Flip sides.

Daily Prompt: Born to be with you.
Got a soul-mate and/or a best friend? What is it about that person that you love best?

I’ve never filled a prompt before, but this one was interesting to me. I don’t believe in soul-mates, and I’m thousands of miles away from my closest friends, so I wanted to write about my sibling. As a twin, the idea of being born to be with someone has a few different connotations.

My sister and I are not identical, and we are not best friends. We came as a pair until we started school – both of us spent the first day painting on different sides of the same easel – but parted ways since. Our names kind of ran together, the shortened versions, mine usually in front with an ‘&’ in the middle. She was the pretty one, I was the clever one, and we realized fairly early on that we had very little in common. The first time I traveled ‘alone’, (I was nineteen, and volunteering in Costa Rica with an organized group of students from various places), we were not speaking. It was the longest time she’d ever ignored me, and by the group’s arrival in San Jose we’d had no contact for seven months. Mostly, life was okay; but there was a sense of loneliness that lay under everything. I cried once on that trip, on my own a short distance into the jungle, when I realized we’d never been further apart.

She would probably disagree with this, but I always felt like the less dominant twin. She could control anything she wanted to: she’s more blunt, more forward, apparently less concerned with reaching a point from which she could never go back. She’s brave. One night, when we were small and still shared a bedroom, she climbed out on the roof ledge to play with the cat – a little thing, but something that seemed impossibly daring in the moment. She’s smart: not the studying type, but the kind of person who always has an answer ready. I doubt that any of her newer friends know she used to be really good at chess. She’s beautiful now, and the same strong person she always was: it’s impossible to win against her in an argument. If she’s emotional, there’s a reason.

Sometimes, when I’m mad at her, I forget the good things. She’s very funny, and can keep a straight face like a pro – something I never learned to do, judging by all the times she accused me (nearly always correctly) of having a ‘lying face’. We inherited the good and the bad from our parents, seemingly split mutually so that each trait went to only one twin. She took the sense of direction. Even when she was so angry in our freshman year, she still stayed on the line the time I called her up because no one else was right to talk to. It’s coming up to five years since we last spent our birthday together, and it’s just as strange every year.

She’s still the person I can learn the most from. She laughs in my face when I’m melodramatic, calls me out when I’m too ashamed to confront myself. She is passionate about things in a way I never was: she loves and despises with a full heart. A compliment from her is worth something. I love the girl who wanted to make pets out of dangerous sea creatures, who empathized with every Disney villain, guarded the well-being of Beanie Babies and could recite the words to a poem about an offended cat. The one who can use color in a way completely unique to her, and knows when things need to be perfect. We have the same sense of humor when it comes to silliness, and laughing hysterically is never the same with anyone else.

I know we’ve grown up different and apart, but I know you’ve grown up okay. You’re not the stubborn child you used to be, and I’m not the pathetic one. We’re both surprisingly resourceful. You’re spreading your wings and doing things you’ve always wanted to do; and you’re making them happen on your own. I’m glad we have separate lives, although I think mine at least still has room for you in it. We don’t need each other, but I think that maybe if we started again from scratch, we could be friends.

What I’m trying to say is, I miss you.




8 thoughts on “Flip sides.

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