There’s something you should know before we go any further: my heart is in the wrong place. So is my stomach, my liver, and my spleen. All my internal organs are on the opposite side, in exactly the place where they shouldn’t be. I’m back-to-front: a freak of nature. Seven billion people on this planet have their hearts on the left. Mine’s on the right. You don’t think that’s a sign?
My sister’s heart is in the right place. Elizabeth is perfect, through and through. I am a mirror image of my twin, her dark side, her shadow. She is right and I am wrong. She’s right-handed; I am left. In Italian, the word for “left” is sinistra. I am the sinister sister. Beth is an angel and so what am I? Hold that thought. . . .
The funny thing is that to look at us, you couldn’t tell the difference. On the surface, we’re identical twins, but peel back the skin and you’ll get the shock of your life; watch in awe as my guts spill out all mixed up and topsy-turvy. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. It’s not a pretty sight.
We’re monozygotic, if you want to know; Beth’s zygote split in two and I materialized. It happened at the very earliest stage of development, when her zygote was no more than a cluster of cells. Mum had been pregnant for only a few days and then—poof—out of nowhere, I show up, cuckoo-like. Beth had to share her nice, cozy amniotic bath and Mum’s home-cooked placenta.
It was pretty crowded in that uterus; there wasn’t a lot of room for the two of us and our umbilical cords. Beth’s got tangled around her neck and then knotted pretty badly. It was touch and go for a while. I don’t know how that happened. It had nothing to do with me.
Scientists think identical twins are completely random. We’re still a mystery; no one knows how or why I occurred. Some call it luck, coincidence, or chance. But nature doesn’t like random. God doesn’t just play dice. I came here for a reason; I know I did. I just don’t know what that reason is yet. The two most important days of your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.
Copyright © 2017 by ChloÃ© Esposito. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.