She was insane, and I discovered it in the absolute worst way that one can discover such a thing. As I sit down to write this I think I always knew, but here in lies the moment, the day, the hour, the minute, the second, that I finally admitted it. I was alone at first. It was pouring rain that day, which wasn’t particularly unusual; anyone who’s stepped foot in Portland can attest to the fact that it rains nearly every day. I was walking as fast as my long, slightly too skinny, legs would carry me. Trying to escape the rain and her. I heard her call my name; she was running down the stairs from her apartment, slipping on that ugly orange rain jacket, as she went. “Alice! come back, stay a little while longer, wait for the rain to stop at least, Alice, please!” she said and
I remember I stopped. I stopped and I… I looked back at her and she, well, she smiled at me. A sad, dead smile, but a smile nonetheless. I just stood there, frozen, feeling the rain drench me, seeping into my pours. I stared for what felt like an eternity. Examining every inch of my, sorry her, face. Her smile was a tiny bit lopsided. Her hair, which was not quite straight, but not quite curly, invariably ended up looking like she just got out of bed, no matter how much she tried to tame it. She wasn’t perfect, which meant that I couldn’t be either. I hated her for that and every day I had to looked at her, and was forced to see a mirror image of myself reflecting back at me.
We were the same, the kind of twins where even if you’d known us for years you wouldn’t be able to tell us apart, our personalities, mannerisms, even the way we walked were identical. Our own parents would mix us up sometimes. I hated her so much it burned, and I had finally admitted it to her that morning. This is why she followed me when I left her apartment at 2:15 in the afternoon. Thinking back, I know she recognized how much I really meant it, because we always fought, but she never followed me. For the past 18 months our fights had been solely the result of the pills they made me take on a daily basis. She wanted me to stop, she wanted to help me. So she would leave, thinking that if I realized I was losing her I would quit. Invariably, she was always right. Yet, on this particular occasion she realized that tactic would no longer work, because I didn’t care if she was gone, I wanted her to be gone. I finally hated her as much as everyone else and there was nothing she could do about it. Ha ha I had won!
I was standing in the middle of the street. I wanted to move, but I couldn’t look away. It was like I was in a trance, permanently tethered to this inch of pavement. I watched as she walked closer to me, never letting that ugly smile drop from her face until she was practically standing on my toes. If I had leaned forward half an inch I could have kissed her. From the corner of my eye I saw the cab coming, quickly, too quickly, but still I didn’t move. Instead I said, “there’s a car” and she replied “I know” as she gently, so gently it was almost imperceptible, placed her hand on my chest, her middle finger pressing, somehow devoid of pressure, against my clavicle. We never broke eye contact. Even when she shoved me backwards I could see her glistening, opal eyes. I stumbled back a few feet, still not moving my eyes from her face. “Move!” I shouted just as the cab hit her. It never stopped, not even for a moment, the driver didn’t hesitate. It was pouring so hard I am sure he didn’t see her until it was too late, but after he hit her, he knew, of course he knew. Why didn’t he stop? I ran to her. I wanted to help her, but I didn’t know what to do. You want to know how I knew she was crazy? It’s because she never stopped smiling. Not even once, I held her in my arms as she died, blood poured from between her lips and she laughed a little. As I watched the blood mix with her hair, the colors so similar they were almost indistinguishable from one another, I realized she was laughing at me. I knew she was. I was in pain once again because of her and she couldn’t have been happier. She saved my life that day and I hated her for it. That was the last thing I felt, hatred. I tried to call an ambulance, but she grabbed my phone holding it tightly to her chest. I thought to argue, but what was the point? I knew she was going to die either way. So, I just stared, looking into her eyes, screaming for answers to questions I would never be able to ask. She had time to move, why didn’t she move? She wanted to die. She wanted me to see her die. I tried so hard to think of something to say. The tide of my emotions streaming out of me like waves, so strong I knew everyone from miles around could feel them. So, I said nothing, worried that I would regret whatever emotionally driven words might ooze out of my mouth, her blood drenched smile remained the only communication between us. I stared until the light left her eyes, until I felt her go limp in my arms, until that smile finally faded away from her face. Once I knew she was dead I called an ambulance. I drug her out of the street, onto the sidewalk and then I moved away. I sat next to her, put my head between my knees and felt. Nothing. I felt nothing. I guess I should have been sad. She had been my life long companion. I tried to feel something, some vague part of me desperately wanted to, but I couldn’t.
A week later, my friends and family gathered to celebrate her death. It wasn’t really a funeral, they were all so happy she was gone.
They always celebrated when she disappeared. So many times, in the last year and a half she had vanished from my life completely. She always stopped existing in my life because of the pills, she called me a “drug addict” and would leave me, alone, desperate, and depressed until I would stop taking them.
This however, was inarguably more permanent of a disappearance. Everyone spoke to me as if I were in shambles, but I really was fine. In the past I would search for her, I would cry and beg my relatives to tell me where she was. I say this because it did make sense that they all thought I would be destitute with her passing. They spoke to each other in thinly veiled whispers, saying that my apathy was an act, that at any moment I would break down and admit that I was crushed, but of course I never did.
I did however; give a speech for her, standing in a corner, staring at a wall, pretending someone cared enough to listen. I said “There is a connection between twins. We could always sense when the other was in pain, I knew when she had her heart broken the first time, I knew when she wrecked her first car.” One of my favorite lines from my speech was “that connection has not been broken with her passing, she lives on through me and for that I will forever be grateful.”. They pulled me from the corner after that line. It was honestly appalling how little they tried to hide their hatred of her. I guess they must have known how much I really meant that, how similar we really were. Maybe they even comprehended how much that statement was steeped in insanity. The thing I hate about crazy people is that they never admit that they’re crazy. I for one, know that I am not sane. Every day that passed after my sisters’ death I realized with increasingly prevalent urgency, the almost incomprehensible fact that we were intrinsically intertwined. I was she and she was me. Somehow, together, we composed a singular corporeal entity, yet maintained entirely contrastive personalities. I came fully into this acknowledgment, because when they interrupted my speech to the wall, I smiled. The same sad, dead smile that had marked her face the day she died.
I still take the pills and each time I take them I become more aware of my existence and the lack of hers. I have always perceived reality as existing in layers. I know that to most people she was never alive at all. Yet, to me she was. Everyone I know says I am a better person now that she’s gone. The thing is though that I don’t agree, I think she was better than me, I think that’s part of the reason I hated her so much. It isn’t fair that I get to live, and she must survive only in my hallucinations. Only when I stop taking my medication. So I have decided to do the only thing I can that does justice to her and to everyone else. I hope my passing brings peace to everyone who has been forced to care for me and by default her, our whole life.
I beg of you not to feel sorry for me as you read this. Know that what I am about to do brings me nothing but happiness. I smile now, the smile of a person who is finally free.