Blood Tangent | Column

Photo Credit: Bobby Jones


Photo Credit: Bobby Jones

My phone will buzz. I will ignore every call. The screen will light up. “Call me, it’s about Mimi,” the text will read.

When I read it, I will most likely be in the midday shadows of my apartment, the droning of a television in the background, laying on my bed (which is probably where I have been for the past 24 hours). I will probably be wearing leggings tattered with moth holes, a T-shirt that is too big for me also worn threadbare. Not much time will have passed until I will resign myself to the early darkness provided by the sheets and scarves that block the light from streaming in through my windows.

Anxiety will move in waves through my body; it will be the only thing I have felt in days.


This is my worst fear. Those words. Words that reveal something has happened to my twin sister.

Anyone would be devastated if injury or death befell their relative, but with twins, it’s different. It would be like losing your best friend but worse, like ripping an enormous hole in your soul. It would be like losing yourself.  It is hard to explain the overwhelming dread I feel when I think about it. I fixate on these horrible possibilities until it becomes completely inappropriate paranoia. If she doesn’t answer my text in under three minutes, I stop breathing. If she doesn’t pick up the phone on the first ring, I start to spiral. 

But I’ve never been afraid of death. Everyone dies, I know that. With twins it is so profoundly different. I had a teacher in high school who was a twin. Emphasis on the was. They were 18 when his brother suddenly collapsed and died. I had never even thought of this ever being a possibility. I mean, we are twins, we were born together so we will die together. At least, that’s what I always thought.

Despite the annoyances that comes with being a twin, (people always thinking I’m her, people always thinking she is me, and people, no matter what, always viewing us as the same person), my twin is very much my other half, my identity. And I will be linked to her forever, even when we strive to differentiate from the other only to be pulled back together for the fear of losing our identity. But we have been together since the beginning. We will stay that way until the end. She is the phantom limb that I can’t seem to get rid of, but I will never ever want to.

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