When you find out your sister is your Mom, and your parents are actually your grandparents, you get a pet bird. At least in my experience. I’d wanted a pet bird for years, and they’d decided it was an appropriate time to cave. That was all just over a year ago, and KiKi is my favorite part of home these days.
It isn’t exactly anger, but there is an unhealing wound. Perhaps if I had more time it would begin to subside, but I’m not hopeful.
Every single one of my family members knew the truth, and no one had ever bothered to even give me a hint. Mom and Dad are still my parents, I’ve decided that much. Julia has never even been a great sister to me, Hadley has always had my back, so it doesn’t even compute to consider her as my Mom. There’s a break in my sanity when I even consider that I’m from her.
From her, and who else?
The question of my biological Dad haunted me all hours; I gathered all my bravery to seek him out. My family would never tell me, whoever he was, he was hated in the Millett household.
Did he hate me though? Did he even know I existed? I had to assume he knew, Millwood was a small town, but if he were from South Port, perhaps not.
KiKi flew around the main floor, and I empathized with her. Neither of us were free, tethered while we tried to fly.
It wasn’t hard to narrow it down to four probable candidates. Julia’s high school was predominantly female, which made it easier. The McCarthy twins, Elias, Julius, Isaac, and Peter.
Wyatt came over to help me catch fireflies, and I told him how I’d narrowed it down. We’d been best friends all our lives, but he was still at primary school until this fall. Sometimes my problems seem too mature for him, but then I remember his parents divorce and Dad’s terminal condition, and I realize we each have our own mature problems.
His Dad actually lives next door to me for now, so on his Dad’s weekends, I see him easily. He’s upset, because it sounds like his Dad will move to South Port after the wedding. He’s only ever lived in Millwood, just like me. Before my parentage bomb, I would have felt the same, but parts of me think a city might be nice.
I stay outside until Grandpa has fallen asleep on the hammock. He hates sleeping in bed without Grandma; he spends all his time outdoors in the summer if he isn’t working at Northern Moose.
I reheat some pizza in the oven, and the cheese bubbles down the bottom. It isn’t the first time I curse my family not having a microwave like every other american.
I spend the night in bed, reading Julia and Hadley’s old social media accounts. They span back to when Julia was thirteen, and she was fifteen when she had me. It seemed like the answers had to be there.
The next morning, I can hear Mom and Dad talking over Blue’s howls.
Mom is concerned about me, she thinks buying another cabin would help, give me and Grandpa a place to be outdoors. If I’d ever been to their old cabin, I was too young to remember.
Dad really likes the idea. I’m not sure why they ever sold the old cabin, perhaps the girls getting older was part of their reason. Maybe it was me being born.
Mom gets Grandpa involved when he finally comes in from the hammock. Thankfully he has enough sense to not sleep out there in the snow, well he has it now. He tried when we first moved here, Mom said it was his depression that made him not care. I know depression isn’t what I have, because I still care very much.
That night at dinner, they mention it to me, and I’m not sure how I feel. The notion of a cabin up in the Cascades sounds great, but then realizing I’d be spending all my time with my family, and it sounds too cramped.
When I let that slip, everyone but Dad goes quiet. Mom’s lower lip quivers, and I don’t mean to make her upset. I know she feels terrible, and I’ve even asked myself what I would have done, and I realize it was a hard decision. However, I would have never lied to a child for their entire life.
I call Manny up, he’s replaced Wyatt as my best friend, and I tell him my names. We arrange to sneak out after our parents are in bed. I have a few addresses, so I can see how they are living now.
We find Peter’s immaculate house in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, Elias lives just out of town on a farm with his parents, we couldn’t find Julius or Isaac. Manny thinks they are in an apartment, it’s harder to track that down.
When I get back home, no one is up to discover my deeds, and I’m almost positive I know who my Dad is. Based on old posts, it seems some girl named Lauren was bullying Julia. She implied that Julia was lying about her baby Daddy, and that it wasn’t Isaac.
An afternoon of looking online, and arranged sleepover with Manny, and I was in South Port. Manny’s sister, Mari wanted involved with it, so we filled her in quickly.
She hates her dead Mom, and for some reason, my plight has greatly interested her. She’s a better ally than enemy, so I’m okay with her assistance even if I wouldn’t have asked for it.
We found Isaac’s apartment, and ran around the back of it like spies.
Manny and Mari started goofing around, while I looked up at the lit windows. Was my Dad in one of them apartments? Did he ever wonder about me?
When we got back to the apartment, we discussed his workplace. We’d found the downtown grocery store listed as his occupation, we felt it had to be outdated, but it was worth a shot.
Thankfully Mari had something to do with friends, so it was just us as we scoped out the grocery store. Manny said he shopped there sometimes, while I’d never been. If my Dad was in there, and he knew me, then he’d know my motives easily.
Manny agreed, so we came up with a gameplan, and five dollars to buy us a snack.
Using his wife, Lauren’s social media, it wasn’t too hard for Manny to find him in the freezer section.
Isaac seemed unaware of Manny, while he inspected him to see if there was a resemblance between us.
In the end, he couldn’t tell. He thought with my blond hair that Elias or Julius might be a better option, but Isaac’s Dad had blond hair, so we couldn’t cross him off the list.
We decided to follow him back to his apartment, the same we’d visited the night before. If I wasn’t set on working with animals, being a sleuth might have been a good option.
He talked to his wife the entire way home, mentioning things like pickles being sold out. She seemed pretty upset for such a nonessential item.
Would he have wanted me if he’d known me? Would we have lived here together?
We waited until it felt safe to proceed, and then we looked for his apartment number. Second floor, apartment 2B. It made me think of Shakespeare, to be or not to be? What would he think of me?
The idea that he knew of me, and didn’t want anything to do with me tormented my inner thoughts, but I refused to give it a voice. Could I be so unlucky to have two parents who didn’t want me?
We made it to his apartment door, my nerves shaking, stomach somersaulting, but I couldn’t knock. Manny stood calm and steady by my side as inner turmoil took hold of me. We could hear Lauren talking inside, and the low tenors of his voice before the television went on, then we turned and walked out.
I wasn’t ready to meet him, he might not even be my Dad, but I knew in my truths that he was the one. Afterall, we shared the same butt chin in his high school year book, none of the other guys had one.
Notes: Julia & Nolan’s story started about here, it starts hitting the fan here. Escalating school drama with Lauren here. Losing friendships, adoption?. The real struggle here and part 2 here. Nolan being born. All of Julia’s stories are tagged, they pick up on page 3 if you want to go into Nolan’s infant years with Julia a teen in the same house. You can find that tag here.
Wyatt and Nolan have suffered with me delaying my teen years until 12. Otherwise he’d already be a teen, and it’d be the three of them traipsing all over town on this hunt. He turns to a teen at the end of this current year, so hopefully they’ll fall back into a group again.
Isaac can’t roll wants for Nolan, because he has never met him. I am curious when they do meet, will he step into a father role? How will Lauren take that?
Blue howling during their breakfast reminded me of my house. My girl, Nym howls every morning for attention. I taught it to her, it’s all my fault… but man she was so cute howling as a puppy. I still don’t mind as much as my husband does. lol
Thanks for reading!