In our state there is a pair of extraordinary twins, whom we never have difficulty in differentiating. I am personally irritated when the proud parents ask us to differentiate between two beaming twins, each with the other’s smile, each acting exactly like the other. Kayla and Kristin are a different case.
They might be born within the same four minutes of the same hour, day, month and year, but they are like dark and light, sun and moon, or land and sea. They are Kayla and Kristin.
Kayla is the older of the two, but Kristin often takes care of her like a bigger sister. Kristin likes to wear pink. It might be possible she would change her name to Pinkie if she could. Everyday she wears something pink, or very often, pink from head to toe. She is sweet and a social butterfly - the girl of every man’s dream and every woman’s nightmare. The other girls think of her as a pink freak. Imagine how freaky it is to see a girl wearing pink loafers, pink stockings, pink leggings underneath the pink skirt, and a pink shirt with matching pink accessories. But they should admit no one can looks better in pink than Kristin.
Kayla, on the other hand, is a follower of Gothic fashion. She wears black, just the way Kristin wears all pink, but she wouldn’t want to change her name to Blackie. Kayla is quiet and often snappish. She hangs out with the big bullies, if not, she is often alone. She smokes, and has tattoos that she is not afraid to show. On the day she decided to use black lipstick, she was declared The Freak.
But fashion style is not the only differentiating factor between Kayla and Kristin.
Kristin is afraid of spiders, Kayla is afraid of make up.
Kristin is good at Mathematics, Kayla is the talented one in Art.
Kristin is a faithful Christian, Kayla is an atheist.
Kristin likes to visit her neighbors with a basket of fruits in her arms,
Kayla likes to bang on their doors and run away, just for the fun of it.
Kristin is like a flower, Kayla is like the bee.
No one has a greater bond than them, however. Kayla is the only person who can understand Kristin, and vice versa.
This morning during Art class, the headmistress paid a visit to our class. Her expression was hard to read, her face masked with anxiety.
“The twins were involved in a car accident.”
The class went hysterical. The buzzing of people’s voices was filled with the excitement of new rumors, hushed with the tones of disapproval.
“One of the twins passed away an hour ago.”
Now everyone else is out the door. I look at Mya, one of the girls who resents the twins. Because once, Kayla slapped her for making fun of Kristin, and because Kristin hooked up with Mya’s crush. “Who do you think passed away?” I murmur quietly. Pink or black.
She shrugs. “Both of them, hopefully.”
I can’t respond to her nasty comment.
Two weeks later, Kristin comes into the room, but without her usual grace. Her complexion is pale, unlike her usual flushed self. Her steps are clumsy, her skirt a little too loose, her smile reluctant.
It has been a month since Kayla died. I am drowning in curiosity. As the school magazine editor, I want to find good material to put in the gossip column. It is the only reason people actually read our magazine.
I have been following Kristin. I want to be her friend; and it might be useful to find some quotes from her on Kayla’s death for the magazine.
During break time, I follow her into a dark lane beside the school, the place Kayla used to smoke. I spot her pink streaks, her pink trousers, her pink everything, and watch her surrounded by smoke.
It could make a great headline. Kristin Davies smoked from frustration of her twin’s tragic death. But as I watch, her head tilt towards my direction, and she says: “I know you’re there.”
Which doesn’t sound like Kristin at all.
I come out of my hiding spot and grin.
She doesn’t answer. I sit beside her, smelling the marijuana.
“How are you coping with it?”
“With her death, you mean?” Kristin asks nonchalantly.
“Coping pretty well. No one else to hog the bathroom and put all those lip glosses on my space of the room. No one to steal all the attentions by getting straight A’s…” her voice trails off and I can sense tears. “It’s fucking frustrating, you know.”
I feel a little sympathy seep into my veins. I know she won’t want to be hugged, but I hug her anyway, and she doesn’t push me away. My intention of writing about the twins in my column is gone. Maybe it isn’t her who needs a friend. Maybe it is me.
As she leaves, I see the famous dragon tattoo, clearly visible above her hipster pants.