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The Lovers

i. 


She wakes with a jolt, not knowing what’s wrong, just that something is wrong. 


As her heart hammers against her heaving chest, it clicks. She frantically searches her sheets, waiting for the familiar feel of thick cardboard. But it never comes. Her book is gone.


Sliding off her bed, she lets out a huff, annoyed that Mummy hadn’t remembered.


“She promised,” she says under her breath. 


As she reaches up to twist the doorknob, she pastes on the meanest expression she can muster. 


“Mummy! Mummy wake up!” she screeches. 


Her Mummy’s tired eyes flutter open. 


“Where did you put my book?” she demands, her voice a roar. 


Her Mummy sighs. 


ii. 


“Is this a dagger which I see before me?” you moan out, as the heat of the spotlight intensifies with each passing second. “Come, let me clutch thee.”


A trickle of sweat breaks free from your jaw, part of it hurtling towards the scuffed wood of the stage, the other sliding down your neck towards your heart. 


“I have thee not, and yet I see thee still,” you declare, with a flourish. 


Beyond the glare of the lights, your frantic eyes slide over the faces of a divided crowd. Half scroll through their phones; The other half sit enraptured, eyes as frantic as yours, mouths miming dialogue alongside yourself. 


It is for the latter you live and breathe and dance. 


“Or art thou but a dagger of the mind, a false creation?”

iii. 


I stand in front of a gilded painting three times the size of my body, unmoving – unwilling to move. 


Lovingly etched onto the canvas is my very twin; the sister of my heart, the sister of my mind, the sister of my body. Her hair falls below her chin, as white as falling snow, her eyes bright and mischievous, her face wrinkled all over, but especially in the crevices where she displays her emotions year after year. 


I wonder why she smiles. Is it because she, too, stands in front of someone, unmoving and unwilling to move? 


I let my lips quirk up at the ends, mirroring the star standing proud before me. 


Goodbye, sister of my heart. 


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