Ever since I can remember I’ve lived in a world of tinkling champagne glasses, twinkling chandeliers, and sweet string music played live in the corner while a sea of delicately dressed people stood talking over it. I flourished in my environment full of uncomfortable lace dresses and flowy blouses tucked into tailored skirts. I delighted in the ache in my feet after hours of socializing at parties in polished heels. I devoured highly sophisticated finger foods delicately like a woman should. And I simply couldn’t contain my excitement the day of my debutante ball.
My twin brother Perry is a different story. He hated everything about our stuffy, suffocating lifestyle. He ran around the yard in his church clothes and always unbuttoned his shirt sleeves. He was the pickiest eater and would eat only sweets on days that we hosted extravagant parties. Even now he refuses to make an appearance at them, but despite all his grumblings he has never made to run away.
Our father threatened to cut Perry off and kick him out on a daily basis, but he never did. Despite his business like air, our father was gooey on the inside.
Our mother never spoke about Perry’s disobedience. She was always busy with other things. She didn’t work, but she headed every committee at the country club and spent all the rest of her time shopping for high end clothes.
That night we were hosting Father’s Christmas Business Party in our newly polished ballroom. He never missed a chance to show off. I was particularly exuberant as Perry came down from his tower and joined the party. When I asked him why, he gave me a big hug and exclaimed, “I miss my dear sister and I would never miss a Christmas party! It’s my one exception to my boycott.”
“Since when?” I demanded.
“Since today,” He smiled popping a piece of white chocolate fudge into his mouth.
I wish he had come to every party, but he only came to that one and that one would be the last. That was the night our parents were murdered.