Another crumpled paper falls to the floor as the trash can is overfilled by the unsatisfied letters of Penelope Park. Penelope has been writing the note for the past week and nothing she written could express the longing she has for Josie. The events proceeding the twin’s birthday really shaken up the raven-haired girl. All this time she was orchestrating the perfect plan for Josie to be her own independent person but instead she got the love of her life buried by her biological mother. I mean miss little Satan here was right when she said Josie needs to look after herself first but looking for her zombie mom wasn’t really what Penelope was thinking about.
“…and I know in this dark chaotic world, you’ll be the brightest star out there.” After what seems like the hundredth attempt, Penelope finally poured out her feelings into the note. Now all she needs is the strength to hand the letter to Josie herself. She had thought of just breaking into their room while they are still in Europe, but she was afraid that Lizzie would have got a hold on it first and burn it into ashes. With all the unsaid word out of her chest, Penelope hopped onto bed and let the music draw her into her first peaceful sleep since the kiss.
Today was the day that the Saltzman twins are back from Europe. Penelope have no intention on welcoming them deciding to give Josie some space. Or maybe it’s because Penelope is secretly hoping that Josie will look for her first. But there is one thing that Penelope must do before she sees her Jojo again. She walked up to Dr.Saltzman’s office and had the conversation she was dreading for the past week. While talking to Dr.Saltzman, Penelope sense the magic of somebody familiar standing outside the door. It was the person she was hoping for. Penelope knows she is selfish, but now she is testing how selfish a certain somebody could be.
It was the day of the talent show, and as usual every year the witches come together to perform their usual boring routine. If it wasn’t for Josie, the raven-hair girl would have just stayed in her room away from all the teenage hormone-ridden vampires and werewolves. Penelope checked herself in the mirror one last time and went down to the main auditorium. Automatically her coven surrounded her seeking for her attention, but the raven-hair walk past them straight to the backstage to look for Josie. Nervously looking around Josie was nowhere in sight. She walked back out and right away she lost her breath at the sight of Josie talking to Hope.
Wait why is Hope amongst my coven? Oh no she saw me. Penelope quickly turned around avoiding the tribrid’s stare. Okay Penelope look natural. Oh Christ really, playing around with the curtain is that the best idea I got. Subtle. Come on you got this, all you need to do is walk over there and give her your damn letter, it’s not that hard just your entire future in a flammable sheet of paper. What can go wrong?
With one last deep breath Penelope turned around and slowly make her presence notice by Hope again. She saw Hope nod towards her direction and with that Josie turned around and immediately the 5’5 Saltzmin twin thought the best hiding spot would be behind the 5’3 tribrid.
Hmph great she’s still avoiding me. I don’t even know if I should be mad or if I should find her cute for even attempting to hide behind Hope. I mean at least she didn’t run. Okay you’re here, its just a small talk, welcome her back and give her the letter.
Looking behind Hope, all of Penelope’s confidence was strip away once Josie lifted her head up.
“Just make sure you read it in private.” Penelope’s voice was small and vulnerable, as it conveys nothing but the truth and desperateness in Penelope’s actions.
She held her breath as Josie grab the letter out of hand. “I’m not gonna read it at all.” Josie says without thinking twice.
Feeling her soul being crushed, Penelope put her façade back on and with her ego she commanded the members of her coven to leave with her.
Penelope headed back into her room and plop onto her bed. Time is running out and she wants to make things right with Josie. She started to scheme a strategy to go against Lizzie’s lame routine, but unknowingly she drifted out to sleep.
Penelope was reading over the master journal hoping a new entry from her favourite Saltzman will show up. Every time after their date, Penelope is always curious to what Josie has to say, and reading it makes her fall head over heel all over again for this cheerful, optimistic, and selfless twin. In contrast, Penelope is sarcastic, chaotic, and selfish, everything that Josie isn’t. But when Penelope is with Josie, she finally understands what happiness is, and she feels love for the first time. For once, Penelope becomes selfless and she will give everything for Josie happiness and well-being.
Of course, Penelope’s honeymoon phase is shattered when tonight’s diary entry brings her world crashing down. What she saw may just be scribbled notes from Dr.Saltzman, but they were enough for Penelope to connect the dot about the Gemini Coven’s tradition of the Merge. Distress about this new-found news, Penelope quickly searched the library but there’s not a single book about the Gemini Coven as if someone was intentionally hiding all the information. Stealthily, Penelope break into the forbidden library, and in the most hidden section there was the books on the Gemini Coven’s history and tradition. Tears quickly blurred Penelope’s vision as she cannot take in all this information. She quickly put everything back into their original place and ran back to her room. There she pours her eyes out thinking about the devesting events that will occur when the Saltzman twins turn 22.
Of the two only the strongest one will survive the Merge. Oh Josie, if she knows she will never even bother to put up a fight with Lizzie. She can’t even voice a single opinion that isn’t already tainted with Lizzie’s judgement. In her current state she will never be able to defend for herself. Yes, in her current state she can’t…
Penelope knew that starting tomorrow she was going to build Josie’s confidence up and be an independent person apart from her twin. She is ready to make Josie be that person who can voice her opinion so that she is ready for whatever comes her way when the Merge happens. Penelope is not going to let Josie lose before the battle even begins.
But Penelope’s plan didn’t even have a chance to begin. Josie was already too busy with Lizzie’s catastrophic problems of not knowing what outfit to wear to a date or being too busy to do her school chores, so Josie has to take her place while Lizzie sneaks out for the night with some boy. Josie just didn’t have time for Penelope anymore, to her Lizzie comes first, and everything else can be dealt with at a later time. But time was not on Josie’s side and Penelope had enough.
“Are you leaving again.” Penelope sighed in frustration. “You literally just came here for not even 5 minutes. All we said was ‘hi, how you’re doing?’ and we didn’t even get to the answer part. How am I supposed to know what’s going on with my girlfriend when she doesn’t even know that I exist?”
“P don’t be silly, we see each other all the time. And you know she’s my twin I have to be there for her.” Josie tries to reassure Penelope.
“Yea I used to sit with you in classes when we were partners until Lizzie thought that boy she was crushing on was boring and no longer wanted to be partners with him. Did you even realize that I missed a week of school last week because I was sick? No because if you did you would of bother coming to visit me.”
Guilt starts to build in Josie’s chest. Now that she thinks about it, she just thought Penelope left right away with her coven after their classes together.
“I- I’m sorry P but Lizzie just… she just needs me.” Josie mumbles knowing her reason is not enough to justify her lack of awareness on Penelope. Josie puts her head down and notice the clock on Penelope’s nightstand.
Shoot I told Lizzie I’ll be back in 10 minutes. “Hey, I have to go back to Lizzie now. I’ll make up for you next time.” Josie looks back up at Penelope. She expected the girl to give her another disappointed or pleading look. But no, this time it was different. The girl in front of her has her façade pulled up. A sight that was reserved for everybody but Josie. Penelope was always closed off but when she is with Josie, she is more willingly to open up about herself. Now Josie can no longer read Penelope.
Defeated. That’s what Penelope is right now. She doesn’t know how to carry forward anymore. It’s too tiring for her to just keep watching Josie like this, hopeless. Josie doesn’t know what it feels like to lose something. If she can’t fight for Josie’s independence, then she will just have to fight for Lizzie’s downfall.
“Stop.” Penelope said coldly.
A chill went down Josie’s spine. “Penelope, I know you don’t want me to go but I promise I’ll be back as soon as I’m done helping Lizzie.” She rambles quickly hoping she can get out before hearing what Penelope has to say next.
“No. I can’t wait for you forever to do what you want to do. If you leave now, then don’t bother coming back.” Penelope retorted coldly with a little sound of desperation at the end hoping that Josie will catch on.
“P don’t be like this. You know she’s my twin.”
“I know Josie but that’s the part you just don’t get. You’re allowed to help her pick out an outfit, do her make-up, listen to her complain over the smallest mistakes, and be her emotional support when she’s having a break down because she is your twin. But what you don’t understand is that Lizzie should be treating you, Josie, the same because you are ALSO HER TWIN, and not just somebody who she can order around 24/7.”
“You know it’s not that simple. Lizzie needs this extra care.”
“But IT IS that simple. A relationship is a two-way street. You can’t always be the only one trying, because if you do, you’ll end up in a dead end.” Penelope counters back. She takes a step back from Josie and let out a sigh pinching the bridge of her nose in frustration. Dreading what she has to say next she uses the last of her strength and look into Josie’s eyes.
“And that’s why I’m going to stop. While you’ve been spending all your time with Lizzie, I’ve been spending my time chasing after you. This chase is getting us nowhere, and I’m… just tired. There’s nothing more I can do for us.”
“No Penelope don’t say that. Please say that you don’t mean it. Don’t make me choose between you or Lizzie.” Josie looks for and hold Penelope’s hand frantically, begging her to take back what she just said. But Penelope didn’t budge, she looks down and pull her hands away from Josie.
“This is not me making you choose only between the two of us. It’s you not making the time to choose yourself. And I don’t know if I can wait another night knowing that you’re going to break your promise of coming back. So, if you’re going back for Lizzie then just leave, don’t bother worrying to come back.” Penelope finishes talking. She prays that Josie understands where she is coming from and that there’s still a possibility for her to turn this around. To say that Penelope is all she wants. Just one simple gesture is all Penelope needs for her to take back everything she had just said.
Josie stands there in silence trying to digest everything that Penelope said. She was never put into such a conflicted situation before and all she wants is a certain raven-hair girl to comfort and tell her everything is going to be all right. But it’s not Josie the selfless Saltzman if she decides to stay and chase after the one thing that she really wants. All she cares for is the needs of Lizzie and other people, and that her needs can come second. For neglecting her needs, she also disregards the needs of Penelope Park, who all she wants is Josie happiness.
Not understanding how Penelope could turn so cold-hearted all of a sudden, Josie doesn’t know what to do. She doesn’t get why Penelope doesn’t see it from her perspective. But does it still matter, Penelope literally just said she doesn’t love her anymore. In her mind, there’s nothing she can do about that, what’s the point of fighting when there’s nothing to fight for. So, Josie does what she does best, she walks away from Penelope, she walks away from the only thing that she thought would always be hers.
Eyes full of tears Josie heads for the door as she opens the door, she looks at Penelope one last time hoping she will ask her to stay and that she didn’t mean everything she said.
Penelope could not believe it, she had given Josie so many opportunities to fight for their relationship, but she did not say a single word to defend it. How can she be so out of touch with her own feelings? She stares back at Josie as she gives her one last look. There most be something that she can say that can make Josie’s brain click and make her realize how self-destructive her behaviour is and that her needs matter. Penelope stalls their last minute together by walking towards the door. Looking at Josie’s face one last time before it is filled with hatred the next time she sees her.
“There’s nobody stopping you from what you want. I will not always be here to remind you that.” And with that Penelope closes the door leaving Josie behind on the other side of the door. Penelope wants to cry but she knows that she can’t show any sign of weakness, she has to be even stronger now knowing she has to keep hurting Josie in order to fight for her survival.
She regained her composure and with that the sarcastic, chaotic, and selfish Penelope Park became the Dark Lord, the Evil One, and the she-Devil whose only goal is to protect Josie.
I will not always be here to remind you that. Yet for months Penelope is constantly lingering around Josie making snarky comments and making life hard for Lizzie. Josie dreaded seeing her everyday.
What are you going to do when I’m not here to fight for you anymore? And now Penelope is really gone. Josie has never felt so empty before. The whole entire day Penelope was trying to tell her to read the letter, but she never listened. She thought by not reading it, Penelope will always be around her teasing her, giving her the attention she wanted. The Penelope she knows, and loves was around the whole entire day, and now she’s not because Josie couldn’t admit her need for Penelope. Josie is dying knowing she won’t see her everyday anymore.
It’s been hours since Penelope had left, and Josie could not stand to go back to her room to see Lizzie. She is furious at her twin for knowing that Penelope was going to leave right from the beginning, and she withdrew that important information from her. How can she be so selfish, Josie never admitted it to Lizzie, but Lizzie knows how important Penelope still is to Josie. So instead she subconsciously ended up in Penelope’s room. To her surprise there were pictures of them nicely decorated all over the room. Josie walks over looking at every single picture. Most of them were of Josie smiling at the camera all shy. Then there are ones with the both of them. Josie doesn’t realize but it’s been a really long time since she has seen such a genuine smile on both her and Penelope’s face. If there’s one thing for sure, Penelope made sure that all the pictures depict how happy they once were. Josie walks over and get into Penelope’s bed. She sees a note on the nightstand beside her and she picked it up.
I know that I’m gone now, but my selfish self will die if you ever forget about me, so I made sure my room is off limit to any new students so this will always be the room of Penelope Park just like I never left. There’s nothing more I can do for you here now so I decided to transform my room into a safe place that you can go to whenever you need time alone. Looking at the pictures I hope you remember the happy times that we shared. Please remember the feeling of how it feels to be to do what you want without the worries of other people. I know you can stand up for yourself. I promise things will get better.
Josie’s eyes are once again filled with tears. Only Penelope could be this cruel to Josie in such a loving way. Josie hugs her knees to her chest as she breaks down in tears. Everything here reminds her of Penelope, all the goods time that they spent, and all the bad. But all that is left are memories. Josie wiped her eyes and read the letter Penelope gave to her weeks ago for the countless time.
Breaking up with you was the second most difficult thing I’ve ever done. There was never a day that I didn’t regret what I did. But I also knew I had to do it. Us arguing was becoming a routine every time you had to go back to your room to mend to Lizzie’s problems. It was taking a toll on you and you never had time for yourself anymore. I know you have a lot of love in you to give to others and that it’s not fair for me to leave you just like that, but, in order to love someone, you have to love yourself first.
Now I have to make the hardest decision of my life. I’m leaving school after the pageant and going to Belgium. I’m writing this letter now so that maybe when you read it you would fight for me to stay. But there’s also a part of me that is hoping you never have to read this because that means you have already learned how to stand up for yourself and that’s already a reason for me to stay. I know it didn’t go well looking for your bio mom on your birthday, but I know you didn’t regret going after what you wanted. So, remember that feeling Josie.
I know when I see you again you will be a strong independent selfless person. There will be many things that will go against you and I know in this dark chaotic world, you’ll be the brightest star out there.
From the selfish who only knows how to love the selfless.
She hugs the letters to her chest, sobbing into the pillow and feeling stupid for not reading the letter sooner. Josie had weeks to let Penelope stay and now she has to live with the consequences of her actions or in her case lack of actions.