“What the hell’s a twin?” Kim asked the familiar-looking stranger. The woman that knocked on her door sported the same short dark hair and light brown eyes as Kim. She eagerly opened the door when she saw herself outside, she always wanted to meet one of her Zeros. The moment she did though, the stranger called her, ‘sis’, and started referring to them as twins.
“Uh..,” Kim’s twin was surprised she needed to answer such a basic question. “You know how you have different versions of you in alternate universes?” she asked. Kim nodded and rolled her eyes.
“Of course, kids learn about the multiverse in grade school.”
“Well, I’m like that, except from this same Earth. I’m like another you and we both came from the same mom.”
“No…,” Kim shook her head. “I don’t have a sister… I can’t.” The woman nodded.
“I know it’s a lot to take in, but honestly twins are born on this Earth all the time,” the woman sighed. “That’s why we have the one-child rule; to hide how freakishly often twins happen behind closed doors.”
“If it happens so often, where are all the other twins? Why are you the first time I’m hearing about it?”
“Something’s different about this Earth… over 98% of births result in twins. The healthier twin..,” the woman pointed at Kim. “…gets to stay on this Earth. The other one gets shipped to an orphanage on a different Earth. If they didn’t, this Earth would have been overpopulated long ago.” Kim shook her head.
“I meant, why are you the first time I hear about this. If it happens so often, why haven’t there been others that return when they grow up?” Kim asked. “What makes you special?”
“You,” the woman said with a faint smile. “What’s your favorite number?” she asked.
“23,” Kim replied before she considered how odd the question was. “What? Why?” she asked after giving an answer. The woman’s grin grew wider.
“Because they took the wrong twin,” she said. “Even after we were separated, they kept track of both of us, like they do all twins. They only recently realized their mistake and explained everything to me to ask for my help.”
“And I suppose you escaped and came to rescue me first chance you could?” Kim asked without hiding her skepticism.
“I just realized,” the woman said as she extended her hand toward Kim. “I never introduced myself. I’m Kim,” she said.
“Well if we are twins, someone didn’t have any imagination. That’s my name too,” she said and politely shook hands. The moment their hands touched, the stranger grabbed her hand tightly and yanked her forward through her front door. Kim stumbled trying to keep her balance, while her sister dashed to get into the house.
“Not anymore,” Kim said from inside the house. The woman that was in the house moments before got her bearings and tried to rush back inside. Before she took two steps, two men in white coats with red scissor logos grabbed her. “Like I said, they kept the wrong twin,” Kim waved with a smile from inside the house. “Don’t worry,” she added as the two men carried the struggling woman away. “It’s fixed now.”