Twins

Jul 15, 08:17 PM

T he boy just delivered the newspaper to my room, with a smile like always. He’s a sweet kid, but I don’t think he will make much of himself in life. He’s too nice! In the last one week that he has been here, I have made it a point to never smile at him. But he smiles at me every time he sees me. Every damn time! Now don’t get me wrong, I got nothing against the kid. But sooner or later he’ll have to find out that the world is not filled with sweet people who just want love!

He’s much worse than the last one. What was his name? My memory is getting so bad these days. Oh yes, Steve! Now that kid had only one big problem: he always wanted to talk. I dreaded whenever he walked in, trying to start a conversation with some ridiculous question: “So how are you today, Mr. Jones?” or, “A fine day, isn’t it Mr. Jones?” or, “Boy, it’s hot today Mr. Jones.” Jesus Christ man! But last week that kid just disappeared. Kaput! Folks at the office say they don’t know where he went. Nice bunch of professionals we have in the office here, they didn’t even have his phone number or address! Oh well, I suppose I’ll get used to this new kid soon enough. When you are my age, you learn to live with these sorts of things.

The sun is so bright today morning! Let me draw the blinds. Ah, there’s Mr. Robinson being taken for his daily morning stroll by another sugar sweet boy. It’s Saturday morning for God’s sake! He should be waking up in the bed of some pretty girl! The boy you know, not Mr. Robinson. You know my problem with these kids—I see vultures behind every one of their faces! Running around old rotting flesh at this god-forsaken place. They give me the creeps! Thank God I have the blinds to save me from the eyes of these groveling little boys. I can’t stand them for more than a minute; I’ll end up beating them with my old baseball bat!

You are probably wondering why no one comes to visit me. I never got married, you see. I just tumbled through life like a clueless kid tossed on a waterpark slide, dragged with its twists and turns, then dropped straight into this rotten old age home. Yeah I did have some money saved up, but all I could afford was this place in the middle of nowhere. I suppose you want to listen my life story now. Why I’ll tell you! What’s an old man like me got to do anyways?

I grew up in a small hill-town; my dad was a teacher. Which means he was poor, so you can imagine my life growing up. My mother was an angry old woman who lived on gossip because she didn’t have any life of her own. So yeah, let me skip them. Trust me you’re not missing much. Let’s come straight to the villain of my life story, my twin brother. Looked like a carbon copy of me, that moron. Same eyes, same face, same nose. Even had the same voice!

I don’t remember my childhood much, but I remember we were very close as kids. We were always together and even our mother would get confused telling us apart. Till I discovered what a total jerk he was that is! Stole my life and lived to have a great family and a great job. But it was all stolen from me, every single thing! That wife of his used to be my girlfriend in school, and that job? I was supposed to be getting that job! Wait till you hear the end of this story. What he did to me will send shivers down your spine. Oh I bet ya! You just wait and listen. But hang on a second, someone’s knocking at the door.

Another sweet kid with “here’s your morning coffee sir please love me” attitude. They can’t leave you alone for a second! Anyways, where was I? School, yes! So you know I used to be pretty well behaved as a kid. Must be hard for you to imagine now, eh? But listen: I was a great kid! I used to get the best grades. That brother of mine would take credit for my work sometimes; you know how these things work. But I used to let it pass. Hey, he was my brother after all man!

But then he crossed the line. I think it was in 9th grade. See I really liked this girl. I told her to meet me in the park after school. Of course I told my brother about it too. Now when I went to the park, she was nowhere to be seen. I was disappointed, but hell man! “That’s how girls are,” I thought, and went home. Next day the same girl sees me in school, smiles and says, “Hey, I kissed your brother last evening.” Can you imagine? I asked her why she went with him instead of me. She was shocked! “I thought it was him who had asked me to come!” she said. I was very mad at him then, but when I asked him he just started crying. Oh yes he did, that sneaky bastard. “But I love her so much!” he said, “I’ll die without her!” So what did I do? I let it go. You see how nice I was!

I guess he did love her, because they grew up and got married. I went to college, while he took up a job as a mechanic in an auto repair shop. After college, I found a really nice job in the city. My brother seemed very happy for me, he proposed we go to the bar and have a few drinks, just the two of us. Of course I didn’t see what he was up to, so I said yes. What can you do man? We went and drank ourselves stupid. After that he asked me to take a little walk around the hill. He was very sentimental. We walked up to this cliff where we used to sit in the evenings when we were kids. And then you know what he did! He walked up behind me in the darkness and then pushed and down I went! Wait a second, how can that be? No let me think about it again. Who had got the job? Who invited whom? I told you I am losing my goddamned memory. This coffee is cold too. Let me heat it up, I have a microwave in the back room. Oh there’s that little kid that reminds me of my brother. Let me call him. Yeah, come over kid. Let me take you to the back room. We can look at some old paintings I have back there. Actually, forget the paintings. Sit down. Relax. Let me draw the blinds, it’s too bright today. You see my old baseball bat lying over there? Bring it over here. I am going to show you where your friend Steve went.


Rahul Jha

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