It was the summer of 1992, so my father tells me, where being ‘cool’ was out of fashion, replaced by the business of being ‘uncool’. Women wore sweatpants and my father wore cotton corduroys most days. Except one night when he wore a tuxedo in order to impress the one woman he had loved. So he said. And that was where he decided always to leave the story.
“You’ll never know more about your mother, Emily,” he always responded in the same gruff tone; “it hurts me too much to think about your conception.”
‘My conception’. Always. He never mentioned love or happiness, or bodies meeting for one sole, God-loving purpose. I was just the fact, the one there that broke his heart.
That’s not to say that I’d ever wanted to find out who my mother was. She had left me on a doorstep and I had grown up with a wonderful man, a Catholic, who knew how to care for a baby girl. Thus, Oxford had become my home efficiently. I had been sent to a preparatory school just out of the city, and then shipped onto a Catholic Secondary School a little further than that, nestled into the town in which my father worked.
However, that’s not to say that I wasn’t curious. The top of my father brown hair had already been brushed with white when I had been with him as a blonde, blue-eyed infant. Though blue eventually equalled out to a turquoise-green similar to my father’s, my shock of blonde hair remained, ringlets slipping themselves in when I took my eyes off them.
I can’t begin to say when my life changed. It had, at its very genesis, been singled out, despite my ignorance to such a fact. I had lived the described life at my faint without much excitement; in fact, it was only when I, mid-March, received an envelope in gorgeous script inviting me to continue my education into the insight of life, Philosophy, at my desired college, my favourite, and the one that happened to be on my doorstep, in my hometown, Oxford University, that I realised that I might have been well blessed.
It was a little more than that, though. My father had been to Oxford- Theology- so it made sense that I would share the intellect he had brought me up with. And, I knew, my excitement would be swamped under the amount of work the university would set me, along with such stressors and amazing changes of college. Nevertheless, I was ready. I was no different- no better- than my class-mates, a fact of equality that I enjoyed, so my excellent mediocred once again, much to my delight, actually.
However, it was in the month of June, just after my final A-Level exams had finished, and I was preparing to move myself to a new home, albeit one a bicycle ride away from my own home, when I received a very peculiar letter, one which left an estate at my fingertips.