Where do her loyalties lie?
American Spy
CHAPTER
1
A Visit Gone Wrong
The flight attendant gasps, then squeals, “EEEEEEEEEEEEEE! You’re Anastasia Ivanov! Can I have your autograph?” She holds out a notebook to me. I sigh. Another poor, mistaken fan I have to let down. “Actually, I’m Ava Ivanov, her twin sister.” I tell the excited flight attendant. Her smile drops and she puts the notebook away. “Oh. Okay. I’m sorry for bothering you.” She mutters and shuffles off. I groan. Most people mistake me for my actress sister, Anastasia, and I have to tell them I’m not. The flight attendant was about the 5th person today.
My sister and I are identical twins... almost. We both have white-blonde hair, pale skin, are tall, and even have similar facial features. Dad swears Anastasia and I have the exact same nose. However, there are a few things about her that make her just... stand out. She has long legs, a winning smile, unblemished skin, and blue eyes. She just looks... beautiful. Unlike me, who just.... doesn’t look as... refined. I mean, I’m not ugly, I’m just not gorgeous, like she is. I have a longer torso (But it isn’t that noticeable, as we are both tall) a not-so-winning smile, a few pimples, and almond colored eyes.
These tiny details just add up to make her simply striking, and me simply not. It’s no wonder she’s an actress, I mean, she’s not only pretty, she also has talent. I have no talent. She is also graceful and kind, whereas I am a klutz and super sarcastic. When we are together, people can pick out Anastasia right off the bat. When we are alone, however, people mistake me for her all the time. No one mistakes her for me though. No one knows about me. I’m just the untalented girl who languishes in the shadow of her gorgeous, famous, talented sister.
I can’t say anything about it to Ana, though. I mean, she’s always super sweet to me and never hesitates to introduce me to all of her fellow actors and actresses. It kinda makes me grumpy sometimes, though. I just wish for once that someone would not think I am Anastasia.
The seat belt sign flashes on and I toss a piece of gum in my mouth. We are landing soon and I don’t want the pressure to build up in my ears. I work my jaw as the plane comes in for a landing. The second the plane stops, people pop out of their seats like they’re on fire. Luggage falls out of compartments, peanut packets are thrown around, and people are scrambling for their things.
I calmly sit in my seat like the civilized person I am... not... and wait for everyone else to get off. Finally, I gather my stuff and get off the plane. As soon as I exit customs, I see a small old lady wearing a ragged, patched cloak and a multicolored head scarf. Her wispy gray hair is knotted in a tight bun, and her stocking feet are stuffed into too small house slippers. Her face is very wrinkly with a very familiar nose.
“Babushka!” I cry out. Her face crinkles into a smile. “Oh, Ava, you look so grown up!” She says, pinching my cheeks, “Come on, let’s get in the car.” We walk to a very beat up blue car and get in. She hauls my luggage into the trunk and she starts to drive. She remains quiet for a minute, fidgeting around and looking very nervous. Finally, she speaks.
“So, Ava, do you remember where my house is?” She asks, her eyes dancing around and avoiding contact with mine. “No... why?” I ask anxiously. “Um-uh-um... b-b-b-because.... I was just wondering if you would mind taking a different, more scenic route! I mean, I didn’t want you to freak out that I was going a different way!” She stammers. “I guess that’s okay,” I say suspiciously.
Suddenly, she swerves onto a small side road. “Okay, Ava, I’m sorry about this, but I had no choice,” she says. Babushka slams on the brakes and stops in a little abandoned alley. Babushka pulls out a rope and a bag, along with a rag soaked in some sort of chemical. I don’t know what’s going on, but I don’t plan to stick around for it. My trembling hands find the door handle and yank on it as Babushka leans across the seat to me. I jerk on the handle even harder, but my efforts are in vain. The door is locked.
I vault over the chair and heave myself into the backseat. Babushka reaches over her seat towards me as I scramble to get the spare keys out of her purse. She wacks me on the back of the head and I crumple to the floor, slamming my head into the car door on the way down.
I see stars, and double of everything. I groan and rub my sore head in an attempt to make it stop throbbing. It’s too late. I can feel my consciousness ebbing away. Pain. Pain. Pain. Then bliss...
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