The girl standing by the till looked toward her, “I’m sorry, do I know you?” That was when her eyes trailed to her chin, noticing the mole under her bottom lip. Her mind was clouded by confusion when she realized that she wasn’t looking at Lacy.
The girls quickly showed their mother a picture of the girl. But as they did, their mother’s face drained of excitement, and slowly, they saw the horror grow on her face. She quickly tried to compose herself, but it was far too late. She had made it obvious that something was very wrong.
Lacy and Mary Claudio grew up facing a lot of questions about their relatability, but they told those people exactly what they have been told all their lives. They were sisters, twins, to be exact. Sure, they didn’t look alike, but that didn’t matter.
They had the same half-Jamaican mother and the same Caucasian father. They were born on the same day, to the same mother, in the same hospital ward. Or so they thought.
Now, aged 20, the girls had long gotten used to the doubt about whether they were actually related. They met dropped jaws, distrusting eyes, and furrowed brows with confidence.
They were too alike in other ways and always shared a special bond to ever truly doubt their sisterly connection. But that was all about to change as their lives took a drastic, spiraling turn.
They looked at each other, eyes tearing up, hearts racing. There was no way this was true. There had to be some kind of mistake. Silence engulfed the room as their new reality dawned.
It was just another day of college classes and study for Lacy and Mary. Lacy studied music, while Mary studied accounting. They were each other’s yin and yang, which is why no one saw this coming!
Mary waited for Lacy to finish class as she usually did so that they could walk home together. With college bills to pay, they both cut their losses by staying at home rent-free.
It was a no-brainer for them, but the monotony of staying at home made them crave adventure and new things. So they started to go to new coffee shops and restaurants in different parts of their city. And that’s how it happened.
On their way home, they decided to take the long route and stop by a new coffee shop to try it out. But on their way there, Lacy needed to go to the bathroom, so she raced ahead of Mary.
Mary strolled behind her at her usual, carefree pace. She entered the coffee shop and saw Lacy with an apron on behind the till. Confused, she walked up to her, but things weren’t about to go as planned.
Lacy greeted her with a smile and asked her what she could get for her. Mary laughed, “You work here?”. “What?! Since when do you work here?!” Mary exclaimed.
The girl behind the till looked sideways at Mary. “I’m sorry, do I know you?”. A sudden wave of confusion washed over Mary when she saw the small beauty mole below her lip. She froze as she realized she wasn’t Lacy.
Just then, Lacy came out of the bathroom and joined Mary to order. She looked at the menu and then at Mary, “What are you getting?” she asked. She looked at Mary, who was staring at the girl behind the till.
Lacy followed her gaze to see the girl staring wide-eyed back at her. It was like Lacy was looking in a mirror. How was it possible that this stranger looked exactly like her? They posed for a picture together to show their mom. Then everything changed.
The girls eagerly greeted their mother to show her the picture. They watched as her face turned from excitement to horror. She quickly recomposed herself, but it was too late. They knew something was wrong.
They woke up that night to the sound of their parents’ bickering. When they asked them if they were okay the following morning, they said everything was fine, but they were hiding something.
Mary was the first to notice that their mom had changed since she saw the photo of Lacy and her lookalike. They didn’t understand why until that fateful day when the phone rang.
They were just about to leave the house together for college when they heard their mom sobbing from the kitchen. She was talking on the phone. Not wanting to intrude just yet, the girls listened with growing concern. But what they were about to hear would turn their world upside down.
Their mother was talking to someone in their family’s hospital. “You did what?” she cried. “If my daughter hadn’t found her and taken the picture, I would have never known! We would have never known! How could you make such a mistake?”.
They strained to listen as they began to make sense of what was happening. They looked at each other, eyes wide, tearing. Then, for the first time in 20 years, they heard the truth.
Incredibly, Lacy and Mary had bumped into Lacy’s real twin at the coffee shop. It was all their mom needed to revisit her suspicions that she put to rest some 20 odd years ago.
After the girls showed their mom the picture, old familiar feelings of doubt that she tried hard to silence rushed back. She couldn’t help but get back in touch with the hospital and do some further investigation of her own.
The girls were incredibly motivated to get to the bottom of things. Their mother felt like it was her obligation to figure out what had gone wrong. She also had her own mixed emotions about what had happened.
How could this have happened? She now not only had her own kids to try to give answers to but had to live with the fact that one of her children was left behind.
Tears welled up in her eyes. Her poor baby, had been left at the hospital and presumably taken by someone else. How could a mixup like this even be possible in this day and age? She knew it was no use even feeling bitter about it.
She had a responsibility to uncover a 20-year-old mistake that had cost her one of her children. She was motivated.
Lucy’s mother knew who to throw all of her rage at. She would look to the hospital for answers. The people who had made the mixup probably weren’t even working there anymore, but that didn’t stop her.
She’d bring a fury down upon the hospital, even if it was in vain. She just wanted someone to blame for the mixup. But how would the hospital respond to such an accusation?
Lucy’s mother picked up the phone and called the hospital. She held nothing back and got straight to business. The time for pleasantries was past them. She immediately demanded an explanation for everything.
The person on the other side of the phone froze up. They told her that they were a new hire and had no idea what was going on. That wasn’t good enough.
Before the assistant on the other side could say anything too incriminating, they were quickly taken off the call, and an older gentleman took over. She could tell that he was responsible for dealing with incriminating situations.
She explained the situation to the man. He didn’t seem to take her temper kindly and curtly denied everything. That made her even angrier.
“If you can’t give me the answers I want, then I’ll be forced to take even more urgent action!” She shouted before hanging up. She hoped that made the man on the other side of the phone sweat. She knew exactly what to do.
She would do what she did best. She was good at making scenes, and that’s precisely what she planned on doing.
Lacy’s mother decided that the best course of action would be to go down there in person, where she dared them to be rude to her face. Lacy’s mother could have a stone-cold side if she was crossed, and she could make anyone back down.
Lacy had seen it a handful of times before, mostly when they were mistreated at a restaurant or a playground.
On the way there, she was beyond motivated now. She would do anything to protect her children. She was a mother you never wanted to cross, and unfortunately for the hospital, they had done just that.
They were blissfully unaware of the fury getting closer to them with every waking minute. Until she was at their doors, ready for a fight.
Lacy’s mother stormed in with a crazy look in her eye. They knew it was her just from that look. The man on the phone immediately stepped up to talk to her – she recognized his voice from the phone.
After she explained everything to the man but this time in person, she thought he wouldn’t dare disrespect her. But he said something that made her fly off the hinges.
“Sorry, Ma’am, but you need some kind of evidence to back all of this up.” This made her see red. The man took a step back as if to ready himself for any unexpected fist throws on her part. But she didn’t need to resort to physical means.
She smiled with satisfaction and pulled something out of her bag. When the man saw what it was, he knew that he couldn’t beat her at her own game.
She reached for her bag, and the man gripped the counter behind him. She knew he was scared now, but what she pulled out would make him back down immediately. It was an ordinary photo to the man, but to Lacy’s mother, it was special.
She showed it to him, and after he examined it, he knew that he’d have to submit to her and do what she wanted.
When she showed them the photo of her twin daughters and then a photo of Lacy and a stranger, and pleaded with them to check the medical records for any other coinciding birth of another set of expecting twins.
She knew that she was right all along! She was just happy that they finally checked their system to find that they were in the wrong. But what would they say next?
They assured her that they’d do some digging and call her back. She knew they would out of fear of her coming back, so she left with a smile on her face.
She thought that they were going to give her what she wanted. But she had no idea what kind of people she was dealing with.
Lucy’s mother couldn’t believe it though. They called back a day later and told her once again that there was no way that she could lay the blame on them.
She had never been angrier in her life. They couldn’t even give her any information on the whereabouts of the twins. They said it was “confidential”
She had never felt more disrespected in her entire life. She knew that some companies could be like this, but she never expected a hospital to be this sneaky. She wouldn’t let them get away with this.
But before any of that, she now had to look for the two twins without their help. But their time would come soon.
This meant there was an important search the family had to do.
But before anything else could happen, there were some heads that needed to roll. While the girl’s mother had shed many tears when she found out the truth, another emotion had surfaced – one that matched her husband’s
It was anger – no … fury.
How could such a mistake have been made? This wasn’t like misplacing a set of house keys. This was a vital connection between two families. The hospital’s reaction was partially as you would expect – profuse apologies. But their next step wasn’t at all what the family would have imagined.
For lack of a better term, they tried to sweep it under the rug.
Between lawyer talk and hollow PR sentiments, it was clear the facility just wanted to make it all go away. They were quick to offer a settlement – but the number was quite insulting. Then there was the staff that had been there the night of the girls’ birth.
Only one was still on staff – and the hospital said it “couldn’t find anything that proved that person was the one to blame.”
Mary and Lacy could hear their parents yelling on the phone, demanding proper justice – not a desperate gesture of capitulation. While they agreed someone needed to be held accountable, the girls were already prepared for a different journey.
The twins knew without a doubt they were sisters – after all, family wasn’t just about blood.
They had bawled in each other’s arms, reminiscing about their childhood and promising that nothing would change between them. They would do anything for each other. This included never giving up until Mary’s sister was also found.
Since the hospital was already walking on razor-sharp eggshells, they immediately promised their resources to track down Mary’s twin.
It would be a hard push through some serious red tape to get the files unsealed – even under their strange situation, the state laws around the records were going to be a massive mountain to scale.
But now there was another issue. The girls spoke to their mother and pleaded with her to let them contact the girl from the coffee shop. They thought it would be amazing to reconnect with lost family. Lacy’s mother was still hurting from the truth she’d just uncovered.
But did that mean things were irreparable? After everything she’d gone through and all the years that would pass, would things still work out?
Meanwhile, as the lawyers did their thing, the girl’s family knew there was something else vital to the healing process.
They contacted Jessica and invited her to coffee. All of them wanted to get to know their long-lost daughter. They also decided to meet at the very shop where Lacy had made her discovery.
The family sat around the table, feeling nervous at first – all except Lacy, who was already smiling from ear to ear.
But after a couple of rounds of coffee, the conversation flowed easily. They shared stories of their past. Laughed at the wonderful moments and shed a few tears when talking about the low points.
Thankfully, Jessica didn’t have to endure the foster homes and garbage bags instead of suitcases.
She had been placed in a loving home with parents that were just as supportive as Mary and Lacy’s. Jessica had even saved up for a trip to France – a place that Lacy was desperate to see.
Weeks after their coffee shop reunion, Mary was still waiting with bated breath to know the results of the lawyer’s battle.
She also wanted her heartfelt moment. She wanted to know if they loved the same places, adored the same music, and every other “twin thing.” So, every time the phone rang, her heart would pound a mile a minute.
Months passed, and the search was slow going.
But one crisp morning, the phone rang with the information they had hoped for. Mary’s twin had been found. She was living two states over … and her name was Lily.
The family piled into their car and raced to their destination as fast as the legal limit would allow.
The entire time, Mary’s stomach churned with excitement. She was finally going to get her moment. This wasn’t a family splitting. It was just one getting much bigger. She couldn’t wait to meet her new sister. In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.