Part 1. Growing Up Together
There she is—see over there on the mantel—my sister. She’s my twin; would you believe it? Her senior picture is there by mine. Look at her eyes, those warm brown ones. That’s the only physical trait we’ve always shared. Right now it seems as if she could speak to me.
“Kathy, Kathy! Get out of bed—it’s morning,” she would playfully scream at me. But today the room is empty and silent. Donna’s gone. I missed her terribly at first. But let me start at the beginning.
When we were very little girls, people could never tell us apart. We dressed alike, talked alike, even laughed alike. And we were always so very close. We shared everything—dolls, dresses, crayons.
I remember how it was in school, especially when we played piano duets. We loved to constantly switch parts. Nobody ever knew who was playing what. Our family put us on a pedestal. We always went to the school parties; everyone missed us if we weren’t there.
It’s hard to say when the change came creeping into our innocently beautiful and happy lives. I suppose the first thing was when our golden brown locks changed color. By some strange quirk of nature, Donna’s hair took on a slightly auburn tinge while my own gradually darkened to this deep umber hue you see I have now.
Until about eighth grade, we had both been skinny little kids. Soon we both gained weight, but Donna did a bit more than I did. Suddenly she took a growth spurt, and most strangers thought she was my older sister. She was so full of life and vigor, while I sat most of the time buried in my books.
Maybe it was good that our interests took different directions. The first year of high school divided us even further. Suddenly she grew very scientific. Electronics. Our music, however, seemed to be the one thing with which I was the happiest. Still, we had those long intimate talks that only sisters know. We shared the same mutual feelings and ideas as we always had. We seemed to understand each other so completely.
Then we met Tom. As far as I could tell, he was an ordinary guy. He could have been the pastor’s son, or a mechanic’s boy, or even a well-disciplined orphan—any one of a number of the kind of guys who attended our high school.
But to Donna he was different. From the very first, she never doubted him for a moment. I still remember how excited she was that night of her first date with him. Of course, I was just as eager to know exactly what happened. I was surprised and flattered that Donna confided in me. By this time, I had almost come to feel like a younger sister (which indeed I was, having been born six minutes after Donna). Yet Donna and I were still inseparable. And the more she told me about Tom, the more I liked him, too.
Now, like our coloring books and arithmetic and piano playing, we shared Tom. Donna went on all the dates with him, but I did the scheming and planning and counseling. I felt I knew Tom as well as she did; after all, she told me everything. Like was exciting and adventurous.
Then something strange happened in Donna. Tom began dating around. I thought it was only normal for a 16-year-old guy. But somehow Donna didn’t feel that way. I tried to convince her that if she and Tom were really meant for each other, he’d come back to her. And he did—occasionally. That wasn’t enough for her.
I tried to get her to date around, too. My current was Pete, and I was having the ball of my life. Donna and I just didn’t understand each other anymore. It hurt, slowly and intangibly. Even our common interests seemed to grow less and less. I was on a secretarial fling while Donna stayed buried in her chemistry—and brooded over Tom.
But time proved that Donna might be right, and I had been wrong. Ironically, our physical appearance grew more alike as it once had been. We weighed exactly the same, had the same body measurements. Our hair, although slightly different shades, was very similar in style. Even our glasses were identical. And once more our personalities converged. I understood, as never before, how deeply Donna felt about Tom. In fact, I almost envied her.
Tom went away to school, far enough away that he and Donna could only see each other once every several weeks. But it didn’t seem to matter. They wrote frequently.
“Tom and I are in love,” she announced blissfully one day. “It’s for real this time, Kathy!”
I believed her. She seemed to sparkle so. Tom was growing up. Every word he spoke, every kiss they shared, every letter he wrote—I knew it all so well. Donna shared her wildest dreams with me only, her sister. They had talked of the future, of their marriage, their ministry for God—together. It seemed as if no love could have been more perfect. I, too, looked forward to her greatest happiness.