Similar But Different

My twin sister is mischievous. I put up with her – I mean – she is my twin and my best friend, so I kind of have to. But sometimes, she exasperates me. Like now. What she is explaining to me right now is beyond ridiculous. I was enjoying a quiet nap when she barged into the room, waking me up. The Sunday afternoon sun was scorching hot and as a result, it took me time to actually fall asleep. So you can imagine how upset I was that she woke me up. But Martha is one of those people. You know, those people who are so effortlessly selfish, you can’t even hate them for it. Her selfishness really is a part of her, she doesn’t think about it. Neither does she exactly mean it to be malicious. It might not make sense but it is what is. 

I’m sure she didn’t think, “let me wake my sister up from her beauty sleep because I’m a wicked person who likes to torment people.” In her mind, it would have gone more like this, I need to talk to my sister, so let me wake her up.” It’s messed up that she didn’t think the conversation as not being urgent and so, can wait. But like I said, it is what it is. We’ve all accepted her for it. I’m Mary, you have probably figured it out when I mentioned my sister’s name. Yeah, my parents are clichéd like that. Sometimes, I think about defying them and going by my tribal name. But I don’t have the heart. My mum really believed the name was ordained by God. Who am I to argue about my mum’s conviction? So, yeah, I hate the name too but that’s also something that’s just what it is. 

“Mary … Mary … Are you listening to me at all?” 

Oh yeah, my sister is still talking, trying to drag me into her usual mischief, which sadly I’m definitely going to be a part of. I hate that I give in to her whims and caprices but I can’t seem to be able to stand up to her. I am what you call, a people pleaser. I am so afraid of upsetting people; I practically do what they want. Martha wants me to join her in deceiving a guy asking her out. I think it’s ridiculous and childish. We are 25, not 12, but I’m going to argue and then give in. 

“Martha, I really don’t think this is necessary,” I started in my usual attempt to stop her from doing something stupid. “Switching places was cute when we were teenagers, we are adults now. Surely, we have better things to do than deceiving people.”

She sighed heavily, as though being patient with a petulant child. 

“I’m not saying we should switch places. We are going to actually let him know we are twins and then, you seduce him.”

I burst into laughter. This was even more ridiculous than I thought at first. 

“Are you crazy? The last thing I know how to do is seduce a man. You do know I’m the shy and reserved one, right?” 

“I’m not asking you to be obvious, you are definitely not capable of doing that. I’m saying get close to him, be his friend, let him get to know you and let’s see if he falls for you.”

“Wait,” I replied. “Do you like this guy at all? Why are you insisting I try to take him away from you? You are sounding like you are trying to match-make me with a guy you met and not asking me to get with a guy you actually like.”

She smirked. “I just want to do an experiment.”

“Okay, I’m all ears.”

“I want to see if the same guy can be attracted to twins and I also want to test his loyalty to me before committing to him.”

I told you my sister was ridiculous but even I don’t know the extent, sometimes. When I think I have figured her out, she comes up with something even more ridiculous. Like, what exactly is this whole experiment about? It makes no sense. 

“You don’t need an experiment for that,” I responded, trying to mask my frustration that was still obviously seeping through.

“I can tell you now. We are very identical physically but we have different personalities, it is simply natural that we attract different people.”

“You don’t have any proof. Yes, it makes common sense but common sense is not always true because life is not always black and white,” she argued.

“Wow, Okay, genius. Let’s leave common sense, this is you putting three people in emotional torment. It’s not worth it.”

“How is it emotional torment if he rejects you?” Martha threw back, smirking again. 

I wanted to slap that smirk off her face. She obviously thinks this is some kind of joke. 

“And if he falls in love with me?” 

She looked taken aback like she hadn’t considered the possibility that he might actually fall for me. The nerve of this girl sometimes! We practically have the same face, if she believes she’s beautiful, doesn’t that mean I am beautiful as well? And I know I’m introverted but that doesn’t mean I lack personality. 

Finally, she said, “if he falls in love with you, you have to break up with him.”

“I see, let’s just break the heart of a guy for our amusement. How noble of us.”

“Stop being so sarcastic and dramatic! He will not fall for you, he loves me.”

“Okay, I agree. That’s what makes this so wrong. He loves you, why does he need to pass through a test to prove it?”

She fell silent. Still, it would be stupid of me to think she would see reason, she never does. We are going to do this thing as much as I already hate myself for it. Her silence is not agreement; she is simply regrouping. I can see the wheels turning in her head. We have gone through this a million times, I know the drill. 

“I still need to be a 100% sure,” she started. “Please, if you are my sister and you love me, you will do this for me. Why are you more bothered about his feelings than mine? You are even yet to meet him. Would you prefer he breaks my heart than finding out now that he is scum?”

Yeah, the emotional blackmail; that’s the drill. 

“Martha, love is a risk. Nobody goes into it one hundred percent sure.”

“I don’t care about other people. I want to be sure.”

I tried one last time. “You’ve had other boyfriends; why didn’t you bother doing this then? Why now?” 

She didn’t miss a beat. “Because this time, I’m emotionally invested.”

“And don’t you think that’s even more reason why you shouldn’t do it?” 

“No, I think that’s why I should do it. If you love me, you’d do this for me. What’s the worst that can happen?” 

Nothing much … except he could fall in love with me and I would have to break his heart or I could fall in love with him and break my own heart. But as usual, Martha didn’t think of that. As usual, she doesn’t care. And as usual, as much as I hate myself for it every time, Martha gets her way again. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ayandola Ayanleke
COMMENT (4)
Takudzwanashe Ndangana / 3 February 2021

This is a great piece.

Reply
Ayandola Ayanleke / 13 February 2021

Thank you for reading.

Reply
PETER KASAIJA / 3 February 2021

Quite an intriguing proposition, this story…it’s brilliant…

Reply
Ayandola Ayanleke / 13 February 2021

Thank you. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

Reply

Leave A Reply to Takudzwanashe Ndangana Cancel Reply