Who I Am
Author's note: This piece was originally entered in a contest. After I lost, I revised it and edited into the... Show full author's note »
NightmareI woke up suddenly, the fear still coursing through my veins from a reoccurring nightmare. Did it mean something? I had this feeling I didn’t belong here, in this house, in my house. I was 17 and getting ready to live on my own, so why did I have such an unfamiliar feeling all of a sudden? My parents were always supportive of me, they loved me, and raised me into the man I am today. But in my dream I saw a woman who looked exactly like me and she was staring at me. I was swinging on a swing with a library in the background, a few people walked by. One was an old lady that looked at us and I waved, clueless to the distraught feeling I had. Then, the replicated woman in front of me would always abruptly turn and leave. Every time she left it made me upset and confused. I sat there staring after her on the swing, and then I would wake up, before I had a chance to chase the mysterious woman who made me so unintentionally miserable.
I still had to prepare for the day ahead of me. I dressed in some clean clothes and grabbed my backpack. I was walking past my parents room when I heard them whispering, quiet yet understandable, like they were keeping a secret they didn’t want anyone to know about. I debated for a moment if I should listen or walk away and forget about it. Probably wasn’t important anyway, I told myself. I was walking away, nervous I would be late for school, when I heard my name. I turned back unconciously and eavesdropped on them.
“Maria, we don’t have to tell Jacob.” Dad told Mom.
“It seems like the right thing to do.” Mom was crying.
“Yes, but how will he feel if we tell him now?”
“He’s almost 18 George! He should know!”
“I know! But think Maria. When he’s 18 he’s no longer legally our child.”
“We raised him. It doesn’t matter if he’s our biological son or not.” Mom sniffed. “I love him still.”
“Fine, do what you want. If he leaves, don’t say I didn’t warn you.” Dad said. I heard his heavy boots stomp towards the door. I panicked then ran down the hall and opened the clean, maple wood front door.
“Bye Mom! Bye Dad! I’ll see you after school!” I shouted just as I heard my dad walk out of his room.
“Bye sweetie! Have a good day! I love you!” Mom yelled back. I had tears in my eyes as I walked out the door. My parents have lied to me all these years? If I’m not their kid, then who am I?