“134… 135… 136… 138 – where the hell is 137?!” I shout as I drive slowly down the street. It’s already dark outside, and I haven’t exactly chosen the best neighborhood to move into. However, it is what I can afford, and that’s all I’m really looking for – anything to get away from my now-ex-boyfriend’s apartment and out of my best friend’s house. It’s not that I didn’t appreciate Katy for letting me stay at her place when Zack turned out to be the asshole he always was and still is; I just needed to get out of the old and start new for myself. Getting my own place is just a step in that direction.
I turn around for the tenth time since I’ve gotten on this street and read closer to the numbers. This time through, I realize that 137 Emery Way is the house without the house number lights lit because no one is there to turn them on obviously. Just as I turn my car to pull into the driveway, another car comes speeding down the street, nearly crashing into my left side before it comes to a screeching halt.
I step on my breaks and throw open my door to climb out as the other driver does the same. I stand between the door and the inside of the car as the male driver stands from his seat, not looking alarmed at all.
“What the hell?! Could you not see me pulling in? You could have fucking wrecked my car, asshole!” I nearly hit my car out of frustration and aggravation, but this asshole already almost did that so I decide against it.
“Calm down, babe. Your car is fine, isn’t it?” This guy must be joking. First, he comes flying down the street and he doesn’t even care because he didn’t end up hitting my car. I’m not really surprised by his behavior though. His whole looks screams “I don’t care!” He’s got a good handful or two of tattoos, and he wears a stupid smirk on his face that just pisses me off even more.
I’m already tired and done with today, so I roll my eyes and get back in my car, slamming the door and pulling into my new driveway. When I look back, the smirking stranger has gotten into his car, and - lucky me - he pulls into the driveway right next to mine. I catch his eyes and see that he is still smirking at me.
I glare and show him my neutral finger before taking my key from the ignition and getting out of my car. Ignoring my newfound neighbor – for the most part –, I pop open the trunk of my car. I stare expectantly at the boxes, wishing they would just move themselves up the steps and unpack without me having to do all the work. Unfortunately, even the force is not with me, so I pick up the top boxes from the trunk and struggle to open my front door with my key.
Eventually, I manage to open the door with my hands still occupied with the boxes. When I get inside, I set the boxes down in the bare front area and go back to my car or more. As I get to the boxes that take up the bottom of the trunk, I curse under my breath, knowing that these are the heavier ones that I had to have Katy’s dad lift and carry. I slide my hands under one box and lift it until I have done a full 180 before I feel my knees buckling at the weight. Just as I’m about to drop it, two hands catch the solid cardboard and save me from falling.
“Here, let me help you.” I want to decline the guy who just minutes ago nearly killed me, but I know that there is no way I’m going to be able to carry that box any further.
“Thanks,” I respond dryly. I’m still not pleased with the fact that he’s here, but I can’t be mute. I take the last box from the trunk, the one that must be filled with my clothes and shoes because it isn’t that heavy, and I close the trunk awkwardly before leading Mr. Almost Killed Me inside. “Just set it down anywhere.”
I turn around to set my box down on floor next to some of the other boxes. When I turn back around, the guy – my neighbor, I guess – is staring at me. I raise my eyebrows, mentally asking him what he wants, and this causes him to scratch the back of his neck awkwardly. I smirk to myself; I love making strangers feel uncomfortable.
“You know, I think we got off on the wrong foot. I’m Louis, your next door neighbor.” He smiles and extends his hand out to me. I shake his hand and give him a once over.
“Have I seen you before? I feel like I know you, but I can’t quite put my finger on it,” I tell him. He sure does look like someone familiar, but I can’t remember. This is really weird, because I don’t know how I can possibly forget a face like his.
Louis laughs at me. “Yeah, I’m in a band called One Direction. Maybe you’ve heard of us?”
I shake my head. “Nope, doesn’t ring any bells.”
“Do you live under a rock or something?”
“Do you?” I retort. We both laugh.
“So, um, I’m really sorry about almost running you over. I was upset, because my girlfriend just broke up with me and we’ve been together for so long. I just don’t get it, because we seemed so fine. I never intended to almost kill someone.”
I frown. Zack and I were the same way. One day, we were completely fine, and the next day he breaks up with me. We were together for nearly five years up until about a year or so ago. I’m hoping that my date tomorrow night will be my official pass back into the dating game. It has been far too long since Zack, and I strongly believe that I am thoroughly done with that asshole.
“I know the feeling…” I stretch just one corner of my mouth and he does the same. “Well, it was nice meeting you, neighbor, but I’m about ready to hit the sack.”
“Yeah, it was nice meeting you, too,” Louis says. “Maybe we can hang out sometime soon?”
I shrug. “Why not? Hand me your phone and I’ll punch in my number.” He hands me his phone and I enter my number to his contacts.
“Thanks, uh,” he glances down at his phone screen, “Lina.” He seems kind of confused but curious and excited and quizzical, but I don’t understand why, so I just say goodnight again and push him out the door.
I have been sitting in this stupid restaurant now for an hour, waiting for my date to show up. I check my phone for any messages from him – to no avail – so I shoot him a text asking him where he is – again – and sip on my water.
Another thirty minutes passes before the disgusting waiter comes by. Earlier, he was eyeing down my dress, and I was so close to punching him in the face but restrained myself. “Are you ready to order now, or are you still waiting?” I’m looking at his eyes, but they aren’t looking back at me. Perv.
“Actually, I’m going to be leaving now. I’m sorry for wasting your time here,” I tell him in the most polite way I possibly can with him staring at my cleavage. I put some money down on the table anyway, though I only had water, because I figure it would be rude not to leave anything.
I unlock my car and get in, but when I turn the key, the car makes a weird sound and I know it’s not going to be moving anytime soon. Great… Just. My. Luck. I pull out my phone and call Katy. She’s more in the know with cars than I am, but I really just want a ride home right now.
“Hey, Lina! How’d the date go?” Katy answers.
I roll my eyes. “The asshole didn’t even show up.” She starts to say something but I cut her off. I don’t want to see that perverted waiter get off from work any time soon. “Listen, Katy. My car broke down, so can you come pick me up? I’m at that fancy restaurant down the street from our favorite pizza place.”
Katy huffs, obviously annoyed by me ignoring her words, but I don’t honestly care right now. She grumbles a fine and I thank her just before the call drops. I step out of the car, because it’s getting a little stuffy in there, and I’m tired of sitting down. I lean against the closed door after I lock it and scroll through random stuff on my phone.
“Car troubles? Do you need a ride? Or can I call you a cab or anything?” a man asks me. I expect it to be the perverted waiter, but when I look up, I see mesmerizing emerald green eyes and curly chocolate brown locks. That’s probably the worst description I can use, but I feel like that’s the only thing anyone can say to describe him – to say anything else would be crazy. I mean, I don’t think there are any other words to describe this stranger in front of me – none whatsoever.
“Um, no. My friend is coming to pick me up, but thanks, uh…”
“Harry,” he says and holds out his hand. I shake it. “And you are?”
“Lina… that’s a pretty name.” I blush at his words, and I’m thankful that it’s dark enough outside that this stranger can’t see. “Would it be okay if I waited with you for your friend to pick you up? I wouldn’t want you to have to wait all by yourself at this hour.”
I smile lightly. “That would be great. Thank you.”
Harry and I get to know each other for a few minutes – it turns out he’s a really nice guy – before he asks the inevitable question of the night. “So what are you doing at a fancy restaurant all alone?”
I huff and cross my arms, annoyed by the thought of that douchebag. “I had a date tonight, but he stood me up.”
Harry looks kind of mad now, and I notice his fists are clenched at his sides. “He sounds like a jerk.”
“Yeah, a lot of the guys I date tend to be,” I frown.
Harry’s expression softens, and then brightens into a smile. “Well, let me take you out on a date then. I’ll treat you much better than that scumbag or any of those other guys you’ve dated. What do you say?”
I bite my lip. Can I really say yes to a stranger? I mean, I did in the coffee shop, but we all know how that ended up. Harry seems really genuine though, and I think I deserve someone like that. “Yeah, I’d like that.”
He smiles, and we exchange numbers to plan for our date. Harry gets a text from someone and he says he has to leave, but not a moment too soon because Katy pulls up just as he is leaving. Of course, she parks all the way across the parking lot, so I have to walk further than I should have to in my heels. I can’t say they really hurt me though, because I’m on cloud nine thinking about how nice Harry is and how excited I am for our date.
My phone rings early Saturday morning. Who the fuck calls a person at 8AM? I check my caller ID. Oh, it’s Louis. I decline the call because I want more sleep, but apparently, Louis is very persistent because after three declined phone calls, I realize I won’t be sleeping anymore.
“What?” I whine. “I’m trying to sleep, Louis. Are we even at this stage of neighbor yet?”
“Well, get up, neighbor. We are at that stage now, but I think they call it friendship. I’m at your door and I have a friend I really want you to meet,” he says.
“But it’s eight in the morning!” I shout, but he’s already hung up on me. I groan as I heave myself out of bed. I’m already wearing a pair of sweatpants and a big t-shirt, so I just put on my rainbow sock monkey slippers and walk downstairs. I unlock the door and step back as Louis automatically opens it.
“Good morning, Lina!” Louis yells in my face, hugging me, much to my dismay. He puts me down, and that’s when I notice his friend behind him. “Right then. Lina, this is Liam. Liam, Lina.” He nods at the two of us. “You look like you need some coffee. I’ll go make some and you two can talk.”
Louis runs off into my kitchen, one of the few rooms that have everything completely unpacked out of the boxes other than my bedroom. He was actually here last week helping me unpack, so he knows where everything is. I’ve gotten to know him a lot better in that time, but I still roll my eyes say, “Of course, come in. Make yourself at home.”
Liam laughs, apologizes for Louis, and steps inside. I close and lock the door behind him. When I turn around, I finally take a better look at Liam. He must also be in the band Louis is in, because he, too, looks familiar.
“So,” I say, “do you know why you both are here at 8AM, or is that just a Louis thing?” He looks at me confused. “You know, barging into people’s houses, using their coffee maker, and introducing strangers.” Liam and I both laugh, walking over to my kitchen counter to watch Louis make coffee as if it’s his own place.
“Well, both actually.” Now I’m the confused one. “What’s your last name, Lina?”
“Ellis,” I answer, skeptically. “Why?” I glance at Louis and see that he’s avoiding eye contact with the both of us.
“That’s your adoptive last name, right?”
“Yeah, I- Wait. How did you know I was adopted?”
Liam smiles at me, and I’m starting to get really creeped out. To think that I thought Louis was crazy. Well, Liam isn’t crazy, he’s probably psychotic. Next thing I know, Liam is hugging me, and I’m stiff as a board. Who the hell does this guy think he is?
He pulls back, putting his hands on either of my shoulders. “Lina, I think you’re my sister. No, I know that you are.”
I jump up and step away from the crazy guy. “You don’t even know me. We met like three minutes ago, and all you know is my last name and that I was adopted. Now, you’re saying I’m your sister?”
Liam frowns. “Have you ever seen your birth certificate, Lina?” I shake my head. He pulls out a piece of folded up paper from his back pocket and hands it to me. I take it rudely from his hands and unfold it. It’s a copy of a birth certificate – my birth certificate. It’s got my full name, date of birth… “Look at the parent section of the document.” I move my eyes to the part that says adoptive parents and see Peter and Joy’s (my adoptive parents) names signed. Next to their names are my birth parents’ signatures.
“Birth father, Geoff Payne; Birth mother, Karen Payne…” I say, trailing off. I look up at Liam and frown. “These are your parents, too, aren’t they?” He nods. I have always known I was adopted, but I never knew who my birth parents were. To be honest, I don’t really care. They gave me up to a horrible family, so I figured they didn’t want me. I never felt like I should waste time looking for people who didn’t want me in the first place.
“So… you’re my brother then.”
“Well, I’m more than just your brother, Lina. I’m your twin.” I look over at Louis who is now staring at us over the rim of his cup of coffee. Liam hands me a picture of two newborns, a boy and a girl.
“How long have you known?” I ask, tugging on the hem of my shirt and holding the picture in the other. Before he can answer, I interrupt. “Why did they keep you and not me?”
Liam starts to explain a lot of things to me. He shows me the letter he received on the first of this month about Karen and Geoff dying. He tells me about his visit with some John guy and what he told Liam about me. Liam says he’s been looking for me for the past two weeks since then. It was definitely fate for me to have moved in next to his best friend, or band mate. Surprisingly, I believe everything Liam says, because it feels like a part of me is whole again now that I have my apparent twin back in my life. When he’s finished with his explanation, I can’t help but smile and hug him.
Louis’ phone dings, and he sets down his coffee mug with a smile. “I’m glad that the family reunion is going well, but the rest of the lads are here.”
“Lads?” I question as Louis makes his way to my front door.
“Our band mates,” Liam answers. He grabs my hand and pulls me to the door. “Come on, I’ll introduce you all.”
I laugh and let him pull me along to the door, mentally scolding myself for not changing out of my pajamas and for wearing my rainbow sock monkey slippers. Oh well. When we open the door, I stop in my tracks and Liam gets jerked back at my abruptness. All heads turn to look at me, and I suddenly feel really small.
“Oh my gosh! Lina?!”
I put on my best smile. “Zayn!” He steps forward to hug me, and I have to get on my tippy toes and wrap my arms around his neck to hug him back.
“How do you guys know each other?” Liam asks, looking oddly between the two of us when we pull back.
“Zayn was my best friend in secondary school,” I shrug. He nods enthusiastically from next to me. I laugh.
The next voice is one I don’t want to hear. “Lina? Lina Ellis?” I turn around and face the now blonde.
“Um… hey, Niall.”
“Okay, now how do you know Niall?” Louis asks. Things are only going to get more awkward from here…
“She, uh, she was in my class in primary school…”
The rest of the boys nod, but I stare wide-eyes at Niall. I can see it in his eyes that he knows he’s lying, and that I know he knows he’s lying. “I’m really sorry, Niall…” I whisper so only he can hear.
“It’s fine, Lina. The past is the past,” Niall smiles, lifting the partial awkwardness in the atmosphere. I half smile back at him, but I don’t really understand how he just forgave me for something that I regret terribly.
“Well, let me guess, you know Harry, too, don’t you?” Louis asks, trying to lighten up the situation. I look down and blush.
I can just feel Harry smiling. “We have a date soon.” I look up at Liam and he’s glaring at Harry. Is this what it’s like to have a protective brother who won’t let his friends date you?
“Lina is off limits to all of you,” Liam says sternly. I groan and roll my eyes.
“Liam, I get that you’re my twin brother, but I’m 22 and perfectly capable of making my own decisions. Besides, I met Harry before I found out about you.”
I hear a few gasps from the other boys when I mention Liam being my twin, and Louis puts his hands up. “Okay, let me get this straight. Liam is your long lost twin brother, you used to be Niall’s classmate, Zayn was your best friend, and you have a date planned with Harold over here.”
“Yes,” we all reply.
“This is really awkward…” Louis says.
How will others react to Lina and Liam being twins?
What did Niall forgive Lina so easily for?
And why can’t she accept it?
What will Lina and Harry do on their date?
Please leave some feedback or your thoughts on this chapter. Also, I don’t know if I’m allowed to say this, but today is iceskatez’s birthday! Love you, H ;)
Next chapter release: August 23