Connie had been best friends with her twin sister Jessica since before she could remember, but never spent as much time with Jessica as she would have liked.
Connie didn’t understand why her sister was always being sent to the doctor. She didn’t seem sick, and doctors were for sick people.
Once she learned about germs, Connie had tried to catch Jessica’s sickness, so they could be together at the doctor. It didn’t work.
Connie had always felt protective of her sick twin, almost like a big sister.
So Connie never complained when Jessica got all the best toys.
She tried hard not to be jealous of the attention Jessica received from their parents, who were so busy they barely had time for Connie.
But Connie knew that they were important scientists who did important work.
Connie even kept her resentment in check when Jessica was sent to private-school.
It didn’t matter; she had friends at her public-school, and every evening she would be able to play with her twin.
Though their parents were furious, Connie was delighted when Jessica ignored her acceptance to a prestigious university so they could attend the same college.
When their parents died in a tragic car accident, Connie and Jessica moved into their family’s old house. With eachother’s support, they mourned their loss and re-entered the world.
They graduated and found jobs; they dated men. They remained best friends.
On their 30th-birthday, the twins’ gifts to eachother had been plane tickets to Paris.
Applying for a passport, Connie requested her birth-certificate from the department of records and received a shock: the certificate listed no father,
and a stranger’s name where her mother’s should have been. Worse, the certificate recorded only a single birth.
Connie knew it was a mistake. She called the records office and the hospital, but they denied any impropriety.
Connie felt uneasy. But, it was crazy; they looked exactly alike!
One night, Connie surreptitiously swabbed the rim of Jessica’s water glass. She paid the DNA-lab for rush analysis. The results showed their DNA matched: identical twins.
Connie was relieved, but deeply confused. The records had to be wrong. She would prove it: she would find her real birth-certificate.
Connie took the day off work. She spent hours going through her parents’ box-filled attic, finally locating a section devoted to family papers.
It seemed that they kept every drawing, every piece of homework, and every report-card from the girls’ schooling. It was touching, but Connie kept digging.
Eventually, she found a small fireproof lockbox.
She pried it open with a screwdriver.
Inside were some old papers and a Polaroid. Connie sifted through the papers, triumphantly locating the birth-certificate.
Her heart sunk.
It matched the one from the department of records.
Jessica’s was there too: their parents’ names printed in the appropriate fields, a single birth.
Tearfully, Connie looked at the Polaroid. They were newborns, both sleeping. She flipped it over and noticed an inscription in faded ink: “Jessica and control, 1986”