A Twinless Twin
A Twinless Twin17 mins 225 17 mins 225
Finally, I’m ready to reveal the truth. Before that, let me tell you what had happened earlier. I am Shriya Joseph, working as a costume designer. I suppose my life is a much more complicated one than yours. May be I might exaggerate things. But the fact is that things are worse since I lost my sister. Yes, I had one who is no more now and I miss her like crazily.
Her name was Sherin Joseph, as pretty as her. She’s my twin sister who was 25 minutes younger than me. We both had blonde curly hair, brown eyes and a sharp nose. We were neither too short nor too high. Our friends say that we both have the same smile which is actually weird. I love that compliment though. Ever since we were born we both held our hands thinking that everything would last for an eternity.
We were like the ends of magnets that repel each other, being positive and negative. Yeah! We always had different opinions and would end up fighting choosing whose opinion was the better. Yet we never let our fights last more than an hour. We both always stood for each other. I guess she loved me more than I knew. She was always fond of the colour blue and I being opposite, loved pink.
She was a football player while I was into badminton. She was an expert in photography, me on the other hand, was a great poser. Yet we both were fond of dogs which was one thing that we had in common. We both look exactly the same, but I had a scar in my left knee since I fell down from the stairs, when I was 6 years old. Being identical twins, it was always fun making others fool of who Sherin was and who Shriya was. At times we lied, even if people found the right one. Sherin was quite a reserved one while I always end up mingling with people around so fast. She and I had common circle of friends with whom she always opens up.
At this moment you might wonder as if how she was dead, but until now, I didn’t have the courage to start a conversation about this part with anyone. I would rather just walk away without answering if someone questions about her. Because every time I think about her death, my heart feels like it is heavier than before and I may burst into tears. I’ll skip this part as of now.
I was a child whom my parents were always proud of and loved me a bit more than my sister. Sherin was a stubborn girl who always gets what she wants no matter what. And I was someone who let things go. As I said, we were not the same, unlike our face. Sherin was an introvert and I being an extrovert found it easier to make buddies. That way my friends were hers too. She was good at arts while I was good at studies especially math. We made memories together but I never thought that she would become one such memories. Sherin always wanted to turn me the way she was. She wanted us to be similar in all aspects. I failed her. I failed, the fact that we could never be the same. We can’t change things right? We were just sisters, but she always expected something more than just being sisters. Maybe I must have known what she expected. I should have been there for her. Sherin stood beside me every time when I wanted someone. She was there, she was always there. I was insane I guess. She was the younger one but always acted as if she was the elder one. She scolds me if I was wrong and corrects my mistakes.
We fight a lot, even for silly reasons. We fight for remote, we fight for bed, we fight for our teddy bear, we argue like hell when it comes to whom dad and mom love the most. I am so sensitive hence I weep a lot, I am bad at handling emotions. She hates seeing me cry like a child and that’s why she ends up consoling me even after having a big world war fight. You know what? She even sings me songs and acts like she’s gone crazy just to make me smile. She is a short-tempered one, which I hate the most in her. It still feels weird yet happy at the same time thinking of how we both grew up this way.
The last night before her death, we were at our friend’s home, we were around ten people, enjoying the day having fun giggling, gossiping. She was so silent yet was admiring us sitting idle in the couch. I thought she felt uncomfortable but the fact was, she was jealous of me having fun so easily and she wasn’t able to mingle. When I asked her why wasn’t she speaking up! Sherin said, “You never know what I really need, you were always selfish and never thought of what I feel about stuff.”
“What? What is wrong with you today? I asked.
“You were always wrong Shriya! Even now, you can’t realize why am I mad at you.”
“Wait what? Are you angry with me, seriously Sherin?
“Yes, I am! It’s fine, just let this go, I don’t wanna talk anymore, please leave.”
“You have something going inside your mind, why don’t you speak out. Just let me know!!” I pleaded with her.
“I said just leave me alone Shriya, I need some space.”
“Okay! Cool. I am leaving, just calm down and come soon.” I had no idea what was wrong with her that night, so I left her alone just like she asked. That was the last time I saw her. She didn’t head back home. She acted as if I had gone nuts. She often bottles up her feelings, and I guess that’s why she ended up her life. Well, I didn’t say anything about her death right!! It was horrible, it was an unforgettable day of my entire life.
I woke up and found Sherin missing next to me. I thought that she might have woken up earlier and went to take shower. I was having some extra nap half-sleep and called out her name to check whether she’s done. When there was no answers from her I went in search of her. She was not there in the bathroom and I asked my dad whether he saw her. No one saw her since the day before. She was not seen anywhere. We were looking for her everywhere while she was... she was found dead in a near by lake. We rushed up to the lake in hurry. I and my mom were clueless running downstairs after my dad’s phone call. Later when we found her corpse, we were shocked to see her with no breath. We were desperately watching her for any sought of signs of being alive even though we knew she was dead.
“She’s dead, she is no more. You left us, you poor girl, you left us, but why?” Dad cried out loud.
I went speechless, I could not believe the fact that she left me in the midst of nowhere by committing suicide. But why?
“Why the hell did you leave me alone? Why didn’t you say anything? How could I not know anything about what happened to you?” I yelled.
“Why did you leave me, Sherin? I should not have left you alone. It was my mistake, my god I can’t stand this,” I wept out loud. I was not able to tolerate. I went speechless for days. I did not sleep well, I couldn’t eat well. I was crazy. I was crazy as in why she took her life so soon without even letting me know. She had something within herself so long that I did not notice. Apparently, it was my fault. How could I live my life with such guilt pricking me to death? It ails like needle poking me inside my heart. I miss her, I miss her so much and nobody ever could replace her.
It was filed as a suicide case by the cops. If she had slipped unknowingly, she would have not died as she was quite good at swimming. She had no enemy with a murder motive. I told ‘em the fact that she was not normal that night when I left her alone and that she had something running inside her mind which she didn’t share with me. “She might have been hiding the reason behind her suicide that we never got to know, Mom,” I concluded. Mom had no answers except her tears, as she went sobbing all night.
My mom was a stern women who tends to brush her feelings under the carpet and leaves them to be trampled on. Dad was trying to console us hiding his tears. I have never seen them cry. This incident broke our hearts that it was really a hard time for us to move on. And for me, it was something awfully bad. Whatever!! She’s not gonna return back to answer my questions. I wish I could see her once. Just once. I wanted to apologize for not being there for her, for not knowing the reasons behind her suicide. I think somewhere she is still out there and watching me struggle without her. I wish I have her again, to mess with but life goes on and on.
I was kinda acting weird, it felt lonely. Never before in my life have I went through such deep intense pain. It was like we were two people living as one and how could that link be severed all of a sudden. All our life, we were twins and suddenly it was just me. I was completely down, my partner is no more. I lost my 24/7 companion who shared my room, my bed, my things, my secrets and even my life… to be precise. I did things to the extremes, at different ends of the spectrum. It was something that I never dreamt of. It was awful that someone who always had my back is not gonna come back.
Our childhood was an epic one. We did everything together and enjoyed being twins. Our granny knitted us the same dresses which later turned out habitual to dress up matching. Everything went good until our adolescence hit us. She started to cut herself out from others. She ignored people and kept her limits off to a circle. It was hard to forget her. Birthdays were double-edged swords which in fact reminds me of her absence. It makes it difficult that you can’t help yourself but remember things you shouldn’t. It reminds me that there must be two of us celebrating it. Hence I stopped celebrating my birthdays cause I don’t want any celebrations with out her.
“No counselor I have ever been to can help me because they don’t understand.”
All those stupid therapies were never worth investing. Losing your twin is excruciating, because you both were bonded from the womb on. The healing process was harder than you imagine. Her memories are scattered everywhere I go, even when I look at the mirror my face reminds me of her even though it doesn’t make sense. It’s hard to explain my pain that I went through. My character was oscillating between mine and hers. I started avoiding people and kept myself locked up inside four walls.
Apparently I was in dilemma, it was disturbing earlier as I knew the very fact that I am not Sherin but acted as if I was her. I was psychologically affected and that’s the reason behind my changes, said the doctor. It is usually experienced by those who lost their loved ones especially the twins. I must have started searching for her within myself.
Eventually with time, my parents and I got used to this strange behavior. I explained my parents that I needed a change of atmosphere. I got scholarship to study abroad as I was good in studies. That was the only good thing happened after such a bad incident. Soon after my final exams, I left India.
It’s been 4 years, even now I am not able to move on completely. I’m fine though I feel gloomy at times. I left India a couple of months after her funeral to pursue my masters abroad. Leaving home town is like you put yourself out of the ordinary and put yourself into a strange world of odds. I joined the Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, California. Then I started distracting myself from her. The first few months were lonely, exhausting and you tend to question each move you make whether or not you could make it out alive. The major tasks like making friends, searching low-cost and modest shops for buying stuffs for routine were really daunting. I somehow managed to start living my life and visited India once in a year.
Earlier, some days I wondered whether if I should just give up and return back home. After my graduation, I started my career as a costume designer in a well known company and now leading my life in a way that I wished of. I do have learnt a lot about how to lead my life independently and confidently. Out of which the most disgusting part I came to know was I was the only source of my happiness. All I dreamt was to have a peaceful life with a good financial strength and status. But one thing I miss is that she is not here to witness my growth. I have made quite a few friends here who genuinely love me.
Living alone is not so easy, at the same time you have freedom to do things all alone. The bitter part is you don’t get to share your feelings with others and end up dumping a lot of junk in your mind. It’s horrible and it feels like having shit inside your brain. The fact is, the more you are alone the less you talk. I felt homesick at times when I wanted someone to console me. The times when I felt frustrated or heart broken, I desperately needed someone’s shoulders to cry on. All I wanted was someone to listen to all my dumb little stories that I would share with my wide-open mouth showing teeth to laugh with. Instead, I end up hiding all my feelings with a bright smile during my face time calls with my parents who were living with a hope that I am leading a happy and problem-free life somewhere in the corner of the earth. I never wanted to break that hope. I never wanted my parents to know what I went through. Never have I shared anything with my parents that I faced. I have spent some of my days crying harder locked up inside the bathroom with a faucet open until my face turns pale with eyes bulged.
I had certain illusions of her at times, not very often. She gives me nightmares that make me sit all awake with wide-open eyes all night. The guilt factor of letting her suffer alone haunts me and is stressful to deal with. It keeps reminding me of her death and the way I left her alone when she needed me the most. Maybe they were my own delusions cause I desperately needed her presence. My life had twist and turns.
I as a little girl, had dreams like everyone does. Even Sherin had some. Despite the fact that we were never the same, Sherin wanted us to be in the same field at least. It was her decision that we both must join fashion designing. If not for Sherin, I wouldn’t have chosen this as my career. I had dreams, not the kiddy ones. Those were as serious as my life was. I wanted to build my own house before I was even 25 years old. I wanted a loan free and a burdenless life with some peace. I dreamt it and made them come true with a little amount of hardship and certain sacrifices.
I am turning twenty-five next month, now that my dreams have come true… I returned back to India two days ago. I have heard people saying that “Home is were heart is”. I guess that’s true because every time I come home I have this feel, that nothing is as good as my home is.
It was my own house, a two-storey building specially customised as per my parents and my taste with wooden flooring. The ground floor with a living area, a kitchen with dinning and two bedrooms painted with turquoise blue theme.
In the upstairs, comes my bedroom with a balcony which has a beautiful view outside. It is grey with a black-themed one. My bedroom has some polaroid photos of me and my sister stuck up with beautiful bright golden lights glowing on the black wall and hanging lamps on the grey ceiling with the mind-blowing aroma from the scented candles lit up all around the room. A reading table with a lamp near the window were I can sit for hours reading books while enjoying some breeze air. It’s a dream house with a lot of efforts behind it.
I feel like something is still lacking inside me. My guilt heart sucks. Why should I be guilty? As if I am cursed to live a life with guilt no matter where ever I go, whatever I do.
I know something that others or even my parents doesn’t know about. It is about that night and that incident which led to her death. So now that I am done with everything, I went to talk with my mom and dad about that night. I was clueless of how they would react and I didn’t have the courage to open up. Still I tried somehow and told ‘em about everything. They were both extremely angry and concerned about me at the same time. I asked them to forgive me for what I did and that’s when they asked me to do what was rightful to do, with tears flowing.
Living alone made my guilt feelings heightened. That’s why I couldn’t hold anything anymore. Confessing everything was the right thing to do. So I decided to go to the police station and reveal everything. And that’s how I ended up sitting in front of you Mr.Aashiq (police inspector), telling all that happened in my life.
“ I suppose that you have some idea about what I am trying to tell now?” I said.
“Umm...yeah! Btw why did she die? Is there anything to do with you?” the inspector questioned.
“Well, I... I don’t know how to say this. Sherin…didn’t commit suicide, I was the one who killed her that night.” I answered him wiping my tears off.
“Whaaat? Wait I am confused… what made you kill her?“ he asked.
Yes, I did. I was the one who killed her by pushing her down the lake. I was mad at her. I went crazy back then, that I could not control my emotions. I didn’t kill her intentionally. But…but I don’t know why I did such a thing. You may consider me as a killer but I can explain everything, please don’t judge me wrong."
“Shriya, do you realize what you have done? You’re trying to justify yourself even after killin’ your own sister. All this time, this whole conversation, you acted as if you were worried about your sister. Why did you do that?” the inspector asked with anger.
"Earlier I didn’t act, I was extremely worried and felt guilty all my life. You don’t even know how much I love her. It happened like an accident and all I could do was just run from that place with a stone heart. I was insane to let her drown but still I loved her more than anyone."
“But how did she drown to death when she knew how to swim? You mentioned that she knew swimming at the beginning of our conversation right?” he asked.
"Well! This is what I wanted to confess that it was Shriya whom I killed. I made it look like Sherin was dead. But yes I’m Sherin, it was me who knew swimming, it was me who loved blue, it was me who was good at arts. It was me who was an introvert. It was me who acted weird, dumb and isolated myself from others. Everything I said about her at the beginning was about me. I killed her that night and lived all my life with her identity. I never said anything about this to anyone even to my parents."
“What made you kill her?“the inspector asked.
"To be honest, I was a drug addict. My parents have warned me many a time. But being addicted to it, I ain’t able to control that. Everyone who knew about my addiction started hating me. That night I was on drugs, hence I wasn’t stable.
My anger towards Shriya was heightened, cause everyone started ignoring me and showed extra affection on her. We both had a fight, the night when Shriya asked me what was wrong with me.
That’s when I pushed her away from me, when our argument was at peak. Unfortunately she fell down. I was not stable back then, so I left her to drown. And I chose to live with her identity for the rest of my life. Eventually, I stopped consuming drugs after that incident that I still regret.
You can take any action against me because I deserve to be punished for the sin I did,” I replied with tears.
“How clever you were to my astonishment! Anyway, now that you confessed yourself, I guess Shriya would rest in peace. You will be sentenced to jail imprisonment and penalty for identity misuse.” Said Mr Aashiq.
Everything happens for a reason. No mystery can stay hidden for ever. Everything has its own day to reveal itself. And that one day has come to an end in Sherin’s life!!!