“Name twins, ey?” Paige echoed, testing it out. It didn’t click on how they could be twins when it wasn’t even both their first names, but also she’d never heard anyone call someone else a name twin before, so it totally fell that she didn’t know how it worked or Madeleine’d made it up or both. In fact, when she went way back she could only think of a coupla times she’d met people with the same name, and it was all last names. Her mum’s name was super common in some parts of Sydney. But being name twins with every tin lid called Nguyen totally sucked the special out of it.
It did feel special, so she repeated it a few times. “Name twins... Name twins! I like it. Name twins.” It was such a fun word - or two words - that she stopped scuffing her uggie toes through the snow, at least temporarily. ‘Course then Madeleine had to mention her brother, and Paige sighed dramatically. “Yeaaaah, Joey’s my bro. He’s fine and all, but he’s a real dag too.” And a part of her might secretly be glad to be back together again, since it’d been real abnormal going otherwise, but she wasn’t gonna tell that to the girl who would prolly be her new best friend. Playing it up to their parents was one thing; she couldn’t come off as lame at her new school! She needed to keep some distance, stat. Joey was a nerd and didn’t have any style. (Which she knew was big talk coming from a thirteen-year-old who still had a classic Asian kiddie bowlcut, but c’mon, she couldn’t exactly fight her mum on that right before abandoning her to go ‘round the world.)
“But hold up, you grewed here? Like, pre-school, even living here as a little kid? Your mu-dad the principal or somethin’?” she quizzed curiously, managing to stop herself saying ‘mum’ just in time as she remembered RMI had a dude in charge. All her school principals, from primary through to NZAM, had been women, and it was kinda weird to think that wasn’t normal everywhere. “Joey told me a bit, but nothing about students our age, I swear he’s a full nerd with no life. Maybe you can tell me more about the others, or if there’s somewhere everyone hangs out I should know? Also, do you go by anything shorter? Maddie or something?” she added on a whim. Madeleine was a pretty name, but it was real long.