Rurita and Lolita were twins. They looked nothing alike.
Lolita’s hair was very light blonde, almost white. She kept it in two big pigtails that were tied with two bows. The color of the bows varied by day—sometimes she wore blue bows, sometimes pink, sometimes red. But Lolita always wore bows of some color, every day. Lolita’s skin was as white as marble. Her twin often teased her by saying she looked like a ghost.
Rurita’s hair was night black. It was long and curly and kept in ringlets that felt to her shoulders. On some days the ringlets hung loose, and on some days they were tied in a ponytail. But Rurita always wore ringlets in some form, every day. Rurita’s skin was tinted pearly pink. Her twin often teased her by saying she was as pink as a salmon.
Rurita and Lolita acted nothing alike; Lolita was sweet, delicate, and demure, and Rurita was mischevious, bold, and often very loud. But the most iconic difference between the two of them was Rurita’s very strange and very bad habit: Rurita liked to throw things. Anything she got her hands on, she would throw: books, rocks, dolls, ceramics, and even kitchen appliances. She once nearly knocked her friend Annabell unconscious by throwing a blender at her (thankfully, Annabell ducked, and the only thing hurt was the poor blender).
Rurita never threw anything with the intention of hurting anyone. She only threw things because she couldn’t help herself; everything she laid eyes on seemed to be saying, “Throw me, Rurita! Throw me! Please pick me up and throw me!” And Rurita would oblige, because she found it very rude to ignore an object’s request to be thrown. Unfortunately, no one else that Rurita knew felt this way, and nobody liked being in the path of flying objects. This is why everybody liked Lolita and nobody liked Rurita. And this is why Rurita was a very lonely young woman.
Naturally, Rurita didn’t like this, and she knew that the only way to get people to like her was to stop her habit of throwing things. But the only way to do that was to get the things to stop asking to be thrown. What makes something want to be thrown? she wondered. She understood that would never know unless she asked.
Rurita approached the pillow on her bed. “Hey, Rurita!” the pillow said. “I’m so glad you’re finally here! I’ve been waiting to be thrown all day, so let’s make with the throwing!”
But Rurita shook her head. “Why do you want to be thrown so badly?” she asked.
“Because it’s so fun!” said the pillow. “Don’t you know how boring it is to be a pillow? Just lying here all day and all night, doing nothing at all but supporting your head when you sleep…do you know how stressful a job that is? Why don’t you try supporting some giant’s head every night? Flying through the air is the only thing that relieves my stress and cures my boredom. Now, please, just do this for me, Rurita!
“What if I found another way to relieve your stress and cure your boredom?” asked Rurita, who now felt incredibly guilty for making the pillow support her head every night. She thought over all of the things a pillow might like. Finally, she said, “What if I were to toss you instead of throwing you?”
“Is there any difference?” the pillow asked.
“Yes,” said Rurita. Then she picked up the pillow, which shrieked delightedly in anticipation of being thrown across the room. But instead of throwing it across the room, Rurita tossed it straight up into the air and caught it coming back down.
“Eeeee!” shrieked the pillow. “Hey, this is fun! Do it again!”
Rurita tossed the pillow straight up and caught it a few more times. The pillow shrieked with delight and laughed and howled each time. “Hey!” cried the pencil on Rurita’s desk. “I wanna try that! Toss me in the air, Rurita!”
Rurita set the pillow back down. Then she picked up the pencil, grasped it with one hand, and tossed it straight up into the air and caught it. “Yeah! Yeah!” cried the pencil. “I love this! Do it again, do it again!”
Soon every object in Rurita’s room was begging to be tossed in the air and caught. Rurita was sure she got around to every object. She tossed each object in the air five times before giving another object a chance. It took a long time to get around to every object in the room, but when she finally did, all of the objects were laughing and cheering and none of them asked to be thrown anymore. They anticipated the next day, when they would all beg her to toss them again.
Rurita stopped throwing things, and soon people began to realize they were no longer in danger of having something flung at them if they hung around with her, and since Rurita was very good company when she wasn’t throwing things, her group of friends grew and grew. However, she now had two distinctive behaviors that differed from her twin: the first one was that she was always picking things up and tossing them up into the air five times. Anything she laid eyes on, she would toss.
The other was that Lolita slept with a pillow under her head every night, and though this was something that Rurita used to do, she didn’t anymore. Rurita didn’t understand how anybody could put a poor pillow through that.