Thursday, June 20, 2013

R Squared

Rachel. Not me Rachel, the other Rachel. 

                I am not the only Rachel. I’ve met maybe thirty, or forty, maybe more. I grew up with one. We were born in the same valley. Her father laughed at my father when he got his Rachel first. We grew up together, Rachel and Rachel. Our farms met at the west pasture, and we would go there to play. There was a trough there. We would wade through the mud in our gumboots and go snail fishing.

                We’re both blonde. When we were little, we both grew our hair out to our butts. She had blue eyes, mine were brown. Our families both moved out of the valley, both estranged. We both lived primarily with our mothers. Our mothers both re-married within a year of each other. Neither of us liked our step-fathers.

                We went through school together, all the same classes from first grade on. Teachers were always worried about getting us confused. On the first day, when they called roll, it would always be “Oh no, two Rachels…” They always seemed to think it would be a huge problem, two Rachels. But it never was. When someone called out “Rachel” we knew who they meant. We always knew. I’m not sure if people said it differently, or maybe it was body language or something, but we always knew.

                The other students kept trying to give us nick names. Tom and Jerry, Thing One and Thing Two. Nothing ever stuck. We were just Rachel and Rachel. And it wasn’t just the classes. We were both on the swim team in high school. With our long blonde hair and matching team suits, we looked even more alike.

                We aren’t alike though, not really. She’s assertive, I’m shy. She’s going to business school, to be a sports agent or a rep for a company that sells million dollar machinery. She would be really good at either. I went to school to be a writer so I can work from home and talk to no one. But I still talk to her. She calls me. It’s never the other way around. We talk about our plans, and the house we will buy together someday. She tells me there’s a little farm, in a little valley in Hawaii with our name on it. Rachel. 

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