Saturday morning, the day after Skyla’s first visit to the Pruett Estate, the children all got up around the same time. In the girls’ room, Juliette and Janessa were making their beds when Juliette let out a loud, long, frustrated sigh.
“What’s the matter,” Janessa asked.
“Nothing,” the defeated girl said.
Janessa turned around to see her twin hovering over her bed with her back turned to her. She smiled in hopes that she could make her happy. She crossed over to the other side of Juliette’s bed and patted the spot next to her. “Do you want to talk about it?”
Juliette joined her. “Nobody likes me! And then the people that do like me prefer you and Jonathan more than me. I want my own friends! I’m tired of people judging me and saying that I’m mean.”
“Well…Juliette…you do say some pretty unkind things…”
“Oh boo hoo! Everyone needs to suck it up and get thicker skin! I don’t say anything that isn’t true. Just because I’m more vocal than everyone about my displeasure with things doesn’t make me mean!”
Janessa didn’t want to rock the boat any further, but she had to attempt to give her some good advice. “Ok…but, you could stand to be a little nicer though.”
“Meh. What’s the point,” she said listlessly. “People will always prefer you over me.”
“Juliette! That isn’t true!”
“It is true! Look at you. You’re prettier and skinnier…and so stinkin’ nice to everyone. It’s no wonder I get looked over.” She dropped her head into her chest with downcast eyes.
Janessa scooted closer to her sister and wrapped her arms around her. “I may be skinnier, but that doesn’t make me prettier! I think you have the most amazing eyes! They’re stunning! And your lips! I would kill to have fuller lips like yours. And, you’re lighter than me. You can do so much more with your makeup that I can’t do. You can’t believe I’m prettier than you.”
Juliette was surprised to find out that there were things about herself that made Janessa jealous, and it made her smile. “Ok…I don’t believe you’re prettier. But, you are in the inside.”
“And you could be too if you tried.”
“Nah. Too much work.”
They sat on the bed in silence for a few seconds and reflected upon their conversation.
“Thanks,” Juliette said. “You really are good at being a friend…and if you tell anyone I said, I’ll kill you in your sleep!”
“Ha ha! I kid.”
The pair got up and went downstairs to have breakfast. Shortly after, they were joined by their brother who was still excited about his new friend.
He sat down and also let out a loud sigh as he got lost in thought. He didn’t even touch his food. “Did you meet Skyla, Janessa? She’s so great. I could talk to her all day and night.”
Janessa cleared her throat. He wasn’t paying attention.
“And she’s soooooo beautiful. She has got the most amazing eyes!”
Janessa pointed her head toward Juliette.
“Oh,” Jonathan said. “Juliette, I’m sorry I interrupted your visit with Skyla last night. I didn’t come out there to sabotage you.”
“Whatever. It’s fine,” Juliette said.
Julian had joined them and got a plate of Juliette’s leftover protein plate.
“Do you mind if I hang out with her?”
Julian didn’t know who “her” was, but he was glad to hear about his son expressing interest in someone.
“I can’t stop you from hanging with her,” Juliette said.
“I know, but I don’t want you to hate me for it. It matters.”
She knew that despite this caring brother performance, he would continue seeing her even if she told him not to. However, it made her happy that he recognized that the situation upset her. In that moment, that’s all she really needed. She only wanted some acknowledgement.
“I don’t hate you,” she said. “Go hang out with your future legacy spouse.”
Julian was proud at how they handled the situation without any parental intervention. They had grown up so much since their birthdays and were all more mature in their own ways.
“Really,” Jonathan shouted. “You don’t mind?”
“If you keep asking me, I’ll change my mind!”
“Ok, Ok. Dad! Let me tell you about this girl!”