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My friend, my doppelgänger

Two classmates have almost everything in common—except their parents.

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Neither Emma Richter nor Kelsey Carey think they look alike, but for their colleagues in NSCC’s public relations program, keeping them straight is a challenging feat. From nearly passing back assignments to the wrong student, to confusion at networking events, the two are often mistaken for one another.

“We had one instructor who couldn’t tell us apart,” says Richter. “He would look at me in class but wouldn’t say anything and then would turn around, see Kelsey and talk to her.”

When Richter met a childhood friend of Carey’s at a bar, without even knowing they knew each other, he immediately told Richter of their resemblance.

Not only do the two look alike, they have other similarities too. They both love “nerdy” science fiction movies, share the same sense of humour and even went to Acadia.

“There was this one conversation that we had after class and we realized we have so much in common,” says Richter. The pair have also bonded over their shared experience with chronic illness—Richter suffers from thyroid disease and Carey from achalasia, a condition which affects the esophagus.

“I had never had a friend who had chronic illness and understood the struggles that come with that before,” says Richter. “That was a huge part of the reason that we became friends so quickly and were able to connect.”

Carey jokes her introduction to the concept of a doppelgängers through film and TV has given her a fear of someone maliciously falsifying her identity.

While mistaken identity is the premise of fictional works like The Comedy of Errors, the concept is less fictional and less funny than you think. According to NBC News, last month Richard Jones was released from a Kansas prison when a witness said they couldn’t tell Jones and his similarly named lookalike Ricky Amos apart.

Jones had been in prison for 17 years for aggravated robbery—charged after a woman’s cellphone was stolen by a group of three men in a store parking lot. He had always claimed his innocence, but it was only recently that his lookalike, Amos, has been connected to the house where two men claimed they picked “Rick” up before the crime. Today, after seeing the men’s resemblance, a witness says they no longer believe Jones was the person they were referring to.

Back in Halifax, Richter and Carey seem doubtful the other has any sinister motives.

“I hope not,” says Richter.

“I don’t think so,” says Carey.


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