I heard someone call my sister’s name. I recognized the voice as that of our friend and next door neighbour, Nora Raymond. Nora still can’t differentiate between I and Nicole. Even after being friends for three years.
I couldn’t help but smile as I rememberd an incident that had occurred three years ago when we had just moved into the house next to Nora’s. Nora had been forced by her mum to come and say hi to the new neighbours—us.
She hadn’t wanted to because she’d thought we would be just like her former neighbours. A family which had consisted of the father and mother who were always heard bickering at each other, a teenage daughter who loved dressing like a masquerade, an adolescent girl who loved disturbing the neighbourhood peace by singing with her croaked voice which is worse than that of a frog and a little boy who cried a lot and always had mucus sliding down his nose.
As she’d tentatively rang the bell, she’d expected to hear a gruff voice asking her the usual “Who’s there?” But she’d been surprised to hear a sweet voice—mine.
I opened the door and she’d introduced herself to me. We were getting to know each other better when Nora suddenly became pale. I couldn’t understand what was wrong until I heard Nicole’s voice behind me ask worriedly, “What’s wrong with her?”
That was when I realized that she’d seen Nicole who is my mirror image and she had become shocked. Imagine talking to someone and then seeing that same person come through the door.
We quickly ran to her side and asked her what was wrong. A moment later, she’d regained some composure and I introduced Nicole to her. She then started laughing at herself for being shocked. We joined in.
That incident had brought us together and we’d become fast friends.
“Nicola,” she said. This time, trying the other name which is mine.
“Yes,” I replied.
“Ugh,” she groaned, “it’s frustrating not knowing who’s who.”
“Don’t worry. You’ll soon get it.”
“Get it? After three years? I don’t think so.”
“OK. Whatever you say. Anyway why aren’t you at the cafeteria?” I asked.
“Oh. I was searching for you. I wanted to tell you something.”
“Form would soon be out,” I interrupted. Nora groaned again. “How’d you know?” she asked. “Oh. Nicole must’ve told you,” she answered her own question.
“I wanted to be the first to tell you. Now Nicole has beat me to it. Oh I wish I was a twin.”
I smiled, “Perhaps in the next life.”
At that moment, my stomach growled once more to remind me that I haven’t had lunch yet. I glanced at my expensive wristwatch and saw that it was already fifteen minutes into lunch. Out of thirty minutes. Little time but enough for me to grab a sandwich and a soda.
“Come on. Let’s go and eat,” I said. We then walked side by side towards the cafeteria.
“Mum. We’re home,” Nicole yelled as we entered our tastefully furnished house. Mum came out of the kitchen from which I could perceive the wonderful aroma of our best food fried rice and salad.
“Welcome my dears. How was school?” Mum asked.
“School was fine, mum,” I answered for us.
“Mum. The SYTADS form would soon be out,” Nicole put in.
“Oh. That competition. Once it’s out, inform me so that I’ll give you the money to purchase it.”
“OK mum,” we chorused.
“Now go bathe and change into something homely so that you can eat lunch. I know you must be hungry to the extent that you can eat a horse. You FFOs,” Mum said teasingly.
“OK mum,” we repeated with a smile. Off we went.