You meet someone who seems to you like the parallel-world reflection of who you are.
The twin you never had.
The more gregarious, vivacious, successful image of you.
The half you always knew existed. The bone-blood-tissue other you know would complete you in a going-back-to-the-womb, of-the-same-egg way? The companion you always wanted to play with. The bestest friend that could’ve been. The dearest nearest closest buddy you could dream up. The little voice you spoke with when you were sad, angry, mad at the world. The someone who held your hand when you cut your hair angrily behind a locked bathroom door. The someone who applauded the craphead who emerged from the selfsame bathroom.
The someone who saw you as you saw yourself… sometimes attractive, sometimes haggard and ugly. Sometimes invincible sometimes so utterly lost. The someone who didn’t think you crazy when you’d clench your teeth and hit your knuckles against a safely padded mattress.
Someone you seem to understand so clearly that it feels like you think their thoughts, know their fears, desires and deep dark innards. Someone you could dip your hands into with your eyes shut, and know the warm sinew that would cling to your fingers, like it was yours.
Someone whose skin could have been yours. Whose smile could have been yours. Whose ears nose mouth could have been yours. ENT specialist.
What if they were to intersect? Would space and time halt to make a brief but pointed statement? Would we just carry on with our lives, occasionally wondering what might have been if…?
The obituary column bore the picture of a fifteen-year old boy that day. Born: 21st Sept. 19__.
That’s my birthday!
This boy is my age! He would have been seventeen like me.He’s my birthday brother.
What am I going to do about it? Damn. Damn! I have to do something about it. He could’ve been the twin I never had. Damn. Damn. But he’s gone. Damn. No no no stupid girl. Don’t cry. But.
Snip snip snip.
What am I going to do about it? Should I call his parents? Should I visit them? Should I say they can share me with my parents? Should I learn to love them? Damn... but I wanted to love him. He’s my birthday brother. That’s him, in the paper cutting in my diary, my twin, my brother.
They’ll think I’m mad. Juvenile. Stupid. Obsessive.
Damn. What am I going to do about it?
He wonders what she’s thinking, as he kisses her eyes and nose. Wilful, pointed, upturned nose. She has a funny nose. He taps it lightly with his finger. He’s being cute and she indulges him with a smile.
A paisa for your thoughts. What’re you thinking? Right this moment. Now now now.
She turns over. Not now sweets. Let’s get something to eat.
She’s decided it’s time to turn another page. She won’t do it herself. There are ways of getting him to do it.
Always. It’s the boredom that hits her first.