My twin and I were born on the same day, but on different planes of existence.
My father is a boatwright, you see, and while my mother was carrying me, my father – our father – was creating a boat. Building it from the felled trees to the shaped hull to the sails. Building her, my twin.
Our mother – who sewed the sails and shaped the carvings – told my father that it was a foolish conceit, when we were young. “You’ll turn her brain, telling her the boat is her sister.”
My father, who would not sell that boat, of all the boats he had crafted, smiled, agreed, and persisted in calling the ship his daughter, my twin.
“You’ve got to stop,” my mother said, when I was seven, and running along the boards more evenly than on solid ground, swimming in the ocean rather than playing in the park. “You’re twisting her.”
My father, who had watched me learn from my twin how to swim, smiled, nodded, agreed, and continued calling her my twin and my sister.
He couldn’t see her, the way I could, but I don’t think he needed to. He had brought forth the shape of my sister, and, in that shaping, he knew where her soul was – and that she had as much soul as I did.
“Stop it, or she’ll be ruined for anything but sailing.” My mother was not shouting, but it was a close thing. I was a teenager, and I had taken to the seas like I had been born with a keel as much as my sister had.
“Yes.” My father nodded, and smiled, and agreed. “She has been ruined for aught but the sea since she and her sister were begun.”
“She. Is. Not. Her. Sister.” And now my mother shouted. And now my sister and I shouted back, with her keel slapping the water and my voice rising up across the water.
“Yes. We. Are.”
And that was when things truly got complicated.
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