After I'd written a few sentences, I heard a knock on my door. Without turning around, I stopped writing and listened as the door squeaked open.
"Um, I'm sorry to disturb, but I'm looking for Sophie Moreau. Have you seen her?" The voice at the door was a little quiet, but unwavering and was in an accent I wasn't used to hearing. The strange thing was that I could've sworn I'd heard it before, but I couldn't place it.
I swiveled around, about to reprimand the obvious stranger from distracting me from my studies.
"Helloooo! Can't you see that I'm busy - " but one look at the girl standing in my doorway was enough to stifle the rest of my sentence. "Ce n'est pas possible," I muttered to myself, hardly daring to breathe, in case who I saw before me was only a figment of my imagination, or perhaps this was only a dream?
I wanted to get up and rush over to her, but for some reason, my body resisted. In an effort to stand up, I ended up sliding lower down the chair, and if
I hadn't caught myself just in time, I would have fallen flat on my butt!
The girl spoke, a little indignantly but not enough to raise her voice, "Eh bien, tu ne me reconnais pas? Je sais que nous n'avons pas vu l'un l'autre pour 5 années, mais sérieusement...? "
"Recognize you? Of course I RECOGNIZE you! I nearly fell off my chair because I recognized you! I mean, I just wasn't expecting you to visit. Quelle surprise!
Frankly, I wasn't sure you WOULD visit because of the way we left things between us when I left home...and, anyway, aren't you a student at the Paris Opera Ballet School? Surely they wouldn't just let you take time off, would they?" I asked, all the while still staring incredulously at the girl in front of me.
At first, I didn't think she heard me, but then I realized that she was crying softly. I could hear her shallow attempts at breathing through her sobs.
At last, she spoke,
"Sophie, ne sois pas idiot! J'adore le ballet, mais Sophie, tu es ma soeur jumelle, mon meilleure amie de la naissance. Je peux être une danseuse ici. J'adore mon école du ballet, mais j'ai besoin ma soeur. Tu m'as manqué terriblement!"
I was really touched by her choice of words, so touched that I was close to crying myself. The very fact that she'd chosen to come all this way just to drop in on me, after we hadn't seen each other in several years, was REALLY touching - let alone the fact that she'd apparently dropped out of ballet school because she missed me! Had she known I had been missing her like crazy over the past year in particular? Maybe we did have that telepathic connection we'd always thought we had?
After dropping her suitcase and purse on my bed, the girl carefully removed her sunglasses, wiping her tear-stained eyes with her sleeve. Still sniffling, she walked over towards me, where I had finally composed myself enough to stand up.
She continued, "J'ai pensé que tu as été fâché avec moi. Cela étant le cas, je n'ai pas écrit les lettres, et je n'ai pas téléphoné. J'ai pensé que tu as été dans une meilleure situation sans moi à limiter toi."
Oh, mon dieu! She HAD read my mind. But how could I tell her that things had changed? That my whole perspective on things between us was different now?
"Exactement. I was mad at you. I was so mad at you that I couldn't see straight, that I had to get away from you as soon as possible. And, even more than that, I was jealous. I was jealous of you because you got into ballet school, and I didn't. You seemed to be the apple of Maman's eye because of your accomplishment, while I was the loser who didn't get in. And, more than that. I just was tired of being a twin, being someone's clone. I didn't want someone to constantly compare me with you - someone so much better at EVERYTHING. I came to America, I took on a new identity ("Sophie Neveu"), and I tried to forget all about having a twin. But, it's different now. I've realized my rash decision was a stupid one, and I wish life gave us do-overs," I finished, wiping a tear from my cheek.
We hugged, and without pulling away, she continued (this time in English!), "But, Sophie, did you ever stop to think for a moment that I might feel the same way as you? That I might wish I didn't have a twin? But, the thing is, Sophie, we've got something that many people can only dream of having - we've got that specialness of being identical twins! Have you ever thought of using that to our advantage? And, sure, we each have our different strengths and weaknesses, but we can help each other, can't we? I can help you with your dancing, if you want, and you can tutor me - you're so smart in school!" she smiled.
Whispering into her ear, I apologize, "Je suis désolée, Juliette." At this point, it was impossible for me to try to hold back tears anymore, and I began to cry. Juliette hugged me tighter, soothing me until I calmed down (She was always good at that!). When we finally separated, we went over to sit down on one of the beds for a nice, long sisterly chat. We have a LOT to catch up on! We're going to call Maman and Papa later to tell them that all in well between us - they'll be glad to hear that!
So, everyone, that would be Juliette Adrienne Moreau, my twin sister. When I first came to America in late 2006, I wouldn't have admitted that I had a twin. In fact, I'd changed my last name to be sure no one would find out. But, since then, I've slowly come to realize how very wrong it was to deny her existence. I love her, I do. She'll always be my first best friend, the one I turn to before anyone else, even though I may have several other best friends scattered around the world. And, sure, we have a lot of issues to work out, no thanks to me denying her existence for about five years, but that's what therapy is for, right?
Is there someone in your life - a parent, a sibling, a twin, a friend - that you don't always get along with, but deep down, you know you would never be the same without her/him?
Thanks for reading this long entry!