The Photograph

We were walking amongst the old clocks, chairs, memorabilia, and stinky chests of drawers that had all seen better days. Every now and then we would pass an old man with a microscope to his eye, intent on verifying the piece of junk that had caught his attention. This was my uncle’s idea of cheering me up – a cross between antiques road show and a boot sale. He was in his element, all this old stuff fascinated him, but I’ve always been more inclined to live in the present…..look to the future…..not dwell on the past. My future excited me…. I could change the future…..theres nothing you can do about the past. And I would. 

I would change my future, because somewhere out there is my brother. Or sister. I have a twin, and for the last few months, since I got my adoption papers, I have dedicated myself to finding him, or her, because we belong together.
Interrupting my thoughts on the latest lead, which I’d been pulled away from following, my uncle put down his dusty discovery……a semi disintegrated tool box…… and suggested lunch. I complied happily – I’d have agreed to almost anything to get out of that musty sale room anyway.
We squinted as we came out into the sunlight, I took a deep breath, tried to shake off the feeling that my lungs were actively fermenting, and we soon found a cafe to refuel us.

Uncle Jim ordered a couple of coffees and a mammoth portion of chips to share, and settled down with a paper he’d found on the seat, I sank back into my thoughts, trying to disentangle the puzzle. So far I knew very little about my twin. He, or she, could perhaps be a photographer, that would be cool. The name of the family who adopted my twin, White, matched the name of a chain of photography studios in the area we were born – now over 500 miles away.
So far I hadn’t been able to find out if my twin took the name of the adopted family, or kept the one given by the adoption agency…..I didn’t know the latter, or even his or her first name.
‘Look Tarn’ Uncle Jim passed the paper over ‘they ran your article, I didn’t know you’d done a photo for it, good idea.’ I took the paper and scanned the page in confusion – I had sent an article in a couple of months ago to help advertise my search, but the paper had declined to print it.
‘But this isn’t mine, uncle Jim……. or they’ve reworded it.’ I read in more detail…it seemed to describe my search exactly, but in words I had never used. ‘…, they didn’t do any photos for it, what do you mean?’

He passed over another sheet of the paper which he had been examining, and there was a photograph that I’d never seen before, seemingly of me, but in a place I had never been. The person had a camera around their neck, and were standing a outside a building with ‘White Studios’ written on the side. 

“It’s… twin? Uncle Jim!” 

“But Tarn, look at the caption, are you sure?”

I scanned down the page and my eyes landed on the text below the photograph “Tarn White searches for lost twin” We weren’t just identical twins…..we had identical names too.



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