I didn’t get a chance to finish writing the dream sequence before the doorbell rang. I ignored it at first and kept typing. The person at the door would not give up, though. They kept ringing the bell and I finally gave up. I put on my bathrobe and trudged over to the front door.
“Can I help you?” I asked in a sharp tone as I opened the front door.
“I...uh...” the woman on the other side of the door stammered. It took me a second to register it - but she looked exactly like me. She looked like she could be my twin. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to wake you - I thought two o’clock would be a reasonable time...”
“I’m a writer - I chose my own hours,” I said, still grumpy.
“I know you’re a writer - that’s why I came to see you,” the woman said and pulled a book of mine out of her bag. “It’s this book,” she said pointing at the book, “that made me come to see you.”
I sighed. “Look, I don’t really have time for fans - and fans coming to my house is creepy.” I didn’t close the door in her face as much as I was tempted to. The fact that she looked exactly like me garnered sympathy from me.
“Oh, I’m not a fan - not that I don’t like your work, I do,” the woman stammered. “It’s just that so much of what you’re writing in this book is exactly my life. And your other books have bits of my life in them, too. It’s so close, I just had to see who you were.”
I knew I was going to regret it but I invited her in anyhow. I made a pot of coffee to wake myself up and sat with her in the living room. We drank coffee and talked for hours. We were both adopted as babies. She pointed out all of the things in my books that were straight from her life. They weren’t generic things, either. They were so very specific, I couldn’t imagine someone having the exact same experiences.
To test her, I asked her open-ended questions about some of my more recent dreams - dreams that I was using for my latest book. She was spot on. I told her that I based all of my books on my dreams. I had always assumed I was just really good at lucid dreaming since they were so rich with detail.
“I think you’re dreaming my life,” she said. “When were you adopted?”
“Uh, January 5th, but I was born on the 1st - New Year’s Day,” I said.
“Me too. Did your parents ever tell you what hospital you were born in?” she asked.
“Yes. Did yours?” I was still holding some details back so that she couldn’t ‘cold read’ me.
“Dominican hospital in Santa Cruz, California.”
“Okay, so suppose we are twins and I’m dreaming your life through some sort of metaphysical twin bond, who is the serial killer in my books? Is it a triplet?” I was having a hard time letting go of my skepticism, it just wasn’t in my nature to easily believe others without a lot of proof.
“I’m not sure how we would go about finding out - we could hire a private investigator,” she suggested.
I was intrigued by the idea. We looked up private investigators together. I went to the investigator by myself, though. I wanted the investigator to verify this woman’s story as well as looking for a third, possibly serial killer sibling.
The investigator called a few days later. “Ma’am, I have news,” he said. “It turns out that the woman who visited you is indeed your twin. And you were right - there was a third daughter. The child wasn’t given up for adoption, though.”
“Wow, that’s crazy,” I said. I had looked up identical triplets while waiting for the investigator to call back. It was incredibly rare. If this twin bond thing existed it must have gone into overdrive with three of us.
“Would you like me to look up her current whereabouts?” he asked.
“No, thank you,” I said. “If you could just send me a bill if there were expenses or hours that weren’t covered in the retainer, that’d be great. I have a phone call to make now.”
I called my now verified twin. “I heard back from the investigator,” I said. “It turns out you and I are twins.”
She let out a little squeal of excitement. I understood. It was something special for an adopted child to have a real blood relation in their life.
“But,” I continued. “He said there wasn’t a third. It looks like the serial killer part is my own imagination.”
“Well, good thing,” she said. “Can you imagine a serial killer with our face running around killing people?”
I chuckled. Apparently I could. I had two identical sisters who were giving me novel material and giving me fame and wealth. I wasn’t going to track down and stop the serial killer. I needed her. Just as I needed this other sister.
“Why don’t you come by for coffee again sometime?” I asked.
“I’d like that - it’s pretty neat having a sister,” she said.
“Yeah and I already know you pretty well,” I said.
I also knew the serial killer sister well.