A Bad Case of Twins

July 27, 2008
By Minsoo Kim, Vancouver, ZZ

In many cases of twins, the two twins would take the same side of an opinion and behave similarly. I believe I should send a letter the Canadian Government whether or not my twin is actually my birth twin. Physically we could not be distinguished between one another. However, if personalities were externalized, I would look totally different from him in every possible ways. I detest everything that he likes, while he hates everything that I like. For example, he loves rain, while I love the sun. This gives a major tool for people other to us to distinguish each other.


When I woke up one morning, the first thing that came into my mind was that it would be my birthday tomorrow. In that split second, I remembered my twin brother. I would have to get a present for him. I slowly stood up from my prostrate position to sit on my toilet seat while thinking about what I would detest to get for my birthday present. All of a sudden, the bathroom doorknob turned violently. I quickly finished with my business, and peered out the door.

My closet doors were opened widely. One of my hinges was barely clinging to the wood as a person would do on a cliff. I carefully looked inside my small closet. It was in a state of disaster. There were jackets torn in half. My closet was turned inside out, gutted apart, with all of my clothes torn and in a desperate state. I searched through my closet, checking whether my treasure chest, filled with objects that represented a big part of me, was still intact in perfect condition. To my surprise, I found something exactly where it usually was.

There were nothing, except for apiece of old paper, crumpled and discarded in the corner as it was rubbish. I turned over the old piece of paper, and in shaky and unrecognizable writing, it read, ‘How to retrieve your box:

Burn the paper,
But do not turn it to ashes.
Then, follow the message hidden.’

That instant when I finished reading the statement, I hollered, “MATTHEW, THIS IS NOT FUNNY ONE BIT, COME HERE RIGHT IN MY ROOM, NOW!”

In came my twin brother, and as he did so, he yelled furiously at me, “NO MIKE, LIKE-WHAT YOU JUST DID TO ME-LIKE-WAS NOT FUNNY, GIVE ME BACK-LIKE-MY STUFF!”





With that, our first conversation in a month ceased. He left my room, and with him gone, I started separating the clothes that weren’t damaged from the ones that were. After an hour of sorting my clothes, I tried to think of a way to tell my parents that somehow all the clothes were ripped apart.

Then, I remembered the note that was on the paper. I thought it was stupid. The last part of the message totally gave away the first part, ‘the message hidden’. That obviously indicated that the other part of the message was written in invisible ink. I stopped on my tactic planning of how to get new clothes without getting half killed by my parents, and put all my attention to uncovering the other side of the note. I was about to bring my candle, until I thought, ‘What if the visible writing becomes important?’ I copied the original down, word by word, and also scanned the paper.

As I headed down the spiral staircase, I cast a glance at Matthew. He quickly skipped our stairs with elegance. I completely did not understand his personality. I remembered all the fights we had. In addition, my grudges from the fights lasted a long time. Sometimes it for a week! When Matthew and I went to the beach, he pulled my swimming pants down in front of a crowd of girls, that also included the girl I was flirting with at school. I, humiliated shunned his existence for the following week.

“Hey, Mike,” uttered my nuisance brother at the bottom of the staircase, “do you know where our parents keep the candles?”

“Ask them yourself,” I said, and then, barely audible, I added, “you idiot.”

“Thanks, bro!”

As I was going down the staircase, I saw him strolling towards the direction of our father’s study. However, I headed the opposite direction as he did. I was going to my mom’s room to iron the note as it would be safer. As I walked, I pondered why Matthew wanted a stick of candle.

In the stillness and calmness of my comforting mother’s sanctuary, it happened so that the host of this wondrous room was not present. To replace her existence, was a small piece of paper, with fringes. It was written in a perfect handwriting, ‘Those who seeks for their heart’

A scholar, deep inside a tomb of knowledge,
He would read, a wealth of adventure,
Why would he not long to unravel the adventures--deceptions--of books.
Then comes the call of a quest—where will he go?
Off to know adventure, he will embark.

One who gives comfort chained to an anchor of love,
Then an inanimate letter comes, giving her cherished memories,
Where would that person go
To re-experience those memories, and escape her prison of home?’

I was just stunned at that writing.

In the tranquil room, I found an intruder. My mother’s computer screen was turned on which was unusual, with the phrase ‘inanimate letter,’ reminded me of e-mail, I stalked her computer. To my surprise, her e-mail address and password were still typed in. I simply pressed enter, expecting to find the e-mail that would lead me where she went. During the process of logging in her account, the door widely opened.

My father came into the room. I realized that he was not alone, my nemesis was with him.

“Mike, what are you doing on your mother’s computer?” asked my confused father.

“Nothing much…” I replied, hesitantly, “I’m, just checking my e-mail.”

“Why aren’t you using your computer to check your e-mail?” my dad asked once more with a perplexed look.

“Yeah Mike!?” asked my arch-rival, with a sly grin, “I don’t think (peering over the screen) you use Shaw for your e-mail, mom does. Don’t you use hotmail?”

That moment, I was busted. My brother looked into my father’s eye, trying to act innocent and telling him that I was a convict. Slowly and shamefully, I left my father’s presence. I headed to my room. I almost forgot my purpose of being in that haven. I slowly remembered that the invisible note must be revealed. I knew that heat must be applied to reveal invisible writing.

While I was sweating hard, I heard someone yell out, “Brunch in ten minutes!”

I strolled towards my bathroom to brush my teeth. Once I was in the bathroom, I saw the shower stall, reflected on the mirror; realizing how hot I was, I decided to take a cold shower. After five minutes of a refreshing shower, I took out the hairdryer from the cupboard to dry my hair. I learned how to dry my hair from my mom, because we both had the same type of hair.

Our hair was unusually thick. We couldn’t use a normal comb. We literally needed a knife- sharp comb to do our hair. However, when we dry it from water, our hair become smoother.

I flicked the switch on. It surprised me when hot air came out of the hair dryer since I forgot that warm air flowed from the nozzle. I was halfway through in my methodical drying procedure when it hit me. I could use the hairdryer to uncover the invisible message!

I quickly put a towel around my hips. I was so excited. I quickly scurried out of the bathroom to grab the note from the desk. I didn’t even care that I was half nude and that my bedroom blinds was opened widely apart. As soon as I came back from my desk, I eagerly turned my hairdryer into full power, at the note. It slowly revealed its secret. It began to read:

(Please put the invisible note here, erase this)

I was perplexed. I went over the new mysterious paper once more, thinking that I did not get the entire message. The first thing that I thought of was a code. Then, I realized that there were some identical shapes. I didn’t even bother changing out of my towel. the first thing that came up to my mind was the book explaining the codes used in the World War II. I headed to our family study, which was sadly beside my brother’s room. Walking by his room, with my note, I smelled a very pungent smell. It wasn’t the normal dirty smell that bored my brother’s room. It was something burning.

I was caught off guard. I went into his room, yelling “Fire! Fire! What the hell are you doing Matthew?”

I made myself look like an idiot once more. His window was open and dad was making barbeque on the lawn.

“Get the heck out of my room!” Matthew yelled back from the lawn.

“Mike,” said my stern dad’s voice, “Get down here! we’re having hot dogs!”

I left my brother’s room with haste. With the hotdogs in mind, the burning smell disappeared and was replaced by the brother’s usual fetid smell. I quickly got my bathrobe on, because I did not want any outsiders to look at my nudity. I headed downstairs, and went out of the front door.

My nose was overcome with aroma that I thought I had forgotten. In that slight smell of food, I realized that I had not eaten breakfast. The sun was high up and therefore I knew it was around noon. I sat down on our porch. Plates were out. On each plate was a hog dog bun. I picked one of the plates up and went to the barbeque. I could see juicy meat rolling on the barbeque. My dad, without any glances or words, automatically picked one of the meat and placed it inside my bun.

I quickly squeezed ketchup and mustard on my hot dog. That instant when I grabbed the mustard and started squeezing it, Matthew said in disgust, “Eww, mustard looks like snot.”

That moment, I lost my appetite, and retorted, “O my gosh! Chocolate looks like poo!”

I quickly grabbed my plate and went upstairs. Eating my hotdog while going up the stairs, I was getting irate by the moment. To relieve my aggression while eating, I needed advice from my friends, and to do so, I turned on my MSN, and looked for anyone on my list who was online. There was only one person on, on a Saturday morning! It was one that I did not enjoy talking to on the chat room: the geek of our class, Jasper Lan.

Before I could even log off, I got an invitation to a Tic-Tack-Toe game. I hesitated for a moment, however I accepted to play. It brought me long, boring series of game. Usually the geek did not even talk, and when he talked of Social Studies, or math equations. In the middle of the 50th round, my computer froze. I was writing an ‘a’ when the computer froze. I moved my window everywhere until I saw one queer picture. The ‘a’ was inside the upper-left corner of the Tic-Tack-Toe grid.

Then it hit me. I looked back to the cryptic code. The fourth figure looked similarly as the upper-left box of a Tic-Tack-Toe grid. Underneath the code I wrote down ‘a’. With greater anticipation I create four Tic-Tack-Toe grid and put the alphabet from ‘a’ through ‘z’. However, on the third grid, the alphabet ended. I looked back at the note and saw the figure of an ‘a’ angled. I erased the last two grid and thought for a moment. I looked at the figure I thought of a capital ‘x’. I drew two and placed the alphabets again and it fitted perfectly!

I figured out the first three symbols; it read ‘dig’. For the next batch of symbols, I knew the first was an ‘a’. Then, I came across two symbols that were the same, but with a dot in the middle. I looked back at my grid I knew it at once. The first and second, and third and fourth grids were identical. I poked dots in the second and fourth grid, with zeal accumulating as the activity went on.

At last I finished the riddle and read out loud in great enthusiasm, “Dig apple tree.”

I was disgusted once more because there were five apple trees in our front garden instead of just one. The notes did not say ‘dig apple trees.’ I went to the front lawn, where I saw dad cleaning the barbeque grillwork. I went to our grove of apple trees. There were two saplings that I planted from the seeds of our biggest tree. That meant three logical apple trees left. I looked at each of them. Out of all three, the one in the center of the grove seemed to be the oldest to my eye. I leaned on the trunk of the tree, pretending to be resting. I was waiting for my dad to leave so I could dig the tree. Once my dad left, I screamed in exultance. I quickly went to our garage and got a shovel. Nothing mattered now. The box contained very important to our family and me.

I dug around the tree for a very long time for what seemed like forever. The only thing I knew was that there was a big ditch around the tree, which resembled a waterway around a citadel. I looked around but I saw no parchment or any crumpled old paper. I threw my shovel into the ditch and went to sit on a stump. I look at the state of my bathrobe. To simply put it, I needed another one.

On the stump, pedestrians of our neighborhood looked at me, the ditch, and the big pile of soil. They have a perplexed look on them and some of them even banged themselves on the lamp post! I was sitting on the stump. I began to stand up, when I remembered the time when there was a magnificent apple tree that was cut down last year.

I looked at the stump I was sitting on and around the stump. Behind the stump, the ground was bumpy. As I struck hard on the ground, the grass seemed to peel off. I peeled it. Inside the grass, I saw a roll of paper. Then, without dawdling I picked it up and unrolled the paper. The letter sized paper was blank, and I saw a glimpse of a smaller paper falling down but I ignored it as it was a hallucination.

I took the blank piece of paper and lumbered through our lawn. I was tired now. I was on this stupid treasure hunt for six hours and still I did not find my precious box. I stomped into my bathroom and tried to uncover the code. I didn’t find anything. I flipped it over at least ten times, going through it billions times over, but I couldn’t see anything. With revulsion and hopelessness, I ran and sat on the windowsill. I was looking at the lawn I have ruined. I knew that sooner or later I would have to clean up that mess. A small brown patch in the green caught my eyes.

As I was nearing the old stump, the sprinkler went on. I quickly ran towards the paper; picking up the soaked paper up, a rat ran towards my path and snatched a portion of my paper. I picked up a small oval-shaped paper up. The paper was wet and delicate. I quickly ran back with much effort not to rip up this elderly paper.

When I came back to my room, I placed this slippery paper on my radiator. As it was drying, I saw a map. It was clearly made to be precise. Reasonably, I knew that the house-like lines were to resemble the house I live in. Then dismay came through me instantly.

“Damn this f—king thing!” I yelled, “Can’t it just tell me where to finding my f—king box!?”

“Language, people,” yelled back my dad, whom had tolerance to swearing, “language.”

I glumly sat on my bed, oblivious that it was 7 P.M. and that I hadn’t had dinner. However who could resist the comfortable grasp of our dear friend, Mr. Sleep.

I just couldn’t believe the my stupidity! I check the radiator. Now, only a small portion of the pitifully small map remained.

(Place map here)

I sighed as I looked at the paper. Now I couldn’t even see half of the dotted lines, which I presumed would lead me to the treasure. But a very important piece of the map remained: Where the end of the map should be. I presumed that it should be on the upper left of the map. I looked at my bed. I could see a batch of brown everywhere. I looked at my bathrobe. I had forgotten the state of that bathrobe. I bawled in anger. I heard flutter of wings.

I went out in my pajamas. I got the shovel from the front yard, it was not stolen, which made me gleeful for the first time today. I dug up where I thought the box would be. It was as if karma was with me. I found my box. I opened it up, anticipating to see the precious piece of paper, but all my stuff was missing and was replaced by a piece of crumpled paper.

I knew that the piece of paper meant another treasure hunt. I read:
Ignored us you have,
For some clues were not needed,
The second clue of the fourth the most helpful.

This one will let you know,
The secret behind this hunt,
Could have been finished with a single question.

Why burden yourself,
When that other literature was read.
Go back to the room of bliss.
If you want to regain your box of bliss.

I raced into my mother’s room, throwing away the paper. I went inside a pitch black room. Even the light from the sun was blocked. I tried to turn on the light, but there was a plastic cover over the switch. I walked towards the center of the room, trying to turn on the lamp. Suddenly, a cold hand grabbed me. I was bound. My wrists and ankles were wrapped with a rope. Then, before I could even cry out for help, a gag was on my mouth and an intense blindfold followed.

I heard the light flick. Then, the gag was untied, slowly. As my blindfold was untied, I heard a song that struck my head.

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday dear Matthew and Mike,
Happy birthday to you!

Beside me, I saw Matthew in similar state as I was in. After an exchange of glances, we looked forward, and saw our whole extended family standing in front of us.

Matthew and I got our items back. My clothes were not actually mine; they were actually my relative’s old clothes purposely ripped. Matthew had a similar treasure-hunt as I did. It was just that his clues were usually inside the house, while mine involved going outside. Matthew and I received a lot of presents, considering at least fifty relatives have came. I looked inside my reclaimed box, and saw that the content was totally transformed. It was another box, the exterior the same as the previous, but the interior more organized. However when opened, I could see my most treasure piece of paper. It was the Matthew and my brother’s will. We would be going to his grave today.

I will only request one thing in this will before I go to Zimbabwe to facilitate the new third world school.
I wish that my family would know what I want them to do always: love, and help others without considering the harsh relationship between one another.

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