Nora and I were born seven minutes apart. How to describe in a few words my relationship with her without falling into one cliché after another? Complicated. I’ll just say one thing that I hope will accurately sum up our universe: we were everything – absolutely everything – to each other. Nora and I were physically the same except for two details: our navels and our fingerprints. Paradoxically, our characters were opposites.
Over the years, I have read a lot about the supposed telepathy between twin siblings, and now that Nora is no longer with us, it seems even more extraordinary. I have come to understand that this fragile, invisible thread is maintained beyond the confines of this world.
When she first mentioned the idea of taking her own life, I was very angry. No matter how much she argued that there was no drama in her decision, that she was not depressed, that she had the right to decide when to leave and that she felt her time had come, for me it was the beginning of an ordeal full of fear and anguish. I will not dwell on my efforts to get the idea out of her head, nor her efforts to get it into mine. In the end she won the game and set a date for her departure.
The series of photographs were taken by me on the last day I spent with Nora. That day we got up just before dawn, drank coffee and smoked in silence in our kitchen. Later we went out to wander around several of our favorite places. Around 7 p.m., Nora hugged me for a long time, then turned and walked off into the woods. I would never see her alive again. I got in the car, got home and climbed into bed.
All images and text © Ximena Bares
By Ximena Bares
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