After the realization on the swings, I had to be sure. I found all of the photo albums of my childhood. Mom had both of ours engraved with our names
Mary Elena Thomas and Lillian Ann Thomas
The loopy metallic letters looked down at me from the shelves, I went all the way back to the 1994 album and locked myself in my room with it.
Staring at the cover, there is nothing that I would give to have this be an overactive imagination moment. There is absolutely nothing to be found here Mary, just open the book.
Finally finding the courage, I start flipping through, starting from the back.
My three year old self staring back at me with chubby baby cheeks and a never ending smile, I find myself laughing at some of the photos despite my purpose for look at them in the first place.
I’m about half way through the book when there is a knock at the window. I look up to see- Caleb?
I am so confused at the strangeness of this situation that I am just staring at him standing outside leaning against the window with his hand cupped above his eyes as if to get a better look.
He knocks again and I jump up from the bed and pull the window open letting a burst of cold air into the room and asking unceremoniously “Why are you here?”
He looks slightly uncomfortable, like he is unsure why he is here too. Caleb is one of those guys that doesn’t look uncomfortable often, especially when talking to a girl like me. I’m the girl that reads the entire summer book list for fun, who wears the nerd girl shirts to school, no shame. He is the letter jacket, perfect hair, and perfect body, with the pretty girlfriend type that is too busy working towards a sports scholarship to notice on the fringes of society me.
“I just thought, you know after today at the park… You looked upset so, well uh, I wanted to make sure everything was alright.” He looks up again, red cheeks and snow started falling again… I realize how cold it must be out there and stand aside from the window
“Do you… want to come in for a minute? It looks freezing out there”
He looks behind him like maybe he will run but then turns and launches himself over the sill and onto the marvel themed carpet.
So I have come to the conclusion that I am in some sort of alternate universe, because it has been several minutes since I let Caleb in the room and we have ended up sitting on the floor him by the now closed window, and me with my back against my bed post.
“So… you saw me today huh?” I awkwardly attempt at conversation, thankfully he is also looking to break the silence.
“Yeah, you seemed upset… I don’t know, I just saw your light on so I thought I would come over to see what was up.” He smiles as if embarrassed and looks around my room to avoid eye contact. I watch as he takes in all of the posters on the walls, Jon Snow, Dr. Horrible, Draco Malfoy and Sharknado stand out to me as beacons of my nerd-ness and I am suddenly very self-conscious of every poster choice I have made in my life.
I try to pull his attention back to me and not my myriad of fandoms littering the surfaces of the room.
“That was nice of you, I don’t think we have even talked since we were little,” I say, “Remember the neighborhood parties?” I laugh at the memory of dominating the neighborhood football game and making all of the boys look bad. My dad always said that I was a better son than any actual boy would be. That was our way, I was the Tom boy and Lily was… well, she was whatever her mood made her into. The Goth mood is actually an improvement to the little miss sunshine of last year… not pretty.
“Yeah those were some interesting times,” He looks over at me “So was that you telling me you don’t want to talk about it?” I consider the possibility of telling him, maybe it won’t be so bad. It would mean that I could continue looking through the album without having to wait for him to leave first.
I decide quickly and stand to grab my album off the bed. All the while talking “Well, I got a letter this morning, actually… my mom got a letter this morning. I thought it was from my grandmother, but it turns out that it was from someone else. Anyway, the letter sort of led me to believe that I am… that my parents…” I sigh and let the words rush out, “I think I’m adopted.” At this point I have retrieved the letter and the album and am standing next to him, still seated on the ground. I plop down next to him and hand over the paper that could have just changed my life.
“Well, that is overwhelming.” He looks over at me and then down at the album in my lap. “What’s with the album?” he inquires.
“I thought that maybe I would find something in the album… you know that would hint at my adoption, but nothing is coming up, I don’t see anyone I don’t recognize and I don’t think I’ve ever met a Jamie Harris, but who knows right?” I definitely have a shake in my voice and I am sure that I am just babbling now.
“Wow,” he sighs, “I thought I had family drama.” He winks over at me and I smile back. “If you want I could help with all of this, you know in case you want help.” He looks back down at the album and I consider his offer. It does feel better to know that someone else is in on my secret.
“I’d like that,” I answer.
The thoughts swirling around in my head revolve around and around one another
Do I really want to know? What if I’m right about this? Will anything else be the same again?