A twin sister can be a blessing or tough, as Siobhan Kathleen writes. Photo by Savanna Lininger.

A twin sister can be a blessing or tough, as Siobhan Kathleen writes. Photo by Savanna Lininger.

The woes of having a womb mate

First published by Woroni, the ANU Student Newspaper, on 4 March 2016. By GRACE ZHANG.

I kind of hate being a twin.

It might seem strange because of how fortunate am I to have had a partner in crime with whom I could swap classes, fool exasperated parents and trick unsuspecting teachers.

I cannot even recall the countless webs of lies and deception we were able to weave to narrowly escape trouble.

I've been a twin for almost two decades now and I still think back to the glorious first three minutes of my life when I would've been my parents' only child, just a blob of flesh, placenta and dried blood quivering at the new sensation of fresh air and freedom.

I still consider those precious few minutes to be the most glorious of my existence, for all too soon I would be joined at the hip (not literally) to a chubby baby with whom I'd share a face, parents and the majority of my life.

From then on, we were doomed to a childhood of matching outfits, identical mushroom haircuts and a lifetime of being called the wrong name.

And then there was that time when our right front teeth fell out at the same time and left others wondering if they'd seen a double of a pathetic looking, scurvy-afflicted child, with an insatiable desire for candy.

We spent every single second of our childhood together. It was like having a ghost trail perpetually besides you, except the ghost would sometimes be chatty and sometimes moody and your shin would bruise and sting when she kicked you.

We had to share everything.

This meant the friends I made never felt like they were really mine and all my worldly possessions had to be inked with my name in an emphatic black scrawl.

But that never stopped her from reading my padlocked journals, which were mainly preoccupied with complaints against the evil lying in the bunk bed below mine, or redepositing the silver fortune from my pink piggy bank into her blue piggy bank with grubby little hands.