Kyle and I weren't really twins, but for all the times people told us how alike we looked, we might have well have been. Even when we were little, when my mom would push us around in a double stroller, it would be a damned miracle if at least two little old ladies didn't stop to coo over the "twins."
And as reluctant as I am to admit it in my current bad temper over the matter, they did have a point. Kyle and I were alike from the soft auburn hair that just tickled the cinnamon freckles on our delicate noses, to the broad athletic shoulders that have come to be our family trademark, and all the way down our long, long legs.
Our voices sounded alike, too, low and smoky. On the telephone, there was no telling the difference between us, which led to a serious of raucous fun on our parts.
We got along like every parent's dream, spent hours and hours together, laughing and playing. Even as we got older, Kyle was always my main confident, a best friend in convenient brother form, designed specially to always be there when I needed a word or two. We were like peanut butter, and jelly, Abbott and Costello. You just couldn't have one of us without the other. When you had Kyle without Khylee, or vise versa, it was just kind of wrong. And you see, even our names were the equivalents of big billboards and flashing neon signs to all the clucking old ladies of the world, Kyle and Khylee. How cute…If I didn't know better, I'd swear there was some kind of conspiracy at work.
Make no mistake, Kyle was my best friend, and I love him more than late nights at my laptop, typing up a storm with a pint of rocky road for company, but I really wish people would realize that we're different, because somehow, even though we're not really twins, Kyle and I have managed to contract twin syndrome. I just wish people would get that we're not KyleandKhylee; we're Kyle and Khylee, together, but separate, different, individual. I mean, it was all fine and dandy when we were drinking juice out of sippy cups in our stroller and cooing right back at all our archaic admirers, but try being sixteen and building an identity with half the world trying to superglue you to your younger brother. I'll tell you right now that that is no easy can of worms.
And among all the people who like to try and stick us together, teachers are some of the worst. This is really more of Kyle's problem than mine, because he is two years my junior and always has to endure following me, being pestered by the teachers to uphold my mighty legacy, and sad as this is, being called by my name.
This is made very difficult by another thing people just can't grasp about us. They just can't seem to get that, just because we look alike, that doesn't mean we're good at, or interested in the same things.
Me, I'm the artistic, creative half of the duo. I like writing, acting, singing, drawing, dancing, and playing my guitar, and admittedly, I'm a bit of a rebel. I have a lot of friends, but I'm not, and have no intention of being, popular.
Kyle, on the other hand, is athletic and extremely popular, especially with the girls, which, as his sister, frightens me immensely, even though once again, I'll begrudgingly admit they have a point. I am, once again, the complete opposite.
I've always thought the guys at school were a bit intimidated by me, and I've always liked it that way, as I am a firm feminist, and the more testosterone-headed can probably see the DANGER: OPPINIONATED AND INDEPENDENT signs blazing out of the top of my red head. Either that, or it's just because I'm smart. Girls with minds of their own always seem to scare guys away.
But I'm getting way ahead of myself. The point is, Kyle and I are two very different and separate individuals who just so happen to look exactly alike. And Kyle's not the only one who has trouble with it. It's always so weird for me to see the different paths we've taken.
When he goes to the schools that used to be my worst nightmares, I'll see him walking through the hallway with his popular jock friends, and somewhere in the distance, I'll see the shadow of a girl who looks very much the same and different, languishing on the cafeteria tables with the drama club.
I know I shouldn't expect him to go down all the same roads as he did, as that would make me just as bad as those little old ladies, and while I struggle to show that we're different people, it's always struck me as strange how unique and separate our experiences have been in the same school, or camp, or just in plain old life.
Maybe someday I'll actually unravel how I feel about this all, but for now, I want the world to know that Kyle and Khylee are the same but different. For now, we'll keep paving our own roads through this strange world. But never will I deny or try to change that no matter where our paths lead us, they will always cross. Separate, but together.