Identical Twins :
Eventually, everyone experiences that terrible feeling of loss when a loved one dies. The death of a parent is something everyone has to go through and it feels horrible, like a knife piercing straight through your heart. The death of a brother or a sister is even worse, especially if it happens when you are young. Even worse than that is the death of a child. Your life almost comes to a stop. It’s somehow unnatural. Parents are not meant to outlive their children.
However, there is one thing that is more painful than all of the above. It’s the death of an identical twin. When your identical twin passes away, it feels almost as if you have died as well.
My sister and I were always very close. People constantly got us confused. We were identical twins. Instead of being annoying, it was rather amusing and gave us the opportunity to get up to all sorts of mischief. We could always have fun posing as each other and causing as much confusion as possible.
May and Kay. Kay and May. That’s what they called us. At home, we shared the same bedroom and played in the same back yard. At school, we were in the same class and hung out with the same group of friends.
After graduation, we went to the same university and we were roommates in the campus dorm. We even fell in love with the same guy, which was so strange, but he eventually chose her, not me. However, he still managed to get me confused with my sister almost every other day, which always amused us.
I never had much luck with men. She was the attractive one. Even though we looked exactly the same, she somehow had a more attractive personality. She was always the popular one.
Soon after graduating university, she got married and soon after that, she had a baby, which made me an aunt. Now, my sister had two people who loved her and I had none. She was always the lucky one.
They say that if one identical twin is in pain, the other twin can feel it, even if they are hundreds of miles away. Don’t believe it. This simply isn’t true.
My sister never experienced my pain. She never knew the turmoil that was eating me up from the inside. She was oblivious to it all. As her life went from success to success, mine was spiraling out of control. She was happy and I was depressed and the happier she became, the more my depression grew until it was almost overwhelming. I never felt her pain either.
It’s strange to look at your own grave, the place where you know someday you will be laid to rest. It’s even stranger to see yourself in a photograph on a gravestone with the dates of your birth and death engraved below it.
“May Phillips, Born 04.21.1986, Died 01.21.2016. Beloved daughter and dearest sister.”
Not one word of it is true.
It was after 2 AM when the phone started ringing. My husband rolled over in bed and groaned. I composed myself and answered the phone.
In a sleepy, slurred voice, I said, “Hello?”
There was a man’s voice on the other end.
“Kay Phillips?” he asked.
“Yes…” I replied.
“I’m sorry to be the one to tell you, but I have some terrible news. Your sister, May, was found dead two hours ago. We need you to come down to the morgue and identify the body.”
Life comes to a halt. Time stops. A part of you is gone forever. That’s what it means to be a twin.
I didn’t cry. I was still in a state of shock. I just could not squeeze out the tears.
“How did it happen?” I asked.
“She was murdered,” the policeman said. “Stabbed ten times in the chest. We found her in an alley, just around the corner from the office where she worked.”
That’s when the tears started. I was weeping so much, I could barely tell my husband what happened.
The next morning, I drove down to the police station and identified my sister’s body. It was her, of course. How could I fail to identify her. We had the same arms, the same legs, the same body, the same face. It was like looking at myself, laid out on a cold table in the morgue, totally naked with only a sheet to cover me.
Afterwards, the police wanted to ask me some questions. They had ruled out robbery as a motive. They said that whoever murdered her, killed her for a reason. He wanted her dead. He stabbed her ten times in the heart and the only thing he stole was her mobile phone.
“So you say the last time you saw your sister was two weeks ago?” the detective asked.
I nodded. “We weren’t on speaking terms,” I said. “She was angry with me and she didn’t want to speak to me. She was always angry with me. I don’t know why.”
“So, in the last two weeks, you didn’t talk to each other by phone? You didn’t arrange to meet up?”
I shook my head, unable to get the words out.
The detective had been a little surprised to learn that we were not only sisters, but also identical twins. He wondered if there was a chance the killer had got us confused and had accidentally murdered the wrong one by mistake. That would complicate things even more. It meant there would be twice as many suspects. One crime, but twice as difficult to solve.
“Do you know of anyone who would want to harm you?” he asked.
“No,” I replied. “No one. I don’t have an enemy in the world.”
After leaving the police station, I got into my car and just sat there for a while. There were no tears. I just wanted to laugh.
I took out my phone and went through the text messages.
From Kay: “Of course, I can meet you today. How about after you get off work.”
From Kay: “I’m outside your office. Where are you?”
She was buried in a grave with my name. Our names were the only things that ever distinguished us. Now, there’s nothing to tell us apart. It’s so funny. So funny. So funny…
My husband is sleeping peacefully in bed beside me, unaware that his wife is dead. It should be a sad day, but it feels like the first day of the rest of my life.
Sorry, Kay. Sometimes it’s necessary to make sacrifices in order to get the things that rightfully belong to you. You had everything and now it all belongs to me.
But, you know what they say. Even though twins are identical, there’s always something that distinguishes them.
My daughter is lying in her crib, but she won’t go to sleep. She keeps staring at me and there is a strange look on her face. She can tell there’s something wrong.
She knows who I really am. She’s the only one who knows, but she can’t tell anyone and by the time she’s old enough to speak, she will have forgotten that I’m not really her mother.