By the age of 17, my father kicked me out of my uncle’s house and I am left to fend for myself. As much as it’s illogical, I suspected this day was oncoming for some time. I told my friend Lauren my woes. Lauren said, “You have to meet Sean’s parents. They take in troubled teens all the time, and you are totally normal and a straight A student. They will love you!” Thoughts going through my brain, “The dirty hippie kid that smells like patchouli and pot that always shows up late in my advanced math class?” But Lauren was right. The Bennetts welcomed me into their home.
It was the fall of 1993, and I woke up in my new home. The first night of living in the Bennett household and my legs were completely covered in flea bites when I woke up. As I opened my bedroom door, one of the dogs was taking a piss onto the carpet right in front of my room. This may or may not have been the same dog that almost electrocuted himself one night around Christmas because it took a piss onto the lights on the Christmas tree in the living room during dinner. It was as if the dog was saying to me: Welcome to another chapter of your life. You can close the door, but you will not get rid of the stench. Not easily anyhow.
For the next 2 years, Sean would wake up, enter my room in his boxers and water the ivy dangling from my ceiling. It had no dish to capture the water, so the water just went straight onto the carpet. It was like clockwork. Door opens. Drip drip drip. Door closes. It’s time to wake up.
Upon first inspection, Sean and I are nothing alike. He is Caucasian, blonde, and male. I am Chinese, brunette, and female. However, as we realized in the years we’ve been “siblings,” we have very similar mannerisms and have the same sense of humor. People noticed it right away back in college after hanging out with us. They called us, “Sean and Amy, the Siamese twins.” We were joined at the hip. Mostly because Lauren, Sean’s girlfriend, went to UC Santa Cruz for the first quarter, and we went to UC Davis instead. Sean enrolled in almost all of the same classes I was the first quarter. I would go into the most obscured class I had enrolled in, a class where we made dioramas for the theatre, and find Sean there in my class. He had nonchalantly asked me what I was taking before school began, and quietly enrolled in most of the same classes I was. An annoyance back then, but something I now find endearing. We’d eat lunch together all the time, especially at Taco Bell by the Silo. Taco Bell was our favorite fast food on campus. Possibly because it was the only fast food option on campus.
One day, I was already at the Silo feasting on my Taco Bell, and Sean came by with a new classmate, she was blonde.
“This is my sister Amy.”
Blonde takes a bite out of her lunch, looks at me again, “How old are you?”
Blonde nods and takes another bite out of her lunch, “Sean, aren’t you also 19 and a freshman?”
Blonde takes yet another bite out of her lunch, and in all seriousness asked, ”Are you guys twins?”
I must have made an incredulous face because Sean jabbed me really hard on my rib and said, also in all seriousness, “Yes,” as quickly as he could.
Blonde nods again satisfyingly, takes one more bite out of her lunch and inquired, “Is one of your parents Asian?”
“Both of them are.” Sean blurted out.
There are a lot of things I will probably never comprehend, like why my father kicked me out of my uncle’s house, or why no one in my family came to my rescue. However, how on earth that girl got into college will also remain one of the greatest mysteries of my life.