Getting this story down on paper isn’t exactly a pleasant experience, but I at least thought that I remembered all of the details. I thought that I remembered everything there was to know. I guess, in a sense, I was right. However, as I started to write this down, going back over some of these experiences jostled a memory from my youth. It may not be relevant in the strictest sense, but the doctors here insisted that I include it. Besides, if all of the stuff that’s happened reminded me of this, maybe it’s more pertinent than I realize.
I was around 11, maybe 12 at the time. I was waiting eagerly on the front patio. The modern, suburban street was bathed in the amber light of late afternoon. The air was still hot and dry, but I didn’t care. I didn’t even notice. I was leaning on a suitcase, staring at the door with anticipation. Then, the door opened, and she walked out. She was taller then than I am now, with auburn hair that stretched down to my eye level and soft eyes that I trusted more than my own mother.
“You ready, short stack?” She asked, with her typical mischievous smile.
“I’ll have you know I grew a full inch in the last three months!” I proclaimed, with a smile of my own.
“Oh, really? When we get there, you’d better be ready to back that claim up.”
I gave a mock salute, “Yes ma’am!”
We shared a laugh and loaded our suitcases into her car. We got going down the road, her driving and me riding shotgun, and we just talked. I don’t remember much of what was said, but I remember how she smiled at me, and I remember how even if I didn’t really smile at the time, I was really happy. I was excited to get to where we were going, but more than that, I was excited to spend a summer with her. I was ready to finally hang out with my sister.
That’s the part that unnerves me. I don’t have a sister. Or, at least, that’s what I thought. I certainly don’t remember having a sister, but now that I think about it, I don’t remember much about my childhood. Just as I wrote this, I tried to remember what my mother looked like at the time. Nothing. I remembered her name, Madison Jennings, but when I try to think of her face, I can’t recall anything. I get snatches of other women I’ve seen on the street or in my office, and I think I can conjure a glimpse or two of her nose or her mouth, but that’s all. I can’t put forth any complete picture. I don’t even have those with my father, my father is a total blank.
If I discovered any of this when I knew Rebecca, I’d probably start speculating at this point, investigating, trying to make sense of it all. Frankly, though, after all that’s happened, I don’t know what to think anymore. If I tried to get to the bottom of this, I wouldn’t even know where to start. I’ll just have to hope that more comes back to me. If it does, I’ll write it in.