Mrs. Kelly brought me into a conference room and then brought Tim in and introduced us. We both looked at each other and laughed nervously as we shared a hug.
“Oh my God, it’s like looking into a mirror.” Tim said as he stared at my face.
I was looking back at him, trying to see what he saw.
Mrs. Kelly said that she could see a resemblance too.
I wasn’t sure. There was some similarity. I just thought it would be more striking. I had always wanted to look like someone. I wanted to be blown away by a resemblance but I wasn’t.
We all chatted for a few minutes together and then Mrs. Kelly left us alone to get acquainted. I got my life story straight in my head and got ready for his questions.
He began. I was relieved because I was too nervous to think of anything to say. "I thought of you every September 26th"
" For my birthday? Wow, thank you! But my birthday is September 29th."
"Shit! I thought of you on the wrong day!"
I took in Tim's appearance as he talked. He did look young. He wore a pullover shirt, jeans and a leather jacket. My dad would have worn a sport coat and tie. I reminded myself to stop comparing. He had shoulder length brown hair, blue eyes. Medium height, lean build, handsome. As he continued I added talkative to the list.
"I'm an alkie. I am clean and sober now. I have a sponsor, go to AA."
I realized that alkie is slang for alcoholic. I was trying to come up with a response but he continued to talk.
"I was so nervous. I got my haircut today, so I would make a good impression. I told all my friends that I have a 20 year old daughter, they were blown away! I was in reform school when you were born. After I found out about you your (birth) mother gave me a picture of you. I carried it everywhere. Always kept it between the cellophane and package of my cigarettes. One day some asshole threw it away. I was so pissed, I wanted to kill the guy. I would have liked to have kept you. After I found out about about you, my mother and I came to see if we could get you. We were told we couldn't. Too bad, I had a great name picked out for you, Marquette Renee."
Mrs. Kelly popped her head in and asked how things were going. Tim told her that everything was great.
I used the interruption to ask a question. "What can you tell me about my birthmother?"
"Well, it was weird. Before meeting with Mrs. Kelly, I couldn't remember her name! I was a total blank! All I could remember is that when we used to run around Boston everyone called her Sheba. I'm glad Mrs. Kelly told me it was Jean. Can't believe I forgot. I really loved her though and want you to to know you were conceived in love."
There were so many things I wanted to discuss. My conception was not among them. I silently prayed that Tim would move on to another topic. He did.
"God, her parents hated me! I don't blame them. I was a pretty bad kid."
At this point Mrs. Kelly came back in and told us that it was time to close the office. Tim asked if he could walk me to my car. I told him I had taken the 'T' into town. He suggested I come to his apartment, meet his wife and then he would drive me to the 'T' station. I agreed.
We got into his big yellow Lincoln Continental and took the short ride to his apartment. He talked about growing up in Boston. When we walked from the car to his apartment he laughed that no one would ever guess we were father and daughter. We climbed the stairs to his apartment, a typical triple decker. His wife was there and seemed happy to meet me. She asked me a few questions. I told her a bit about my family and where I grew up. After a few minutes of conversation and a glance at their sleeping son (who I realized was my half brother) I was suddenly exhausted and told Tim that I really needed to head home. I wanted (needed) to be with Kurt.
As we hugged goodbye at the 'T' station, Tim told me how happy he was and how proud he was of me. He promised to be in touch soon.