- Books, Literature, and Writing
But…It Wasn’t Me: A Comical Story about Twinship
Being a twin can be troublesome
Every since I was a little girl, I was blamed for things that I just didn’t do. It first started when I was in four-year-old kindergarten. My twin sister Tamika and I just happened to be in the same class. Why they would put twins in the same class is beyond me. My teacher Mrs. Johnson could not tell us a part, nor could anyone else at the school at that time as a matter of fact. Anyway the class was supposed to be listening to whatever it was Mrs. Johnson was saying, and of course, I was paying close attention because I knew what would happen if one were caught not listening. Every time someone got into trouble, they had to sit in a tube. Yes a tube. It was a long yellow tubular rectangle shaped thing with an opening on one side and the wall on the other. Instead of having to stand in the corner, we had to sit and face the yellow wall, and we had to stay there until the teacher felt like we have served our time for our naughtiness.
It just so happened that someone wasn’t listening that day, someone who looked exactly like me, Tamika. Tamika was a little mischievous child. Everyone called her the “good twin” and me the “bad twin.” What everyone didn’t know was that she had a little evil in her. She was a sneaky little devil with an angelic outward appearance. While Mrs. Johnson was lecturing, as they call it now, Tamika was talking or playing. I don’t remember exactly what she was doing, but either way she was caught. Well, I was caught. Since my sister and I sat together most days and happen to be sitting next to each other that very day, Mrs. Johnson did not know who it was she was to punish. So, she picked one, and it was the wrong one. I tried to explain… “But It Wasn’t Me!” I shouted. Oh that didn’t make the situation any better, it just added to my time in the tube. My sister didn’t even try to save me; of course, she didn’t want to sit in the tube, and she didn’t want to miss out on story time either. Instead she just sat there. She didn’t say one word to my defense. At least when we got older, she started to admit the things she did wrong, but everyone still thought that it was me before she had a chance to confess.
Like most twins, Tamika and I had to dress alike. Notice I said we had to dress alike. We didn’t have a choice because our mother bought us the exact same clothing and shoes. She did our hair the same way, and it was to the point where not even my grandmother could tell us apart. Well, she still can’t tell us apart to this day. We hated it. I didn’t want to me mistaken for her and vice versa. I had my own personality, and she had hers, which needless to say was the exact opposite of mine. We didn’t even get to have different colors of the same outfits until we were older. No one could tell us apart except for our mother and our older sister. My sister Tina kept us a lot, and when my mother worked, she took care of us, so she spent the most time with us. Only she knew who was who. When we went places people still would call us the wrong name. It just really got on my nerves.
“Hi Tina,” They would say.” Which one is that?” “Hi Tamika, you are Tamika aren’t you?”
“No I am not Tamika, I am Shanika.” I would say.
“Well it doesn’t matter you’re the same anyway.”
Why would be the same? OOOOOHHHH, it just makes me so mad.
“We are not the same,” I would say.
Then the rumors would begin. “Shanika is the “bad twin” and Tamika is the “good twin.” It was same thing when we were teenagers and began to date boys. At first, I was a tomboy and only interested in boys if we were playing football or basketball. Tamika on the other had, being the total opposite of myself was the one interested in boys. When we were fifteen Tamika was dating a boy named James. Well, let’s just say she was doing more than dating him. They got caught making out once and guess who everybody thought it was. Me. I didn’t even like kissing.
Another tale that is sometimes true about twins is that we feel each other’s pain and such. That much I can say about my sister and me is true. Every time she gets sick, I get sick. I know when she is hurt or sad. Yeah it’s weird; I know that too. We were just in tune with each other I guess. We even used to have our own language. No one knew what we talked about when we talked in our gibberish. It was funny because people would just look at us like we were crazy or something. I liked making people think we were talking about them. Now, the thing I hated most about being a twin is when people talk to you and think you’re the other one.
One day I was at the mall when I ran into a friend of the family. Now, this woman should have never opened her mouth to speak to me about whom she thought was me, but really wasn’t about something she knew nothing about. I am sitting in Footlocker when she comes up to me and says, “I heard about your sister. I always knew she was fast. I said she was the bad twin, getting caught making out and stuff. That Shanika is just too fast.” Now, I wanted to call this woman a really bad name and tell her off, but she was an older woman and a friend of the family. Since I respect my elders, I just calmly say to her, “I am not fast. I did not get caught making out, and for your information I am not Tamika.” I get up and walk away as her mouth is hanging open. The nerve of that heifer, I thought as I marched out of Footlocker. Why in the world would someone come up to a twin, a freaking twin, and think she knows which one it is and talk about what she doesn’t know. I should have set her straight, but she would just go back and tell on me. I never did tell anyone about what happened at the mall that day until years later. I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs “But It Wasn’t Me!” It wouldn’t even matter though because everyone thought I was the “bad twin.”
There was another time, I was mistaken for my sister was when we used to go to a recreational center during the summer and my sister and my mom had to work. It was a place to hang out with your friends and go swimming. It was a place where kids could stay out of trouble and have fun. This time, I wasn’t even there, and I still got into trouble. I didn’t go to the recreational center one day because I went to spend the night with one of my girlfriends the day before. Yes, I had finally started hanging out with girls and doing girly things. I don’t know what Tamika had done that day, but it must have been pretty bad because when the showed up the next day, they wouldn’t let us in. The day before Tamika had worn the same exact outfit that I had worn only in a different color that next day. The guy who was over the center told my sister Tina that I couldn’t come in because I had started a disturbance the day before. “But it wasn’t me!” I exclaimed. “I wasn’t even here yesterday.” My sister vouched for me that day. “It was me,” she said.
“Well both of them can’t come in until we get this straightened out” he told us.
“That’s crazy why can’t I come in if she just admitted it was her? Oh just forget it I want to go home anyway” I say. Those stupid people. I can’t believe this, even when she admits stuff, I still get the short end of the stick. It sucks being a twin.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have had some great times being a twin. We switched a few classes in middle school and even tricked a couple of guys, but I don’t like being called my sister, and I didn’t like getting in trouble for things that she did. Still today, I am known as the “bad twin,” but now most people who don’t know us apart just call us twin. I guess they got tired of me huffing and puffing and ignoring them when I heard them call me Tamika. My sister on the other hand just answers to people who call her Shanika and doesn’t even bother to tell them that she is not me. We try to look different now. I wear contacts not to be mistaken for her, and she wears glasses. I also dress a little more girlie than she does. She is more conservative, especially since she has gotten married, but still people sometimes think that I am the married one. HaHaHa. It’s funny now that people think, I am the married one when they thought I was fast as a teen. I guess people don’t know who I am now just as they didn’t know me then.