She’s 5″3, naturally a brunette (currently a red-head despite the photo at bottom), loves her two horses and coming home with cow shit on her shoes. I’m a 4″11 blonde who loves to make scrapbooks and get dressed up for a night of dancing. We’re twins. And we are absolute opposites.
We fought like brutal enemies when we were little. It’s a rule in our family that you say “I love you” before you leave one another. God forbid you never saw that person again, you would want those to be the last words they heard from you. When Emily and I fought, we would throw the F-bomb before “love” and shout it right before we slammed the door. We stole each other’s stuff, hated having to share friends in a small town and acted like bitter rivals.
Emily and I are 23 now and each passing year does nothing but bring us closer despite distance. I live in Buffalo; Emily lives in Olean while attending St. Bonaventure University and is back home in Rochester for summer vacation and breaks. We do our best to visit each other (or FaceTime/Snapchat like our lives depend on it) but it’s still tough to spend quality time together.
Sunday night we had the chance, unintentionally, to spend quite a bit of time together.
Em called me at 10:30 p.m. saying, “I’m stuck in Cleveland, the battery is about to die on my phone and I may need you to pick me up. Can you look up bus routes first?” She and other St. Bonaventure students had gone to the Cavaliers vs. Magic game to watch St. Bonaventure alum Andrew Nicholson play. With only a few pieces to the confusing puzzle, I found that there were no trains from Cleveland to Olean to get her and her two friends home. So a road trip it was.
I got to Cleveland a little after 2 a.m. and loaded three grateful Bonnies into my car. Any initial frustrations I had subsided when I was able to catch up with my sister about school, work, family, love (of course) and laugh over jokes that make zero sense to anyone but us. It was after 5 a.m. when we pulled up to her dormitory. I decided to drive right to Buffalo instead of napping on Emily’s twin XL bed (tempting). Before I left, I got out of the car and gave my twin sister a hug.
Whenever my mom (mama saint) tells me to give someone a hug for her, she always adds in “enjoy the one back.” Of course I say, “okay, mom, I will.” And I do. But this time I felt more appreciative than ever for the hug I got back.
My sister and I are alike in the sense that we depend on ourselves first before we seek the help of others. We like to know that we can rely on ourselves. I know she would have never asked me to drive for eight straight hours unless she needed me. And that was all that mattered: she is my twin sister and she needed me.
Exhaustion didn’t matter. Money didn’t matter. (500 Miles) on the car didn’t matter.
If you’re doing something for someone you love and they are grateful for it, there’s nothing more important than that.
Family first. Always.
I couldn’t leave out a How I Met Your Mother “500 Miles” video. You’re welcome.