"Hey Georgia!" I turned around. My twin brother, Alaska, was standing on the sidewalk outside the bodega. "I decided to come and meet you halfway. I'll walk you back home." The rain had stopped by then, and I no longer needed my umbrella or the hood to my sweatshirt.
"Thanks." He came to walk beside me and held out his drink.
"Root beer?" I took the straw into my mouth. It tasted good, but not as good as Sonny's slushie that he made me. "So I guess you made a friend?" I swallowed the root beer before beginning to speak.
"Yeah. His name's Sonny. He and his older cousin work at the bodega." Alaska wiggled his eyebrows at me.
"Is he cute?" I punched his arm lightly.
"No!" Alaska gave me a look. "Well... a little." He smiled a ten-alarm smile. I was so lucky to have him as my brother.
It's a surprise to some people when Alaska and I say that we're twins. Alaska is tall, skinny, wears glasses, and has stick straight, jet-black hair. I, on the other hand, am (very) petite and curvy. I have a crap ton of freckles everywhere, and my hair is super wavy and dirty blonde. The only thing that we have in common, looks-wise, is our huge green eyes. Alaska always says that they're a curse to him, because all the girls want to date him when they see him. The reason why they're a curse to him is because he's gay, which is probably why he asked me if Sonny was cute.
"I don't think you would have a chance, though. Sonny seems pretty straight to me." Alaska slouched and gave me a pout, which I tried my hardest not to laugh at. "But, you know, things happen..." He smiled at me and was about to say something when we heard yelling from behind us.
"Hey! Stop spraying that crap all over my bodega!" Usnavi stood at the bodega door with a broom in his hand, shooing away a teenage boy who looked a few years older than us. His clothes were paint-stained and ripped, and he carried a spray paint can in his hand while he ran in our direction. He wasn't looking where he was going, though, and ran right into Alaska, knocking both of them to the ground. Alaska was the only one to scream.
As they untangled themselves on the ground, Sonny jogged up to us. "Pete, man, Usnavi's never going to warm up to you if you keep tagging the bodega. You know how he feels about that." He turned to me. "Hey, Georgia."
I waved at him and smiled. The boy who I assumed was Pete stood up, helping Alaska up by a hand. Alaska brushed off his collar and glared at Pete, taking a step away from him and crossing his arms. Alaska was very overdramatic when it came to getting his clothes dirty, and he had dirt all over the front of his sweater vest. I shrugged at him.
"Dude! I was just claiming my territory. You know that if I don't, some other whackjob is going to think that he can spray the bodega! And you know that Usnavi loves me, man." He gave a smirk in Sonny's direction, then turned to Alaska. "Hey, sorry man. I's just tryna get outa there before I got another lecture." He held out his fist, and I saw the bisexual flag that he had tattooed on his bicep. I looked at Alaska and grinned. He begrudgingly fist bumped Pete.
"The name's Pete. What about you?" Alaska answered stiffly.
"My name is Alaska Locke, and this is my twin sister, Georgia." Pete whistled.
"Alaska? That's a cool name." He stopped to think for a second. "Wait here a bit, 'kay?" Alaska looked confused, but nodded. Pete ran up to the nearest building, an abandoned laundromat right next to a salon. He grabbed a can of paint out of his belt, and I realized what he was going to do.
Sonny came over to stand by me. "That's my best friend, Pete. He spray paints and airbrushes shirts. His work's really good." We both watched as Pete sprayed 'ALASKA' in big, bold letters and filled them in with a turquoise and purple gradient. I turned to Sonny and raised my eyebrows, impressed. Sonny nodded. "I know, right?"
The entire time, Alaska stood, mesmerized by Pete's art abilities. At least, that's what he claimed later. I didn't mention that the entire time, Alaska was blushing like crazy. Once he was finished, Pete jogged back over to Alaska. "There, now it's your building. No one else will tag it, so you can do whatever you want with it." He paused. "Or, you could ask me to do whatever you wanted." Alaska opened and closed his mouth, but nothing came out. Pete grabbed his arm and scribbled something on it.
"There's my number, if you ever need any artwork, or anything else." He winked at Alaska, then started to walk away. He paused, though, and turned back around.
"By the way, has anyone ever told you that you're super cute?" He threw another wink at Alaska who was standing and staring at him in disbelief, then waved at Sonny. "Bye, homie!" We all watched as Pete jogged away, stopping to pick up the paint can that he dropped by the bodega.
Sonny smirked. "That's Pete for you." He leaned in close to whisper to me,"He flirts with everyone, but he's never sprayed someone's name on a building before." He stood back and shrugged at me before grinning.
"Sonny! Get your sorry ass back in here! I ain't paying you to flirt with girls!" Usnavi stood outside the bodega yet again, sans broom and shaking fist. Sonny blushed before waving at me, then turning around and jogging away. I waved right before he went in the bodega door, then turned around to Alaska, who was standing, starstruck, while holding his marked-on arm as if it was the most precious thing in the world. I smiled at him.
"Let's go, loverboy." He punched my shoulder, but I threw my arm around him and began to walk home. Living here might not be all that bad.