The sun’s rays fell at an angle on the tranquil waters. Kara looked in, her face reflecting fear but her eyes exuding a calmness she did not feel. There would be no more competition. She had to convince herself a lot to ensure she had been right. That she’d had absolutely no other course of action. The woman who had shared the womb with her was no more. It should not have come to that, but Kara had felt the competition since she’d taken her first breath, when her twin was born with her umbilical cord twisted around Kara’s neck.
And since then, their lives had been interwoven so completely, as was the case with some twins, with each of them thinking like the other, completing the other’s sentences, sometimes unwillingly. Life had become an elaborate chess game of guessing the other’s moves and out maneuvering someone equally talented and skilled. Kara had hated it, but with the final blow that came in the form of Tarun, she wanted to be the only one. The competition was too much, but Kara could not spend her lifetime fighting Tarun out of her twin’s hands.
It was for the peace. Kara reasoned. The water remained still, as her face turned into a grotesque expression of someone experiencing pain. Kara felt a weight on her foot and suddenly, the lake water seemed to rush up and douse her, feeling strangely hot.
Shocked, Kara was pulled back from her horrible dream. It was a few seconds before she realised that she’d just dreamed about murdering her twin, and had been justifying it. The face that was reflected in the lake had been confused, and not upset or worried. What had happened then? The water had rushed up to meet her face, suddenly. Disoriented, she touched her face and neck, which were both wet. Kara woke up fully. The dream had ended, but she still felt surreal.
Her twin was standing over her, one foot firmly pressing Kara’s ankle, and an empty mug in her hand.
“Nice of you to wake up. I thought I’d do it when you were asleep, so as to spare you the terror, but I guess I should also tell you my… justification. I just heard you mumbling that you did it for the peace, and I am right in assuming, dear sister, that you were already planning. I’m just making the first move.”
Kara stared, dread hitting her hard. Her throat constricted painfully.
“You see… Tarun… Should be mine. There are a lot of reasons why, but my favourite is our names. They match. Tara and Tarun sound much better together, don’t you think?”
The last thing Kara saw before she blacked out was the fluff of the pillow that descended onto her face with surprising strength.