High School can only be described as a jungle. I know it’s a cliché expression, but it’s such a perfect phrase that once you mull over it, the lack of originality just doesn’t matter anymore. There are so many places, jumbled up into one confusing labyrinth. So many creatures inhabiting those so many places, every one species so different. The brainy monkeys, sporty panthers, beautiful orchids, Goth bats, and all the rest of the rodents and birds scurrying around, trying to fit in, be normal, and survive. But there is one animal that everyone bows against. Undefeated and independent. Dominant, powerful, exquisite, everyone makes way for me, the sole tiger.
Unfortunately, I have to have lunch with the orchids. Yes, it’s them, the superficial, spoilt and pretty. I guess it’s just a school thing. There’s the girl everyone knows, head of student council, tennis champion, and obvious to-be Valedictorian. Surrounding her just has to be the cheerleaders. They’re as pretty and almost as popular. That’s natural. It’s just the way things are and that won’t change. I sigh. I don’t have any actual friends to sit with, anyone I can really confide in and laugh with. It’s weird, the most popular girl in school having no friends. I have to keep up with everything in this jungle, I don’t really have the time. Shopping with the orchids at weekends don’t count, because that’s just sustaining my social image. Being the tiger, guarding the throne, it’s all a very tiring job.
“What’s wrong, Campie Bellie? Why are you sighing?”
The voice is of one painstakingly irritating orchid, Rachel. She continues in her simper. “Anyone bothering you? Oh no, that’s not possible. Then… grade problems? Oh no, that’s not possible either. Or, ooh! Boy problems! That’s it, isn’t it?”
I turn toward the blue-eyed, cherry-lipped head cheerleader who looks like she’s directly out from a mean-blonde cheerleader movie. She manages to turn every single topic of conversation into boys. I hate her. She’s the most annoying orchid ever.
“Rachel, don’t call me that. And I don’t have any problems. I’m Campbell Simmons.”
“Oh, yes. Campie Bellie never has problems.”
I look at the expensive jeweled watch that I got for my 16th birthday, then stand up without finishing my salad. “Student Council meeting,” I explain, and then take off at full speed with folders and my diary in two arms. B309. I push open the door and strut into the council meeting room.
Everyone seems to be staring at me, but that happens all the time, so I don’t really care at first. I put my things on the head of the table, and my fingers fly, sorting through paperwork rapid-fire as I speak.
“We have a lot to get through today, next week is the dance, and we just had a new girl from that orphanage and we have to make sure we-“
“Uh, yeah, Campbell, about that new girl…” Someone cuts me off. I turn my eyes up at the daredevil. No one, no one ever interrupts Campbell Simmons.
“I was talking, Jackie. So, as I was saying, the new girl-“
“Campbell, that’s not important right now. Well, actually, it is, but not in that way. Susan just went to bring the new girl over here right now, because-“
“What?! Since when did you guys start doing stuff without me? Why is the new girl-“
“She looks exactly like you!” Jackie shrieked.
Right at that moment, as if god was doing a puppet show, the door burst open and in came Susan, gasping. Following behind her like a bewildered speck of dust, flying around with the wind, was Abigail no-last-name-orphan- the new girl. She was my mirror image.
Same brunette hair that was slightly frizzy, but unlike mine, hers flowed freely down to her waist. No makeup. At all. But the green eyes, though missing the eyeliner and mascara mine had, were the same in every miniscule crease, down to the brown specks in the iris. Neither of us had bags under our eyes, but in my case, it was the makeup covering them up; she just didn’t have any. Our profiles, starting from the forehead, dipping down to meet the eyes, then curving up with the nose, hitting soft bumps when it came to the lips, then finishing at the neck- completely congruent. We were identical.
How could two people be so same and so different at the same time? Wait, no, that’s not important. An identical twin- what was happening? I always imagined myself with long hair, I should grow it long this time- wait, that’s not important either. I’m adopted, I know that. Wow, look at her nose. That’s the same nose I stare at every morning in the mirror… Stop right there. Not important right now! Not! Important! I… Oh, my god. I have too many thoughts, so many ideas crowding into my brain and screaming to catch my attention, each idea more engulfing than the other, I’m confused, I’m confused, one word keeps appearing in my mind. Identical. Identical. Identical. And there, a lunchtime student council meeting, freezing cold, January, B309, I fainted right there, facing my duplicate.