Chapter 1:

Episode 1: Our Encounter (1/2)

A Love Affair with Myself

<Elliot Amaryllis (♂)>

“I like Aria!”

“I like Aria too!”

“Fuck what?! You’re finally admitting that you’re lesbian?!”

“Yeah, I am! Which means you’re possibly gay!”


You’re wondering what’s this about?


I was having an argument with myself.

Actually, wait. Let me correct myself.

I, Elliot Amaryllis ♂, was having an argument with Elliot Amaryllis ♀.

What the heck kind of logic is this you ask? Good question.

I’ll tell you the whole story from start to end.

But let it be known that it all began on my 16th birthday.


Blare! Blare! Blare!

Two weeks into my first year of high school.

My phone alarm went off as would any normal school day.

I wasn’t much of a morning person. But I also wasn’t the kind who’d hit the snooze button after first light. So, with my face still buried inside the pillow, I reached over to my phone.

For some reason, I heard another alarm ringing on the other side of the bed. The same ringtone, the same timing.

The ringing stopped 2 seconds shy of mine.

I remained unmoving.

The blanket was unnaturally pulled to the other side.


Dawn just broke, so the orange morning light lit my room in a sunset ambience. I noticed a silhouette come erect from the bed.

The silhouette yawned and stretched.

As if someone had poured cold water over my head, my mind which had been fuzzy instantly cleared.


The oddly familiar-looking girl turned to me with a fuzzy expression.

Her long, sloven auburn hair made into a complete mess from sleep formed swirled around the shoulders. Bright crimson eyes looked exactly like the one from whenever I gaze into the mirror. She even had that detestable zit on her right face I’ve been so self-conscious of.

It was an odd sense of déjà vu.

One hand underneath her pyjamas, scratching her semi-exposed belly and a leg already half off the bed.

Slowly… carefully, I got up.

The two of us stared at each other for a good ten seconds.

Her hazy eyes snapped wide open.




We shouted at each other.

““Who the fuck are you?!””

““What the fuck?!””

We were saying the exact same thing.



And we got confused at the exact same time.

““Is this…””

We covered our mouths at the same time.


This can’t fucking be it right? I expected telekinesis or some special demonic trait. So, you’re saying this girl in front of me is…

No. No. No.


She cursed.

“Oh good, we’re out of sync.”

I said.

“The hell… is this? Don’t tell me you’re…”

“What’s your name?”

“Elliot Amaryllis.”

“I’m Elliot Amaryllis too.”


We’re both fucked.

She slowly crawled out of the bed and distanced herself from me. I saw her take her phone from the table and pressed her back against the wall, scanning the room.

I could tell what she was trying to do. Because I had the same question in mind.

Wasn’t it odd how despite being the same person, we were acting independently?

““Who is the real Elliot?””

Our words collided yet again.


No way. I clearly remember saying good night to mom yesterday.

If my hypothesis is true, then she’ll soon realise that she’s a copy of me.

“If you don’t believe me, look at the photo.”

She pointed to the family photo that was on my desk.


No, wait, shit… what the fuck?! Why is it a photo of her?!

I quickly grabbed my phone and checked the saved gallery images. In digital form, that exact same photo in the picture frame showed up as me ♂, not me ♀.

What the hell is this?!

Since I was nearer to the side of the wardrobe, I quickly pulled it open.

“What?! My uniform!”

She exclaimed.

It was… a bunch of male clothes.

“No… wait…”

When I opened it further, I noticed that there were female uniforms tucked closer to the back.

“What the hell…?”

No. So you’re saying that we’re both the real deal?

““Let’s call mom…””

There was only one way to get to the bottom of it.

“Damn it…”



We rushed down the stairs.


She went slightly ahead of me. In terms of height, she was clearly shorter. Her messy hair bounced each time she took a step. That made me conscious of my own bed hair.


“Mom is out…”

We knew because breakfast had been left in the kitchen with a note written on it.

““What does it say?””

Okay. Our syncing words were getting really annoying.


Wait, if I’m annoyed, doesn’t it mean she feels the same way?

In the first place, could the me ♀, think about things in the exact same way I do? Translate it as: Does she think about s*x the male way too?




Oh heeeell no.

She tested her hypothesis on me—which led me to confirm my own. If we are indeed one and the same then…

She’s a lazy, stupid bum who secretly watches inappropriate content online…!

Actually, enough of that. I need to get things in order. I still have school today—school?

We widened our eyes at each other at the same time.

““We’ll settle it there!””

Once and for all, we’ll decide who’s real and who isn’t. Depending on which of us our friends recognize, we can put an end to this dilemma.

““You take the bath first.””


““Rock paper scissors.””

No. Are we stupid? We literally know each other. What are the chances of the game ending in time anyways?

She held her head. I simply stood there.

“You take the bath first. I don’t want you snooping around looking at my laundry.”

And here’s the first thing that she said which was based on a female-specific psychology. I think I would’ve said the same thing if I were a girl. So I respect her opinion.


“Luckily mom prepared enough food.”

“You know, speaking of food…”

“Happy birthday. That’s what you wanted to tell me right?”

She looked at me with a gaze deprived of any ill intent. I… felt my face tense up into a frown. Of course, it was just me hiding my surprise under a poker face.

“Happy birthday to you. Elliot.”

“Thanks. And happy birthday to you too, Elliot.”

Even though we had yet to prove anything, I think both of us felt quite convinced then that—we were both Elliot Amaryllis.


I pressed my head against the wall of the shower cubicle. Warm water ran down my back as a groan leaked past my lips.

What in the absolute hell…

I know some people are granted pretty mystical abilities straight off the bat. From pooping coal to full-body metamorphosis.

But to wake up with ‘yourself’? Why today of all time did mom decide to leave early with my younger brother?

“No wait. Today is his school’s parent’s meeting day isn’t it…”

I know mom probably didn’t mean it. But I felt bad.

Couldn’t she have at least written a happy birthday note when telling us about breakfast?

I wonder if my other self was feeling the same.


In this world, all humans are gifted a special blessing, or ability on their 16th birthday.

Blessings are in a sense, a kind of supernatural ability. Not magic, just unique traits or manifestations.

In some countries, they call them quirks, while others refer to it as talent or even ability resources. Either way, these abilities pervade people’s daily lives.

But they weren’t necessarily perfect.



I walked out of the bathroom with a towel around my waist.

She didn’t ogle me or anything like that, but I thought maybe I should’ve changed inside the bathroom instead of walking out half-naked.

“You’re quicker than me. But I suppose that’s to be expected for guys.”

“Quick? Do girls take quick showers?”

“Well, I do.”

Saying so, she entered the bathroom with the other towel. I should probably wait until we both complete grooming before having breakfast.

I went back up to my room (now our’s) to get my clothes. I opened the underwear drawer out of habit but shut it the moment I saw what was inside.

The world is going to end.

Someone get me an ophthalmologist. I’ve gone blind. What did I just see?

“She probably won’t get mad because of this…”

If she’s as rational as me, then she should be able to understand that I wasn’t going to do this with ‘that sort’ of intent, right?

Gritting my teeth, I dug through the trunk of her panties. And just as I had guessed, the male underwear was hidden further behind. I took them all out and shoved them into an extra empty drawer.

I got myself dressed and got out of the room… to find that she was already standing outside wrapped in a towel.

Her hair wasn’t wet though.

“I just remembered something.”

She said.

“If you’re talking about your underwear, I’ve solved that problem.”

Her brows furrowed.


“I put mine in a separate compartment. Did you get out of the bathroom halfway just for this?”

“No. I’m done showering. You don’t know we girls don’t need to wash our hair every day do you?”

I know from mom’s habit. I just didn’t think it would apply in this case.

“Still, aren’t you too quick?”

“Fine. I’ll admit I was a little worried about my personal items and all.”

“I’m not a thief.”

“I never thought of you as one.”


I got out of her way.

She locked the door behind me.

I heaved a sigh.


Our words overlapped through the door.


Without adding anything more, I made my way to the dining table.

Elliot ♀ had already prepared the dishes. There was only one of the usual plates and utensils I used. So an extra set had to be taken out.

I wasn’t sure who would be using what, but I decided to be a gentleman here and take the extra set. It looked more worn out than my usual plate.

For breakfast, mom prepared a giant pot of beef stew. There were also two hard-boiled eggs and fresh green lettuce.

Elliot ♀ finished changing faster than I expected.

Seeing her before me… this feeling, how should I explain it? She was exactly: ‘If I were a girl, this is what I would look like’. Except instead of theory, the real thing was set before me.

She looked at the seat I took and then sat two seats away. Mom’s usual seat. I realised then that I had taken my usual seat, which was also her usual seat.

Well, looks like we’re equal now. She has my (or her) usual plate, I have my (or her) usual seat.

“It’s been a while since mom cooked this.”

“I know right?”

Beef stew just the way we liked it.

It wasn’t too mushy, nor too chewy. Sliced into strips, it had this bare-bone melt-in-your-mouth sensation when paired together with rice.

I took one egg, cracked it open and passed it to Elliot ♀.


She didn’t question my actions and simply accepted it as if she expected I would do that. She probably also knew it would be a little hurtful to reject me here. Seriously, it feels so weird knowing every detail about her… who is me.

“I hadn’t brought this up earlier but, should one of us stay back home, or should both of us go?”

She asked.

“Good question…”

I looked at her.

Unlike me who didn’t bother to style my hair.

She had a black pin to hold her bangs in place, and a ponytail tied to the side.

It was the hairstyle of an idol from an idol group I admired in the past… which I thought to mimic if I were a girl.


Wait. What if all this time, the reason why this, of all abilities manifested, was because I often imagined myself as a girl way back when I was younger?

That’s creepy…

“Since we’re already both in uniform, why not just go together? It’ll make explaining to Richard-sensei much easier.”

“Alright. But there are things we need to consider if we decide to go together though.”

She nodded.

“I don’t think you’re worried about all the attention we’re going to get.”

“I’m not worried about that. Rather, you’re worried about how Aria would look at us.”

Her response completely shut me up.


Since she was ‘me’, then she would also know about my crush.


“It’s alright. I feel the same.”


“She’s my friend, you know?”


I narrowed my eyes suspiciously at her.

She was… perfectly nonchalant.

A poker face perhaps?

What was she hiding?

“We don’t have forever. What if we find out later we only have one pair of shoes?”

“Alright, alright.”

Prompted by her words, I cracked the second egg and added that to my bowl.

We had to speedrun breakfast.


“I’ll wash the plates.”

“No, I’ll do it.”

“No, you go bring my bag down, and check if we have enough of everything.”

I guess the female me is a lot bossier than me.

There were two ways the world has become weird. First, things were either shared between us, or duplicated.

An example of ‘sharing’ would be plates, our room, and school textbooks.

An example of ‘duplicated’ would be our phones, clothing, bags, and exercise books.

Conveniently, the most important objects are duplicated while the ones that are shared could be compromised.

Though, it does lead to some weird development whereby our family’s chat group now has 6 members, not 5. And the class chat has 36, not 35 people.

I wonder if anyone noticed?


“Your socks.”

I tried to be as careful as I could with her leggings. It was my first time touching black leggings. I only wore normal short socks. The texture was silky smooth to the touch and… lewd.


“You’re the pervert for thinking so much.”

“Let’s just admit that we both watch porn and masturbate.”

“Y-Yeah. Let’s go with that.”

I get that I’m a pervert. But is that something a girl should say so openly?


Questioning life and all its mysteries, Elliot ♀ and I walked to the train station.

On the way, we passed by one of the houses where the dog would often bark. It’s often so loud that I would jump whenever it went on a rampage.

But as of today, it was seemingly too confused to pick a target.

“Ain’t that great.”

“No more ear rape.”

We both had a good laugh as victims of animal-inflicted harassment.

Past the dog, there wasn’t anything interesting that happened as we moved into the train station. We each somehow had our own personal train cards. On the coach, we both took out our phones at the same time, and scrolled social media.


I called out to her.


“Show me your social media account.”


We had the same number of followers, and the same posts. There were some variations to the images, but everything else was relatively similar.

“Which means everyone is following us both?”

“How does that make sense?”

At least someone should’ve realised the problem here right?

“How about our chat groups?”


Our digital footprint fell under the category of being ‘duplicated’. There were exact duplicate messages of friends saying happy birthday to us… which was pretty weird.

“Let me text Ellis.”

She said.


I felt a lump in my heart.

Elliot ♀ raised her head from the phone at my puzzled expression.

“Are you not friends with Ellis?”


Looks like we’ve found our first big major difference.


“I don’t know.”

She doesn’t know.

She doesn’t know that Ellis is my ex.

She narrowed her eyes on me. It was the same gaze I would give someone when I was unconvinced of something.


She even gave a predictable response.

“I wonder what kind of reaction mom and dad would have when they see our messages.”

Both Elliot ♀ and I texted good morning in the group chat, our daily routine. I wasn’t sure if mom would ever see it, but dad definitely will because he was currently on a business trip.

“Let’s wait and see.”

I said. She nodded.

We reached our stop and hopped off the train.

It baffled me a little how our strides were of the same speed. I was a fast walker, so I typically had to slow down to meet the pace of other people. Not Elliot ♀ it seems.

We arrived at the school gates. Cherry blossoms covered both sides of the pathway, the school disciplinary teacher and one of the prefects stood outside to keep watch.

They greeted the students as they entered.

““Let’s split up. You go first.””


Not again with this bullshit…

“Ladies first.”

I insisted.

“Fuck you.”

Fierce. I wasn’t offended in the slightest though.

“Let’s meet at the teacher’s office.”

Those words were enough, she didn’t need to explain further. Her plan was my plan.

“Got it. Careful.”


It felt weird being so kind to ‘myself’. She showed an odd expression before moving to the gate.


I muttered.

Too weird.

Objectively, Elliot ♀ was me, and I was Elliot. However, there were clear differences between us.

So even though we were the same, the butterfly effect should’ve made it impossible for me to understand her this well, right?

Ugh. You know. Let’s not think too much about it. We’ll ask our homeroom teacher, Richard-sensei, how we should handle this.

It was time to get to the bottom of this whole mess.

Andrei Voicu