When I was about nine or ten, we were adopted by our cousins.
My mom was a Sunday School teacher. Sophie and Gracie were Sunday School attendees. Their mom and dad met our mom and dad, they adored my mom and called her "Aunty." They adored my brother. They were 2 and 6 respectively. They fell in love with us, and we fell in love back. They visited us because we had animals and they didn't, and we visited them because their house was bigger and fancier and we could play hide and seek.
Things have changed. They have dogs. They're all grown up now, but they still call us their cousins. We do the same.
Sophie and Gracie. Younger, then elder. But in my head I remember. . .
I'm nine or ten. We're throwing a barbecue, and they're unpacking food from their car. I see Sophie, I see Gracie, and I say, Where's the other?
What? says my aunt.
The third, I say. I'm confused and a little embarrassed. Why can't I remember her name?
The other little one, I say.
My aunt and uncle are confused. I get upset. There's always been three. Sophie, Gracie, and--
Mom comes over and they talk. They tell me that there's only ever been two.
But. . .
My aunt tells my parents about Sophie's twin. She died at birth or in the womb-- I don't know. My aunt doesn't say. But isn't it strange, she says, that I'd say there was another littler one?
I don't remember what happens after that.
Of course I was wrong. There's just two: Sophie and Gracie.
But I'd really thought there were three.