Cassie was dreading seeing her sister again. She had not seen her for years, but they regularly kept in touch by telephone.
Maddie was the clever one. Cassie had always struggled to keep up with her twin sister at school. It was no different now they were grown up with families. Maddie lived in a fantastic house in the suburbs, drove a flashy sports car, and always wore designer clothes. Her kids had been educated in a private school, and all done well for themselves afterwards. Maddie’s husband was something big in the city and had pots of money.
Cassie lived in a poky terraced house in the centre of the city, drove a beaten up old banger, and could just about afford to buy her clothes from charity shops. Her kids had attended the local comprehensive school, which they left as soon as they were old enough, to work in the local supermarket. Cassie’s husband had left her for a younger model years ago.
Cassie had agreed to meet up with her sister again because Maddie had sounded desperate. They were meeting at a motorway services, halfway between their home cities. Cassie had managed to find an elegant beige designer outfit from her charity shop, with a pair of smart black shoes and matching bag. Her sister would never know that they weren’t new.
Cassie drove into the services, parked her little Fiesta between a big 4×4 and a scruffy white van and waited. Ten minutes later Cassie spotted Maddie getting out of a red Porsche and walking towards the restaurant. Cassie followed her in. Maddie was wearing a snazzy red and black designer suit, with matching shoes and bag. Cassie walked up to her and gave her a big hug. Maddie burst into tears.
“Whatever’s the matter?” asked Cassie.
“I’ve nowhere to live,” said Maddie. “I’m destitute.”
“But what about that Porsche in the car park, and that designer outfit you’re wearing?” asked Cassie.
“That Porsche isn’t mine. This designer outfit’s from a charity shop. Nothing I ever told you was true. I made it all up. My marriage broke up years ago, and I’ve been pretending my life was fantastic for years.”
“Snap!” exclaimed Cassie. “You’d better come home with me.”
Written for Helium.com – Flash Fiction “The Phony”