The One Where Blair Gets Shipped Off to London

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"Blair, you should be getting ready." Dad warns me when he enters my room and looks at all the clothes carelessly scattered around the place. "Your plane for London leaves in about two hours."

"I already told you I don't want to go." I protest again still laying on my bed lazily, reading the new number of Soccer Weekly.

"Well, sometimes we have to do things we don't really want to." Dad says as he sits on my bed.

"And I assume visiting your annoying mother and twin sister in London is one of them?" I ask still hoping that I won't have to go.

"Yes." Dad confirms and I roll my eyes. "Blair, don't act like a child now."

"I'm not." I say although I was.

"You are." He says with a smile. "And this isn't how a seventeen year old girl should behave." He says perfectly imitating my grandmother from mother's side, Elizabeth. I still remain angry at him. "Come on, bee, you know I would like to have you all for myself, but this isn't how your mother and I have agreed. You know the plan. You go to London for two weeks and Ashley comes to New York for winter holidays." He reminds me. Completely unnecessary if you ask me, since this is how things were since I was five.

My Mom and Dad got divorced when Ashley, my twin sister and I, were four. It didn't come as a shock for me and Ashley since our parents always fought. It was actually a relief.

My parents got married pretty young. In their early twenties actually. My Dad, David, was an impulsive young man who grew up in Boston. He moved to New York after graduating Police Academy. Later, he became a NYPD Detective. But before focusing on his career, he travelled all around the world instead of settling. That is, until my mother came in the picture.

Wanda was a young girl from Britain wanting to become a journalist. She was raised in a perfect family and was a real lady. And I actually mean a stilettoes on her feet, pearls around her neck kind of lady. Her parents never approved of her being a journalist, but they still let her travel the world, sure that it was just a faze their daughter was going through. So my Mom travelled the world trying to find a perfect story for the University of Oxford, the school she was studying at, student paper and came across my father.

They met somewhere in Nigeria and as the story usually goes, they fell in love. The two of them married and haven't told a single soul. Finally, they returned back to New York and announced the big news to their parents. No need to say, they were shocked. My father's parents, Melissa and Walter Hastings, were at first pretty uncomfortable with the idea of their only son getting married to a girl he hardly knew, but they accepted his decision.

Unlike my mother's parents, Elizabeth and Henry Pierce, who weren't that approving. They are pretty uptight and classy and it wasn't in their future interest for their daughter to marry a NYPD cop and live in USA so they decided to put an end to that. They threatened my mother to disinherit her unless she returned back. My parents were trying to reason with them, but they didn't want to hear about it. The things got even more complicated when two baby girls were born. Instead of bringing happiness and peace into the family, Ashley and I brought only fights and chaos.

Ever since we were little, I remember how our parents constantly fought. It wasn't a surprise for me to see my Mom cry on the kitchen table after Dad stormed out of our apartment. I guess the pressure was just too strong for both of them.

Finally, Mom gave up and renewed the contact with her parents and returned back to London and to her role as a classy woman her parents always imagined. Dad was left heart-broken as he read her letter in which she described how she returned to London and took Ashley with her. A few days after, the divorce papers came.

Although it took a few years, Dad got used to the fact that she was no longer with us. And things became better. There were no more fights and screaming in the middle of the night.

Although this turned out to be good at the end, I never forgave my mother for being so weak. I am sure that they were happy with each other. At least for a while. But she gave up too soon. Her parents made her.

Today, my Dad is a NYPD Detective. We still live in New York and I am perfectly happy with how our lives have turned out. Although Dad works a lot, he tries his best to come home for dinner every night. When I was younger, he would read me a bed time story every night before I fell asleep, he would always check my closet just to make sure no monsters were in there and for my birthday, he would always take me out for pizza and chocolate cake, my favorite. He was my Dad, but he was also my best friend.

My Mom graduated from Oxford with a degree in English Literature but she never worked a day as a journalist. That was also one of the things her parents took away from her. Now she's working at the Prime Minister's office in London and is his personal secretary. Pretty lame if you ask me.

And Ashley and I, although twins, couldn't be more different.

She grew up in London, classy and elegant in company of most famous men and women. Her birthdays were probably celebrated with tea, fancy dinners and great presents and she probably had servants who checked her closet in case there were monsters. Not to mention, her bed time stories were read to her in French, Spanish, Italian... We belonged to completely different worlds.

Ashley and I were supposed to tolerate each other twice a year. Although sisters, we couldn't stand each other. Things were more bearable when she came to New York, but now I had to go to London to visit Ashley, Wanda and the rest of the family who I felt cheated by. I couldn't even call them my family. They were strangers in my life. Strangers who cheated, manipulated and had nothing to do with David and me.

"So you'll go?" Dad asks me looking at me his eyebrows raised. I take a deep breath and roll my eyes once again.

"I don't really have a choice." I say darkly.

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