My twin sister and I grew up together, so I spent plenty of time with her, but she’s far from my only close friend — I’ve known lots of my friends since the age of six, and for a while, I was friends with every one of them. So it was hard to understand how I found myself in elementary school spending time with a boy who looked just like me. It was only after I saw this photo, in which students from an elementary school in the south of France appear to have an uncanny resemblance to the actual twins they were resembling, that I understood what that was.
But it wasn’t just that which made them look like me. Or even that which was at first strange: for the next few days, I was in absolute shock. I realized that all the girls in our tiny class had drawn attention for their twin images, but that no one seemed to know the true reason why. On top of that, the friends that I had never heard of were also looking like me, and after learning that they didn’t know, either, I had to figure out why.
I was taken aback when I recognized the boy as a friend of my twin, but then I thought, and immediately realized, that he was a man — and far away from the other girls. They were all girls, and I didn’t realize that this boy was not only my twin, but a man, by the second of the month. It was then that I realized that I was friends with him, and that he was also my brother, and so all my friends were my brothers.
I realized a moment later that some days that lesson didn’t feel so obvious or even fair. It was so overwhelming — just seeing him and hearing his voice, and living like that, I would make a habit of saying to myself, “We are more than twins.” But then my parents started looking for him — would he remember me? Do I know him? And I realized that the universe had a strange way of reminding me that I am more than just someone who looks like me.