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Twinless

Her name is Hayley.
Her name is Kayley.

Her name is Stephanie.
His name is Stephan.

His name is Butter.
Her name is Flies.

In a world where humans are always born as a set of two, a twin is not seen as an individual, more like a single person in two separate bodies. Twins are two halves of the same thing, two identical copies.

Twins are expected to be together all the time. As babies, they are dressed alike and fed the same food. As older children, the twins are sent to the same school and take the same classes and play the same sports. As adults, one set of twins even got married to a different set of twins. A person could not get married to someone other than the twin to that person’s twin’s spouse. Twins spent every moment, from birth to death, together.

Her name is Sophie.


Sophie was born without a twin. She is called Incomplete, Twinless, and Cripple. She is one of few Singles in the world. For some unknown reason, her twin had died in the womb and she had lived her life as an incomplete set.

One day when she was seven, she was sitting on the playground steps. Alone. Her classmates were playing Red Rover but she wasn’t allowed to play. Without a twin, Sophie would make the teams uneven. She poked at the ground with a stick, thinking how much better her life would be if her twin had survived.

Perhaps that was the day she would get one though, she thought. A family just moved into their town and their children would be transferred to her school. That day was the new students first day and Sophie heard there was something “different” about the family. That could mean there was a Single in the family. If there was, then Sophie decided she would ask him or her to be Sophie’s new twin.

But Sophie knew it was a long shot. Singles were very uncommon and she doubted she would ever meet another Single in her life. Despite the odds, Sophie eagerly watched the new shiny car with the “different” family drive up to the school.

Sophie stared at the car door, trying to see through the tinted window. It flew open and a small boy about Sophie’s age jumped out. Sophie’s heart started to hammer. Was this her new twin?

But then, a girl who looked almost identical to the boy appeared out of the car. Sophie was devastated. Despite the warning she gave herself, Sophie had high hopes that she would meet her twin that day.

She ran away from the car and hid behind school, wiping away the tears.

Sophie didn’t know how long she hid back there. Long enough for her to stop crying and nurture her long-standing hatred for her long gone twin. Suddenly, a shadow appeared over her. She turned to see the new boy standing above her.

“What are you doing out here by yourself?” he asked.

She shrugged.

“Where’s your twin?”

Another shrug. He was oblivious to her cringe when he asked her that.

“Can I sit by you? The other kids won’t let me play.”

Sophie peered at him suspiciously, but nodded. Why would he want to sit by her when he could sit with his twin? In fact, where was his twin? Sophie knew he had one.

“What’s your name?” he asked as he plopped on the ground next to her.

“Sophie...the...the Single.”

“I’m Timothy the Triplet. My other siblings are playing with the other kids but won’t let me play because I will make the teams uneven. I think they can play without me. I don’t want to be seen with people like them.”

“Triplet?” Sophie asked shocked. That was what made them “different.” Triplets were even more uncommon than Singles, and Sophie was excited to meet another exception to the rule of twins.

“Timothy, if you don’t have a twin either, would you…I mean… is it possible…that you would want to be my twin?” Sophie asked shyly, her cheeks turning red.

“No.”

Sophie heart plummeted. She could almost taste disappointment in her mouth. “Why not?”

“Because I am a triplet, not a twin. There are too many twins in the world and not enough triplets and Singles in my opinion.”

Sophie pouted. She didn’t think that was a good enough reason to reject her.

“I will be your friend, though,” Timothy said with a smile.

“Okay,” Sophie said and they went off to play together.

Timothy and Sophie had a lot in common and were friends for life. Timothy taught Sophie an important lesson. He was proud to be different and loved to be an individual, and Sophie had never thought about being a Single as something other than a disease.

Sophie did not find her twin that day when she was seven, but she found herself and a friend who accepted her, which was even more important.




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