Two of Us: Alyce and Caroline Tran

I never knew how much I relied on her until I realised that if anything goes wrong in my life, I can just call her and unload. No matter how busy she is, she’ll come to the rescue. When Harper’s Bazaar magazine folded in 2020, it was hard because [as the magazine’s fashion editor] it was a big part of my identity. Alyce was the first person I told, and she just said, “We’ve got this. You’re going to do this and this, I’m going to contact X, Y and Z.” I wasn’t scared because I knew I had Alyce.

I feel like Alyce respects me more on a work level now that I’m older. She asks my opinions and takes my advice. And I respect her more emotionally. I’m always calling her and wanting to do things with her.

We do everything together. We are so in each other’s pockets. We love just lying on her bed and scrolling through our phones together. I hate to admit it, but she’s my best friend.

Alyce: Caroline was the cutest little girl. Everyone just loved her – she was very easy, and always saying funny things. We didn’t express a lot of emotion growing up, we didn’t do the hugging thing. When she was four or five, she used to make me pay for hugs. If I did something nice for her, she’d say, “You can have 100 hugs now.” She still doesn’t show a lot of emotion, so when she does it feels really good. Once a year I get a lovely birthday card, saying nice things about what I’ve achieved and thanking me for being her sister. I love that. I’ve kept all of them.

“I don’t do it often but, if I send a text saying ‘SOS’, she’ll call me back immediately, whoever she’s with.”

We have the same core values in terms of family, work ethic and what’s fair. But I am very well organised, whereas Caroline can sweep things under the rug. She’s a freelancer now and sometimes she forgets to invoice clients, so she doesn’t have any money. Sometimes she’s like a child, not taking responsibility for the realities of life. She forgot to pay her car registration and got pulled over and had to leave her car on the side of the road. She called me and I’m like, “I have no time for this. Get an Uber.”

I know Caroline values my advice, but sometimes she doesn’t want to be told what to do. Once, I said something to her about having to go the extra mile to get the next job. Then she said, “It’s so hard living in your shadow.” That upset me because I’m like, “You’re not living in my shadow. Everyone is obsessed with you.”

I try to shield her from things. When I was involved in litigation recently, it was the worst time in my life. [Alyce was sued by Tania Liu, her business partner at fashion brand The Daily Edited, for allegedly misusing company funds, which Alyce denied. In May last year, Alyce sold her stake in the company to her former friend. That confidential deal effectively ended the dispute.] It was stressful for our whole family as our parents helped with the legal fees, but I didn’t talk about it with Caroline because I didn’t want her to have to worry about it.

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I lean on her for emotional support. I don’t do it often but, if I send a text saying “SOS”, she’ll call me back immediately, whoever she’s with. I did that when I broke up with my last boyfriend. I just know she’s always there; you can’t rely on friends in the same way. I also know I’ll always get absolute honesty from her. With a previous boyfriend, she told me, “This is a bad idea. You don’t need to do this. You don’t need to settle.” Whereas friends would just be like, “Oh yeah, he’s nice.”

I never get sick of her. I could have her with me the whole time. I think everything she does is amusing. She packs snacks for work in beautiful little jars; who does that? She’s the cutest person I’ve ever met – the major amusement and excitement in my life. My boyfriend knows that if I’m talking to him and Caroline calls, I’ll hang up and take her call. I know I’m only going to have one child and I feel sad for that child, that they won’t have this person to keep them amused like I’ve had.

twoofus@goodweekend.com.au

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