From Good To Bad
She frown as she asked, “Do I know you?”. She was beyond confused, that is, until she realized that the person she was talking to was not Lacy.
They excitedly showed their mom a photo of the girl, expecting her to share their excitement, but she was horrified.
Lacy and Mary Claudio grew up facing a lot of questions about their relatability but they told those people exactly what they have been told all their lives. They were sisters, twins to be exact. Sure, they didn’t look alike but that didn’t matter.
They had the same half-Jamaican mother and the same Causician father. They were born on the same day, to the same mother, on the same hospital ward. Or so they thought.
Different But Alike
The girls were now at the age of 20, barely into adulthood. They knew that there was plenty of doubt that they were related, plenty of people couldn’t and wouldn’t believe it.
But they shared a special bond and were very alike in a lot of ways. They never doubted what sisters meant. But then things would take a turn.
Yin And Yang
As they made eye contact tears welled up in their eyes. It couldn’t be right, could it? Everyone in the room was silent as they understood what was going on.
The day started as an ordinary one for Lacy and Mary. They were college students and while one studied accounting the other studied music. They felt that they perfectly complemented each other.
New Places, New People
The two finished classes and then walked home like they always did. They stayed with their parents free of rent.
They had to because as college students they were broke. But they still loved adventure so they always went to new places around their town. Then it happened.
They took a scenic route home so they could stop by a coffee shop that had just opened. But because Lacy had to use the restroom she went ahead of Mary.
Mary had a more carefree pace and watched Lacy walk into the shop. But when she got inside she saw that her best friend was wearing an apron, and working behind a till. What was going on?
Lacy asked what she could get her. Mary just chuckled, was it some kind of joke? Did she really work there?
The girl behind the counter seemed confused and said she didn’t know her. Mary was met with a lot of confusion until she realized, it wasn’t Lacy.
Lacy walked out of the bathroom and casually asked Mary what she was ordering. But Mary just stood frozen in front of the counter.
Lacy then looked up at what Mary was looking at. Lacy felt that she was looking in a mirror. But how could a stranger look so much like her? They needed a photo to prove it.
They went home to show their mom the photo, they thought it would be a funny coincidence. But their mother’s reaction would say it all, she had been hiding something.
Lacy heard their parents talking heatedly that night. But they said everything was alright when she expressed concern the following morning.
Mary noticed quite a change in their mother ever since she saw the doppelganger. Then the phone rang.
Just as they were getting ready for college they heard their mother crying in the next room, she was clearly upset and was on the phone. But what they would overhear next would change everything.
Their mother was talking to someone in their family’s hospital. “You did what?”, she cried. “If my daughter hadn’t found her and taken the picture, I would have never known! We would have never known! How could you make such a mistake?”.
They strained to listen as they began to make sense of what was happening. They looked at eachother, eyes-wide, tearing. Then, for the first time in 20 years, they heard the truth.
Incredibly, Lacy and Mary had bumped into Lacy’s real twin at the coffee shop. It was all their mom needed to revisit her suspicions that she put to rest some 20 odd years ago.
After the girls showed their mom the picture, old familiar feelings of doubt that she tried hard to silence rushed back. She couldn’t help but get back in touch with the hospital and do some further investigation of her own.
When she sent them the photo of her twin daughters and then a photo of Lacy and a stranger, and pleaded with them to check the medical records for any other coinciding birth of another set of expecting twins.
They called their mom back with the news that there was another set of twins but that they had been put up for adoption by the mother. That’s why Lacy’s real twin didn’t recognise Mary either. She didn’t grow up with her opposing twin.
This meant there was an important search the family had to do.
But before anything else could happen, there were some heads that needed to roll. While the girl’s mother had shed many tears when she found out the truth, another emotion had surfaced – one that matched her husband’s
Who Was Responsible?
It was anger – no … fury.
How could such a mistake have been made? This wasn’t like misplacing a set of house keys. This was a vital connection between two families. The hospital’s reaction was partially as you would expect – profuse apologies. But their next step wasn’t at all what the family would have imagined.
PR And Lawyers
For lack of a better term, they tried to sweep it under the rug.
Between lawyer talk and hollow PR sentiments, it was clear the facility just wanted to make it all go away. They were quick to offer a settlement – but the number was quiet insulting. Then there was the staff that had been there the night of the girls’ birth.
Only one was still on staff – and the hospital said it “couldn’t find anything that proved that person was the one to blame.”
Mary and Lacy could hear their parents yelling on the phone, demanding proper justice – not a desperate gesture of capitulation. While they agreed someone needed to be held accountable, the girls were already prepared for a different journey.
Family Is Everything
The twins knew without a double they were sisters – after all, family wasn’t just about blood.
They had bawled in each other’s arms, reminiscing about their childhood and promising that nothing would change between them. They would do anything for each other. This included never giving up until Mary’s sister was also found.
Looking For The Other Twin
Since the hospital was already walking on razor-sharp eggshells, they immediately promised their resources to tracking down Mary’s twin.
It would be a hard push through some serious red-tape to get the files unsealed – even under their strange situation, the state laws around the records were going to be a massive mountain to scale.
Mean while, as the lawyers did their thing, the girls’ family knew there was something else vital to the healing process.
They contacted Jessica and invited her to coffee. All of them wanted to get to know their long-lost daughter. They also decided to meet at the very shop that Lacy had made her discovery.
Long Catch Up
The family sat around the table, feeling nervous first – all except Lacy, who was already smiling from ear to ear.
But after a couple rounds of coffee, the conversation flowed easily. They shared stories of their past. Laughed at the wonderful moments and shed a few tears when talking about the low points.
Thankfully, Jessica didn’t have to endure the foster homes and garbage bags instead of suitcases.
She had been placed in a loving home with parents that were just as supportive as Mary and Lacy’s. Jessica had even saved up for a trip to France – a place that Lacy was desperate to see.
Weeks after their coffee shop reunion, Mary was still waiting with bated breath to know the results of the lawyer’s battle.
She also wanted her heart-felt moment. She wanted to know if they loved the same places, adored the same music, and every other “twin thing.” So, every time the phone rang, her heart would pound a mile a minute.
Months passed and the search was slow going.
But one crisp morning, the phone range with the information they had hoped for. Mary’s twin had been found. She was living two states over … and her name was Lily.
The Long Trip There
The family piled into their car and raced to their destination as fast at the legal limit would allow.
The entire time, Mary’s stomach churned with excitement. She was finally going to get her moment. This wasn’t a family splitting. It was just one getting much bigger. She couldn’t wait to meet her new sister.