A letter to my other half


Keyla Acevedo-Hargis

My other half and I at a dance competition, wearing the costume from our first duet.

To my other half,

I don’t remember the exact day that we met.

It was so long ago. All I remember is that I was four, and you were five—since then, we have been connected by the hip.

We used to look so much alike as if we were related. We were both small with wildly curly dark brown hair. We would constantly attempt to trick our parents into thinking we were one another. Although many times our efforts were fruitless, we had a few triumphs.

Everyone likes to tell the story of you kicking your tap shoe into the audience—yet that is one thing I cannot remember. 

However, I do remember how all of our playdates went. We would spend countless hours in our basements playing with Barbie dolls, debating over who got which doll, and conjuring up dramatic scenes to act out. 

The many mornings, afternoons, and evenings we have spent on your trampoline seeing who could grab a leaf or have the best toe touch or who would win games like “Popcorn” and “Mummy Mummy” would leave me sore for days. Our memories we’ve made cascade through my mind—vivid like the time I fell through the safety screen, landing head-first into the rocks.

I cannot recall a time when your smile wasn’t stretched across your face from ear to ear.”

We did three different tap duets throughout the years. From wearing school uniforms to sequenced tuxedos to flapper outfits, the hours we spent together on stage and off stage can never be replaced.

I hope you understand how much your kindness means to me; your munificent personality can light up a whole apartment complex. Your whole-heartedness can heal wounds instantly. I FaceTime you when I need to uplift my spirits, and although I may bother you at times during those long calls, they are the highlights of my days.

I hope you understand how much your smile means to me. I cannot recall a time when your smile wasn’t stretched across your face from ear to ear. The power of your smile is strong—I can’t recollect any memories of myself without a beaming face when your smile is present. 

I hope you understand how much your hugs mean to me. You wrap your arms around me so tight that I never want to let go. I remember two of your remarkable hugs in particular; the first one was when I was in sixth grade and you were in seventh. It was the end of your last dance season competing, and the recital had come to an end. We embraced for what seemed to be five minutes. Tears were most definitely shed. The second time was in the Chick-Fil-A parking lot when our families had a “picnic.” It was 2020 and summertime, so due to the conditions, we begged our parents to allow us to hug. When they gave in, I remember wrapping our arms around each other with such force that we almost fell. I wouldn’t trade your hugs for anything.

I hope you understand how much you mean to me. I truly do not know what my life would come to be if I had never gone to dance and met you. Your benevolent personality brings out the best in you; your bright, beaming smile is contagious, and your hugs are stronger than you will ever realize.

The past ten years I have spent with you as my other half have been absolutely incredible. I cannot wait to go on countless more adventures with you. I cannot wait to make countless more memories with you. I cannot wait to continue having you as my other half.

With much love,