It was summer… hot, quite humid actually. My house wasn’t air conditioned, and my mom hadn’t gotten one of those window air conditioners yet. I’m Vanessa, but my family and friends call me Ness. I’m almost 18, and so is my twin sister Alia. So, anyway, I was cooking lunch in this stifling hot weather, and it was just too hot for the month of June.
My mom came in then, along with Alia.
“Good grief, it’s hot out!” Alia exclaimed as she entered the kitchen.
“You don’t say,” I countered. “I’ve been cooking in this heat for the past two hours… you don’t say!”
“It smells good though, Ness,” my mom complimented.
“Thanks,” I said. “What’s that? Did you actually buy an air conditioner finally?”
“Yes, we had to,” mom said solemnly. “Alia went to Dr. Abbott this morning. We found out that Alia is suffering from severe asthma.”
“This weather would do that,” I replied. “What is there to do about it, besides cooler temperatures?”
“An assortment of inhalers, multiple times a day,” Alia added.
“Oh,” I sighed. “Want some lunch?”
Mom and Alia sat down at the kitchen table, while I served them spaghetti and garlic bread. Besides mom, I was the other cook in the household. Alia liked baking, but not cooking. I liked cooking, but not baking. We complimented each other in that way. Twins do that, once and awhile. After I served them, I grabbed a plate, and sat down.
“Mom, is it ok if I go hang out with Gina, Lacey, Tess, and Marcus for a bit?” I asked. Marc is my boyfriend, and Gina, Lacey and Tess are some of my closest friends ever!!
“Yes, it’s fine,” mom said. “As long as you’re home by 10.”
I cleaned up the dishes after we were all done eating, then grabbed the keys from the drawer in the entry hallway cabinet, then headed out. I was meeting them all at the Riverview Terrace Mall. We were going to go shopping, then head to my boyfriend’s house from there. It took about 20 minutes to get to the mall from my house.
“Over here!” Marcus called, and waved at me.
“Hey!” I said, excitedly. I gave him a hug. “How are you?”
“Fine,” he said. “Especially now that you’re here.”
“Awwww!” I said, blushing. “How sweet.”
“Tess and Lacey are on their way. Gina will be meeting up with us later, at my house.”
“Ok,” I said. “So, how was work this morning?”
“Fine, I guess. I had three clients this morning. We were working on reading, speech therapy, and social skills.”
Marcus is older than me, by three years. He works as a rehabilitation instructor for people with various disabilities. He works with two of my cousins actually, Lucia and Emily. Lucia has Cerebral Palsy, and Emily is autistic. My mom was the one who actually found him the job.
Tess and Lacey arrived shortly after I did. We walked around the mall, looking at various stores. It was air conditioned in the mall, so I couldn’t complain. All of us have one common interest when we go shopping, and that is art. Even Marc likes it, although I think I got him more into that, but you know. After we shopped around for a bit, we all went to the food court, and I bought them all dinner.
“So Ness, how’s looking at colleges?” Tess asked.
“Fine,” I said. “I applied to three; Amir Community College, Lexington College, and Rochelle District College.”
“Wonderful!” Lacey chimed in. “Any luck?”
“Yes,” I said. “I’ll be heading to ACC in September to start my nursing degree.”
“I’m so proud of you, hun,” Marcus beamed.
“I am too!!” Lacey chimed in.
“Seconded,” Tess agreed.
After we finished eating, we all went over to Marc’s house for a few hours, just to hang out. Gina met up with us there, and an added bonus, she’s dating Marc’s roommate, Riley. Riley and Gina have been dating for almost four years now, and Marc and I have only been dating for just over two years. Riley set Marc and I up.
“Hey, you two,” I stated excitedly. “Guess what?”
“What?” Riley and Gina asked in unison.
“I’ve been accepted to ACC in the fall!” I exclaimed. “I am going into the Registered Practical Nursing program!!”
“Congratulations, Ness!!” Riley chimed in. “I knew you’d get accepted!”
“Thanks, Riles,” I said. “I’ll be moving to Amir near the end of this summer.”
“Where is Amir?” Gina asked.
“It’s two hours from here,” I said. We all live in Berkley.
“That’s not too bad,” Tess remarked. “What’s your plan for you and Marcus though, in regards to seeing one another?”
“Her and I are moving to Amir together,” Marc announced. “There’s a job opening up in Amir for a rehabilitation instructor, which is what I am.”
“How wonderful,” Tess said.
“Hey, Tess, Lacey, Gina and Riles, can I talk to you privately for a minute?” Marc asked.
They all agreed. I sat in his living room waiting for everyone to be done their talk. It was almost 9:30, so I had to get home soon anyway. They all came back into the living room about five minutes later.
“I’ve got to get home,” I said. “I will text everyone tomorrow, ok?”
Lacey, Tess, Gina and Riley hugged me at the door and said goodbye to me. Marc ended up walking me to the car. We said goodnight to each other, and I then got into the car and headed home.
Once I got home, Alia greeted me. She seemed to have a worried look on her face. I couldn’t exactly understand why. She looked rather sad, actually.
“Ness,” Alia said, in a solemn tone.
“Yes, what’s wrong?” I asked, worried.
“Mom and I are going to have to move,” Alia said, while starting to cry. “The temperatures here are way too hot, and it’s affecting my health.”
“Where, and when?” I asked, vaguely panicked.
“We are moving to…” Alia hesitated. “Amir!!!! Mom has bought a house that has a basement apartment in it, for you, and Marcus!!!”
“Really?” I practically yelled with excitement. “When are we moving?”
“Next week sometime,” Alia replied with equal enthusiasm.
“Marcus will have to meet us at the end of August,” I said. “He’s gotta wrap up work here, to be transferred to Amir.”
I woke up early the next morning and started to pack. Mom had rented three big moving trucks to get us to Amir. I’m super excited that I won’t have to be away from mom, and of course, my wonderful twin sister. Alia and I shared a room at our current house, but in the new house, I’ll be living with Marcus in the apartment attached to the main house, when we move to Amir.
Marcus came over later that day to help me pack also. Then him and I went out for lunch to cerebrate the fact of our turning point. We went out to lunch at this cooking academy place where students learn cooking, and serving skills. Gina, Tess and Lacey were doing their apprenticeships there, as cooks, and servers. Today they served us, which normally doesn’t happen. I found that rather odd.
First Lacey brought out a special dish for me that had onion rings in it. Strange. It was good though. Secondly, Gina brought out some bread for Marcus and I to share. Tess brought out dessert… the dessert was a vanilla cake with chocolate icing, and lots of sugar lace detail, and the words written in fancy sugar letters, Will You Marry Me.
By this point, Marcus was on his knee.
“Vanessa,” he stated, kind of tripping over his words. “You are the most wonderful person, and the best thing that has happened to me. Since we are moving to Amir with your family, I only find it right that I ask to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?”
He pulled out this intricately detailed ring box, with an equally intricately detailed ring.
“Yes,” I said, almost crying. “Of course!”
Then Riley came out to join us. Marcus ended up talking to them all the night we all hung out at his house. Wow, and I didn’t catch on.
Later that summer, Marc moved in with us. It was nice to finally be with my fiancee again. Funny to say that I’m engaged to him. We will probably get married next summer, most likely. As for Alia, her health is a lot more stable since we moved to Amir. Amir is our family’s wonderful turning point, for the better!