“We’ve been planning this experiment for months,” Mike said to Jen, “And now it’s finally here. I know how hard this has been on you but it will all pay off I promise.”
“You don’t even know the half of it,” Jen said sarcastically.
“Okay now just push a little harder,” Mike says comforting Jen, “You’re going to make a wonderful mother.”
Two weeks later and Mike and Jen are at home with their twin baby boys. Jen holds Jack in her arms while she stands in the doorway of Mike’s apartment and Mike holds Chris in his arms.
“I don’t want to leave you,” Jen cries wiping a tear from her cheek.
“I know sweetie, but we have to. We’ve come this far and we can’t give up now. I told you this would be hard right from the get go, but you insisted you would be okay with it,” explains Mike.
“I know, it’s just so hard that this day has finally come,” complains Jen, “I can’t go twelve years without seeing my husband or son.”
“The only way this will work is if we promise that on their twelfth birthday we will tell them everything, and not a word before,” assures Mike.
“I will miss you more than you know,” says Jen exiting the door. “I love you Mike.”
“I love you too Jen,” Mike says closing the door behind her.
I hate to do this to her, Mike thinks pressed against the door. I know how hard this is going to be, but it is all in the name of science, it is my life’s work, I cannot give it up now.
Mike is a social scientist and studies philosophy at the best university there is. He had a plan to make a social experiment so crazy, so out-of-this-world different it just might work. He and his wife Jen were planning to have a baby, but when they found out they were having twins Mike had an epiphany. What if he and Jen were to split up the two boys into different houses for twelve years then reunited them on their twelfth birthday to see how different they are. Mike felt like a genius, he knew this plan was fool proof.
Throughout the next twelve years, life was difficult on Jen and Mike. They were both single parents, missing the love of their lives and having to raise a child all on their own but eventually the day came that they would finally tell Jack and Chris everything.
“Jack honey, time to go,” exhausted Jen shouts from the front door of their two-bedroom condo.
“Mom it’s my birthday, why can’t we do what I want to do? And where are we going anyways?” complains Jack.
Jen sits Jack down at the kitchen table and explains how important it is that they go to this event Jen has planned for them. Jack stubbornly agrees to go and they head out the door. Jack has no idea where they are going but Jen assures him he will be glad he went. As they are driving to, what Jack does not know is Mike’s house, Jen explains that Jack must keep an open mind and not judge anything too quickly. Jen and Jack hop out of Jen’s red Volkswagen Bug and walk up to the doorstep. Jen rings the doorbell and the sound is nostalgia, it sounds just like she remembers it. Chris comes running down the stairs and flings open the door. To his surprise, it is not the pizza he and his dad ordered, it is some random lady he has never met before with a kid like looks an awful look like him.
“Dad!” Christ shouts up the stairs. “Who even are you guys?” Chris asks turning back around to face Jen and Jack.
“I am Jen and this is my son Jack, Chris, may we come in?”
“Sure,” says Chris confused. How does she know my name?
Jen and Jack head up the stairs where they find Mike sitting on the couch with a cup of coffee in his hands. Mike smiles when he sees Jen and an overwhelming feeling of comfort fills his heart. Mike invites Jen to sit next to him on the couch and asks Chris and Jack to sit on the couch opposing them. Confused, the identical boys sit next to each other. Mike begins to explain everything from his experiment idea, to their birth, to this moment right here. The boys are astonished and cannot believe their ears.
“So you are telling me I had a brother all these years? And you never told me?” yells Jack. “What happened to no secrets mom? What else have you lied about?”
“Nothing honey I promise,” says Jen. “This had to stay a secret for it to work.”
“For what to work?” asks Chris, looking at both Jen and Mike. The parents make eye contact, nod and without saying a word, both pull out a journal. They explain that they have been keeping a journal for twelve years documenting all the changes the boys went through. They read out most of the journal and to their surprise the boys are intrigued and listen to the stories. They see that Chris took a more artistic approach to life and that he enjoys painting and musical theatre. Whereas Jack played on the school basketball, volleyball and hockey team while also competing in math decathlons. Mike and Jen make connections to their childhood and see that they were interested in the same things their sons were in middle school. After Mike and Jen get the boys up to date on the journals, they pitch the family idea to them and Jack is not impressed but Chris however, loves the idea of being one big happy family. Jack storms out to the porch and Jen follows quickly behind him,
“I will talk some sense into him,” Jen says to Mike, running after Jack. She catches up with Jack and puts her arm around him.
“I know change can be hard, but all I’m asking is that you give this family a shot,” Jen says.
“But we’re so different,” argues Jack, “We just met and I already know we have nothing in common.”
“You have not even tried to get to know him,” responds Jen, “Maybe if you did you would see how much you two are alike.”
“Fine,” says Jack stubbornly, “But I am not going to like it.”
Jack comes back inside and Chris invites him to play video games. The two of them bond over their love of Call of Duty and Jack realizes they maybe he and Chris are not so different after all, and that living together could actually be pretty fun.