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I Take You for My Friend

Lilla and Rose were twins, right?

I Take You for My Friend

By Carol Sumilas Boshears

“Here we are, so cute, Mom says, having tea with Mr. Bunny Stuff himself”.

“Oh, come on Lilla, just pour the tea before it gets too cold. I hate cold tea.”

“Okay, Rose, give me your cup. Thank you very much. Mr. Bunny Stuff, here’s yours”.

*

Now that I’m almost thirteen we have hot chocolate and marshmallows instead and I’m afraid Mr. Bunny whozits, got to be a mess from our playing. It’s a grand time when you always have someone to play with and talk to. Sometimes though it’s not easy being a twin. Rose always said that mom liked me best. She’s only jealous because she’s not sure she likes her name. I try telling her that she had to be a flower too. Besides, we both are blonde and have aquamarine eyes and talk the same too.

*

“Oh, heavens Rose, you have got to help me with my math. You know I’m bad at it and you are so smart.”

“Okay, okay Lilla, I don’t mind at all. We’ll get good grades like the last time. But please always ask me and don’t be a dimwit like the time before. You know mom and dad hate it when you get Cs. You know I always say C means caca.”

“Oh, now here comes dad, leave now, I don’t want him to think I can’t do it by myself.”

Keeping straight As these days is not easy. They want all of this math and science stuff when I’m more interested in writing and art. So, when it comes to science and math and stuff, I ask Rose to help me. She does so well, it’s like she is writing the answers herself and not me. I always tell her that she should be a teacher or maybe even a rocket scientist.

*

I remember one time I had to have a science project for a special display. Though Rose was busy contemplating her own stuff she pitched right in and helped me. It had to do with sound and hearing and turned out quite well. Boy, it is good to have two heads instead of one. Thank heavens for Rose or I’d be lost.

*

Thirteen is a tough age, but Rose said it’s only a state of mind. Some philosopher she turned out to be. Well, I met this new boy in class and he sits right next to me and I sort of like him. But I don’t know what to do. I tend to be a little backward socially.

I say to myself, “Look. Lilla, no one is going to bite you or look at you like you are in your underwear (ooo, yuky thought). Just go for it, girl. Then I get up enough nerve for a split second and then, poof, it disappears.

Well, if it weren’t for Rose on this one occasion I never would have met him socially. Outside the classroom she asked about the assignment and then I took over. See, it was a history class, my forte. At least we got to talk about some things and I felt we connected.

Not connected though like my best buddy, Etta Mae, next door. She is so cool and fun to be with. I never tire of her and her funny remarks. And she does have one for about everything and everyone. Then she does these imitations of our teachers. We nearly split a gut one night while she was doing it. Her mom even started laughing just because she heard us. The one time it wasn’t funny is when she got caught in school doing one of Mr. Hahn. She got one detention mark for that. She insisted though that it was worth it. Etta Mae is smart too, kinda like Rose, you know, more of a scientific mind that understands numbers and all. On top of all that she’s pretty too. She has strawberry blond hair and green eyes. And they always sparkle because she has a bit of the devil in her.

*

Now I’ve got to tell you about Rose, my sister. She looks just like me, but she doesn’t think like me, or even like all of the same things. I am crazy about ice-cream, but she said it gives her brain freeze. Now that’s a laugh. How could such a smart brain, freeze! She is a free thinker and more of a philosopher, a scientific one at that! But don’t get me wrong, she is very funny too, kind of like Etta Mae, only in a different way. She sees some things in a different manner than we do. When she points these out we crack up and say, yea, now I see it. It sort of makes my world a bit bigger because of her different ways; I guess one could say that because of her I am a well-rounded girl.

Now I know how to think independently, and that helps with my writing and even my art. I never wanted to be the run-of-the-mill type artist or writer anyway. Rose helped me see that. It’s like I have a set of four eyes and seeing much more. And in this I have learned to see more things myself too. Maybe I’m not so bad at math now too. I did get a B+ on my last exam without asking her help. Oh, I’ll get a final grade of A though. Mr. Hadley always throws out the worse grade.

Both she and I want to do so many things, but not all the same. She wants to visit NASA while I want to visit the Metropolitan Museum. Perhaps we can do both if dad and mom are receptive to the idea. Sometimes she says she wants to see the same thing as I do because once in a while she can be very clingy. I told her myself that she must stay independent as some day I might need her to look at things that way.

*

I love her to pieces, but she must take the opportunity I see before us. You see, Rose is my sister, independent of me in many ways, and like me, in many ways. Something happened though when we were made by God. For some odd reason she was born with her brain and consciousness, but he forgot to give her a body.

No, I am not crazy and I don’t have multiple personalities. She’ll tell you that herself. We think not just differently, but very independently too. She is the math brain and I have the social science brain. When we decide to combine them they are dynamite; however, we try not to do that all of the time as we know it wouldn’t be good for either of us. I could be very selfish and say that she should always be with me, but I can’t do that because I am me and she is Rose.

By the way, I named her that simply because I sounded like a flower and thought she should too. She wasn’t all that happy about it but finally accepted it. Mom thought my invisible friend having tea was a myth named Rose. Now, how could I tell her and dad when I realized just what had happened. I’m sure I’d be to a shrink so fast that my head would have fallen off for him to exam and talk to. I’m not sure how old I was when I discovered Rose and her thoughts, but it was at a pretty young age. Somehow I understood and tried to keep the talking down and the thoughts going instead.

*

“Rose, yes, now, we have to visit Etta Mae right now in that hospital. We can’t take time to think about it, we just have to go. They can’t give away her organs!”

*

Yes, she gave me some flak about it because everything would then be different for her too. I told her that people with Etta Mae’s condition could have permanent amnesia or damage, and that her, Rose’s life, would truly be here and her very own. So, then the decision was made and we proceeded.

*

The doctor said he had not seen anything like it. I just oooed and ahhed when it happened. I had called the nurses and the doctors.

Etta Mae had been hit by a car and had irreversible brain damage (or so they thought), and was in a coma. Her parents had to think whether they wanted to pull the plug and make her an organ donor like she had said she wanted to belong ago.

*

But now Etta Mae was awake and aware. She looked around in amazement with her green eyes. No sign of the devil in them though, but certainly a sign of awe. She looked around, saw me and the doctors, and soon after, her parents, Josie and William.

I shook my head okay and she gave me a wink. The first thing she uttered was my name. I went over to her and held her hand as her parents kissed her and had tears streaming down their eyes. They didn’t see the one tear coming from my eye. I gave her a kiss on the cheek and the first words she uttered were, “I don’t care what you say, Lilla, ice-cream always gives me brain freeze!”

*

So now I’m sort of alone, but I like being on my own anyway. Rose, I mean Etta Mae, deserved to have a body of her own to correct that awful, but also glorious mistake. She has a set of loving parents and oh, boy, a brother too. Does she ever have a lot to learn. We go to school together and have a lot to discuss. Though most of the real Etta’s memory is “gone”, she does happily remember some stuff for her parent’s sake. We both got that from being over there so often. So now, Josie and William have their daughter back (at least in body), Rose (Etta Mae) has a real body in which to place her brain or conscientiousness, whatever one might call it. I still have my damn math tests. I still get some help from Etta Mae. I guess everyone seems to be happy for now. Plus, I didn’t end up in the looney bin. All in all, it’s a good life or lives should I say.

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