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I think a lot of people believe that there are signs in the world. I know I do. For example, if my faucet keeps on dripping, Izzy is dead, just like the hospital said. Yep, it's still going. There's that familiar plip-plop that's driving me insane. My twin is dead.
I've been in shock for an hour now. For the first thirty minutes, I cried, screaming that this couldn't be happening. The next twenty minutes I spent by smashing my head into my pillow. Now I've been listening and looking for signs that will spare my sister.
If a woman with a dog walks by, then Izzy is alive. If a stray cat passes my window, then Izzy really is dead. A skeletal retriever with clumps of fur falling out limps by the hotel window. Close enough.
Ever since the fire, my family's been staying in the Augusta Hotel. Mom was badly burned and had to get skin grafts. Our hamster, Gumdrop, died. Dad rescued our family, gaining only a few scars, and Izzy...she got burns everywhere.
I faintly recall Izzy yelling and sobbing after we escaped the raging fire in our house. I had given my dad my cell phone (that luckily had survived the disaster) so that he could call an ambulance.
We were all rushed to the hospital, but Izzy was attended to the most. Mom was second on the list, though I think she had it worst seeing as she was so concerned about everyone else as well. I had inhaled too much smoke, and my lungs already had issues, so the nurses made sure I was taken care of a lot, too.
Dad got out before any of us did. He said he had asked the hospital's permission so that he could look for a place we could stay until we got our home back.
We sure had been busy in the last week, but I had been so woozy that I had hardly realized what was happening. So you can imagine how horrible it was to find out that my twin was dead after I had just gotten out of the hospital.
When Dad reported Izzy's death this morning, I didn't say anything for a few moments, but then... "She was my twin. My identical twin. She can't be dead."
"Oh, Ivy," Mom had cooed as she had cradled my head. "It's hard for all of us, but just because she was your twin doesn't mean she'll live as long as you will. Please try to accept the facts."
They had been trying to look composed, but I saw the tears at the rims of their eyes. I saw the terrified shakes in their arms. I saw everything that gave it away.
Izzy and I had been inseparable. We hated not going to the same classes in school so much, that our parents had sent a letter to Guidance, requesting that any classes we didn't have together be rearranged so that we could be by each others side all the time. In First Grade, I had copied everything Izzy did in Art class because I was horrible at art and she said I could. We always shared candy and presents on holidays and our birthday. And once, we had even had the same boyfriend.
It was a wild world with Izzy, and it had never occurred to me that she would disappear from it. Izzy and I had even made a book of signs that could predict the future. The ones I was making up now to confirm Izzy's death were not as good as Izzy's had been though.
There was nothing good about this. The only thing Izzy and I had not liked about being twins was that we looked exactly the same. Just a night before the fire, we had had a fight about it. Izzy had said that she was more popular than I was, despite our copied appearance. I had reacted irrationally, making fake claims that Hayden (our shared boyfriend) had always liked me more.
Mom had grounded us and forced us into bed at 6:30. I still don't really know what came over us that night. I guess we had always known that Izzy was a bit prettier than me, and she had just wanted to prove that we weren't entirely the same.
Izzy had honey brown hair that had just a little more shine than my light brown mane. Her eyes were a teeny bit greener than mine, and her form just a fraction slimmer. In addition, she looked younger than fourteen.
I didn't even get to tell her that she was right. I didn't have the chance to say sorry to my beloved twin who's now dead.
I pound my fist into the perfectly folded blankets around me. This hotel room is spotless and beautiful, but it doesn't make up for anything.
"It's all over. Why couldn't I have just been quiet and apologized to her? Why did I have to be so proud?" I whisper to myself, a small tear trickling down my face. "I wish I could have said sorry."
I suddenly remember a sign Izzy had made up one day. "Ivy, if we ever have a fight, look at the sky and see if it's cloudless. If there's even one cloud, then we'll never forgive each other and hate one another forever. But if it is, then we've forgiven each other and our friendship is eternal."
At the time, I had giggled, insisting that we'd never fight. On that school day, the sign had seemed like a waste of Izzy's amazing imagination. But maybe...
I look out the window. The sky is blue and stretches on forever. It's good weather for Izzy's funeral, and also a good sign. I find comfort in it.