From Wombmates to 572 Miles Away

It is often that I forget something as I am racing out the door. 

The nagging continues as I walk down the street until it suddenly hits me that my water bottle is still sitting on

Monet Ota | Graphic Artist

the counter. I audibly sigh. I might even declare myself incredibly stupid. But in the end, the stress slowly seeps out of me as I am reminded that reunion is on the horizon.

Since arriving at Boston University, I have unfortunately learned that not every nagging feeling disappears. The walk across Commonwealth Avenue might stand between my water bottle and me, but a twenty-minute amble will not bring me to the door of my twin brother’s dorm multiple states away.

“Keep an eye on Matt,” is the one phrase that my mother would never quit saying and the one that I would never stop rolling my eyes at.

But now, it is something that I would hand my left pinkie over for.

For as long as I can remember, I always had one eye pointed toward life and the other toward my twin brother. It was not that he was incapable of taking care of himself, but as the girl in the duo — and thus the one who matured faster — my mother always asked me to look out for him.

Since our college split, I acutely felt a sense of incompleteness — a nagging at the back of my mind telling me that I am forgetting something, or in this case, someone. 

As a fraternal twins, we are not literal halves, genetically split from the same egg, but there is a sense of completing a whole when we are together. Often labeled as “the twins,” we repeatedly found ourselves grouped as one unity when arriving at school events and family functions. 

Our day-to-day lives were certainly different. Practice schedules were held at conflicting times, and hangouts took place where boys and girls were separate. Regardless, there were plenty of “twin” events that reoccurred daily without fail. One is walking between each others’ rooms at night for homework answers.

Although we are nothing close to identical, and frankly some people believe that we do not even look like siblings, our same-age link has created the ability to feel separate and connected all at the same time.

Until this point in our lives, we had rung every major milestone together. 

Matt might have lost his first tooth before me, but with dedicated twisting and pulling at a semi-loose one, I quickly caught up. When learning how to ride a bike, I caught on the fastest, but he accomplished the same goal within a few hours. Even in middle school, when we ran for the same student council position, we tied and were both given the role.

Everything was a twin activity. Even the smaller things like walking into school together and finding each other prom dates were much easier with a built-in partner.

Now, we have had to learn how to do it all on our own.

My parents prepared us for this shift early on. For example, we never had matching striped onesies. They even requested for the two of us to be placed in different class rosters come third grade.

However, despite the positive outcome of their primary decisions, I do not think there is ever a way to make this radical change completely painless. 

At this point, there is not much of a choice except to embrace the lingering feeling of incompleteness. The day my name goes back from Kara to “Matt and Kara,” the nagging sensation will have fizzled out.


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