People ask me all the time if I can feel my twin sister’s pain. Like physically.

If Joy broke her leg, for example, would mine start to throb?

Do I ever get a weird feeling that something bad is going to happen to her….and then it turns out to be true?

The answer is NO (weirdos.) We just happen to share the same birthday and DNA.

It would be pretty amazing for someone to have that kind of intuition, at least out of nowhere.
Like, if Joy were a NASCAR driver, then yes, I would have a feeling that something bad was going to happen to her during the whole race.

But, James, on the other hand, my friend’s ex-boyfriend, miraculously had foreboding intuition.

Meredith and James had dated for three years in high school but broke up before college, and reconnected right as they were both getting their degrees.

They “re-dated” for exactly one month when Meredith decided it wasn’t going to work out, and ended it (again).

Not too long after that, Meredith was held up at knife point.

It was completely unrelated to James, a random act of violence while she was on her way to the college library one night, and she pissed the assailant off by not having any money or jewelry on her person.

Meredith wasn’t hurt physically, but she was a complete mess about it as anyone would be, and was inconsolable.

The next day, James called out of the blue, the first time she’d heard from him in several months.
His opening line was…grim.

“Hey, I had this awful feeling something really bad happened to you and I wanted to call and see if you were OK,” James said.

“What?” Meredith asked.

“Yea, I don’t know, maybe it was a bad dream or something, but I just HAD to call you to see if you were OK. I’m sorry if that’s out of line.”

Meredith wailed, NO, I’M NOT FINE!!! and told James she was held up at KNIFE POINT and described what the guy looked like and what he said and OMG she won’t be able to get that image out of her head. Ever.

James said he was so sorry, he had no idea.

Did she want him to come over?
She said yes.
James spent the night. (As a protector of course.)

How did he know? Meredith wondered. Was James her secret soul mate, someone who could predict the future and save her from all future harm?

At that time, Meredith was sort of seeing someone else who she liked more than James.

But she considered James’ phone call in her vulnerable state, and he was comforting, like when they dated in high school and knew everything about each other.

If she hadn’t just been a victim of a horrible crime, and James had called her randomly to grab a burger, she would have said she was busy.

But with ESP on his side, Meredith continued to hang out with both James and this new guy, both casually.
And she played it off really well. (Clearly this was pre-Facebook).

So it seemed out of the blue (again) when James told Meredith that he hoped she wasn’t seeing anyone else.

“Wh….why would you say that?” Meredith asked.

“I don’t know…I just had this feeling that I should just throw that out there,” he said.

A foreboding feeling?

Then he asked her out that Friday night. Meredith hesitated. That was the night she had plans to go out with her other guy.

She suggested they go out Saturday, but James was insistent on Friday.

Did he know about the other guy? Meredith wondered. Was she giving off a weird vibe that he, obviously an expert when it came to her feelings, could pick up on?

She told James she’d let him know about Friday and he left so she could finish studying for her final exam.
And then she checked her email.

“Why didn’t you write back? How are you doing?” a friend chatted with her as she logged onto her (remember this??) America Online account.

“What? What do you mean?” Meredith wrote back.

“You’ve been online and I chatted you five days in a row asking about the knife thing,” her friend said.

Meredith didn’t remember that pop-up box, because she certainly would have written back.

But she DID remember that someone else knew her email account password: JAMES.
(It was the same password as it was in high school.)

Meredith, suddenly coming to this realization, frantically looked at her inbox and sent folder, scrutinizing them, seeing them as if she were him.

Wide-eyed, she saw emails from the other guy about their Friday night plans and…she saw an email she sent to her Aunt the night she was held up…about being held up.


James not only logged into her email account, which is completely unacceptable by itself, but he used her horrible situation as an excuse to squeeze his way back into her life.

She remembered his initial opening conversation about his “bad feeling.”

“Maybe it was a bad dream or something…” he had said.

Meredith changed her password immediately, and got an email alert THAT SAME HOUR that someone was trying to log on as her using the old password.

Once Meredith got that confirmation of being hacked, she sent James an email saying that she knew what he’d been up to, had changed her password to something he’d never guess, and please don’t ever call her again.

And then she thought about him reading it and got a warm, fuzzy feeling all over.


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