Inside Out

Dr. Berry frowned as he looked at my chart. “Have you figured out what it is?” I asked. I had been to see more doctors than I could count. I knew something was wrong, but no one believed me.

“I have,” he said. “You had a twin, in the womb. At some point before your mother’s first ultrasound, you absorbed her.”

I processed this information. I almost had a sister. But what did that have to do with the sharp ache in my chest? The feeling that I was being torn apart?

Dr. Berry continued looking at my chart as he spoke. He was avoiding my eyes. “She’s gaining life and a body of her own. You’re feeling the pain of growing bones, forming eyes… I’ll have to run more tests to figure out why this is happening so suddenly.”

My voice trembled as I spoke. “What’s going to happen?”

“I don’t know,” Dr. Berry admitted. “I’ve never seen anything like this before.”

The pain in my chest thudded along with my heartbeat. She was there, pushing my lungs. Cracking my ribs. Growing larger, and stronger, with each beat.

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