Monday, August 29, 2011

Two of a kind

If my twin sister Karina dies...

Whenever people find out that I have a twin sister, they always ask me what it’s like. Their questions range from the usual “How does it feel to have and be a twin?” to the most bizarre (but still very common) “When she gets sick, do you get sick as well?” or simply put “Do you feel a certain kind of sadness when she does?” I’d answer them as honestly as I could—the obvious and expected no to the weird questions and the countless “I don’t knows” to the usual ones.

To tell you quite frankly, I can’t explain what life is like having a twin sister. Perhaps it’s due to the very fact that it’s the only life I have. Everything I do is with her. We had the same set of clothes, friends, rooms, and things growing up. I don’t even say “I” as much as I say “we.” I barely say “I live in…” but “We live in...” We’re a buy-one take-one kind of thing. We’re a team.

It’s funny though, to be asked what would happen if she dies *knocks on wood* or if I never had a twin. It had been something I’ve been asking myself since we were little kids. I don’t get it; people want to have twin children or be a twin themselves when they fail to understand how being one isn’t as fun as they expect it to be.

You see, to have a prettier, smarter and nicer sister like Karina isn’t all highs. Being the lesser twin has been a life-long challenge for me. I always have to prove that I too can be as good or maybe even better than her. Whatever she does, I have to do twice as hard. It’s as if her very existence is a threat to mine. And it becomes frustrating as each day passes because people has undying love of a habit to compare us.

Good thing we (mostly I) surpassed the comparisons when we reached fifth grade (maybe because of the separation of our parents). Our bond got stronger; we became the best of friends and promised to help our mom with taking care of our family.

All the while I thought it would be us, together forever, but that changed when she went on her Junior Term Abroad in Singapore for five months. Prior to her trip, the longest time I haven’t been with her was a week. So her JTA posed another problem: I had to learn how to do things on my own and finally move at my own pace. I must admit it was really hard for me because I have been very dependent on my sister. But I guess at some point I just have to grow up, and this was the perfect opportunity.

In the event that she dies, it would be sad, to say the least. Since we don’t really live with our family for four years now because of college, her passing would greatly affect me compared to our other siblings. It’s certain that I would grieve for her everyday. Despite that, her death wouldn’t stop me from pursuing our goal of helping our family. I’m pretty sure my sister would want me to do so. Still she would be my motive, my inspiration to do things. She may not know it but I think she’s my role model of some sorts. Only that, I can and will be my own person.

Yes, my life as a twin may be difficult. But it has taught me a lot of things I know I won’t be able to if I was a singleton. Besides, I wouldn’t have an instant best friend (and occasional worst enemy) if I wasn’t one. With that, I probably wouldn’t have my life any other way.

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