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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Microstory 892: And Twins

All through high school, I was in love with two girls at the same time. I now think that I was probably more interested in one over the other, but they were literally never apart from each other, so it was sometimes hard to see them as individuals. For this reason, people started calling them Romy and Michele; nicknames which they never disputed. Eventually, even the teachers started calling them that, and everyone just sort of forgot what their real names were. After I graduated, I didn’t see either of them again. I think they both went to college on the other side of the country, while I pursued a medical career closer to home. While it wasn’t even on my radar when I was in pre-med, I ended up working for one of those companies that analyzes people’s DNA, and gives them reports on their family history, and health profiles. Just out of sheer coincidence, both of their names came across my desk one day. I didn’t recognize their names at first, because like I said, we all called them something different, but then I remembered them. I took note of how random it was that I would be the one to run their saliva samples, then I moved on and completed the tests. One service we provide is giving customers the ability to meet other people that they are related to, however distantly. Usually this is a second cousin, or something, but there have been human interest stories written about estranged immediate family members finding each other through us. This was one such of these cases. I discovered that Romy and Michele were not only related, but sororal twins. I also noticed some strange genetic markers that I didn’t understand, and which didn’t make any sense. I brought over colleagues to look over the data, and they came to the same conclusion; that they didn’t know what the hell this all meant.

Completely outside of company protocol, I contacted the two subjects personally, so we could discuss their situation. Needless to say, they were positively thrilled to learn that they were sisters, but confused about how it was possible. Their parents had never said anything about it. One’s died when she was very young, the other’s mother died a couple years ago, while her father cut ties with her shortly thereafter. The twins decided to hire a private investigator to get to the bottom of this, and they kept me in the loop, but as a friend, rather than their DNA Analyzer, which I presently was not anyway, because I was on unpaid suspension for my breach of confidential information. I’m still waiting to find out if I’ve been let go completely, or what. As it turns out, they were part of some bizarre social experiment. They were clones, yes, and separated at birth, just like that television show, but the mad scientist in charge wasn’t pursuing biomedical knowledge. No, he was looking at the social aspect of twins and siblings. He wanted to find a way to quantify the delicate balance between nature and nurture. Apparently he had done this with hundreds of unwitting mothers. He monitored each one of his subjects, using a vast network of spies to keep track of their movements and behavior. Romy and Michele were the only two who accidentally found each other later. The investigator got her hands on the scientist’s list of subjects, and discovered something that I found even more interesting. I was on it, as was a brother.

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