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 » Sarah and Brigitte's Book On The Web « 
by Sarah and Brigitte

Last Updated: 2/11/00
Word Count: 1,920

Chapter One: Scene One

                I was my parents’ Valentine, born February 14, 1978 at a political protest rally in Washington, D.C. There were two of us: myself and my fraternal twin sister Juliet, who never hesitates to remind me that she is the elder of us two.               

                 Anyhow, our mother Gwen is what you might refer to as a Shakespeare buff. She has read every play, every sonnet, seen every movie, and even owns her own Shakespearean playhouse. (Appropriately coined “The Rose,” after the infamous original in Stratford Upon Avon.) So, as a result, we were both named after tragic Shakespearean heroines: My sister, Juliet, and I, Ophelia.

                Along with my twin, I also was blessed with three other siblings. My brother Quinn is twenty-three, two years older than me, and has recently been attending college in Seattle to become a lawyer like my father. A smooth ladies man, he has always been great looking, another characteristic he inherited from our father.

Then there is Reese, my wild sixteen-year-old brother who is the poster child for any one of those teenage angst shows. He's into sports and girls; a favorite pastime of many boys his age, it seems.

Last, but not least, is my sister Viola. She was another victim of my mother’s Shakespeare fetish, named after the heroine in his comedic play, Twelfth Night. Precocious and beautiful, she is always sticking her nose where it didn’t belong.

I currently attend Westchester Academy, on a writing scholarship. Presently a junior, here I sit, writing this for my Advanced Creative Writing Course.

                Ophelia puts down her pen and glances up. Professor Chandler is delved into a stack of papers from yesterday’s writing assignment and she almost hates to interrupt him. But this is just too much.

                “I'm sorry, I just can't do this,” she says, looking directly at him.     

                Professor Chris Chandler sets his papers aside from his Advanced Creative Writing Course and diverts his attention to Ophelia.

                With an amused look in his eyes, he asks her, “Oh? And why not?”

                “Because this is ludicrous. With all due respect sir, I stopped writing these kinds of papers when I made the transition from middle school to high school. This is about one step above the inane ‘What I Did on My Summer Vacation’ writing assignment. As a junior in college, I feel I need a more invigorating writing experience,” she explains and folds her hands together, keenly awaiting his response.

                A diminutive smile plays at the corner of his mouth. Ophelia was a returning student of his-one of his best, no doubt-and he was used to the challenges she posed for him. In an evocative sort of way, he almost welcomed them.

                “Miss Brady, it is the first week of the new term. I didn’t feel it would be beneficial for you to jump right into something profound until we were all comfortable with one another and settled in.”

                She leans back in her chair, kicking both feet up on the wooden desk. She places her hands casually behind her head and says, “I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am pretty damn comfy!”

                This gets a few snickers and laughs from around the room and Prof Chandler himself almost allows a chuckle to escape. But he's used to this now, the Ophelia Brady Diatribe. He isn’t entirely sure what caused these sudden outbursts, but they are few and far between. At least they are well though out and intelligent, he thinks.

                “Well it's appears you have a good head start so far,” he tells her, gesturing towards her paper. “Why stop now? Do you really think it would insult your intelligence, just this once?” he asks her with a small smile.

                “It is an insult to my creative genius, not my intelligence,” she corrects him, but picks up her pen. “I'll make you a deal.”

                He raises one eyebrow in curiosity. “Oh?”

                “I will write this trite manifesto of yours if you let me pick the writing assignment for tomorrow.”

                He chuckles softly. “You so soon forget that I am the teacher and you are the student. Negotiation isn’t part of this relationship,” he reminds her and stands up.

                “However,” he continues, “This class is for you-and when I say you, I mean each and every one of you-and if you all agree to let Ophelia pick the lesson for tomorrow, then I shall humbly step down from my lectern and turn the classroom over to her for a day,” he says and winks at Ophelia, who smiles broadly.

                “So without further adieu, can I please see a show of hands for all those in favor of Miss Brady leading the classroom tomorrow,” he says and all but one hand goes up.

                “Well, it looks like you have a challenger,” he tells Ophelia as he looks toward the back of the classroom. She follows his gaze and her eyes fall on the odd man out, Mark Deveraux.

                “Mark!” she exclaims, laughing. “You are my boyfriend, my significant other. You are supposed to be jumping out of seat with enthusiasm for me,” she jokes.

                Mark stands up and looks at the professor. “If I may…” he starts and the Prof nods. Mark goes on “I felt it would be a conflict of interest, since I am romantically involved with the person in question,” he explains and has to bite his tongue to suppress his laughter.

                “A conflict of interest you say,” Professor Chandler asks, rubbing his chin. Ophelia adds under her breath “I'll show you a conflict of interest.”

                Just then another student glances at the clock. “Professor, class is over,” she informs him.

                “So it is,” he responds as he glances at his watch. “From now on, everyone call me Chris. And don’t forget your papers tomorrow, we will all go over them together!” he calls out as everyone scrambles to get their books.

                He turns back to Ophelia and Mark. “Well then Ophelia, I will see you here tomorrow thirty minutes early.”

                “Thirty minutes??”

                “Yes, if I am to teach your lesson, then you will need to arrive early to give yourself ample time to prepare the materials for me. Until then, you two enjoy the rest of the sunny afternoon together,” he says and grabs his briefcase, leaving the classroom.

                When he is gone, Mark leans over and kisses her. “So then teach, what are you doing for the rest of the afternoon?” he teases.

                “Hey now, I'm not your teacher. I'm merely providing enriching materials for him to instruct,” she retorts, returning his kisses eagerly. “Actually, I was going to ask you to come with Emma, Nick, and I out to dinner. We were thinking along the lines of a double date.”

                He smiles at her, slipping his hands around her waist. “You don’t have to ask me twice,” he tells her and leans back in to steal another kiss when he is interrupted.

                “Hey you two, hope I'm not interrupting.”

                Ophelia looks past Mark to see Emma Johannsen, her best friend since birth. They grew up together because their parents used to be close, and they have been inseparable ever since the day they were placed in the same playpen.

                “Hey Emmers,” she says to her friend. “Aren’t you supposed to be in class?”
                “Actually, we were let out early today because our Prof went home sick. It's ok, I am really not too upset over missing Medical Terminology,” she jokes. “But I just thought I would come over here and see if you had talked to Mark about tonight,” she says and looks over, as if noticing Mark for the first time.

                “Hey Mark,” she says.

                “Hey sweetness,” he says back. “And yes, Id love to come. You're paying right?” he asks.

                “Haha,” Emma says dryly and punches him playfully in the arm. “Ophelia, really, you must tell me where you find these guys, they are such charmers,” she quips sarcastically.

                Ophelia laughs,” Yeah he is a regular Don Juan alright, aren’t you babe?” she asks him.

                “Let me count ze wayz,” he sings in a thick Spanish accent as he kisses her neck, making her giggle.

                Emma rolls her eyes and laughs. “ANYWAYS,” she begins, “I need to go find Nick. I heard that Delilah is actually trying out for a part in the same play as him. Yeah, like that shallow strumpet has any interest whatsoever in acting,” she says.

                Ophelia’s eyes narrow. Delilah Richards, resident bitch. That girl is the Queen of Everything, or so she would love to think. But that little pipe dream went out the window after high school when all her little groupies went off to different colleges. She has always held this odd vendetta against Ophelia and Emma because they never bought into her phony act. So, with nothing better to do, she has been chasing after their boyfriends.

                “Don’t worry about Delilah. She even thinks about going near Nick, she is going to have to deal with me,” Ophelia says and tosses her long red hair over her shoulders.

                Mark can't help laughing as he gets an interesting visual. “You know, I can just see it now.”

                Emma just shakes her head. “Well, I hope it doesn’t come down to that. But anyways, I was thinking we could invite Juliet and Jason tonight as well.”

                Ophelia thinks about it for a moment. “We could. I don’t know if Jules and Jason are officially together though.” But they are perfect for one another, she thinks. Juliet, the beautiful blond cheerleader and Jason Corbett, the stud jock riding on a football scholarship.

                “Yeah maybe not. But it could never hurt to ask. And if you think of anyone else…”

                “What about Jack and Ashleigh?” Mark asks, jumping into the conversation. “If we invited them, that would be just about the entire gang, with the exception of Peter.”

                Emma almost cringes. Jack Taylor is not someone she is too thrilled about spending dinner with, let alone the entire night. She has known him almost her entire life and she can’t remember a time when she ever really liked him. It’s not that he is a jerk; in fact he is one of the sweetest people you ever meet; too sweet sometimes. But he is also Ophelia’s other best friend and that slightly threatens Emma.

                “Great, I’ll call Jack when we get back,” Ophelia says before Emma can protest.

                “Super,” Emma says distantly and then hugs her friend. “Still picking us up at six right? I’ll be at Nick’s until then.”

                “Right, six. The four of us can ride in Mark’s bad ass ride,” she says, referring to the 99 Chevy Blazer his parents bought him as an early graduation present. It’s navy blue and fully equipped; Ophelia loves riding in it.

                Emma snickers “Yeah but I feel bad for whoever has to ride with Jack. I wont even get in a car with him,” she says dryly.

                “No doubt,” Mark says and laughs. “Anyhow, Phee and I are gonna go do a few things but we will see you and Nick at six.”

                “Alright, later guys,” she says and smiles as she turns, walking out of the classroom.  

                Ophelia looks at him with a puzzled look on her face. “What things do we have to do that I don’t know about?”

                “All in good time, love,” he says and takes her hand affectionately in his as they walk out of the classroom and into the beautiful sunshine. 

Next few scenes coming soon!
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