Valentine’s Day Special: A Spooky Sort of Love

For Valentine’s Day, as some people celebrate their love and some question what love really is, I decided to feature a story about two people with a spooky sort of deeper connection. In “The Double,” published in the 2013 issue of AJ, author Andrea Jackson brings two characters together in a way I never could have expected.

The customer was staring at Corinne.
Can I help you? Corinne asked again.
You look like me, said the customer.
A little bit, Corinne acknowledged.
You look exactly like me, the customer said, with the definiteness Corinne would expect of such a businesslike person. Is there a mirror here? The customer stood and craned her head.
Corinne led her into the back room, once a private place for brides and matrons to check the fit of their garments in a tall three-way mirror.


Corinne began seriously to entertain the thought that she and Brenda were the same person. The idea felt right and true. How simple it was, and what a relief from the early days when she had been always anxious, uncertain whether Brenda liked her as much as she liked Brenda, and whether Brenda truly believed, as Corinne did, that they were soulmates.
Brenda said: Something’s happened to Steve. He’s been so sweet, I can’t believe it. She smiled a happy, secret smile. The pain of exclusion lasted only a moment for Corinne.
She was Brenda. Brenda was she.

Andrea Jackson expertly entwines these two women in a strange relationship as they struggle with a rocky marriage, try out online dating, and wait for a decrepit old employer to pass on. In the end, just when I thought all was lost, the lives and relationships of Brenda and Corinne become even deeper entangled in a kind of spooky happy ending.

Are Brenda and Corinne really soulmates? Is it just friendship? Is it love? Is it stalker obsession? To find out, pick up a copy of the 2013 issue of Alligator Juniper. You can subscribe here.

I hope you’re as surprised by the ending as I was!

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