Only now do I realise that I had a shadow twin. Only now, upon my 21st birthday, do my parents tell me the terrible truth. This was supposed to be a day of fun!
Yes, it would seem that we were separated at birth. This was down to two factors: one was that my twin was hiding behind me in the womb (hence the ‘shadow twin’) and when we were both born, my parents were sent into a panic because they could only think of one name. Also, my dark counterpart was showing signs of fungal nails, even though babies don’t really get that on the regular. They took her to a foot specialist operating in Cheltenham next to the hospital, but this was two decades ago, when the foot specialists weren’t quite as professional. In fact, they later found out that this was just a lady who forged a diploma, which they should’ve been aware of since the consultation took place in her living room surrounded by ferrets.
Anyway, she told them that fungal nail infection was highly contagious- again, not true- and that we needed to be separated until we were both of age. My parents were already borderline on keeping my dark shadow twin because of the name thing, so this was the clincher. They received quite a scare later in life when I had to be fitted for custom orthotics (fortunately, this time by foot specialists who actually were…that. Qualified), but it wasn’t the dreaded fungal nail infection. Just regular old childrens orthotics fitted in Cheltenham, in a more enlightened age where children would never be separated for their whole lives because of a simple, misunderstood foot condition.
Now we’re supposed to meet, and I have no idea what to say to my shadow twin. “How’s your life been!” “Oh hey, I just heard about you!” “Is your foot going well?”
Actually, I’m steering clear of that subject. Even now, fungal nail infections are no joke.