A Change of Heart (published in The Star 04102009)

EVERYBODY says it is nice to have a twin. You have a mate to play, study and share secrets with. Twins are practically best friends! They can go to school together, comfort each whether when either one of them is blue, plus do many more things together. Twins are cool!

Well, sadly, not for me. I have a twin brother, Alex. We have different interests and have never liked each other. Alex loves to read; he’s a bookworm or, in my language, a nerd. On the other hand, I’m a music-freak; I love to sing, play my guitar and write new songs. I even have a band of my own. Whenever we finish making new songs together, we’ll post it on You-tube.

Like I said, my brother and I dislike each other. We always quarrel over everything. From our lunch to our dinner plates, to whose turn it is to do the chores, to practically EVERYTHING! Our parents have tried many ways to make sure we don’t kill each other. I feel sorry for them.

Once, my friends came over because we’d written a song called No Clue and wanted to work on a melody for it. We jammed in my bedroom as my parents weren’t around.

Did I mention my room is big enough to fit in my bed, closet, study table, a drum set, keyboard, bass guitar, an acoustic guitar and an electric guitar?

After some hours of jamming, I thought the song was perfect. So we decided to sing it all over again to make sure everyone was satisfied before uploading it on You-tube. Well, I suppose we were quiet for a few minutes before we started singing the song all over again. That was when Alex came and started banging on my door.

“Alexia, could you please be a bit more quiet? I need peace and quiet,” he shouted from outside my door.

“That would be impossible, Alex. Relax, it’s not THAT loud,” I shouted back.

“Alexia, you know I’m older than you, so I expect you to show me a little respect, please!”

“Yeah, by only 12 seconds! Just wait for another 10 minutes or so. We’ll be done by then.”

“You’d better be, or I’ll tell mum and dad about your asking your friends to come over without telling them. Deal? I’m giving you guys another 20 minutes.”

“Deal! Uugh … can’t you leave me alone for one whole day?”

“THAT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE, ALEXIA! All right, I’ll come back after 20 minutes.”

Well, we may be different, but there is one thing that we have in common. Both of us are geniuses.

Alex studies hard, while I study smart. We can easily score straight As in exams regardless of how many subjects we take. Last year, we scored straight As for our PMR and were offered places in a full boarding school.

Our parents encouraged us to accept the offer. I wasn’t interested. But Alex had packed his belongings even before he got a place in the boarding school. I guess he knew about the school all along. Hey, we can search for things on the Internet.

So, we accompanied Alex to his new school to lend him support. At least, that was what mum said. I didn’t want to go, but she made me. She promised to take me shopping while dad and Alex hunted for the items he needed in school, right after he had registered.

After everything was done, we dropped Alex at the school gate. Mum and dad waved goodbye. I didn’t even bother to look at him. At least now he could have all time he wanted to study, while I could have all the time I wanted to write new songs and jam all day with my band buddies. Yahoo!

Three months passed but life wasn’t the same without Alex. I’d been doing everything alone; the chores and the studying. Somehow, I missed my brother.

Annoying as he could be, he had always been the one who supported me when I needed it. I was the one who had been disrespectful to him. Oh, how I regretted that.

On the first day of the first semester break, I was alone at home while mum and dad were at work. I felt a little lonely, so I picked up my guitar and started playing a song in the living room.

Just when I started singing, a taxi stopped right in front of my house. The driver came out to help his passenger with his bag. Was that Alex?

Without hesitating even a second to waste, I ran out and hugged my brother. I probably embarrassed him in front of the taxi driver for saying “I’m sorry” a million times. But I was glad he forgave me.

It’s true what they say – absence makes the heart grow fonder.

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