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Nicola Walker reads Elizabeth Glaser’s 1992 Democratic National Convention Address ‘America, Wake Up’, a landmark speech on the AIDS epidemic.

A Twin Thing

I am the older sister to a pair of twins. Or, well, I was. I’ll get to that. Nicolas and Michelle always seemed to share everything. They were so in sync you’d think they were telepathic. They were so close, when mom got them separate beds around the time they were 7 or 8, she’d always find them asleep together in one bed in the morning. I was 6 years older than them, so I had my own room to myself, but sometimes I could hear them talking through the wall. They often discussed the dreams they had at night. I remember one conversation went like this:

“Hey Nic? I dreamed I was a mermaid last night.”

“I was there too! I dreamed I was a giant lobster. You had a sparkly yellow tail.”

“Yeah I did! I had a gold crown as well. I think I was a mermaid princess.”

I didn’t find this odd. They had watched The Little Mermaid earlier that day and you know how kids are with their active imaginations. But things kept happening. One twin would instinctively know when the other was hurt, even when they were apart, which they sometimes had to be at school. One time Nicolas was home sick while Michelle went to school, and he became irrationally angry, throwing a fit a refusing to go back to bed when mom told him to. He kept screaming that Michelle was sad and someone called Aaron was going to pay. Michelle came home later that day with a bruised face and tears in her eyes and ran straight to Nicolas, crying about a fight with her upperclassman, Aaron.

Mom and I were mystified, and these strange, telepathic seeming instances seemed to keep occurring. We guessed it was one of those twin things that even science can’t explain. Fast forward a few years, and I’m attending the local university. It’s my first year, and the twins are 12 years old at this point. Halfway through the semester, I got a phone call from my mom. She was sobbing hysterically, I could barely make out her words. All I got was that Nicolas was in an accident and was in hospital.

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