Ahhh! Two of my favorite characters, Leila and Ori share a significant birth date. Born 12 hours apart on an elusive day — February 29th– Leap Day.
Leap Day was the inspiration for the story and I began crafting characters around leap day customs when it evolved into something more. The title, 12 Pairs of Gloves, is in fact a leap day legend.
Leila and Ori are as alike yet as different as twins can be. Fueled by very different childhoods, each has paved their own path of values and beliefs. When the chips are down, will the twins remain faithful to each other, or will they ultimately follow their individuality? Time will tell.
The twins entered the world much like any other set of twins, yet utterly and completely the opposite. The sun arced its way across the sky in preparation and at the proper moment, brought life forward to start anew, only to repeat the process at dusk, when the moon was the decider.
‘How can this unraveling day seem so normal yet so odd? We begin with sunrise, as in any other day, then fade into darkness, only to have two new bodies in the room at the close.’ Leila Mayer quoted her mother, just before blowing out the candles on her 32nd birthday cake, “My mother, the existential poet.”
“Our mother.” Ori reminded her
“Of course, prodigal son.”
“Have your little laugh sis, but I’ll always be older,” proclaimed Ori as he set about extinguishing his own candles on his own cake.
“Not by much. And only chronologically.” Leila winked as smoke rose to the ceiling.
“Listen, twelve hours is huge. You have no idea how much more life experience I’ve gained”
“Of course Ori. Your thirty-two years plus twelve hours is huge. Huge! I bow to your eternal wisdom.”
“Don’t forget it either.” He reminded as he plucked the candles from the cakes. He was tall, two inches over six feet, a broad figure when he stood upright. Muscular, yet lean, built for speed and endurance. His boyish good looks ignored his years, passing for mid-twenties, and in some cases, still asked for I.D. “However, its really only our eighth anniversary, being leap babies and all.”
“What are the actual odds?” Mark Cavanaugh asked from the chair beside Leila. She leaned in toward him, sliding long fingers along his cheek to his mouth, planting a kiss there.
“Bigger than you know,” she teased.
Nearly her brother’s height, Leila missed the top hash mark on their parent’s door frame by three inches. Her job kept her in good shape and she was lean and strong, catlike in her agility and finesse.
“Seriously,” Mark continued, “February 29, 11:30 am and 11:30 pm? On the nose? That’s just nuts. Like you two were placed here. I mean, what are the odds of a birthday on Leap Day, let alone the time – and twins!”
“Lighten up Mark,” Ori chuckled, “it’s a party.”