My memories of grade school were of always protecting Konnie, however, I never thought her shyness would cause me any difficulties once we entered junior high. Though honestly, I didn’t really experience any glitches in seventh grade, since that year, the only guy who ever talked to me in the halls was the president of the student body who, for some strange reason took a liking to me on sight.
He just didn’t realize until around the middle of the year that two girls were ignoring his come ons. But I didn’t have a problem.
The first time I realized I had a problem with Konnie’s shyness was in eighth grade. That wasn’t until several months into the school year when I entered my third period class and a ninth grade boy in that class didn’t say hi to me for the first time all year. For next several days, every time I tried to catch his eye, he looked away.
I so wanted to know what was wrong, but my fourth period class was completely at the other end of the three-story building, I barely had enough time to make it to class before the tardy bell rang, and I never saw Greg (the guy in third period) at any other time during the day.
Then, a few days later, instead of fourth period, there was an assembly. Since there was no fear of a tardy bell, I stopped him before he left the class, and asked why he was mad at me.
He told me that he’d seen me in the halls the other day and he said hi, but I ignored him. I looked him in the eye and said, “When and where?” worried I had inadvertently not seen my friend.
He told me between sixth and seventh period down by the gym. I sighed with relief. “That wasn’t me.”
“It was too. I swear!”
I told him exactly where my sixth and seventh period classes were, both on the opposite end of the building as the gym. He repeated that he was sure he saw me; I smiled and said, “I’m a twin. And she has gym seventh period.”
He groaned and apologized.
After school that day was the first time I gave Konnie my, “If a guy says hi, say hi back because I might know him,” speech. And I really enjoyed moving to that smaller school in ninth grade simply because everyone knew both of us, there was no chance of her offending some guy friend of mine, and I didn’t have to worry about Konnie roaming the halls. Then we moved.
Fortunately, none of the guys at this school took offense by me apparently ignoring them. They asked me why sometimes I smiled and said hi while other times I looked down, blushing.
I told them, “That wasn’t me.”
They didn’t want to believe me, but a couple of friends who knew us from church were present for that conversation, and they backed me up, which started the discussion on how to tell us apart. I said, “If the one you see says hi back, it’s me, if she doesn’t say hi —”
And on of our church friends said, “You both say hi to me!”
“She knows you!”
“Well, how do I tell you apart?”
“Jeez, you see us together first thing in the morning. Figure it out!”
Anyway, despite it being a bigger school, I didn’t notice any huge problems with how shy Konnie was, but all that taught me one thing. If someone I’m sure I don’t know says hi as if they know me, I ask them how they think they know me.
And I’ve got a few fun stories of doing just that.
Anyway, that’s what being a twin is like for me.