We ran. We ran as fast as our short legs could carry us.
We didn’t look back or think twice.
We just ran wildly through the bushes, panting heavily and sweating profusely.
Though it was dawn, it was very warm and all the trees were at a standstill.
We had no idea where we were going, but we never stopped for a second, not even to catch our breaths.
We were getting tired. My legs were wobbly and I knew Pay, my twin sister’s legs were too.
The only thing that kept us going was the thought of the entire village watching and cheering on those huge, muscular men with their sharp machetes at our throats.
Our speed had reduced now and I held onto Pay’s hand as that thought ran through my head. I felt her shiver slightly. She must have had that same thought too.
We started walking briskly now, tired from all the running.
Still holding her hand, I quickly glanced at her and took a look at myself too.
We looked pathetic! Two skinny ten year olds clad in their mother’s oversized blouse and ‘Blue Bird’ slippers and running for their dear lives.
When Ma woke us up at 3am, we knew it was a do-or-die affair.
“They would come in the morning”, she said, with tears in her eyes and in her heart as well.
We were all she had and she had to let us go now because of some stupid old tradition in our village. A tradition that says twins are evil, so their heads should be cut off at the Sacred Stone in the village, on the day after their tenth birthday. Pay and I knew that was so wrong, old fashioned and barbaric. We were however the only ones of that opinion. The entire village believed allowing us to live would attract catastrophes that they only knew about.
Sometimes, we felt even Ma also believed in that useless tradition. We felt she was tired of us. We knew too much, asked too many questions, openly disapproved of somethings she partook in and told her what& what not to do.
She loved us nevertheless, which mother would hate her own? Besides, we were the only family she had.
Our father left her after she gave birth to us. He wanted nothing to do with us! He was appalled, Ma told us. He wanted a boy and he had two girls instead, the evil ones for that matter.
According to him and everyone else in the village, we were not from the Creator.
How was it possible for a human being to have an exact replica who came out of her mother’s womb on the same day that she did?!
How was it possible for two people to look so much alike?!
No, no, no. The Creator makes only one person and places him/her in their mother’s womb.
Two of the same kind must surely be something from the devil.
So there were no twins in our village. Ma said some got rid of their twins when they were babies and others runaway from the village with them before they turned ten.
We always wondered why Ma did neither.
We probably wouldn’t have been in this situation if she had. 😦
**** to be continued****