in which we are more than reflections ˑ the past is the present is the past is forever ˑ we can’t all be hayley mills
You are not that kind of twin.
You know that, but you pull Perry down to watch The Parent Trap with you anyway. Jason is playing video games in the background, the beep of his console barely a distraction. And you know you are not that kind of twin, if you were you’d be skinny and Perry would be a girl and you’d look like halves of a whole instead of distorted reflections. But –
But it’s nice to pretend, sometimes.
Perry plays along, for a little while. He doesn’t say anything during most of the movie. Then Jason leaves, distracted by a phone call. And he says, quietly, “I wish they’d get divorced.”
It’s a quiet admission. Not the kind of thing you’re supposed to say aloud. You think you’re supposed to agree. Instead, you don’t talk to him for the rest of the day. Divorced parents fight all the time and don’t love each other anymore. More importantly, they’re an embarrassment. And Mom is very clear. The only thing worse than embarrassment is death.
(The fact that your parents don’t seem to love each other to begin with – you’re not old enough to think about as a possibility but you do anyway. It’s humiliating to think about, the idea that other people might have different kinds of parents. Of course they love each other – the same way they love you, and your siblings. Of course.)
Still, by the next morning, you’ve forgiven him, with a sunny half-smile and a shrug of acknowledgment. You don’t talk about it, though, or tell him why you were mad to begin with.
You’re not that kind of twin.