You step into an acquaintance’s house for the first time, and discover that everything — from the furniture, to the books, to the art on the wall — is identical to your home. What happens next?
“Wait–wait a minute! This is MY house! Just—-wait!”
I stepped back outside, viewing the street and the houses of the neighbors, and no, this was not my neighborhood. But as I reluctantly stepped back into the house, every single thing in the room was an exact replica of my own front room. I loved my own front room. This, I didn’t like one little bit.
I glared at my new acquaintance. “What’s going on here? How did you do this? You’ve never been in my house before, yet you’ve made an exact duplicate of everything I own. Wait–you even have the same photographs I do! How can that be? Pictures of my parents and grandparents, my kids, their kids–I’m getting out of here! This is insane!”
“Don’t leave. Please. There’s an explanation, and I’ve been waiting most of my life to find you and tell you. Please, let me tell you!”
“Find me? You mean you’ve been tracking me, following me around for years? That’s just creepy! Look, whatever your game is, I don’t want to play! Now get out of my way before I have to hurt you, and let me go!”
“No, please! I haven’t been following you! I only just found you about a month ago, and I’ve been waiting for a legitimate opportunity to meet you. Please, you have to listen! I promise, it won’t take long, and you’ll understand. Please.”
She looked sincere. Actually, she looked a little bit like me, which is what drew me to her in the first place. There were subtle differences, and no one would mistake us for twins—
“We’re twins! Fraternal twins, not identical. When we were born, our parents were in terrible financial straits. They felt they couldn’t afford to keep us both, so they decided to keep whichever one came first. Me, they gave to some friends of theirs who weren’t able to have a baby of their own. I had a wonderful life, and I think you did too. But I always longed to know who I really was, and it took me all these years, until we were both grandmothers, to find you.”
“Right,” I sneered. “What a crock.”
“NO! It’s the truth! If you’ll look more carefully, you’ll see that not everything is perfectly identical to what you have. I’ve never seen the inside of your house, only the outside. The only explanation I can think of is that we have similar tastes.”
“What about the photos?” Those are MY parents!”
“Yes, they are. Once I found them, and you, I found copies of their photos in my own parents’ albums that are stored in the attic.”
“But the children! How did you get pictures of my children and grandchildren?”
“Those are MY children and grandchildren! Look more closely. Please!”
As I examined the pictures, I realized that she was right. They weren’t identical. They were strangely similar, but there were differences. I began to get butterflies in my stomach, Could this possibly be true? Could this woman who resembled me possibly be my twin sister? After all these years of believing I was the only child, could I truly be a twin? It just seemed too strange, too bizarre.
Then, I began to look more closely around the room. Yes, at first glance it was just like mine. Studied more closely, I could again see subtle differences. The shape of the chair legs, the length of the drapes, the style of the picture frames. Not identical, just similar.
This was turning out to be a changing day in my life!
I looked at my new