was finally time for me to return home for Christmas vacation. It
being my first year of college, I was extremely excited for a
chance to go home and relax. I said farewell to my boyfriend (he
had a six-hour trip to Long Island, while I only had a
less-than-two hour journey Upstate) and hopped enthusiastically
into the minivan I recognized as my parents' as soon as it pulled
up to the curb. My parents looked so old.
house was completely different. New linoleum in the kitchen,
hard-wood flooring where a faded blue carpet used to be in the
living room, new paneling on all of the walls, and something else
that I couldn't quit recognize, though I noticed it immediately.
I put my bags in my once-so-distant bedroom and flopped onto the
most comfortable bed I had ever laid on - my own. I stayed there
for a few moments, letting my muscles loosen, letting my brain
relax, and letting my body realize that I was home. I was safe in
a familiar place surrounded by love.
walked out of my bedroom and saw my parents both sitting at the
kitchen table. I joined them.
"Where are Ricky and Cody?" I asked, noticing the absence of my
elder twin brothers.
"Cody's at Brandin's for the weekend and Rick has gone with the
Graysons to pick up Courtney" my mother answered. "They'll all be
home Sunday evening." It was Friday evening.
"Lacey, we need to talk to you" my father said somberly. "You're
eighteen now and in college. Your life is just beginning and you
have a whole plethora of opportunities ahead of you".
What was he
trying to say? What did I do? What didn't I do? Was this some
sort of lecture? Was this 'The Talk'?
"Lacey," my mother picked up, "there's something that we need to
tell you. We never wanted you to find out, but we no longer have
They both looked
very solemnly at me.
mother started explaining how twins run in her family. I knew
this. My brothers were twins, as were some of my other more
distant relatives. They then proceeded to tell me that I had a
twin sister. We were separated at birth. The hospital had told
them that she would not survive, that she would surly die within
five months. She was left at the hospital to receive care. When
she did not die after a year, she was given up for adoption. My
parents could no longer afford to pay her medical bills and would
hardly be able to afford keeping her. They kept this fact from me
for eighteen years. My sister had found them. Her name was Amelia
Rothschild and she lived in California. She was coming to meet us
over Christmas vacation.
stared at my reflection in the mirror. My entire life I'd felt as
though there was something out there, floating around in the
universe that was supposed to be a part of me. I had always had
thoughts that weren't mine, feelings that I didn't experience,
moments of alertness I couldn't explain. I'd spent my whole life
wondering. I was not mad at my parents for not wanting to tell
me. It was painful for them and they knew it would haunt me just
as it haunted them. But perhaps finally meeting her would fix
everything. Perhaps I would no longer wonder; perhaps they would
no longer hurt.
brothers both came home that Sunday night just after dinner time.
Amelia would be there that Tuesday. Things were strangely normal
in my house. We behaved like a normal, functional family (bearing
in mind that our ideas of 'normal' and 'functional' family
behavior differ greatly based on our up-bringing). Tuesday came
all too suddenly, but not quickly enough. The doorbell rang
imposingly late that afternoon. I stood in the middle of the
living room awkwardly, not knowing where else to be or what to do
with my hands. My brothers sat on the couch, looking calmer than
ever. My mother opened the door, my father close behind her. When
the door flung open there was a moment when time stood still, my
parents stared into the doorway. Then with no movement
whatsoever, there was an embrace that could have heated the whole
town had it been energy.
stayed planted to my spot in the newly floored living room,
straining to look casual and nonchalant. Finally the figure
appeared. Long bleach-blonde hair was pulled away from my face in
a ponytail. A miniskirt exposed my long, more tan legs though it
was the dead of winter. My body slowly turned to face me. She
studied me. She saw my short brunette hair with blonde
highlights. She saw my tight jeans and light Sicilian skin. She
was looking passed the alterations just as I was. We were staring
at each other looking at ourselves. It was the most bizarre and
complex sensation I'd ever experienced.
she said in breathless, low voice much like my own.
"Hey" I replied, still dazed by the dream-like encounter.
without thinking. We melded into one person. We were the same
person, split and separated. Was the world ready for us to become
whole? Were we ready to become whole? It didn't matter to us
right then. All that mattered was that we had both found what we
had not even known we were searching for.