Chapter 1: Preparation: 1
Skinny lounged on the couch, flipping through one bad television show after another. Skinny mumbled as Jasper walked into the room, “Mom called.”
“And?” Jasper replied indignantly.
“I dunno. I didn't answer.”
“She probably wanted to talk to Carnelian.”
“Don't know, still don't care,” Skinny shot back.
“So, why'd you even bring it up?”
“I dunno. Whatever.” Skinny returned her focus to the television and sighed. “Do you ever wish she'd call for us?” Jasper sat next to her sister, loosely wrapping her arm around her.
“We’ve always done fine without her. We've got each other. Carn needs mom. At least for a little bit longer.” Skinny rested her head against her sister's shoulder and nodded.
“Yeah. So, let's talk about something more fun.” Skinny glanced at her sister, nudging her gently. “You ready for tonight?” Jasper just rolled her eyes. “So, no? Come on Jasper! You said you'd try this time.”
“I know, I know. I'm going to, okay?” Jasper shifted to the other side of the couch.
“I'm not nervous. I just haven't gotten ready yet.”
“So, you're NOT nervous?” Skinny raised her eyebrow. “I mean, you haven't been on a date in a while.”
“I didn't mean it like that. You are nervous, aren't you?” Jasper pulled her legs up underneath her as she stared at her hands.
“A little. But only because blind dates suck. I dunno what to expect. I dunno how to prepare. And what if she expects this to just be a hookup? That would be awkward.”
“I'm sure that's not how it will work out,” Skinny said with a smile. “It will be a nice night out. I know it will.”
“Alright.” Jasper knew better than to try to argue with her sister. “I'm gonna go clean the kitchen then we should make lunch. What did Carnelian say she wanted?”
“Dunno. She mentioned something about mac and cheese, but I don't think we have the cheese.”
“I'll figure something out,” Jasper said as she headed to the kitchen. She turned on the light and evaluated the mess they had left last night. Not quite as bad as she remembered, but still required some cleaning. The baking sheets were stacked on top of the stove in need of scrubbing and bowls were piled in sink. “Time to clean this place.”
Jasper and her twin sister Brookite (Skinny) had been given legal guardianship over their younger sister Carnelian. They lived together ever since their mother abandoned Carnelian a few years ago. It didn’t bother Jasper much when her mom left. She had been in and out of Jasper and Skinny’s lives for years, but they knew it wasn’t good for Carnelian. The twins worked hard to make sure Carnelian understood and had as good of a relationship with their mom as she could. And they tried to keep their disappointment to themselves when things didn’t work out.
“Carn!” Jasper yelled up the stairs. “Lunch time.”
“Skinny told me I didn’t have to!” Jasper sighed as she moved to the bottom of the stairs.
“She told you nothing of the sort. Get down here and eat your lunch. Skinny! You too, come eat.” Jasper returned to the kitchen to set the table, Skinny following behind her.
“What’d you make?” Skinny asked as she cleared the mail off the small table.
“Broccoli, egg, and cheese pasta, Carni usually eats it. Is that okay for you?” Skinny nodded and pulled some bowls from the cabinet.
When they finished setting the table, Skinny glanced at the door. “I’ll go get her,” she said after exchanging a look with Jasper.
“Carni-clown!” Skinny called as she knocked on Carnelian’s door.
“Don’t call me that!” Skinny pushed the door open and leaned against the doorway.
“Jasper made lunch. Come eat.” Carnelian pouted, refusing to make eye contact with Skinny. “Is this about mom?”
“No,” the moody preteen mumbled.
“Then come eat.” When Carnelian refused to move, Skinny sat on the floor against the bed. “She called for you today.”
“I know. I heard you and Jasper talking.”
“Is that why you’re upset? Carn, you know she can’t take care of you. That’s why Jasper and I are your guardians.”
“But I don’t want you as my guardians!” Carnelian whispered. “I want you as my sisters. We don’t do fun stuff together anymore. All you do is tell me what to do and how to do it.”
“Is that what’s got you upset? Carni, we just want to make sure you’re well taken care of. You’ve gotta eat and do your homework and go to school. If you’re not doing all that stuff, the court …” Skinny trailed off, focusing on the frayed carpet.
“We don’t want to give the judge any reason to send you somewhere else Carn, that’s all.” Jasper stood in the doorway holding three bowls of pasta. “But, we’ll always be your sisters.” She placed the bowls on the floor and sat down next to Skinny. “What do ya say?”
“You said no eating in my room,” Carnelian replied with a grin.
“Oh, because you listen to that rule?” Skinny asked with a laugh.
Once they had finished eating, Skinny climbed onto Carnelian’s bed and whispered to her. The two giggled while Jasper eyed them suspiciously. “No way!” Carnelian shouted, staring at Jasper.
“Ask her,” Skinny said with a smirk.
“Ask me what?” Skinny and Carnelian continued to giggle. “Ask me what?”
“You have a date tonight?!” Carnelian shrieked excitedly. “Oh, please let me help you get ready! Please oh, please!” Jasper stared at Skinny long enough to force her to look away sheepishly.
“What do you want to help me with?” Jasper replied with a sigh. She loved her sisters, honestly, she did. But they were both far more excited about the idea of Jasper dating than she was. Skinny was already in a relationship, leaving Jasper as the focus for both her sisters’ matchmaking endeavors.
“Well,” Carnelian said thoughtfully, “what are you going to wear?” Honestly, Jasper hadn’t thought about her wardrobe choice for this evening in the slightest. “Can I help you pick something?”
“I mean, I guess …”
“Oh good! Let’s go!”
“Not until we bring the dishes downstairs and wash them.” Jasper rolled her eyes as Carnelian pouted. “Hey! You weren’t the one who had to clean the kitchen from last night. I’m not doing that again.”
“Come on Carni, I’ll help you. We’ll meet you in your room in 15 minutes.” Skinny gave her twin sister a wink before picking up two bowls and heading out of the room.
Chapter 2: Preparation: 2
Jasper fell face first onto her bed. Skinny had been right, she was nervous about her upcoming blind date. The idea of making small talk with someone she didn’t know while they judged her every move made her anxiety increase. “What am I going to do?” Jasper asked herself. She knew dating was the best way to find a relationship, but with the amount of stress it caused, maybe she didn’t want a relationship. It was then that Carnelian bounced into the room followed by Skinny.
“Uh, Carn, why don’t you go look through Jasper’s closet and pick some things you think would be good choices. When you’re done we can go through them.” Skinny shewed her little sister away and curled up beside her twin. She knew Jasper was panicking. “Come on JJ, it won’t be as bad as you think,” she whispered to her sister. “You’re a great person to hang out with and I’m sure this woman will think so too. It’s just a date, no expectations. And no matter, you will come home to me and Carn. It’s gonna be fine.”
Jasper took a deep breath and nodded. She knew her sister was right, and luckily Skinny was always there to calm her down. “Thanks B,” she mumbled.
“Come on. Carn is super excited to pick out clothes for you. It’s gonna be awesome.”
“Jasper?” Carnelian asked quietly. “This isn’t fun for you, is it?” Jasper inhaled slowly as she sat up. Carnelian had always been perceptive, even though she didn’t always talk about it. Jasper appreciated that. Regardless of Carnelian’s overly energetic and intense personality, she had an incredibly kind heart.
“I’m okay. Just a little nervous about going on this date. But, picking out clothes with you two will be fun.” Jasper stood and ruffled Carnelian’s hair. “What’d you find?” Carnelian proudly held up a long-sleeved shirt, a button down, and a short-sleeved sweater.
“What do you think?” She asked Skinny as she tossed the items on the bed.
“Oh,” Skinny hummed as she glanced at Carnelian’s choices. “I like these. Jasper, model them for us!” Skinny pushed her sister towards the edge of the bed to expedite the process.
“Fine, fine,” Jasper mumbled. She jumped off the bed and pulled her shirt up over her head.
“And you’ve gotta change your bra,” Skinny said with a matter of fact attitude.
“What, why? I like this one.”
“Well,” Carnelian started. “I mean, there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s just …” she trailed off, glancing at Skinny.
“It’s a sports bra JJ.” Skinny put her hand up before Jasper could protest. “And, while that isn’t inherently the problem, it makes the dress shirt sit weird.”
“Then I’ll wear another shirt.” She glared at her twin for a moment. “I’m not changing my bra.”
“Alright, it’s not that big of a deal. If Jasper’s more comfortable in that bra, let her wear it. I mean, I don’t even get why any of us bother to wear them in the first place,” Carnelian mused.
“I don’t,” Skinny replied bluntly.
“Are you really suggesting I not wear a bra? Because that’s not happening either. Don’t be jealous that you didn’t get any.”
“Shut up!” Carnelian shouted, throwing a pillow at each of her sisters. “You two fight over the dumbest things.”
“Are you even our sister?” Jasper laughed.
“Yeah,” Skinny chuckled. “How else would I show her my love if we didn’t fight?”
“Whatever, just try the shirt on!” Jasper rolled her eyes before picking up one of the shirts from the bed.
After trying on what seemed like half the shirts she owned, Jasper was sitting topless on her bed while Carnelian and Skinny were arguing about which shirt she should wear. Jasper grew increasingly tired of listening to her sisters argue over two shirts she ultimately hated. She decided on a better plan. While her sisters bickered, Jasper got up and started to fish things out of her closet. When she had found what she was looking for, she stripped down and began assembling her outfit. When she was done, she stood in front of her distracted sisters.
“Hey! Guys! What about this one?” Skinny and Carnelian stopped fighting long enough to stare at Jasper with dropped jaws.
“Holy shit, J!”
“Fuck,” Carnelian mumbled.
“Language!” Both her sisters shouted back at her.
“Alright, sorry. But like, LOOK at her!” Skinny turned to look back at Jasper. She had to admit, her sister looked better than she had in anything Carnelian had suggested she try on. She wore a red button-down dress shirt with a black vest along with dark jeans and her usual black boots.
“Jasper, when’d you get this outfit?” Skinny asked, her look of confusion mirroring her younger sister’s.
“Uh,” Jasper blushed as she spoke. “I, uh, bought it a couple weeks ago. Went out shopping with Garnet. She made me try a bunch of stuff on for fun and, well, this one wasn’t so bad.” Jasper turned from her sisters, trying to hide her embarrassment.
“Alright,” Carnelian finally said. “Guess you’ve found an outfit.”