“Oh, aren’t you guys cute with your matching corsage and boutonniere,” Laura Miller said, stalking toward us in the foyer of the event center where prom was barely underway. I instinctively took a step between my date and this former friend who seemed to have a bone to pick with Gracie. “I would have thought that the identical twins would want to wear something that matched.”
“We are not identical twins,” Kade told Laura. “We’re fraternal twins.”
“Shut up, Kade!” I demanded, already knowing it was too late.
“What? Don’t you think it’s time Gracie learned the truth? She knows about dad. Time to tell her about us.”
“What are you guys talking about?” Gracie asked.
“Oh, come on, Gracie.” Kade turned to her. “You nailed it the first time you saw us standing next to each other. I don’t know why Tay thought he could pass me off as his cousin. We may be fraternal twins, but we look identical. Admit it.”
“Oh my gosh.” Gracie looked back and forth between us. “You do look identical.”
“Well, we’re not.” I glared at Kade. “I’m nothing like him. We have zero in common.”
“Other than our birthdates,” Kade said, not backing down. “I still can’t believe she didn’t figure it out the night of our date to the minigolf putting thing.”
“You were lying to me this whole time?” Gracie was no longer focused on Kade. She had narrowed eyes shooting proverbial daggers at me. “You purposely made up a story telling everyone he was your cousin? Why?”
“Because I didn’t want him ruining my life again.” I tried to justify my reasoning.
“Oh, grow up, Tay. You don’t even know the full story of what I did.”
“And you—” Gracie turned on Kade “—You went along with Tay’s scheme and you even pretended you liked me.”
“I did like you,” Kade said. “I do like you. You’re a great person.”
“Yeah, I’m such a good person that you both thought it was okay to lie to me.”
Gracie ripped the corsage off her wrist and whipped it in our direction. Kade caught the corsage and handed it to me.
“I wish you had never come here, Kade! What Tay and I had was perfect, and now it’s like the Tay I thought I knew is gone!”
Kade was silent. He looked down at his feet and Maddie wrapped her arm around his waist.
Gracie turned on me again. “You said you loved me and that you would never lie to me. You promised me a few minutes ago you would never lie to me again.”
“I haven’t lied to you again,” I defended. “And you promised that you’d forgive me as you learn about my past.”
“I gave you the chance to tell me everything. How could you still not trust me enough to tell me the truth?”
I reached out to her, trying to hold on to the small thread of hope that she would hear my reasoning. “Gracie, please…”
She stepped back, holding out her hands so that I couldn’t get close enough to touch her. Tears streamed down her cheeks.
“You lied to me.” She looked back and forth between me and Kade.
“Well, to be fair,” Kade said, “I was just doing as I was asked.” His argument was not helping my defense.
Gracie glared at me. “So, you told him to lie to me?”
“Gracie, it isn’t like that,” I said.
“It is like that, Tay,” Gracie said. “I cannot believe it took me this long to see it. I’m such a fool.” She turned on her heels, beelining it towards the ladies’ room, the one place I couldn’t follow her.
“Why did you do that?” I took a step toward Laura, my fists balled at my side.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa Scrappy,” Kade said. “As your one and only twin brother it is my responsibility to keep you from going to jail for hitting a seventeen-year-old girl at prom.”
“Gracie deserved to know the truth about you,” Laura said with a smirk. “She deserved to know what kind of guy she abandoned me for.”
“Abandoned you?” Maddie asked. “You’re the one who quit the tennis team. You’re the one who abandoned her.”
“She abandoned me long before I quit,” Laura said. “She abandoned me the minute Tay moved into our subdivision. She immediately started calling him her best friend, as if she didn’t already have a best friend.”
“Gracie has lots of best friends,” Maddie said. “And she never understood why you no longer wanted to be one of them.”
“Well, maybe I should go talk to her.” Laura back away from us. “Since her boyfriend is not allowed in the ladies room.” Laura turned on her strappy high-heeled shoes and her violet prom dress swished as she walked away.
Book Club Discussion Questions: What could Taylor do to make this right?