I couldn’t feel more awkward standing at the doorstep of the house my mother and grandfather lived in. The house I had never visited before. In my arms laid peacefully my daughter, an unwelcome warmth against my stomach that certainly didn’t help in making me feel more comfortable. I needed to fucking get rid of this child as soon as possible. In fact, I only agreed to mother’s proposition to visit in hopes of finally not having to look after the additional weight in my arms, the useless product of my own sperm, which I still somehow couldn’t believe was in fact mine. Would my mother maybe have something to say? I needed explanations of every kind as to what was happening.
And there she was, at the doorstop, looking at me as if she had seen right through my silhouette. I swear her expression was so blank that I could have well not been there at all. The light made her stand in the shadows, which made the impression even stronger. I in the light, she– always in the darkness. I once again realized I was holding a child that I only knew had to have her head protected- wow, I’m such a great parent already.
My mother nodded at me and encouraged me to follow her– actually, encourage is not a good word, because she said it in a tone that completely matched the blank look she was giving me.
As we got inside, it wasn’t as dark as I thought it would be, which came with a dose of surprise. I also had a better chance to look at my crazy-ass mother in her dress looking like she took it out of the same junkyard she used to visit so often when I was a child and with leggings that looked more like she had literal scales on her legs. Oh fuck, this gotta be a weird encounter indeed.
As soon as we entered, an old man I recognized as my mother’s father, the boring guy from the second diary, patted the sofa on both his sides. Well, I could only hope that it wouldn’t take too long.
“Emmie, Sam, great-granddaughter, come on. We’ve got a few things to talk over, right?”
I hesitantly took the place next to the man, the feeling of being unfit stronger than ever. Why did it have to be that there were no people that I got on with worse than with my own family? I would say that the only thing we shared was the last name, but even that distanced us from another (not that it was any better with my other grandparents, Kelly and Francis Robinson, who both died 2 years before I had had that encounter).
So here we are, three heirs, three completely different points of view.
After a moment of pregnant silence, my grandfather finally decided to start the conversation.
“I am really, really pleased that you took the decision to visit us, Sam. I have missed seeing my grandson and I can’t wait to find out what you have been up to,” he smiled genuinely at the baby. Gross. Everything was gross in the way he talked, in his obvious good intentions and love for everyone. How could someone like this even exist and not get crushed by world? This was rather uncalled for, considering how horrible I was to both him and my mother throughout the years, but I thought I’d not question it since he at least was kind enough to greet me properly (looking at you, mother).
“Yes, I actually…First, I will need some explanations. Mother?” She looked as though I ripped her off from a trans she was in. She absently shook her head and looked at me, just finally looked at me for the first time during the visit. She looked rather sad and resigned.
“How did you meet Heather to do the blood tests? I never knew. You should have told me.” It was really my first thought as soon as I saw my mother’s face after 4 years.
“It was she who came over and introduced herself as your ex-girlfriend. She was very nice and said that she wasn’t sure whether she had a baby with you or her ex-boyfriend, so I agreed to help her.” That. Fucking. Bitch. Why was she always so sly? But at least her slyness had its end to it- still couldn’t believe how lucky I got to have her die! Now only to get rid of the baby… But yeah, back to my darling mother, who didn’t think it was important enough for me to actually know about being a father.
“And why? Why the f…why in the world wouldn’t you tell me such a thing?”
“Does it matter anyway? You are here only to get rid of your daughter. Plus, did you care about your family– did you care about me at all? Never in my life have I dreamt of having such a disappointment as my only child!” And then, just like that, tears started streaming down her face. Grandfather gently stroked her hair and looked at me. I was still looking away and pretending I wasn’t the cause of all this pathetic crying. It really started getting on my nerves.
“You shouldn’t have called him a disappointment, honey. No one is a disappointment. You also aren’t, just to remind you. That is definitely not the way to solve things. Sam maybe isn’t like the perfect child we both imagined him to grow up to become, but he is our boy and we should love him for who is,” he reasoned. She instantly stood up and began screaming like a crazy-ass woman she had been ever since I could remember.
“But…look at him! He brings shame to our family with how he acts and looks. How am I to treat him kindly when he cares about no one but his own butt? I tried, I tried so hard to…to turn things back to how they should be. And this curse…this curse made it. Looks are deceiving and so is the fact that I didn’t sleep with anyone but Seth during our marriage. He is Anthony’s son. Pure blood. I swear he has nothing of Seth, but every bit of his broken personality comes from Anthony!” Oh fuck, how do I get out unnoticed? It’s not like I wanted to have anything to do with that particular case. I didn’t even care.
“You are not making any sense, honey. As far as looks are considered, he couldn’t be more similar to Seth, bless his soul. Besides, Anthony has nothing to do with Sam. I told you that you should forget about this high school romantic interest,” he continued gently. And by that alone I could tell that grandfather didn’t hear the whole story. He had no idea about how Anthony really messed with my mother’s already fucked up head. But it wasn’t like I had any intention to tell him how things really stood.
In that moment my daughter started crying, apparently wanting to unite her laments with the ones that belonged to my mother. And it worked like a magical spell, because my mother stopped shouting and looked at the baby. In a moment her finger was already pointing up at the sky.
“I know! I know!” She started nodding frantically like she suddenly came up with an idea for another of her stupid inventions. “Maybe there is still hope yet. Maybe she is…maybe the curse isn’t…You are right, completely right, Sam. She will be my lifeline. Our lifeline. She will save our family!” All of a sudden, she took the child from my arms and hugged her.
Grandfather was probably as confused as I was, but he was always more practical than my mother. At least that was not as annoying about his personality.
“What’s her name?” He asked me.
“I was told it’s Nathifa.” There was no way I could forget how Heather made fun of me from the grave. Nathifa was a Simgyptian name just like Samien was. What’s more, it literally meant pure. Heather, if you hear me, please acknowledge that as far as I’m concerned, anything that came out of you will never be pure.
Meanwhile my mother started shaking her head as frantically as she was nodding just a while before.
“No, that wouldn’t work. She needs to follow the family naming scheme,” she opposed.
“We could keep Nathifa as her second name,” suggested my grandfather, probably wanting to get it done with as fast as I did. Or maybe I was just making up things because I wanted to run as fast as I could to get away from my insane family.
“Hailey, she will be Hailey,” my mother stated after a moment of silence. “Hailey Nathifa Rosenthal. The only person able to make our family great again.”
“Hailey Nathifa Rosenthal,” I murmured to myself, “is not my problem anymore.” And for the first time since I had come to this house, a big smile spread across my face.
Note: I have to tell you that Sam was looking the other way the whole time during the encounter and I even tried buying a TV to get him to actually look at Gemma, but he kept getting up from the sofa to watch.
And just to clear things out, since I actually decided to work on those ages matching things- during the encounter Dellie’s 67, Gemma’s 42 and Sam’s 22.
So, anyone still completely in love with Dellie’s lovable personality? 😀