"Guess what, Howard?"
"Whale bone corsets are back? A bushbaby stole your bank card and spent all your money on tiny little shoes? Chartreuse is the new black?'
Vince shook his head in annoyance, "Your not even close! My twin sister, Helena, is coming for a visit. I haven't seen her in ages."
"You don't have a sister, Vince. You are," Howard gestured towards Vince's sequined jumpsuit, "the epitome of the only child."
"I do have a sister. You're supposed to be my best mate and you don't even know about Helena? I need to rethink our relationship," Vince looked sincerely saddened by Howard's words, "You might get bumped to my second best mate. Leroy might be up for a promotion after this."
It was two days before Vince brought up his imaginary sister again.
"I told her she could stay here with us but she's insisting on staying at a hotel. Do you reckon she thinks our flat isn't good enough for her?"
"You don't have a sister, Vince. Now stop this nonsense and sweep the floor."
"Why do I have to sweep the floor? And I do have a sister."
"You don't and the floor only needs sweeping because it's covered in glitter from your outfit."
Vince looked at the considerable pile of pink glitter at his feet, "This jumpsuit might need to be a club only outfit. And I do have a sister."
"You don't have a sister!"
"You sound just like my mum."
"Here's a picture of me and Helena as babies!"
Howard looked down at the photograph Vince had just shoved into his hand.
"I see. This is a picture of you, Vince Noir, and your twin sister, Helena Noir, standing in a crib."
"I told you, Howard. We looked just alike as babies."
"You do realize you can't have an identical twin who is a woman? It's physically impossible."
"Who are you? Chairman of gender regulation?"
"It's simple genetics."
"I know all about genetics..."
"You can't even spell genetics!"
"I took you out of school too early, sir."
"I don't need to be good at spelling to know I have a twin sister," Vince snapped as he pulled the photo from Howard's hand, "Look at us, we were well cute."
"That is clearly two pictures of you sellotaped together!"
"It is not! The picture got cut in half and I had to tape it together."
An hour before Helena was scheduled to arrive, Vince suddenly realized his roots were beginning to show and he needed to get his hair done.
"So, you're going to run to the hairdresser's and I'll just wait here for your 'sister' to show up?"
"I'll probably be back before she gets here. If I'm not, just keep her company until I get back."
Helena arrived on time, Vince was still out.
Considering he had left an hour ago, Howard thought Vince could have made a bit more of an effort. 'Helena' was a slightly more feminine version of Vince. Her jet black hair was piled on top of her head and her make-up was only slightly more dramatic than Vince's everyday look. Her black babydoll style dress was almost obscenely short and accompanied by thigh high silver boots.
"You must be Howard!" exclaimed Vince's twin as she ran towards him, "I'm so excited to meet you!"
Howard tried to back away but hit a wall. Helena grabbed the sides of his face and planted a kiss on his cheek, her heavy perfume stung his eyes.
"Helena, what a shame you've missed Vince. Oddly enough, he had to run out and get his hair done just when you were set to arrive."
Helena pouted, "I know, he sent me a text. Blond hair with black roots is one thing but black hair with blond roots? That is straight out."
"Why don't you have a seat, I'll make you some tea and we'll wait for Vince to arrive. I'm really looking forward to seeing the two of you together. In the same room."
Helena looked at her phone, "Actually, I should check into my hotel and freshen up. Vince is taking me to a club tonight. Apparently the owner is a French cube."
"Then we should all have dinner together, before you go out. Give us all time to get to know one another."
Helena was unperturbed, "Maybe just you and I could have dinner? Then you can give me the real scoop on what my brother's been up to. You know you can't believe a word that beautiful boy says."
"Beautiful? He's all pointy. He looks like a hedgehog mated with an anteater."
The jibe failed to land. Helena simply laughed, "Vince told me you have a wonderful sense of humor. Pick me up at eight. We'll have dinner and then Vince can show me the wonders of Camden."
Helena grabbed a pad of paper and pen from stationary village, wrote down the name and address of her hotel and was out the door before Howard could argue.
An hour later, Vince returned.
"What's this about you asking out my sister? That's not on, Howard. That is not best mate behavior. Leroy has been gunning for your position for years..."
"Vince," Howard sighed, "You've gone wrong."