know how it happened.
The news reports say she committed suicide. But I don’t believe it. I know it’s not true. Danielle would never do something like that. She’s not that kind of person. I told my mom this and she gave me that crap about how that’s what everyone says about someone who kills themself. But she doesn’t understand. No one does. I don’t just think it, I know it. I feel it.
Ever since Danielle and I were little, we would just . . . know things about each other. We’d know when we were hurt. We’d know when we were lost. We’d know when we needed each other. Even if we were three hundred miles away, we knew. And we were never wrong.
I have that feeling now. The feeling that something is off, something is not right. I don’t know what it is, exactly; I wish I did . . . but I have a hunch.For one thing, I know Danielle didn’t kill herself. I’m not saying she’s alive, I know that’s not the case. They didn’t show photos on the news when they gave the report, since our parents wanted to keep it confidential, and I didn’t see her since the day she died, even though our mother was the police officer who found her in the high school’s parking lot, lying on the ground. But I know she’s not alive. That part is obvious.
But also . . . the school. Of all places, why would she commit suicide in the parking lot of our school? She wouldn’t. She wouldn’t do it at all. And she didn’t. I know she didn’t.
Today is her funeral. Since it was a hushed-up story, naturally, everyone has their own theory of “why she did it.” Including, of course, everyone at the high school—especially since that’s where her body was found. The principal, Ms. Karter, didn’t say one word about the incident. There wasn’t really a lot to say, since there wasn’t a lot told. But word got out, as it usually does. It was picked up from the informative news story by the gossipy students, who quickly started rumors. So many people who knew Danielle once are now acting like she was their best friend. But she wasn’t. I know that, and so do they. Danielle had lots of friends, aquaintices, whatever. She made ’em everywhere. School. Movie theater. Park. Grocery store. On the streets. Once, when we were about 12, Mom sent us into the Shop ’n Save by ourselves “to build social skills” (like Danielle needed any), and when we were checking out, the cashier dude, (who was actually only about like five years older than we were) gave us an extra dollar. I wanted to keep it (yeah, I know, I’m evil, blame me . . .) but Danielle insisted we give it back. So we trudged back into the shop, waited in line, and gave it back. Oh, and also, she and the dude became pen pals . . . (talk about weird!) She was just naturally social . . . and she always had her eye open for boys. (I was basically the opposite.)
Since Greenwood is a small town, you know pretty much everyone. But Danielle knew everyone, like, knew everyone. I don’t know how to explain it. She knew everyone . . . better, I guess. She knew their names, for one thing, which I could never manage. But then again, I was always naturally unsocial—like I’ve been hinting, the exact opposite of my perfect twin. Just another thing to add to the list of reasons our parents favored Danielle. But anyway, none of those people were Danielle’s best friends. She only had one best friend—me.
And everyone knew that. We were the power twins. No one messed with us: the most popular, pretty girl in school . . . and of course, that girl who trailed along beside her, the one who just so happened to look like an uglier version of Danielle.
But now everyone has forgotten that. Or they’re pretending that they’ve forgotten that. Because all of a sudden they were all closer to Danielle than anyone else, all sharing juicy lies about their amazing friendship. It’s all for show.
I hate that. Using my dead sister for popularity. I want to scream in their faces, How dare you? Do you think Danielle would want that? And undoubtedly their reply would be, Who are you again? Danielle’s younger sister or something? You look kinda like her.
Yeah, it hurts. Everyone knows my sister. But, as strange and unfair as it is, not everyone knows me.
And now, without my best friend (and twin), what am I going to do? I’m not going to have anyone. Those who know me don’t care to remember me. They have their own friends. And I had Danielle.
But now I don’t.
It’s not like I have my mom. Or my dad. And the rest of my family—um, who cares? Danielle was always the favorite. The gift. I was the box, or some other stupid little trinket that also just happened to come along with the special package. And now, the gift was broken.
And I, the stupid little trinket, am the only one left.
And who wants to keep that when they’re done with the gift? No one.
I’ll be tossed by next week.