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Journey Through My Past
It's 2 a.m., Saturday morning, and I can't sleep. Maybe it's the flat mattress I'm sleeping on, maybe it's because I don't want to be here, or maybe it's both. I'm on an unwanted journey to nowhere. My aunt picked me up from my parents' house last night. My parents hadn't said where they were going, why I was leaving, or really anything of importance. I had no idea what was going on. I found myself staring outside from the passenger seat of an old Jeep. My aunt, trying to make conversation, had continually asked the stupid questions people ask when you haven't seen them in a while. In fact, the last time I had seen my aunt was six months ago. Finally, we reached some sort of a house. It was old, it was ugly, it was my aunt's.
"Kate," my aunt said at lunch. "Do you want to know why you're here?"
"Yes," I said, "obviously."
"Well," my aunt said, sipping her soda, "it's a long story."
"I have time." I sighed. "It doesn't seem like I'm leaving any time soon."
"You see," my aunt began, "when your parents first met, they wanted everything so quickly. They got married within six months of meeting each other. They couldn't stand the thought of waiting nine months for a child. They found someone who was giving birth in just two weeks. That someone was your mother, Carla."
"I'm adopted?" I asked. "How come I'm just finding this out now? And what does this have to do with anything?"
"Shh," my aunt said, "and listen. After your parents found Carla, they prepared a room for you and bought you toys and clothes. When your parents found Carla, she was scheduled to give birth in two weeks. Unfortunately, before the adoption papers were signed, Carla gave birth. She died giving birth to you. Your parents believed that they were entitled to you. Meanwhile, Carla's parents didn't think the same way. Carla was only 17 when she gave birth to you."
"You mean," I concluded, "my real mom is dead?"
"Yes," my aunt said softly. "Your parents are in court right now, fighting for you. They've been involved in this vicious court case for years, since you were born."
"Where is my father?" I choked. "I mean my real father."
"Honey," my aunt said, "no one knows. He may actually be in court with your parents."
I sighed. "I have to go there."
"Kate," my aunt let out a sigh. "You can't. That's why you're here. You can't go to court, darling."
"I can't?" I screamed. "Or you just don't want me to?"
My aunt looked shocked. "Well, ugh, I don't know. Your parenets made that decision. I had nothing to do with it."
"No," I said sarcastically, "of course not. You just offered them a place to dump me for the weekend."
"Oh, Kate, honey," my aunt said, "it's not like that at all."
"I'm going to bed," I said, storming upstairs.
I slammed the door behind me. I knew what I had to do. I logged onto my laptop, connected to the internet, and searched for the location of the courthouse. It wasn't far from here. It was only two miles. I turned off my laptop, and threw it into my backpack, along with a few other essentials. I snuck out through the window and didn't look back. This was the real journey, my journey. When my parents had told me I was going to stay at my aunt's, they had said it would be a journey, getting to know her better, hanging out with her. But they were wrong. This was my journey, my journey through my past.
I had looked online and seen that the hearing was today at 3 p.m. It was only 1:45 and I was all ready half way there.
It was 2:45 when I got there. I blame the traffic. Anyways, I had beaten my parents there. I sat on the bench outside of the courthouse, waiting for them to arrive so I could scream at them. I was eight years old, and my parents had never told me I was adopted. How can you not tell your child they're adopted?
I looked at my clock again. This time it said 3:30. My parents were late, and let me tell you something: my parents are never, ever, late.
At 4:00, my aunt arrived. There were tears stains on her cheeks.
"I figured I would find you here," she said, tears still streaming down her face.
"Where are my parents?" I choked, sensing something was wrong.
"Kate," my aunt said softly, "let's talk about this at home."
"No," I said, not getting up from the bench. Now there were tearings pouring down my cheeks, too. "My home is ... I don't know where my home is. All I know is that it's not with you."
My aunt bit her lip. She sat down on the bench next to me and put her hand on my leg. "Sweetie," she said, "your parents were killed in a car accident."
Nothing anyone said could change those eight words my aunt had said to me, those eight words that had turned my life upside-down. My journey through my past was cut short by my jolt into reality.