There they go again. ‘Are you Taiwo or Kehinde?’, as if we are some sort of amazing scientific discovery. I can’t stand being a clone of another human being! They look at me and don’t see me. They look past me and look past her; we’re both just one giant blurry blob. Welcome to the real life of twins.
Every waking moment is a chance for people to scrutinize you and compare you to your ‘other half’. You’re like a pair of earrings- one side completely useless and dismissed without the other (unless you’re adopted by generous Pirate Joey who’s not afraid to work it while pillaging a village with one earring). All people see when they look at you is one-half. Every time we meet someone new, it’s always another game of spot the difference!
Ring, ring, ring, ring!!! ‘Can you SPOT THE DIFFERENCE??!!!???’ Taiwo and Kehinde are twins, both born in Lagos, Nigeria. They weigh 120 pounds each and both wish to live in Korea some day! Can you (crowd joins in) SPOT THE DIFFERENCE?!!!?’
“…Taiwo is the one with a smaller nose… I think”. (Buuuuuzzzzzzzz) “That is incorrect sir! Kehinde has the smaller nose. Taiwo is slightly taller with a slightly thinner build”.
No one ever notices how we slowly walk away from the conversation. Our existence becomes a subject for ‘bare bants’ (banter).
Look at me closely! I care for books sometimes more than I care for people. I break a sweat when I meet new people. I hate the smell of coffee and can’t run a mile to save my life. Look at her closely! She loves horror movies and shops once a month. She prides herself in her ability to stay sensible while I go on a rampage. I’m no better and she’s no worse. We are just who we are.
The simplest of stories illuminate the things that are easily ignored.
It is obvious to see the large differences that are around us;
It is easier to sum than it is to count-
So it’s what we do.
What do you see when you see a bunch of “that group” together?
What do you see when you hear when “they” speak in “their” slangs or with “their” accents?
The spirit of diversity is in individuality,
Once we realize that, our journey to diversity is complete.
Do with this what you will.
I wrote a story for a contest in my university called “The Diversity Contest” and I won third place!!! This means a lot to me and I thought it would only be fitting to share the story with you, the people who support The Story Store.
It’s a very ‘short story’ that I had to read aloud to the audience. To be honest, I was skeptical at first to do this. I didn’t think it was fair to use my voice for the story but people received it well. However I would just like to say that as you read this story, I hope you appreciate it’s simplicity and complexity.
Also, I wouldn’t call this a short story. I think it’s a hybrid of a short story and a poem… but what do I know about categorizing.
Hope you has a good read!
P.S. I am not a twin as a lot of people assumed during the contest. I like to think that there is a force beyond me that shows me where a story is and that is how this story was born. I do not attempt to capture what it is like to be a twin. Although, I do hope that I am able to communicate the importance individuality is to global diversity.