GENRE: Young Adult
Adie and I were born into the same body, our souls' ghostly fingers entwined before we gasped our very first breath. Our first few years together were our happiest. Then came the worries--the tightness around our parents' mouths, the frowns lining our kindergarden teacher's forehead, the question everyone whispered when they thought we couldn't hear.
Why aren't they settling?
We tried to form the word in our five-year-old mouth, tasting it on our tongue.
We knew what it meant. Kind of. It meant...it meant one of us was supposed to take control. It meant one of us was supposed to fade away. I know now that it means much, much more than that. But at five, Adie and I were still innocent, still oblivious.
By first grade, the varnish of innocence began to fade. Our gray-haired guidance counselor made the first scratch.
"You know, dear, settling isn't scary," she'd say as we watched her thin, lipstick-reddened mouth. "Not scary at all. It might seem like it now, but it happens to everyone. And there's absolutely no shame in playing either role."
She never hinted at who she thought was destined for which part, but she didn't need to. By first grade, everyone believed Adie was the dominant soul. She'd move us left when I wanted to go right, refuse to open her mouth when I wanted to eat, cry No when I wanted so desperately to say Yes.