by D. A. Price
A romance begins for Amber as the country deals with the attack on American soil.
| Chapter 1
Amber had just finished taking her shower and getting dressed for her classes at Elizabeth City State University. She was working on her Bachelor’s Degree in Education, and this was her last year. After strapping her watch on, she grabbed her books as she walked into the living room of the apartment she shared with a childhood friend. She saw her roommate standing in front of the television set, holding a kitchen towel loosely in her hand. Amber glanced over to see what was so interesting and stood watching in horror as a plane crashed into one of the twin towers in New York. CNN was showing it over and over again as they cut into it with live feed showing another plane crashing into the other tower.
Her roommate had not realized that Amber had come into the room until she heard the gasp behind her and the thud that the books made as they hit the floor. “This is a nightmare.” Her roommate was usually tanned but the color had washed away as she had watched the towers flaming while they started to crumble to the ground. She turned to study Amber as she asked her what she had been thinking. “Did your sister,” she paused. “Did Angela have a flight scheduled for today?”
“Oh, my God!” Amber looked back at her roommate and old friend while panic was starting to show in her eyes. “Robin, I am not really sure.” The whole time she had been pray-ing silently to herself, she had not thought about her sister. She nervously switched the power on to her cell phone. “Angela didn’t call me last night.” Amber and Angela were identical twins, but whereas Amber wanted to teach, Angela had wanted to travel and becoming a ste-wardess had fulfilled that dream for her. Amber dialed her sister’s phone as she absently watched what was on the television.
Robin turned her attention to Amber as she just sat there listening to the phone ring on the opposite end as tears started streaming from the blue eyes that were usually laughing. Amber was a very striking young woman; standing at around five six she never had a problem with her weight although she had been diagnosed with diabetes. Her height along with the sandy blond hair, defined cheekbones, and her little chin; she could have been a model. Amber and Angela had always caused people to stop and take notice whether they were alone or together. Robin was a complete opposite although she was about the same height and just as pretty. She sported straight jet black hair and brown eyes. The twins loved Robin as another sister, and they had always had fun together as a trio until Angela got married.
Robin knew that Amber was worried about both her sister and her brother-in-law be-cause sometimes her sister’s husband would take a flight with her if he had the time off. “Call Cameron, Angela might not have her cell on.” She knew that if something had happened to Angela that her sister would have felt it. She remembered the time that Amber had twisted her ankle and Angela had been on the phone within seconds while in she was in Dallas, Texas.
Amber ended her call to Angela and proceeded to dial her brother in law’s number.
Cameron answered on the other end as Amber gave Robin a thumb up. “Hello, Cameron. Where is my sister?” Amber was hoping for some good news, “The doctor?” Relief re-placed the fearful expression from knowing that her sister was on solid ground. “Tell her to call me please. Thank you.” She hung up as she turned her attention back to the television watch-ing as a plane collided into the Pentagon. Thinking about the people who had just lost their lives and the families that had lost loved ones made her feel guilty that she was happy about her sister.
The first plane crashed into the Northern Tower a little before 9:00 that morning, and the girls decided to skip their classes for the day. They kept the television turned to CNN and before 11:00 am a total of four planes had been hijacked; bombing into their targets. Nobody could speculate where the last plane was to have gone, but the plane never made it. The passengers on that plane confronted their hijackers and the plane crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. September 11, 2001 would be chiseled forever in the minds of all Americans. The memories of the passengers of flights 11, 175, 77, and 93 losing their lives as a terrorist attack on their land would be in everybody’s thoughts and prayers.
Robin had enough as she stood up; turning the television set off as they starting showing everything over again. The breakfast that she had fixed over two hours ago still sat untouched at the table. “Maybe we should go out and get some lunch.” She mumbled as she started to clearing away dishes and throwing the eggs away.
Amber walked over to help her as her cell phone rang, “Angela,” she answered on the second ring. “Have you seen what is going on?” The bright colors in the room for once did not cheer her up as she started talking to her sister.
Robin heard only parts of the conversation as she watched the excitement spread over her friends face.
“Really?” Amber was smiling. “I will tell her. Love you, too.” She folded her phone down and put it in her pocket as she looked over at Robin.
“Tell me what?” Robin asked as she shut the door on the dishwasher.
“We are going to be Aunts.” Amber told her as she added the rest of the news. “And she put in her notice at the Airline a little over two weeks ago.”
“I wonder why she did not tell you before about the Airline.” Robin was puzzled as she knew the twins did not keep secrets from each other.
“She wanted to surprise me.” Amber quickly answered her. “Let’s go get some lunch or did you change your mind?”
They put on light jackets and headed out the door of their apartment towards Amber’s Mountaineer. They rode over to the campus to see if they could meet up with any of their friends.
The college looked deserted; there was nobody walking around the campus, and the flag was being flown at half mast for the tragedy that had taken place. The country was in mourning and in shock as the last attack on American soil had been in Pearl Harbor almost sixty years before.
Robin spotted her boyfriend sitting under a tree and opened her door as he looked up. “Michael?” She could tell that he had been crying.
The tears were still there as he looked up at her. “My father worked in the Northern Tower.” Robin sat down on the ground next to him and held him close to her as he grieved, watching Amber as she walked over to them. “Momma called about an hour ago, he couldn’t get out.”
Amber started crying as she watched them, then walked away to give them some time alone. She was sure that Michael’s sorrow would be one of hundreds that would share the same mournful story; knowing someone that was affected by the attack made it that much more horrifying. Staring up into the sky as no planes flew above, she wished she was with Angela. Maybe she would go visit Grammy. The thought of visiting family cheered her up just a little bit as Robin walked over to her.
“Michael is going to leave today so he can be with his mother.” Robin had been crying too, her eyes were swollen. “What are you thinking?” She noticed that had Amber had picked up a stray twig and was playing with it.
“I’m thinking that it would be nice to go and visit with Grammy.” Amber said. “I need to see family, and Greensboro is too far away right now.”
Robin agreed that it would be a great idea; she had adopted the twins’ family as her own after her parents had divorced. “But first we get some lunch.”
“I am not really hungry.” Amber answered as they walked towards her SUV.
“That does not matter,” Robin told her sternly. “I won’t have Angela calling me because you have not taken any of your medication or eaten anything all day.” She took the keys from Amber and slid behind the wheel. “Need I tell. . .”
“Enough.” Amber had forgotten about that as everything else had unfolded. “It is not the first time I have skipped a meal, and it probably won’t be the last.” She buckled up after sticking a peppermint in her mouth. “I did take my insulin. I feel fine.”
“Sure you do.” Robin glanced at her as she turned the key in the ignition. “Diabetes is nothing to play with. . .”
“Please, do not start with your lecture.” Amber stared out the window as they rode along. She had been diagnosed with diabetes when she was twelve and luckily that had been the one thing that the twins had not shared.
“Sorry, girl. Angela made me promise to look after you when she found out we were both going to the same college.” Robin pulled into a McDonalds and parked as she finished. “Check your sugar and then we will go in.”
Amber took out her meter and waited for it to read her sugar level. “It’s just a tad low, but I am not dead.”
“That’s what I thought.” Robin was studying pharmaceutical medicine; focusing primarily on diabetes. “You are trying to get your sister to call me.”
Amber sat down as Robin left to order their food. She laid her head down on the table thinking about all those people suffering from their losses as she was being lectured about how to take care of herself.
Robin watched her as shook the orange juice and poked a hole into the foil as she stuck the straw in.
Amber lifted her head and looked at her. “I hate orange juice.” She took it as Robin gave her a very stern look. “Stop treating me like a child.”
“Stop acting like a child, then. The way I see it, you have two choices,” Robin looked at her straight in the eyes. “You can drink your juice, or I will call everybody in your family, including your mother.”
“Fine, warden, I’ll drink the OJ.” Amber knew better than to mess with Robin when she had that determined look on her face. Her mother was always very strict about treating Amber’s diabetes, and that was a lecture she really did not intend to hear again.
Angela looked at the phone after she had talked to her sister. They were listening to a CD in the car and had not heard the news from that morning yet. “Amber sounded upset; something about planes. She never said anything else about it after I told her our news.” She looked over at her husband as they entered into their neighborhood. It was always quiet, but that morning it looked like it was just standing still. They walked into the house and after putting her purse down on the table, she turned the television on as News 2 which was replaying the coverage from that morning. What the couple saw was the horrific crashes into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon.
“No wonder she was looking for you.” Cameron said as he hugged her to him. “Maybe we should not hold onto any more surprises.”
“That could have been me, Cameron. I was scheduled for Flight 93.” She stepped out of his embrace and sat down on the couch.
“And we are glad it wasn’t.” Cameron said as he walked into their kitchen to fix them something to eat. “That bit of information you do not need to tell her.”
Angela looked over at him as she nodded. Angela had always been very protective of her sister even before her diagnosis. “That I will always keep as a secret. She was very happy about our news, though.”
“It came at the right time, babe.” Cameron was enthused about it too. “How many co-workers were you close to on that flight?”
“I am not really sure.” Angela was still thinking about Amber, as she was starting to feel a little week. “I am going to kill my sister though.”
“A minute ago you were happy, now you want to kill.” Cameron had always been un-nerved about how they could feel what the other did. “What gives?”
“I usually don’t feel week unless she messes around with not taken her medicine or eating.” Angela was dialing Robin’s number as she spoke to her husband.
Angela looked annoyed as she hung up the phone. “Spooky.”
Cameron came back to the couch with a plate of sandwiches as she hung up. “What’s spooky?”
“Robin answered all my questions without my asking them.” She said as she took one of the sandwiches.
“You are predictable, Angela.” Cameron smiled at her as he took a bite of his own. “I will never understand your relationship with your sister or your friend.”
“My friend is your sister, nut.” Angela laughed at him. “You cannot deny it either, you favor each other a lot.”
“Sometimes I don’t claim her.” Cameron was just as close to his sister as Angela was to hers. He was always grateful that they were so close. “I have to go to work in a little bit, I asked your father for just half a day.” He finished eating and then he put on his uniform. “Are you going to be alright?” Cameron asked her as he picked up his keys.
“I will be fine. I think I will call Grammy and see how she is doing.” Angela stood up and grabbed the plate to take it to the kitchen as Cameron opened to door. Her mother was fixing to ring the doorbell as he greeted her. “Hello, Mom.” He opened to door for her as he saluted Angela.
“Mom, how are you doing?” Angela asked as she hugged her.
“I wish your sister had picked a closer college, but other than that I am fine.” Her moth-er looked her over as she hugged her. “So how did your doctor’s visit go?”
“You are going to be grandmother.” Angela grinned at her as her mother smiled, not saying a word about Amber.
“That is great.” Their mother could read the twins like a book. “Now what are you not telling me?”
“Mom?!” Angela looked at her puzzled. “Why would you think that I am hiding any-thing from you?”
“You have a certain look when you are covering for your sister, and you have a different look when you are just hiding something.” Kelley looked over at her thoughtfully. “You were supposed to be on one of flights, weren’t you?”
“Flight 93; it was suppose to be my last flight.” Angela did not know if she should feel guilty or relieved that she had missed the flight because of the doctor’s visit. “I traded flights so I could go to the doctor which moved my last day up. Traveling is out of my system.”
Tears had started to form in her mother’s eyes as the last bit of information escaped from her daughter’s mouth. “Thank God,” her mother sat down heavily as she thought about almost having lost one of her daughters. She had never been overly thrilled about the stewardess position that the eldest of the twins had chosen for a career.
Kelly Draper had been thrilled with the twins at their birth as was their father. It had broken her heart when Amber had been diagnosed with diabetes, but they dealt with it the best they could. Kelly always set their father straight when he started treating the girl like she had the worst disease in the world. Amber hated being treated like she was any different than her sister so they let her do anything she wanted within reason. “Now tell me about your sister.”
“How. . .” Angela stared at her mother.
“Moms always know.” Kelly looked just like an older version of her daughters.
“She is fine; Robin is looking after her.” Angela walked over to the kitchen and took out a Diet Pepsi that she kept in stock for her mother and handed it to her. “With everything that went on, a couple of things were overlooked.” She recognized the expression in her mother’s eyes and added, “She doesn’t need another lecture, and Robin was pretty tough with her. They were going to Grammy’s when I called her.”
Kelly stood up and hugged her daughter as she stared at the portrait of her daughters together. “I still wish she was closer.”
“This is her last year and we will see her for Thanksgiving; if not before.” Angela tried to reassure her.
“I suppose you are right.” Her mother looked over at Angela as she headed for the door. “Would you and Cameron be free for dinner on Saturday?”
“I am free everyday now.” Angela smiled as she shut the door behind her.
Amber smiled as they turned into her Grammy’s driveway. They had always had a close relationship as the twins grew up. They would only get to see each about four times a year, but Grammy had made them special every time. Now that Amber was going to college there, they saw each other more.
She came out of the house wearing her apron and holding a spoon as she looked to see who had driven up. She smiled as she saw the Mountaineer; it was her granddaughter’s. Shelly Colby was a robust woman and she was always jolly. Whenever Amber was read a story about Santa Claus when she was little, she always pictured Grammy as Mrs. Claus. They had never met their grandfather; he had passed away before they were born. Amber shot out of the SUV and right into her arms being very happy to see her.
“I missed you, too.” Grammy laughed at her as Robin walked up towards them. “How are you, Robin?” She asked as she hugged her.
“Fine, Grammy. Did we catch you baking?” Robin knew that you could catch her baking any day of the week except on Sunday.
“You know you did.” Grammy steered both girls into the house as her dog ran past her. Amber kneeled down and played with the poodle that was always happy to have company.
“How are doing, Grammy?” Amber asked as she spotted the fresh baked cookies on the platter as she passed the table. She walked past them and went to the refrigerator to get some water.
“Doing fine, girl. I think that one cookie would be fine for you, I made them with sweetener.” Grammy said as she handed one to Robin as Amber made a face.
“We just ate.” Amber looked around looking for a television. “Is your set still being repaired, Grammy?”
“Joey has had it fixed for a while; I just have seen no need to have it in here.” Grammy answered as she tasted one of her cookies, grimacing as she did so. “Maybe I should wait for some real cookies and yes, child I have heard the news.”
“News. . . More like a nightmare.” Robin looked at cookie strangely as she talked. She was thinking about Michael as she tasted it. “Experimenting?”
“I had a feeling that Amber would show up.” Grammy hugged Amber tightly. “I have a batch of real cookies in the oven.”
Amber laughed at her. “I will take a real cookie then.” They went outside as they talked and sat down at the picnic table. “I think I heard your door bell, Grammy.” She added as she sat down.
“That would be Joey.” Grammy went back into the house and greeted the young man that came and helped her do odd jobs around the house.
“Who is Joey?” Robin asked Amber as she folded the cookie into a napkin.
“She told me she was having him help her out with the painting inside the house.” Amber answered; laughing as she watched her friend crumble up the cookie as she rolled up the napkin. “I never like the experiments either.”
“Have you ever met this Joey?” Robin was curious.
“No, but I have a feeling we are about to.” Amber watched as Grammy led her company out to the porch.
Robin looked behind her as Grammy brought Joey out towards them. She appreciated the way he looked. He was tall with the body of a weight lifter. And what a tan! She turned back towards Amber smiling as she watched her friend just stare at him.
“I thought he would have been older.” She whispered to Robin before Grammy made the introductions. Robin was thinking that he would be the perfect guy for Amber, but Amber made a rule that she had abided by since she came to Elizabeth City.
“This is Joey, my handy man.” Grammy introduced him to Robin first and then to Amber.
Joey smiled at Amber as he took her hand. “The pictures do you no justice.” He held her hand a little longer than he had Robin’s as he could not help but to stare.
Amber took her hand away from him as he made no effort. “It is nice to meet you, Joey. Thank you for helping out Grammy.”
“It is my pleasure,” Joey glanced at Grammy who was watching the two of them. “I never go hungry, that’s for sure. I always have to work twice as hard at the gym after I come here.”
Grammy had called Joey, after she had the feeling that her granddaughter would be there, on the pretense that there was a project for him to do. Grammy heard the timer on her oven go off and excused herself to check on her cookies. Robin had noticed the look on her face and followed her.
“You are sneaky.” Robin told her as she propped on the counter in the kitchen watching her take the cookies out.
“I have always thought they would make a cute couple.” Grammy told her as she handed her a hot cookie. She looked out of the window and watched Joey talking to her granddaughter. “He is in his last year of service with the Coast Guard. I have known him for almost three years now.”
“Really? You know that she has that stupid rule about going out with guys here.” Robin smiled at Grammy as she tasted her cookie.
“He is from Greensboro, Robin.” Grammy winked at her. “He has a job lined up after he finishes here. Matter of fact, he went to the same High School as you girls did.”
“I do not remember him.” Robin said as she tried to remember him.
“He was a couple of years ahead of you,” She informed the young lady as she handed her the platter of cookies. “So, you see, I am not breaking her silly rule.”
Robin kissed her on the cheek, “You are still sneaky.” She told her as they walked back out to the porch.
Amber looked up at Robin as they walked back to the picnic table with the cookies. “Joey is in the Coast Guard.” She took the cookie that Robin offered her.
Robin looked over at Joey as she handed him a cookie. “Grammy thinks a lot about you.”
“Yeah, I am going to marry her one day.” Joey smiled as Grammy sat down next to him, “Just for her cooking.”
Grammy guffawed at him. “I thought you said you could cook.”
“Not as good as you.” Joey stood up after he gobbled his cookie down. “You said there was a job you wanted me to do.”
“Of course, dear.” Grammy stood back up and they went into the house.
Robin looked over at Amber after the screen door shut. “He went to our high school.” She studied the absent stare of her friend. “Don’t start with your rule, Amber.”
“He lives here, Robin.” Amber wiped the melted chocolate off her hands. “I am not dating anyone that lives here. I plan to teach for the County schools in Greensboro.”
“I understand that, but you don’t have to be hermit while you are here.” Robin had promised Grammy that she would not tell Amber that he was moving back to his home in July.
Amber just looked at her as if she had lost her mind. “I don’t want any distractions and that is that.”
“You are about obstinate; we should probably head back home.” Robin was feeling irritated by the fact that what she knew she could not tell. Grammy was right; they had looked very striking together as they talked. She would work on Amber about her silly rule, but she was not for sure that she would be able to follow up on the promise that she had made Grammy. There had been stars in Amber’s eyes as she had talked to Joey, and you would have to have been blind to not to have seen it. They were both quiet as Amber drove back to their apartment.
There were two messages on the answering machine when they reached their apartment. One was from Michael and the other from Amber’s mom inviting them to supper on Saturday. Amber looked at her watch as she looked over at Robin. “Do you want to go to Greensboro this weekend?”
“I do not see any reason not to.” Robin was dialing Michael’s number on her cell phone as she answered. She wanted to talk to her brother in person anyway. He was two years ahead of them when they were in school, and he might just know Joey. She wished that she knew his last name but that was what they made the year books for; she would find out all about Joey. Smiling as she heard Michael’s voice, she talked soothingly to him as he was dealing with the death of his father while contemplating her plan for Amber. After Robin finished talking with him, Amber came back into the room after grabbing a Diet Pepsi for herself and Coke for Robin.
“How is Michael holding up?” Amber asked she popped the top of her can.
“He is fine. Did you call your mom yet?” Robin asked as she put her phone into her pocket as Amber handed her the drink.
“I am fixing to call her to accept the invitation and then I am going to bed.” Amber thought that this was one of longest days she could remember.
Robin turned the television sat on as they drank their sodas after Amber called her mom. President Bush was giving a speech. Both girls sat down to listen as he addressed the nation about the attacks that morning.
The rest of her classes were a blur and Amber just could not make herself concentrate as she waited for Friday afternoon when they would leave to go to Greensboro. She found that she could not wait to see her sister.
Amber was packing her overnight bag as Robin walked into her room. Robin sat down on the bed as she watched her pack. Amber glanced over at her as she zipped her bag shut. “Ready,” She said as her cell rang. She slung the bag over her shoulder as she answered, “Joey? Yeah, I remember you. You are Grammy’s handy man.” She glanced at Robin hard as she was talking, “I am actually on my way out the door to see my family for the weekend. Okay, Bye.” She did not say a word to Robin on the way out the door.
Robin followed her. Amber turned around and asked her point blank if she had given her phone number to Joey.
“Honestly, no.” Robin was amused at how sneaky Grammy was. “I am not going to bout heads with you about your silly rule.”
“Then how . . .? Never mind,” Amber was a little peeved. “My Grammy, the match maker.”
“You did look good together.” Robin told her as she locked up the apartment. “Heck, if you don’t go out with him, I will.” They threw their bags into the back of Robin’s car.
“Right,” Amber smirked as she got into Robin’s Toyota. “You and Michael have been stuck together like glue for the past two years; besides a man that looks like that probably does not have a problem getting dates.”
“Are you admitting that he is handsome?” Robin asked as she pulled out of the parking lot.
Amber looked over at her, “You would have to be blind not to notice the way he looked.”
“Then go out with the guy.”
“Back off, Robin.” Amber had easily stayed within her own rules, although she had been tempted once or twice.
“Mule,” Robin laughed as she turned up the music.
Angela paced the floor while she waited for her sister to arrive; it had been a while since summer vacation. Talking on the phone or chatting on line did not make up for physical presence. Angela had been in the air most of the time that Amber had been home and they did not get to spend a lot of time together. This time they would have that time even if it was for just a day.
Cameron came into the room while he watched her with amusement. “Pacing is not going to get them here any faster.” He smiled as he answered the phone that was ringing on the wall, “Robin, where are you? Sounds good, we will see you in ten to fifteen.” He hung up as he looked over at his wife. “Feel better now?”
Angela gave him a big smile as she straightened cushions on the couch that did not need it. She walked over to the window and looked out for them as the time seemed to drag on forever. Hearing car doors shutting, she ran out of the house to the car as Cameron watched her shaking his head. Angela was hugging her sister before she could get her overnight out of the trunk. Angela smiled at Robin as she came around the car.
“Where is that brother of mine?” Robin asked as she hugged Angela.
“He was at the door.” Angela answered as she took Amber’s hand. “I am so glad that you are here.”
“Couldn’t refuse Mom’s invitation, could I?” Amber smiled at her sister, “I really missed you.”
“Me, too.” Angela admitted to her as they walked into the house.
Cameron and Robin looked up as they walked in. If they had not been wearing different outfits a person could not tell one from the other. Robin had been crying as she told Cameron about Michael’s father, and he had been soothing her as he had since they were little. Robin looked up at them with a silly grin on her face.
Amber looked over at Robin as she laughed. “What?”
“I was just thinking that in about three months there will never be a doubt about who is who.” Robin half smiled at them, “For a while anyway.”
Angela and Amber looked at each as she said that and smiled. Angela had bought matching outfits for tomorrow; one was hanging up in Amber’s closet.
“Did you stop for supper?” Cameron asked his sister while he looked up at the clock.
“Sure we did.” Robin said as she picked up her duffle. She was going to hang up her clothes before they winkled. “Five hours is a long time to be in a car.”
Amber just looked at her as she took the overnight bag away from her sister, “A very long time.” Angela walked with both of them to their rooms as Cameron settled back in front of the television. She stopped in Robin’s room as Amber went to her own.
“Thank you, Robin.” Angela told her as Robin unpacked. “I know she hates that I check up on her, but I appreciate you keeping me in the loop.”
“No, problem. I love her like a sister, too.” Robin smiled at her, “Grammy has something up her sleeve though.”
“She does?” Angela was curious. “What is she up to now?”
“Besides making the worst sugarless cookies?” Robin made a face as she remembered the taste. “She is playing match maker.”
Angela looked amused. “And knowing my sister, she does not like that much.”
Robin laughed, “You should have seen her face when the guy called her. She accused me of giving him her number.”
“Shame on you for not thinking about it yourself,” Angela hugged her as she left the room to see Amber.
Knocking, she went into her sister’s room smiling. “We do not see enough of each other.”
“Last year; Angela, graduation is in May,” Amber watched as her sister went to the clo-set and took out an outfit. She cocked an eyebrow as she saw the mischievous look in her sister’s eyes.
“We will not disappoint them.” Angela laughed at her sister’s expression. “We won’t be able to confuse anybody for a while, so we are going to do it right tomorrow.”
“Oh, you are so mean.” Amber lay down on the bed, “but it is fun confusing people.” She yawned as she sat up and looked at her sister. “Congratulations on the baby.”
Angela smiled at her. “I wish I had told you about not working at the Airline anymore. I really don’t want you worrying about me.”
“I thought that was what families did.” Amber grabbed her nightshirt out of her bag. “I am really tired, Angela. I think I am going to call it day.”
Angela kissed her on the cheek. “Don’t forget to put that outfit on.”
“Don’t forget to take your wedding ring off.” Amber reminded her. “It’s not going to work if you wear that.”
“Hadn’t thought about that,” Angela walked over to the door. “Night, then.”
Cameron looked up as Angela came back into the room smiling. She sat down next him on the couch and laid her head on his shoulder. “I am glad she is here.”
“I know.” Cameron told her as he watched his sister come into the room.
Robin sat down in the chair opposite them as she looked around for Amber. “Cameron, where are your year books?”
“On the bookshelf; why?” Cameron looked at her curiously.
“I wanted to ask you if you knew this guy, but I don’t know his last name. According to Grammy he graduated from our High School in your class.” Robin got up and walked towards the bookshelves that he pointed to.
“What is his first name?”
“Joey.” Robin answered as she spotted the one she wanted.
“I hung out with a Joey, but how does Grammy know him?” Cameron asked as Robin brought the book towards them.
“Grammy hired a handy man to paint some of the rooms in her house.” Robin started flipping through the pages. “Joey would be listed as Joseph and there is only one Joseph pictured in the senior class.”
“Joey Tucker.” Cameron informed her without looking at the pictures. “Football player until he broke his arm. We hung out together.”
“What do you know about him then?” Robin asked as listened to him.
“Are you switching guys, Robin?” Cameron was fond of Michael, he was a great guy.
“No, he might be interested in somebody else I know.” Robin said innocently.
“At the time I knew him, he was dating a girl… I cannot remember what her name was, but they broke up after graduation.” Cameron told her. “He found out that he was not the only one she was dating and he dumped her. He was a great guy.” He looked down at the picture of his friend. “I tried to get him to ask Amber out.”
“Is this he the guy that Grammy is trying set her up with? “ Angela asked her friend. “Amber is not going to have anything to do with it.”
Robin took the picture of Joey over to her as she grinned. “Imagine that face with a deep tan and his chest is almost twice as big as that.”
“So,” Angela stared at her in amazement. “Looks do not count for everything.”
“He could not take his eyes off of her.” Robin added while she smiled. “And she was impressed with him. She is not going to admit it to anybody, and Grammy thinks that they will make a cute couple.”
Angela looked at her sister’s room and then back at Robin. “Don’t start pushing her, I know her.”
“So do I.” Robin looked back at her. “The harder I push, the more she will fight it. I do understand it; we have been roommates for three going on four years.” She stood up. “I have to find the loop hole. He might be up there now, but he has a job lined up down here in June after his tour is up with the Coast Guard.”
Cameron was impressed as he listened to his sister. “You have done your homework then.” He blew her a kiss good night, “We need to let Amber figure out the rest.”
“I just hope she does before he gives up. It is spooky, but I have a feeling about them.” Robin hugged Angela and turned towards her room. “I am with Grammy on this one. It is funny though. . .” She paused as she looked back towards them. “They are both from Greensboro, but they were introduced in Elizabeth City.” Opening the door to her room she noticed that Angela was studying the yearbook. Robin shut the door softly behind her.
Angela smiled as she looked up at Cameron. “I so wish I could watch them try to set her up.”
“Why?” Cameron turned the pages of the year book until he came to the pages with the cheerleader where Angela and Amber posed in their maroon and gold outfits.
“She will not give him a chance.” Angela answered as they both stood up.
The next morning Angela and Amber sat across the table from each other in matching pink Minnie Mouse shirts, jeans, and tennis shoes. Even their earrings matched. They smiled at Cameron as he came into the kitchen; he was not surprised that they had dressed alike as he looked for the wedding band on his wife’s hand. He gave up as he looked from one to the other.
He poured himself a cup of coffee and propped up against the counter trying to determine which one was Angela. Laughing out loud, he just kissed them both on the cheek. “I give,” he said as Robin walked into the room looking from one friend to the other.
“Great! We are in school all over again.” Robin took the coffee her brother handed her as she sat down.
“Isn’t it grand?” The twins asked together as they laughed.
“Like you said, Robin, we will not be able to do this for much longer.” Amber said as she put her hand to her abdomen while Angela mimicked her.
Amber and Angela stuck together like glue for the rest of the day. They went shopping with Robin while Cameron worked in their yard. Robin forgot how much fun being with both of them could be as she could only guess who was who until lunch time came, and Amber took out her meter.
“Ha!” Triumph at last, Robin thought as she smiled.
“Not for long, Robin.” Amber smirked as she and Angela got up to go to the restroom. “We’ll be back.”
They both had little band aids on their index fingers as they came back looking very mischievous as Robin groaned.
After lunch, they headed back to the house to drop off their packages and pick up Cameron as they were to be at their parents’ house to spend the rest of the afternoon.
Their mother was outside pulling up some old flowers as they drove up, and she watched as both of her daughters got out of the car wearing the same outfit. Kelly had always loved to dress them like that when they were little but she made sure that she always had a particular color of earring on each girl. Angela had blue earrings while she had kept pink on Amber. When the girls had gotten older they figured her trick out and started switching earrings or wearing one of each color. Out of habit, she looked at their ears and laughed as she glanced down at their hands looking for a wedding ring.
“You do realize that it will not take me long to figure out who is who.” Kelly smiled as she studied them.
“We are counting on that.” Cameron laughed as he walked up. “I do not know which one to kiss.”
Robin added as she hugged Kelly, “And I don’t know which one to lecture.”
They entered into the house as their father came into the room and glanced from one to the other. “Let the games begin.” He laughed as he pulled both of them into a hug.
Kelly turned to Robin and asked if she would like to help in the kitchen; winking as she did.
“Sure,” Robin walked with her and waited for the door to swing shut.
“”There is one thing that I know will help us and the good Lord knows, I have had to figure out a lot of tricks with those two.” Kelly started pulling things out of her cupboard. “Angela absolutely cannot resist covering her broccoli with cheese sauce while Amber always eats her plain.”
“That will work until after supper.” Robin was smiling. “Amber is just a little pickier about her food than Angela.”
Kelly gave her a quick hug as she added. “Angela will ninety nine percent of the time wear her cheese sauce.” She was laughing as she placed it down on the table beside the broc-coli.
Angela and Amber both looked at each other as they sat down at the table and noticed the cheese sauce; they knew that their fun was almost over for the day. Their mom smiled sweetly at them after “Grace” was said and Angela took the cheese sauce and passed it to Amber. They could be as sneaky as their mother for a little bit longer anyway. Amber passed the cheese sauce to Robin as neither of them had poured the sauce over the broccoli.
Robin just stared at Kelly who held a finger up knowing that Angela would put the sauce over the broccoli before the meal was over.
Angela looked at Amber as she picked the sauce up. “It has been fun.” She dumped cheese all over her broccoli as Amber laughed.
“Hello, Angela.” Her father watched as cheese sauce dripped onto her t-shirt.
Everybody at the table started laughing as Angela tried to dab at cheese sauce, only seceding in smearing it. “That would not have worked if Amber was not so picky!” Angela smiled at her mother.
Kelly looked over at Amber after she stopped laughing at Angela. “How is school going, dear?”
“It is going great.” Amber told her as she forked up some broccoli. “I start student teaching at Elizabeth City Elementary next semester. “ Excitement filled her voice as she talked, “And after that I will start filling applications out for here.”
“I am looking forward to that.” Her dad said. Victor was proud of both of his girls as he looked from one to the other as Angela put her wedding ring back on her finger.
They visited for a while as Amber caught her parents up on her college courses while pouring over the photograph albums. Kelly had listed all of the names of the people that were in the photographs, and Robin noticed that Joey Tucker was in quite a few of them. She glanced over at Amber with a smile on her face. “You knew Joey when you were children.”
“Joey? Grammy’s handy man?” Amber looked at a picture. “We do not even know his last name. How. . .?” Amber looked over at Angela who was also looking at the picture.
“I looked him up in Cameron’s year book last night.” Robin told her as Kelly came over to look.
Kelly glanced at all of them, “I used to baby sit him until he was around eight years old.” She looked over at Amber, “Did you say that Grammy had a handy man?”
“She is painting the inside of her house.” Amber informed her mother as she stood up.
Victor had walked over along with Cameron as the girls were talking. “Joey was a good kid.”
Robin smiled, “He is not a kid anymore. He is a certified hunk, isn’t that right, Amber?”
Feeling herself blush, Amber turned away from everybody; wishing Robin would leave her alone about Joey.
Angela shook her head almost knowing what her sister was thinking, “Hush, Robin.” She told her friend as she stood up to go to her sister.
“Something tells me there is more to her silly rule besides dating guys from other cities.” Robin whispered to Cameron as they watched the girls walk outside from the sliding doors.
Kelly watched sadly as Angela was talking to Amber and Victor hugged his wife with reassurance. “I am sure she will grow away from that, Kel.”
“I hope so,” Kelly said as she looked back over to Robin. “She does not want a relationship with anyone because she is scared that she will scare them away with her diabetes or at least that is what she told us.” She worried about her daughter pushing away any chance of happiness. “Joey was gone six years before we found out about it.”
“The girls don’t even remember him.” Victor added, “I wonder if he remembers them.” He laughed out loud as he looked down at his wife. “Do you remember how he used to call them the double mint twins?”
Kelly smiled as Robin spoke. “If Grammy has her way, we will find out if he remembers.” Robin told them how Grammy had called Joey on a hunch that Amber would be showing up.
“That sounds like Mama.” Kelly smiled as Robin finished her story.
Amber and Angela walked back into the house as Cameron stood up to say it was about time for them to leave.
Kelly hugged Amber tightly as she gave her a kiss on the cheek. “Not so long in between visits next time, Kiddo. I love you.”
“I love you, too, Mom.” Amber studied her mother and father before she walked outside.
Kelly and Victor watched them leave as Victor hugged his wife tightly. “She will be alright, Kelly. The right guy will fight for her, you will see.”
Amber was quiet the next morning knowing that she and Robin would have to leave as soon as breakfast was over. The mood in the house was completely opposite from the day before as they all sat down at the table.
Cameron looked at all of them and then without even thinking about it said out loud to no one in particular. “Since Angela is not working anymore, I don’t see any reason that we should not be able to go up to your place next weekend.” He watched as the response he wanted unfolded and all the girls started talking at once. “There is just one condition.”
“What is that?” Robin asked as she put down her piece of toast as she looked at her brother.
“I want to see the Wright Brother Museum.” Cameron informed them.
Robin and Amber looked at each other. “No problem,” she smiled at her brother-in-law as her phone started ringing; looking at the name on the phone she let it go to voice mail.
Angela had glanced at the phone as the name appeared and frowned when her sister did not answer it.
The sisters hugged each other tightly before Amber got in the car, and Angela watched as they drove away until they were out of view.
“I think that it is time for you to renew your relationship with Joey Tucker.” Angela said as she looked up into her husband’s deep brown eyes.
“That will not be a problem.” Cameron smiled down at her, “We email each other every once in a while. Want me to put in a hint about where we will be on Saturday.”
“I do believe that the Draper is starting to rub off on you.” Angela kissed him before she went back into their house.