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The life I almost knew

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I held my breath as I waited for the familiar sound of the garage door opening to indicate my dad’s arrival home. My eight-year-old mind ran through the plan that my twin sister Abby and I had put together, from the dolls perfectly placed on the trash can by the front door, to Abby waiting upstairs with a recording of my voice.

Abby and I had spent hours putting together a foolproof plan to scare our dad. We decided to make him think that our American Girl Dolls were speaking to him.

Abby and I had always been close, but that didn’t stop us from being competitive in everything we did. We grew up seeing who could run the fastest or get our dog to come on command. This prank had become another way for us to compete. I glanced at the door eagerly— I had to pull off a convincing doll voice so I could prove myself to Abby.

The sound of the garage door lifting broke into my thoughts and sent a rush of adrenaline through my small body. I shouted up to Abby to get the recording ready.

As our dad entered, I carefully turned to face him and Abby started to play the recording of my voice. We made it sound like we were both upstairs, having a conversation. When my dad saw the dolls, he let out a loud sigh, likely annoyed at our inability to put away the creepy toys. I took a deep breath and began speaking in my best scary doll voice, involuntarily glancing towards the ceiling, hoping that I could win the unspoken bet with Abby.

Of course, no matter how perfectly we executed our juvenile plan, we didn’t succeed. Our dad is not dumb. When he heard my doll voice and realized what we were trying to do, he laughed. However, when Abby bounded down the stairs, still hoping to hear our dad yell out in terror, we couldn’t resist bursting into a fit of giggles.

Abby and I often pulled pranks together. In fact, we did almost everything together when we were younger. Playing, eating, schoolwork — she was always there.

However, with constant togetherness comes arguments. Our relationship comes with its fair share of fights. No matter how annoyed I get with her, I’ll forever be grateful that I have a sister to fight with because it almost didn’t happen.

Abby and I were born ten weeks early because her heart began slowing down to the point of it almost stopping. When my mom went into labor,  her OBGYN attempted to get to the hospital, but she wasn’t able to make it. When the situation became urgent, my mom had to be rushed into the operating room for an emergency c-section. Another doctor delivered. He prepped my mom and performed the surgery in less than five minutes.

If it wasn’t for that doctor’s quick actions, I would be an only child today. I wouldn’t have anyone to learn how to walk with, play with or begin driving with.

Today, Abby and I are very close. We both lead separate lives in different activities, but at the end of the day we both spend time in the room we share. We’ve shared a room our entire lives, despite my mom’s offers to give us seperate ones, and I can’t imagine not being in the same room. It’s where we see each other the most.

I don’t think about it often, but every now and then I’m reminded of what could’ve been. I’ve been too stubborn to mention it to Abby before, but I’m glad she’s here with me today.  

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Marcus High School's Online Publication
The life I almost knew