Door and Dee Brevington were non-identical, fourteen year old twins who lived with their parents in the Boltons, which was one of the most expensive areas in London. Unlike the wealthy residents who lived in the swish houses with intricate security systems and sky-high gates, the Brevington family were impoverished.
The simple reason why the Brevingtons weren't rich like their neighbours, was because Mr Brevington was a lowly paid writer. His academic books on the Ancient World didn't sell many copies. "They're masterpieces," he insisted. The family were able to live in the exclusive area, because they were sitting tenants in their spacious garden flat. Mr Brevington had been fortunate to rent it for a very low sum since before the twins were born.
The twins were non-identical, but they more or less got on. They were so unalike in every way, that Door secretly thought she was from another planet or more likely adopted. It wasn't such a daft idea. Not only did she look completely different from her pretty twin sister Dee, but she didn't remotely resemble her parents either. While they more or less looked normal, in comparison she looked like some kind of freak. She was a six foot tall slouching beanpole, whose wild mushroom brown hair stuck out like a tangled mess of barbed wire. It was no wonder she thought she was an outsider. While Door looked liked like an unruly giant, her twin sister Dee was a dainty creature whose glossy, black hair cascaded down her back like a rippling waterfall.
Mrs Brevington's theory for the twins being so unalike was, they were born under different sun signs. They didn't share the same birthday.
"Door was born just before midnight on the last day of Taurus, the sign of the bull while Dee was born the following day on the first day of Gemini, the sign of the twins," Ma explained.
Door didn't swallow her mother's mumbo-jumbo. If she and Dee had come from the same egg, it wouldn't have mattered what sun signs they were born under. They would have shared some characteristics, whatever they were. As it was, they shared none.
The twins were like two misshapen peas in a tin, but they had learned to tolerate each other from an early age, which was just as well, as they had to share a bedroom. The Brevingtons' large flat had a spare room. It should have belonged to one of the twins now that they were teenagers, but it was rented by an endless succession of anonymous lodgers. That was because the Brevingtons always needed the extra cash.
Door and Dee hadn't realised they were poor when they were growing up, because during their childhood they had been given oodles of love and affection by their parents. Now that the twins were teenagers, they realised their parents weren't rich like their neighbours. If Door and Dee wanted extra pocket money which was most of the time, they had to work for it.
"Let's make some toadstool earrings to sell to Ma's friends," Dee would suggest.
"Let's make the bumblebee ones instead," Door would argue.
Mr Brevington gave his beloved daughters as much money as he could afford, but it was never enough.
Door and Dee didn't realise their parents were eccentric. Mr Brevington spent most of his time holed up in his office, a dank and gloomy cubicle which looked out onto the neat communal gardens at the back of the flat. Pa never noticed the ancient trees and rhodedendrum bushes. He was always in another world, dreaming and scribbling about dead as dodo creatures with his beloved quill pen. His resultant text books on the Ancient World were so highbrow, that 'A' level students who were forced to study them at school, found the books so heavy going, that in comparison they found Latin a doddle. Not that the twins thought Pa was a ponderous or boring old soul. To them, he was a bumbling professor type who wore his long grey hair in a bedraggled ponytail.
The girls respected their father, but they thought of him as a rather remote figure, due to him being closeted inside his cubicle day and night. They didn't understand that although Pa was extremely fond of his family, he loved his work more. And, when the girls did see him shuffling to and fro from his study, he was more often than not, dressed in his ancient slippers, pyjamas and shabby dressing gown. Most days, he was so immersed in his work, he simply forgot to get dressed.
"The man in a dressing gown," Door would grumble and mumble, wondering why wasn't he like her friends' fathers who went to work early in the morning, dressed in a suit.
While Pa was a shadowy figure, flitting around the flat like an affable bat, Ma was so vivacious that she sizzled like an ignited stick of dynamite. She had been considered such a great beauty in her youth, that she could have married anyone she wanted. That's why none of her friends understood why she picked Mr Brevington. Mrs Brevington ended up with Mr Brevington for one reason only. She had fallen in love with him.
"I could have been a great artist," she repeatedly told the twins while relentlessly driving them around to their ballet classes, piano lessons, singing classes and any other class which was classified as an 'extra' on the National School Curriculum. Private classes which Mrs Brevington paid for out of her own money, money which she used her wits to plot and plan and scrape together each week. Mr Brevington who paid the flat's low rent and bills gave her just enough cash to buy groceries each week.