I don't know what I had in mind while writing this. Just had random thoughts: the title isn't coherent with the content. It doesn't make sense. My bad. 😅
It was the fifth day of February again, exactly ten years after my twin sister, Phyllis, disappeared without a trace.
I walked in and wondered what awaited me in this empty guest room this time. Its somber mood squeezed my heart with longing for my sister. Phyllis disappeared into this room, like a bubble popped in the air, never to be seen again after wearing a pair of smokey shoes given by our grandmother.
I sucked in the cold, dusty air from the space. The room smelled of old paint and wood mixed with sweet caramel. ‘Caramel?’
It was Phyllis's favorite scent. ‘Is she here?’
I walked towards the bunk near the window that was her favorite spot where her bed used to be, but my parents removed and replaced it with three bunk beds after she vanished.
I sat on the lower bed and peeked at the window, eyeing the growing variety of orchids outside. Grandma’s garden was the reason she used to spend time here. She would tell me about how grandma would change into a little winged creature and hover above the flowers, but I didn’t believe her.
And I went here to check if I got a letter because from the first year she went missing, I had been receiving photos of me inside a white envelope inserted on the windowsill from an unknown sender.
The first photo I received showed me in my unicorn pajama when I was twelve, propping my elbows on my pillow while writing a birthday card to Phyllis. And the following years had been that way; since then, I had waited for pictures to come during our birthday.
But this day was different. No letter was sent, but Phyllis’s scent had been present, and it became stronger, like she was just beside me, hugging me.
“Hey,” I called. “Are you here?”
Then there was this sudden gust of wind coming from the garden. In a blink, a black envelope had been inserted in between the window sill.
“Why is it black?”
My hands trembled as I picked it up. My heart drummed in my chest. I slowly unsealed it and jumped when someone suddenly spoke from nowhere. Its sound was like a choppy frequency from a walkie-talkie.
“Help me… I don’t need you!” said the voice.
The letter slipped from my hand and went under the bunker, so I stretched my skinny arm to the dusty floor to reach for it. I felt for the sheet but a cold air — a hand touching mine — made me pull my arm as fast as I could, scraping off some thin layer of skin. My hard work in gymnastics did not pay off.
I got up, dusted myself, and looked for something I could use to get the envelope, but it got itself out instead. It then floated in the air, turned itself into a small mocha cake—my favorite—and flew towards me.
“Happy birthday to us, Alice!”
I was stunned to hear Phyllis’s voice.
“Please don’t go looking for me. I’m enjoying my stay here in the Unknown, although it’s dark. Nah, don’t mind me, because I’m having many adventures here. Enjoy your adventures there too. I love you!”
A tiny candle appeared on the cake and lit itself up.
“Make a wish,” Phyllis said. I closed my eyes and whispered my wish.
Someone tapped my shoulder. It was mom.
“Honey, we have to go. Say goodbye to Phyllis now.”
It was then that I realized we were at the cemetery, at Phyllis’s graveyard. My face was damp with tears.
“Looks like your mind had been on a brief adventure again.” Mom hugged me, and dad joined us too.
I wiped the tears streaming down my cheeks with my sleeves.
“Goodbye Phyllis,” I said. “See you next year. I love you.”
I strode between my parents with heavy steps, knowing I had to leave Phyllis again—my twin who saved me from falling down the stairs because of the imaginary adventure I was having in my enthusiastic mood while on my slippery shoes.
If only I were not too full of beans, Phyllis and I could enjoy this once-a-year special day together.