Below is a story from Addie, the main character from WHAT’S LEFT OF ME by Kat Zhang. This is the story of her first rebellion, but if you are eager to learn more about Addie and Eva, you can start reading their book here.
MY FIRST REBELLION
By Addie Tamsyn
There are certain ways things work between Eva and me. When you spend fifteen years sharing a body with someone, you figure this stuff out. I suppose everybody knows, more or less, the way things are between twin souls, but most people never have to share their body past their fourth or fifth birthday. Either they disappear or the other soul does, and that’s that. No use thinking about it anymore; once a soul is gone, it doesn’t come back.
But Eva and I have had fifteen years, so we know all the rules. First off, we can’t read each other’s thoughts, no matter how hard we try. I can only hear her speaking to me in our head if she wants me to hear her, and vice versa. The same limitation doesn’t apply to emotions. Those you can try to keep to yourself, and sometimes you succeed, and sometimes you don’t.
When we were eleven, and Eva was losing strength with each passing day, I felt every one of her tears, hot and then cold against our skin. She didn’t bother shielding me from her fear, her pain, or the sunspot flashes of her anger. She didn’t hide her confusion when the doctors came back with reports declaring us settled, declaring her gone. Eva wasn’t gone at all.
I didn’t tell a soul.
That was the first rebellion. The two of us not settling, Eva not fading away—that didn’t really count as rebelling. Maybe those things had something to do with us, and maybe they didn’t. Maybe not settling was just written into some malformed part of our genes, and we became hybrid with the same luck of the draw that had given us blonde hair and freckled skin and brown eyes.
But my keeping silent about Eva was not pre-written. It was a choice I made over and over again, every minute of every day until the days became weeks, the weeks became months, and the months became years.
Because there are certain ways things work between Eva and me. We’re more than family, more than sisters. We’re perfect puzzle pieces. We’re complementary colors. And I know that if Eva were to disappear, it would feel like part of me had been ripped away.
So I don’t tell anyone. I keep rebelling.
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