Two of a Kind #27: The Facts About Flirting

By Judy Katschke
88 Pages
Published in New York by Harper Entertainment (2003)

Mary-Kate had a crush on a boy in her fencing class, Jordan, but she was too shy to express her feelings. So her sister Ashley, who was more outright with boys and already had a boyfriend, decided to help Mary-Kate.

Without Mary-Kate’s knowledge – let alone her permission – she began to write a love letter for Jordan on behalf of Mary-Kate, and signed the letter as a secret admirer. Then she stashed the letter quietly into Jordan’s backpack. In the letter, Ashley told Jordan to put his response letter inside an oak tree near the library, if he decided to reply.

A few days later, there had been a response to the love letter – and it was full of sweet and romantic sentences that Ashley liked so much. She then quietly put the letter inside Mary-Kate’s notebook for her to discover. After finding the love letter, Mary-Kate had been nervous but then she decided to reply the letter to try her luck with the ‘mystery’ admirer.

Her reply letter was not romantic enough, according to Ashley’s standard. So Ashley had quietly decided to ‘help’ her sister by swapping Mary-Kate’s original letter with her own version, which is full of romantic, albeit corny, words. 

Mary-Kate exchanged several letters with the secret admirer, and everytime she put a letter inside the oak tree, Ashley will swap Mary-Kate’s letters with her more ‘romantic’ letters. Thus for each letter that was sent, it had actually been an exchange between Ashley and the other person, as Mary-Kate’s letter had always been rejected by Ashley’s unwarranted quality control. Meanwhile, the secret admirer’s response had always been too over-the-top for Mary-Kate, too. 

Mary-Kate preferred someone who is just funny and goofy, just like the Jordan she knew in her fencing class. On the other hand, Ashley preferred if her own boyfriend Ross would be more romantic just like the Jordan who responded to the love letters.

Eventually, there was going to be a Victorian-themed ball at their school, and ‘Mary-Kate’ and ‘Jordan’ had agreed in their letters that they will meet face-to-face for the first time at the ball.

But just before the ball, the secret was out: Mary-Kate discovered that Ashley had been swapping her letters with another version which she didn’t like at all. So Ashley had to spill the beans and told her everything about her plans to get Mary-Kate and Jordan together. Mary-Kate was surprised that Jordan was able to write such corny response letters, because that had been so unlike the Jordan she knew all these while.

Moments before the ball started, Mary-Kate had a problem with her dress. Worrying that she might miss the opportunity to meet Jordan at the ball (as had been agreed through the love letter), Mary-Kate ordered Ashley to go meet Jordan in her place and fix the mess she had created.

When Ashley arrived at the ball and expecting Jordan to appear as promised, she was in for a surprise when she found her own boyfriend Ross instead. Another secret was let out: Jordan had been too shy to reply to the love letters he had received, so he had asked Ross to respond on behalf of him. And just before the ball started, Jordan got a cold feet and decided not to meet his ‘secret admirer’, thus asking Ross to pretend to be himself and go meet the girl. Alas, the exchange of love letters had actually been between Ashley and Ross, and not between Mary-Kate and Jordan at all. Ashley was pleasantly surprised that her own boyfriend Ross was actually quite romantic.

Meanwhile, Mary-Kate arrived a bit late at the ball and she saw Jordan lurking around but with no signs of Ashley with him. Suddenly Mary-Kate felt bold and she confessed to Jordan about the love letters. When Jordan admitted that his letters were written by Ross instead, Mary-Kate was relieved that Jordan had never been the guy who wrote the corny love letters. Moreover, Jordan also confirmed that Mary-Kate’s feelings for him was mutual. He finally managed to ask Mary-Kate out.

In the end, both Mary-Kate and Ashley finally realized that the best way to flirt is to actually be your own self and not pretend to be other people who is just not you.


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