Sam Holstein

Found Your Twin Brother

A Short Story

Prompt: Someone collapses into the seat beside you and exclaims “What a day!”

It was a day like any other day when he collapsed into the seat beside me.

“What a day!” The man exclaimed. “Susan was such a bitch during lab today.”

I’ve never seen this man before in my life. He has sandy brown hair and is starting at me intently.

“Sorry?” I stutter.

“You know, Susan, that racist bitch in organic chem,” he says.

“I didn’t know they still make those,” I say. My mind is pouring over everyone I’ve ever met in my organic chem class. Who is this guy? Who is Susan? Did I have a lab with them last semester or something?

“Today, someone put on Drake, and she said she didn’t want to listen to ‘ghetto music.’ It’s Drake, for god’s sake. Imagine how she’d react to Kendrick Lamar.”

“Have you told the professor?” I say.

“What would I say? Susan never says anything really racist. You know what I’m talking about. You met her that one time and she acted like you had a disease.”

Now I’m wracking my brains. I don’t want to be an asshole.

“Just tell Professor Mannie, dude, she’ll talk to the administration or something.”

All of a sudden, he looks as confused as I feel.

“Professor Mannie? We have Professor Winkel.”

“Who’s Professor Winkel?”

His eyes narrow. “Is this a joke? Did Dave put you up to this? If so, tell him it’s a lame joke.”

“Who’s Dave?” I ask, growing more confused.

He leans back in my seat. “Ha ha.”

“Really, who’s Dave?”

“Ha ha, Brian.”

Oh, this is awkward. “My name’s not Brian.”

The other guy doesn’t get it. “Is this hazing, or something? We’ve been in the same fraternity three years.”

My patience runs out. “Look, man, if this is your idea of a joke, I don’t get it.” I stand up and grab my backpack.

“Brian!” He exclaims. “Hey, what’s your problem!”

“My problem is that my name’s not Brian,” I say. “My name’s Antoine.”

The other guy blanches. His voice comes out a whisper. “Oh. You’re serious.”

“Yeah,” I say shortly. “So if you could get out of the way — “

“You look exactly like my friend Brian,” he says quickly. “Like, exactly like him.” He holds up a hand to stop me. “Wait, let me show you.” He pulls out his phone and starts scrolling through photos.

I roll my eyes. “I’m sure I look like this guy -“

“No,” he insists. “Exactly like him. Look.” He holds up his phone in front of me.

Right there, on the phone screen of this random white dude, is a picture of me.

Except, I’m wearing clothes I’ve never owned, standing in a group of people I don’t know, one of which is the guy across from me.

“This is gonna sound crazy, but -“

“This is my twin,” I finish.

The bus comes to my stop, but I don’t get off.

My mind has shut down.

“His name’s Brian?” I ask vacantly.

“Brian Weathers. Are you adopted? ’Cause he’s adopted, at birth.”

I swallow roughly. “Yeah.”

Holy shit, I have a twin.

My mind comes back online. I grab my phone.

“What’s your phone number?” I demand. “What’s his phone number? What’s his name, again? Do you know his middle name? Do you -“

“Hey,” the guy says. “You can meet him. Today, if you’d like. I’m on my way back to the house; he should be there.”

I’m supposed to be heading to the gym with a friend, but somehow, I think he’ll understand if I skip today.

I sink back down into the seat.

I have a million questions, but I don’t want to ask this guy them. I want to ask… my brother.

My brother. My brother. My brother.

Growing up, I was an only child. Or at least, I thought I was.

“And we just… happen to go to the same university,” I say distantly.

“I guess,” he says. “Look, it’s not actually all that uncommon, right? I read a news story last year of twins who found each other at college too. Hey, what’s your major?”

“Biological Sciences,” I say.

He nods. “Yeah, Brian’s is Chemistry. He wants to be a toxicologist.”

“I want to be a pharmacologist.”

“Brian will love this,” white guy says suddenly. “This is so cool.”

I’m not in a fraternity, but since I spend my weekends drunk and stumbling around the neighborhoods outside the university, I might as well be.

The frat house is big and dirty. Beer cans litter the front yard, Pabst Blue Ribbon. That’s my drink. I wonder if it’s Brian’s, too.

“What on earth!?” A voice yells — my voice. Not mine, Brian’s.

“Brian!” The white guy yells. “Look what — who I found!”

Brian walks down the stairs. He looks exactly like me. His clothes are something I don’t own, but the style and shoes are exactly the sort of thing I’d wear, fashionable yet casual. I wonder if he bought them at a consignment shop, too.

Although, for all I know, his family is wealthy.

“How’s that work?” Brian says. “Are those prosthetics?”

He pokes my face. I’m glued to the spot. It’s like I’ve been copy-pasted into the world.

“Holy shit,” Brian says.

“I found him on the bus,” white guy says. “He’s your twin.”

Brian looks as shocked as I feel. “You found him on the bus,” he repeats.

“I found him on the bus.”

Brian’s staring at me.

“Did he not warn you I was coming?” I say.

Brian shakes his head slowly.

“My name’s Antoine,” I say weakly. “Antoine Greely.”

“Brian Weathers,” he repeats.

Suddenly his arms wrap around me, clapping me on the back. “Welcome home, brother.”

Welcome home? “What?”

“Well, you were lost, but now you’re found, right? So welcome home.”

I let go, my smile quirking at the corners of my mouth. “Who says you’re not the lost one?”

“Because my mom adopted me and my — our little sister. Unless you’ve got her twin with you, you’re the one coming home.”

The ground underneath me feels like it’s gone.

“Little sister?”

I sit down on the beer-stained grass outside the frat house.

By this time, the rest of his frat brothers have walked to the porch to watch the scene. Someone’s even got their phone out. Maybe we’ll become a viral video, I think distantly.

What a day, indeed.