I was born with two bodies.
Okay, I know, I know, it’s hard to explain. No one believes me, and I’ve never heard of this happening to anyone else, but… well, there it is. Maybe you’ll just brush me off and ask me if I should be getting my head checked, too, but, at the very least, my hope is that you’ll read this, and that someone out there will be able to help me.
Two bodies means two families, two homes, two lives. In both of these lives, I am 16 years old. In one of these lives, my name is Andrea. I have a mother, father, and a younger sister. I have curly black hair and large, green eyes. We have a dog named Skip. In my other life, I am Millie. I am short with a blonde pixie cut. I live with just my mom in a little townhouse in the suburbs.
Both of these lives are mine, and I am both of these people.
You must be wondering, how can somebody sustain two bodies? Can someone be two places at once?
You see, that’s the problem.
In both of these lives, I have a serious condition, and nobody knows why but me.
They caught it when I was a young child. At seemingly random times, I would become completely catatonic. Someone would call my name and I wouldn’t respond. I wouldn’t blink. I wouldn’t move. Sometimes, it was even hard to tell if I was breathing or not.
It was traumatic for all four of my parents. Andrea’s parents rushed her to the hospital, screaming and crying… they ran every test they could afford, although they don’t have much money, even now. The doctors came back with nothing. The condition didn’t appear harmful, they said, but it should be monitored.
Millie’s mother was a little calmer about the situation. After all, she didn’t get to be the CEO of a major company by being overly emotional. She brought her (me) to a specialist and a private family doctor. She ran more tests, spent more money, demanded more answers. But her doctor arrived at the same result.
So, why does it happen? I have the answer that none of the doctors have.
The thing is, I CAN’T be in two places at once. At any time, I can be either Millie or Andrea, but not both. When I become Andrea, Millie will go catatonic. When I switch over to Millie, Andrea becomes a (barely) living doll.
It was hard to deal with when I was a child, that’s for certain. I love both of my families, so how could I choose which one to stay with? Sure, I considered switching over to one body forever, but I couldn’t bear the thought of losing a family, no matter which one it was. So, eventually, I reached a compromise. I’d spend a month with one family, then a month with the other. Sometimes I’d make the switch weekly, even daily, if the mood suited me. It was the only way that I could keep them both.
Sure, this method had its drawbacks. For example, I can’t ever get my license. And Millie’s mom puts me on new meds every once-in-a-while to try to solve the problem – she won’t stop, no matter how much I beg. My parents on both ends find it strange that I never have a problem keeping up with school, despite the long absences that I’m prone to. I think Andrea’s parents are convinced that she’s some kind of prodigy. Millie’s mother just thinks she’s hardworking.
Either way, this was working just fine until about half-a-year ago.
That’s when Millie met Leo.