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As if Destiny Hates Me
I should probably mention my brother. We are…or more accurately were…strange siblings. We were twins. We looked the same, so much so that to be identified by our father, one of us had to wear a headband. We were the same height, same weight, same everything. We were equal.
But not normally equal. Equal as in perfectly equal. As in when we got in arguments we would yell the exact same thing at each other at the exact same time, for the whole fight. When our fights got physical, we were still equal. The fight would last for hours, literally decided by the one who got more sleep the night before. We could be called clones.
And we were. Countless times. We got the same grades at school to the percentage, even though we were in different classes. The teacher could give us a pop quiz she had written an hour before class and we would get the exact same grade, and the exact same questions wrong. Throughout our community everybody called us either; ‘The Twins’, ‘The Clones’, and occasionally ‘The Equal Beasts’.
We had rough life. That life led to us separating at the age of twenty. For one time, we did different things with our life. My brother, Hugo, went to Germany to study physics. I decided to go to America and go into the field of genetics.
And so the next ten years we lived in complete isolation from one another, no idea where the other was, or what he was doing.
* * *
It was my extra-sensory perception that warned me I would be seeing my brother when I went on my trip to England. All through my life my father had told me to trust my gut feeling, and I did so then. The weeks leading up to my trip I practiced and practiced the art of sword fighting I had forgotten. I practiced my martial arts, my gun shooting skills, everything that my instinct told me I would need to use when I got to England and saw my brother.
The genetic research lab I was working for loaned me to another lab in London. The ride there was swift, and the work was enjoyable, but I longed for the day I would see my brother again.
* * *
I had just left the lab on my last day when a man with a gun came running down the streets, shooting randomly in the air as the crowd parted. Policemen chased him, shouting for anybody to go and tackle him.
Instinct kicked in. I figured my gut was preparing me for the man I was about to fight, not my brother. I dove and tackled the man, our bodies intertwined as we tumbled down the sidewalks.
The man pulled out a gun and pointed it at me, having enough time to shoot the bullet into my chest. But the man hesitated. I kicked the gun as far away as I could, right out of his hand.
And so we started fighting. The police wouldn’t shoot for fear of hitting me. Our fight raged, lasting literally for hours. We made our way through parks, over hills, through the city, across the roads, until we made our way to the top of a building. We had already fought our way up the winding fire escape that went up to the roof, and we were both panting for breath.
It was on the building when the revelation set in. The man I was battling knew my exact way of fighting. Every kick he blocked, every punch he met with his own. We attacked one another, our sweaty bodies colliding with each other.
It was my roundhouse kick that confirmed my suspicion. The foot took off the man’s mask, tearing it off his head as he dodged the kick. The cloth came off and fell to the ground, and I was forced to staring right into the face of…me.
My enemy took my hesitation to his advantage. A kick from him took out my legs and I collapsed to the ground. He took his fist and pounded it into my head, my body collapsing.
The only thing that saved my life was when I made a last attempt to save myself. I lashed my arm out, catching my brother’s legs and pulling him to the ground with me. I rolled out of harm’s way, my brother doing the same.
And there we stood. Facing each other, staring each other down with cold hatred.
“Brother, why? Why turn to crime?” Tears were starting to form from my eyes.
“You really don’t understand?” My brother shook his head. “I want to be unique. I want to be me. Every day I look in the mirror I see you. Not me, you. When I was a child, you matched everything I did exactly. I couldn’t be the best at anything. You never allowed me to do anything by myself. Every time I took a morning jog, you brother, had to be standing right beside me, making the jog a competition to see who could go farther!”
“Hugo, it’s different now.”
My brother shook his head in anger. “No! It’s no different! I can’t even rob a bank without you being right beside me, making it a contest to see who could fight better! You always have to be the better man!”
Fury had gotten the better of me. “And you think it was different for me?! Every time we met somebody, you would brag that you were twenty-nine seconds older, because that’s the only thing you could think of that made us different. Those twenty-eight seconds burned a hole right through my heart! You provided no love to me. When I tripped during our races, you never asked if I was okay. You just went right on running, attempting to prove you were superior to me!”
“I didn’t love you?! What about you!? You tried to kill me in my sleep! You tried to take out kitchen knife and plunge it into my chest! Since when did you provide me love!?
“I tried to kill you because I wanted to be special. I wanted to be the only person in the world that was like me. The only person who looked like me!”
“Shall we finish the fight now? The fight that has been raging for ages, wanting to be taken to physical means?” My brother was staring right at me.
“You know you want to finish it! You know you want to get me out of your life, out of this universe!”
In truth, I did. I wanted to be unique; I wanted to get my brother out of my life. “No. Why don’t we just forget this happened and…”
My brother charged at me, and I acted in self-defense, launching a kick and hitting him right in the chest. I lost control of my actions then. I thrashed, punching and kicking him out of control way. I pushed him to the edge of building, one push away from killing him.
“Why did destiny have to bring us together? Why did the Fates decide that we had to meet again?” I cried out, holding my brother so tight he couldn’t fight back.
My brother closed his eyes. “It’s because destiny hates you. The Fates despise you as I do.”
I held my brother tight, staring right into his hazel brown eyes. Not seeing anger anymore, just sadness. Sadness of having the weight of knowledge. The sadness of the realization of something terrible.
“My brother,” Hugo stared into my eyes in such a way that my anger subsided, “You want to be alone? You want to be unique? Push me off this building. I give you my permission.”
I shook my head. I just couldn’t. “Hugo, why can’t we just love each other?”
My brother managed a smile, his face red from blood, “Because then, my brother, I would be a narcissist.” The joke didn’t feel humorous to me.
Before I could realize what he was doing, Hugo had bit my arm, making me let him go in pain as I cried out. But Hugo didn’t attack me again. He didn’t kick, he didn’t punch, he pushed. He pushed me with a weak force, just enough to get me away from the side of the building. But in the same action, he had pushed himself over the edge.
* * *
To this day, I don’t know whether Hugo killed himself in hate or love. I don’t know whether he wanted me to feel the feeling of uniqueness, one I had never felt before. Or maybe he just wanted me to feel regret, regret for everything I had ever done to him. I can’t say.
But either way, my love changed drastically. Uniqueness became a burden, and for the first time I wished that my clone was actually alive.
People have said it’s not my fault. They say it couldn’t be avoided. But I know better.
I know that. I know that it could be avoided. But I also know that it was a fate of sorts. A fate that brings up the question whether destiny can posses hatred.