Ice Pop

I watch Lucas through large panes of glass from outside the store; he is speaking with a clerk in that amiable way of his that makes him so well-liked at school. Though we are both the same height, he is considered to be of average height, while I am considered tall. He has the lean build of a runner, and his facial features are symmetrical—his nose has a slight hook, and his eyes droop a little under their lids, which frame his green-brown eyes. I remember my androgynous figure, slightly upturned nose, and droopy eyes with dark brown irises.

It is strange to me that we are fraternal twins, because people expect us to be similar, though we can be quite different. Lucas is always cheerful, easily laughing with the world, whereas I am sarcastic and languid. I turn away from the glass when I see Lucas paying for the groceries and grabbing the bags. I sit on the curb in front of the store—a common hangout spot for teens in this small, sleepy town.

Lucas joins me on the curb and sets the bags aside. “Today is hot, isn’t it?”

“Yeah, this is the third time you’ve said that,” I respond.

“Which is why,” Lucas continues, still smiling. “I’ve got ice pops!” His grin is impossibly wider, as he hands me one.

“Thanks.” I tear off the opaque white wrapper, only to find it is lemon-flavored—I hate lemon-flavor. “Great. My favorite.”

“Really?” Lucas smiles happily, oblivious to my sarcasm. “I like cherry and lemon, so I got one each. I hope you don’t mind; I’m not really sure what you like.” He looks at me apologetically.

I only shrug in response. We eat in silence, and I notice Lucas licking his ice pop, while I take a bite of mine—another difference between us. I pout at the sour, artificial taste, but I am in no position to complain. After all, he bought this for me, which is a rare occurrence.

I resort to licking as I think about how Lucas suddenly invited me to hangout this afternoon. We were close in elementary school, practically spending every moment together, but I suppose middle school hormones got the better of us, because we slowly drifted apart, and by high school, we practically never spoke to each other. Thinking about it, I miss him. There seems to be an awkward chasm between us, because we first went to the park and walked around not having much to say. Then Lucas remembered he promised Mom he would pick up groceries—Lucas was always more responsible—so here we are. I wonder why he wanted to spend an afternoon with me after all of these years.

“Lucie—hey, Lucie. Are you listening?” Lucas calls out, and I jump a little, startled from my reverie.

“Huh? What?”

“Your ice pop is melting.”

I look down, to find a trail of lemony-yellow liquid trickling down my fingers. “Oh.”

“You want a napkin?”

“No, it’s fine.” I lick the liquid from my fingers.

“That’s gross.”

“It’s normal.”

We sit in silence again. I notice Lucas has already finished his ice pop. After a few more moments of awkwardness, Lucas says, “You don’t like lemon, right?”

I am taken by surprise, so I answer honestly: “No. It’s my least favorite flavor, actually.” Maybe I should have omitted the last part.

Lucas grimaces. “Sorry, I should have known.”

“You should have read my mind.”

Lucas laughs a little. “Ah, maybe I should have asked.”

“I would have lied, though.”

“Why?”

“Just kidding.”

“Oh.”

Before it can become silent, I ask, “So, why did you invite me out today?”

Lucas contemplates, before answering, “I’m not really sure…I just thought we don’t talk much anymore…And I kind of miss having a sister, you know?”

“No, I wouldn’t know. I only have a brother.”

“…Was that a joke?”

“Yeah, but it sounded better in my head. Now that I’ve said it, it sounds—”

“Lame?” Lucas finishes.

Suddenly, we are both laughing. Realizing we did that twin thing—finishing each other’s sentences—I laugh even harder. I am grateful for Lucas’s admission, because I miss him too, but rather than saying so, I stand up and say:

“Hey, want another ice pop? It’s my treat.”

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