My mam was gone for a few moments when my father walked in, arms linked with something more my age.
"Hey kiddo, heard you were in some sort of fight."
"You wouldn't say."
"I erm, also heard that you have done well in school recently."
"Yeah, moved up a grade."
"That's good - suppose I'll have to make up a years worth of college payments coz you'll be there earlier."
"Yeah I suppose."
"And of course I'll put a bit extra in your bank for good luck, looks like you'll need it."
"So - have you met Fabienne yet?"
"I haven't had the misfortune."
"Ah, well Fabienne here is 20 and she's going to be your stepmum." So Fabienne, 20; she was 21 years his junior and plastic, plastic from head to toe, dressed in the tightest things possible and stillettos, caked in make-up and peroxide hair with extenstions. Stepmum material?
"Don't put it any plainer could you - and she can only be my stepmum if I have a half-sibling."
"Well - I was gonna tell you soon."
"Thanks for the warning then." Great, just great.
"So how you holding up? Every time I see you ya get about a foot taller."
"Happens when you visit once a year."
"Well work does get in the way - but I send letters."
"And I get them - How was Tenerife in February, Portugal in March, The Alps in June?"
"I suppose they were good."
"Look - I'm gonna leave - Get better soon, I might pop in round your birthday and say hi."
"Yeah ok. I'm kinda tired anyway."
"Bye Merc - Nice to finally meet you."
They left not as quickly as I might have wished, but soon enough for me not to retch. Well - I'll be a half brother to some sprog of satan, just my luck.
I might explain, My father left my Mam when I was about 2 or 3, I can't remember, Tried to say I wasn't his, and denied paternity until Mam got the money together for DNA tests - I was 6 by then. It was a good thing Mam was friends with his sister, my Aunt Bea - and they stayed close all these years, but to say the whole family bar Juju were ok with me and my Mam was a true twist of the word 'ok'. Mam got enough money in the divorce settlement for our house here, no mortgage and got a job as a lingerie model. Not big bucks, but enough for a comfortable life. Then she hit the big time and was doing shows in Milan, Paris, London, Tokyo and I could have holidays while she was there, as part of her contract.
Life got a lot better, we got regular maintenance for me, going straight to my bank account and a college fund set up.
It took my Mam until I was 13 when she told me about the strings of affairs, the money laundering, the trying to have me aborted, begging her just to go to the doctors, take one little pill and it'll be easy street. He admitted to it all when I asked him. Oh well, I'm here now.