Lisa and I should have been best friends, given the fact that we came from one egg. Instead, each of us grew up believing the other was the evil twin. We were so different. Lisa glided when she walked, I thumped. Lisa kept her emotions in check, no matter how irate, elated, or miserable she was; I let all my emotions spill, no matter who might be spilled upon, or how ugly a mess the spill might make. Lisa was good in algebra, and I was good in geometry. She was right-handed, I was a leftie. And, as we grew up, Lisa became a princess, with perfect hair, skin, and legs, and the innate knowledge of how to use those gifts, while I became a caricature of her, a study in awkwardness, her sister.
I suppose our mother was responsible for exaggerating our differences. After all, it was she who looked at me as a newborn and declared, “Ida Mae,” and then looked at my sister and cooed, “Lisa.” But, even so, she never stopped reminding us that we should cherish each other.
At first, we tried to please her, not just because she was our mother, and we were desperate for her approval, but also, on one level, she had a point—we were convenient playmates for each other. It wasn’t long, though, before we realized that all of our attempts at friendship invariably ended in arguments over where to go, which games to play, which music to listen to, and which movies to watch. God, the arguments we had on this topic alone. Lisa adored chick flicks.
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