(5 minute read)
by Archibald Hobbs
“Welcome back to Good Morning Sunshine,” the handsome man intoned, direct to camera. “It’s the top of the hour and we have a very special guest with a story you won’t believe.”
“It really is unbelievable!” the female co-host exclaimed. “Truly unbelievable.”
“Should we just get into it?”
“Sure! Why not?”
“Okay then,” the genial host smiled. “Welcome to Good Morning Sunshine, Roger from Putney.”
“Morning Alistair. Morning Sally.”
“So,” Roger continued cautiously, “my producers tell me you have a brother…”
“That’s right!” Roger from Putney responded enthusiastically. “His name’s Tim.”
“Okay, and when’s the last time you saw young Timothy?”
“Well, he’s not that young anymore. We’re actually twins and I’m 23.”
“Fair enough,” Alistair shrugged.
“Identical twins?” Sally interjected.
“Yes, once upon a time.”
“Is twin-ship not a permanent state?” Sally cocked her head to one side.
“It is, Sally, it is,” Roger from Putney smiled. “And we were certainly born as identical twins. Whether we remain identical is where a question mark is warranted.”
“Okay,” Alistair said slyly. “So back to the question at hand; when did you last see Tim?”
“A long time ago.”
“And that’s because…”
“Well, let me begin by saying Tim and I always competed over everything…”
“Whether it was school grades, or backyard cricket…or who could finish their dinner first…Tim was always trying to prove that he was better than me.”
“Okay,” Sally repeated. “Highly competitive. Got it.”
“Even though we were – and remain – a genetic match.”
“Yeah right,” Alistair beamed into the camera. “How could he be superior if you were genetically identical?”
“Which meant,” Roger from Putney continued cheerily, “it was only natural that Tim would try to prove to me, and to the world, that he was better than me at hide and seek.”
“Yes!” Alistair exclaimed. “So, for the third time; how long has it been since you saw Tim?”
“Ten years,” Roger from Putney laughed.
“Ten years!” The co-hosts exclaimed in rehearsed unison.
“Yep,” Roger from Putney nodded. “At first it was fun. Y’know, I say ‘ready or not, here I come’ and, after an hour, I can’t find him. Then a couple of days slip by. Then a month.”
“Then a year…,” Sally marvelled.
“And then a decade”, Alistair nodded sagely.
“Yep, we were thirteen when it all started and now we’re twenty-three.”
“So, did he leave the house?” Sally asked. “Did Tim just leave when you were looking the other way?”
“No, he’s still in the house with us.”
“Really? How do you know?”
“Food missing from the fridge. The toilet flushing at 3am. New clothes in his wardrobe. He’s still here.”
“You’ve searched the house?” Alistair quizzed.
“You said you hear the toilet flush,” Alistair repeated. “Don’t you jump out of bed and go looking for him?”
“Yeah, I’ve tried. But the prick’s incredibly fast. By the time I get to the bathroom, he’s gone. No trace of the bugger.”
“Morning TV, Roger,” Alistair cautioned.
“Oh yes. Sorry.”
“How big is your house?” Sally screwed up her face with incredulity.
“Normal size. Not too big.”
“And you’ve searched every nook and cranny?”
“Yep, every wall cavity and every corner of the ceiling.”
“Well, this is amazing,” Alistair sighed.
“Really incredible,” Sally chorused.
“Are you sure…,” Alistair intoned cautiously, “are you sure that Tim is real?”
“Are you sure you really have a twin, Roger from Putney?”
“Oh, he’s real,” Roger replied sternly. Tim is real. He exists.”
“Okay,” Alistair raised his hands. “Just asking.”
“The truth is…,” Roger was still talking, “I don’t want to find him.”
“He really is a prick,” Roger glowered into the camera. “I detest the bastard.”
“He was mean to me. If I beat him at anything, simply anything, he’d torment me. Even if I got out of bed first, he’d thrash me. God forbid that I should beat him at something important; like attracting our parents’ love. His depravity would know no bounds.”
“So, when he said we should play hide and seek…I had no intention of finding him.”
“And you haven’t seen him for ten years…,” Sally’s eyes expanded.
“Yes. So, who won, Tim?” Roger from Putney’s eyes blazed with triumph. “Seriously, Tim. Who won?”
Copyright © 2021 – Archibald Hobbs. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Archie is looking forward to the publication of his debut novel, “The Glorious Face of Sorrow” (Austin Macauley) later this year. Whilst he primarily writes to impress his wife, he would appreciate a wider audience.
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