Two sisters who are hate each other but love their family and friends attempt to get the Christmas dream present. Concert tickets to see an exclusive holiday performance by Shawn Mendes, which just so happens to have one last ticket up for grabs. Who will get the last ticket? Will these two ever learn to get along or will the Christmas spirit have no effect on these less than joyful siblings? Find out more in this new story!
First you have Noel, the classic example of an extrovert who always tells the truth, even when you wish she wouldn’t. She may be a twin, but she is definitely an only child at heart because she always wants the attention on her and may just be the biggest fangirl to walk the face of the Earth, but there’s one teeny problem: her one minute-twenty three second younger sister, Mary. Like the sun and moon, Mary is the polar opposite of Noel, she’s quiet and reserved and her mind is most of the time absorbed in a book or thinking of ways to make her sister jealous. She’s a total daddy’s girl and although her vocabulary exceeds both her parents, she does struggle with separating the truth from the lies now and again. Next comes the Mr. and Mrs. The girls’ parents are the idealist mother and father, they love their kids passionately, shower them in praise, and give them the best money can buy, but also put in the work to keep their two daughters from becoming spoiled brats with an entitlement complex. Their names are Josephine and Theodore Roberts who are the top lawyers in town.
It all started on December third when Noel came home from school, decked out in a flannel top and ripped cotton leggings, in a panicked breath with her sister walking in behind her with a confused look on her face. Their mother was sitting at their enormous dinner table working on a just as enormous gingerbread house. When she saw her daughter’s face she jumped up and rushed over. “Sweetheart, what’s wrong? Did something happen at school?”. Noel then said “No! I mean yes! Or maybe- I don’t know just come see this!” she said, with the look of panic on her face suddenly replaced with one of pure joy. Both mother and child went to sit down at the table, and Mary who had been standing by the door watching bewildered, sat down on the opposite chair of her sister and asked ” Did you get loaded up on pixie sticks again?”, though Noel barely batted an eyelash back. This ticked off Mary but she decided to choose her battles and listen- this might be fun– she thought.
Noel placed her backpack on the floor and tossed her books to the side to reach for what looked like a travel pamphlet and on closer inspection, Mary could see a picture of her celebrity crush, the one and only Shawn Mendes and upon seeing his face her heart skipped a beat and excitement raced through her. Noel opened the paper up and slid it to her mother. “It’s his concert mom! Shawn Mendes, the most handsome, talented, adorable man in the world! He’s having his concert right here in town for an exclusive performance! And it’s to raise money for sick cancer patients at St. Jude, isn’t that just the sweetest thing you’ve ever heard!”. That’s when their mother spoke “Okay, okay Noel. Calm down and explain to me what this is, we know you love his music but how much will this cost? You know your father and I are already spending a lot of money this Christmas on you and your sister’s presents.” By then, Noel had calmed down a bit and regained her composure, so she said, “It won’t cost you or dad a fly mom, it’s an exclusive show, only a select few get to attend since an old recluse is throwing the party and his daughter and I just so happen to be like that”, Noel said while crossing her fingers. Mary just rolled her eyes, everyone knew she and Emily were best friends and if Emily was going to choose to give either of them something, it would be her. “Emily, his daughter, and I became friends a while ago and guess what she saved? A free VIP pass! I almost kissed her today when she told me. She said that it’s the very last ticket available so she’s not sure who she’s going to pick yet, but I think we all know who it’s going to be.” she said with a smirk while looking at Mary dead in the face.
Mary gave her a death glare but before anything could get heated, their mother stepped in. “Alright girls, no need to quarrel, especially this close to Christmas, Santa’s watching you know. I know you’re very enthusiastic but don’t forget your sister is also Emily’s friend and a big fan of this Mendes gentlemen. So remember it’s a possibility she may get the offer and you don’t. I’ll allow either of you to go and I’ll ask your father to drive you, as long as you promise to be home a half hour after the show’s over and not a minute later. It’s such a shame she doesn’t have two tickets leftover though- .” But Noel interjected, “Don’t worry bout Miss Silent over there, I’m sure she won’t mind, will you Mary?”. Upon hearing these words, Mary snapped. “Heck no! You barge in here like you own the place, tell me Emily is giving a chance to see the best musician in the world, and you have the audacity to expect me to just let you have the ticket? I don’t think so!”. Mary frowned as she sat up from her seat. “You always get your way, why can’t I have something I want for once in my life!” Then Noel spoke. “Please! You think your life is so bad, I’ll show you what bad is, you low-rent Cinderella!” Noel finished.
Mary’s face went bright red and she screamed so loud her poor mother had to plug her ears to prevent her eardrums from being blown out. “I hate you!!!” Mary screeched. At this point, their mother had been pushed to her limit. “Both of you stop it. I’m so disappointed right now, break a mother’s heart, all this bickering makes me feel like I’ve failed you as a parent! No television for three days and Mary I want you to go outside and Noel for you to go up to your room and cool off! Your father and I will discuss this matter when he gets home but until then you two need to take a step away and think about what you’ve done!” Feeling defeated, both girls did as they were told but could taste bile in their throats. They decided there was only room for one in this household, and promised revenge if it was the last thing either of them ever did.
And so it began. For the next two weeks their house became a war zone. Everything became a fight and every word turned into a screaming match. Their parents did everything they could to deescalate the situation but it was no use. Night or day, Mary and Noel were at each others throats. Eventually it got so bad their mother and father sat down when the sisters were at school and had a discussion. “We can’t go on like this”, Mrs. Roberts said. “I know”, Mr. Roberts sighed, “I love our girls to pieces and you know that better than anyone, but I’m just about ready to rip my hair out.” So they devised a plan, that weekend before the concert on Monday, the first day of Christmas break, they would go to a hotel with friends and leave the girls at home to wrap presents and make Christmas cookies for dessert. Then, to top it all off, leave them a playlist of their favorite holiday movies. It was their favorite thing to do as kids and if that didn’t get them to bond and apologize they didn’t know what would. Both parents agreed this was an excellent idea and it would give them some time away from work to chill and enjoy themselves. By the time Mary and Noel got home from another long bus ride of arguing they found their parents fast asleep in the living room with their mother on their father’s lap, snuggled together with It’s A Wonderful Life playing on their plasma screen TV.
Furious with each other as usual but not wanting to wake their folks they quietly hurried upstairs and closed the door to their bedrooms. They didn’t suspect a thing and their voices were too tired to continue yelling so they spent the rest of the night in their rooms, only leaving to grab a quick dinner at different times. The Saturday of the third week of December came and the parents made due with their plan. Before their mom and dad walked out the door, they gave their daughters a final warning, their dad spoke first “Now girls, we all know you’re very upset at one another but it’s not right to dampen the holiday spirit of the Roberts household simply over a partisan dispute. We love you very much but this behavior is unacceptable, so we’re giving you one more chance to make up- and have some fun in the process.” He smiled. We’re giving each of you an opportunity to be the bigger person and say you’re sorry or neither of you are permitted to go to the concert and that’s final”. “What!” both girls screamed. “But this is once in a lifetime!” Noel said. “Yeah! We’ve been so good this year, you can’t do this to us!” “Look at this”, Mrs. Roberts said with an eyebrow raised, “seems our children have already found something they agree upon…interesting”. The sisters just frowned and folded their arms tightly. Each swore to themselves they wouldn’t forgive the other no matter the consequences. They were getting the ticket and if they were going to forgive , that person would have to beg on their hands and knees first.
And for the beginning of the night that was exactly their attitude. They bickered and whined, yelled and mocked, but as the night went on and they continued to do the activities the air in the house seemed to get lighter overall, though they didn’t know why. Each actually started to have fun and began to regret the hurtful words spoken to one another like venomous darts. This guilt grew and grew but still each held strong to their promise and wouldn’t come out and say the words they both knew needed to be said. Noel suddenly started wondering why she had been so cruel to her twin and had tried to get under her skin at all. Mary also wondered why she hadn’t left her sis alone and found another way to get a seat at Shawn’s concert or try to compromise with what her sister wanted. Each girl’s mind was so full of deep thought they failed to recognize a burning smell coming from the oven. It wasn’t until they heard a loud hissing noise were they broken out of their trance. “Shoot! I forgot the cookies in the oven!”. Mary opened the door and a cloud of black smoke went into her face. She coughed and gasped and the only coherent words she could get out of her mouth were “Sis help me!”. Noel grabbed her sister’s hand and lead her away from the oven while she grabbed a pitcher of water sitting on the kitchen counter and poured it over the small flame that was beginning to take form. It died the second the water touched it and Noel whispered under her breath “Thank God, if mom and dad heard the house detectors went off, we’d be grounded until we die.”
In all the confusion that had just went down Noel failed to notice her sister had slipped on the excess water on the floor until she heard a meek “ow. . .” from behind her. She turned and when she saw her sister ,who looked like a wet cat, she burst out laughing. Mary’s cheeks turned red and she wanted to scream but upon considering what had happened she couldn’t help but smile too. And watching her sister’s laughs grow bigger and hardier with every breath she started to giggle, then chuckle, then laugh so hard she felt her stomach tighten. They tossed and turned on the ground ,crying tears, and begging it to stop. After what seemed like hours, they finally calmed down. “I’m sorry” Noel said. This startled Mary and at that moment she felt something she hadn’t in a while, mercy, pain, forgiveness. It had been such a long time since she felt any of these emotions she didn’t know what to do. “No I’m sorry, I’ve been a pretty bratty little sister these past couple weeks”. Noel stood up and held out her hand. ” Let’s stop fighting. Please, for everyone’s sake, I know we’re really different but I don’t want to lose my sister over a pretty boy we both can’t have”. Mary looked down for a minute and at first Noel was worried the conversation was going to go in a different direction but to her surprise she felt two strong arms wrap around her shoulders and a muffled “I forgive you to.” flow through the air. At that moment Noel hugged back and felt a weight rise in her chest she didn’t know was there. We’re back, each girl thought to herself with a smile.
When their parents came home they found their girls nuzzled together on the couch, full of sweet dreams and Shawn Mendes fantasies. Mr. and Mrs. Roberts smiled at their children, then at each other, each simultaneously leaning in to give one another a peck on the lips and went upstairs to bed. They didn’t have the heart to move the girls from their spot. And it’s a good thing the girls made up, because the very next day. . . Emily lost the ticket.
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