Wednesday, 16 October 2013


The bond was sealed in our blood.
We came into this world as conjoined twins and that proved an alley of love that kissed my life over and over again.
Other sisters could never trump our rare story, as we tended towards a thug like defence. A physical and emotional bond, volatile and extreme was written into our history before time began. A desolation in the stars.
Before the operation to separate us, irritation and hysterical love stalked me. Gloria’s little ingratiating habits, collecting the offal the butcher threw out, saying that it was good for us. Forever tying and re tying her shoelaces so that my nose touched the dirt in the street. But then there was our secret language and a nurturing symbiosis which gave her beauty and me truth.
She became a famed model, trailing her anorexia and her plastic surgery like the star she was with all her satellites gathered adoringly about her person.
I, the ugly sister, became a reclusive writer of historical fiction, shunning the publicity and knowing everyone really just wanted to get to Gloria through me.
But surely I must be competing against her, you may ask?
Just now my book about the suffragettes is due to be published and as I look at the author photograph inside the dust cover, I smile at my eye patch with the green sequins, the purple feather in my limp hair. Yes, an alley of blood brought me forth and indignation still flames my cheeks where she once lay.
In the photograph I stand beneath a chapel arch.
The photographer himself is being photographed.
Gloria always wants to be in on the act.
She, the willowy thug with the beautiful eyes and the crinkle to her lips. Me, the ugly one with the brain and the brawn. Her life is full of sugar baskets found under trees where no digging is needed. My life, like a museum of curios filled with dusty objects from our former, conjoined life together. Little did I know then that these curios were treasures. Memories of love and faith and defiance.
Now, I sit here alone, reciting some of our secret words: suffragette, suffocate, submissive, swallow, sequin, sister.
They bring me comfort.

The copyright of this post belongs to Valerie Rule

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