"Mom, its not fair" Mel cried, reaching for another tissue in the limos special box. Her father, sitting on her left side, used his blackberry to send a message to his hotel saying he wont be in. Eloise, on her right, wrapped her arms around Mel and hugged her tightly.
For once Mike was in the limo and not driving his own car, but it wasn't a joyous occasion. He couldn't meet Mel in the eye, because whenever he tried to sympathise, she burst into tears again.
Laying her pounding head against her mothers shoulder, Mel sobbed loudly, her heart breaking.
"S-sh-she was so...well bef-before" she said, her voice catching as she cried.
"Shhh, there there" Eloise crooned, stroking her hair, her own tears that had welled in her eyes spilling down her cheeks.
"Here we are" the chauffers voice called out, pulling into the lot of the hospital.
The first one out of the car was Mel.
"We had to pump her full of drugs when she took a turn for the worse, so she is currently unconscious" Dr. Barton, the Ashworths doctor, said as he led them to their private room. The special room for a special girl.
Walking in, it looked like a hotel room. Comfy, spacious, elegant. machines and tubes were everywhere, and a heart monitor beeped at a steady and droning rate.
Rushing over to the person in the bed, Mel began crying again.
"Oh Melinda" she managed to say, laying her hand on the pale one belonging to the girl.
Melinda, although pale and sick, and bald with bags under her eyes, was a spitting image of Mel. Her identical twin.
The girl who had lived such a happy life with Mel had her world come crashing down when she was diagnosed with acute leukemia.
The Ashworths knew that Melinda would have been the center of attention in the tabloids, and they didn't want Melanies twin being subjected to the exploitation of her disease.
So they hatched a plan.
Melinda disappeared off the map, all records of her vanished, and she lived her life in the private hospital room.
Only the doctors who cared for her, close friends and the Ashworths themselves knew she existed. She was their biggest secret to date.
"Melinda, I know you can hear me. Your my twin, you can even hear my thoughts" Mel smiled a tearful smile, remembering the pranks they would play using their twin telepathy.
"Don't give up. You will NOT die if I have anything to do with it. You will not be alone, we are here for you. Be strong, my darling sister."
At this, Eloise couldn't take anymore.
"I am going to get a latte" she said and hastily exited, wiping her eyes. Her husband followed and Mike went with them to give the two some privacy.
Pulling up a chair, Mel sat down, her hand still entwined with her sisters. Watching her chest rise and fall evenly from the respirator machine, and the sound of the heart monitor, it seemed as if Melinda had lost the fight to live. Machines were fighting for her.
"I haven't given up" a ghostly voice inside Mels head echoed over and over, as if Melinda was speaking with her own mouth.
"I know you haven't. I know" Mel whispered, another tear sliding down her face.
Hearing footsteps in the hallway, Mel thought her mother was coming back.
"She's my twin. She's sick, I'm not. Why?" Mel murmured, not turning around to see who it was.
But it wasn't her mother. It was someone else.