I peeked around the corner of the hallway leading to the front of the school.
Don't see her this time.
"What am I doing? Thinking some woman must be my real Mom. I'm stupid." I thought.
I jumped and turned around.
"Don't sneak up on me!" I snapped. Indra hunched his shoulders.
"Why are you looking around the corner like that?" He asked. I got jumpy.
"Who? Me? No I wasn't doing anything!" I grinned nervously.
Indra stared at me.
"Everything is fine!"
He groaned lowly. I stood on my toes and kissed him on the cheek.
"See ya!" I ran away.
When I saw Ms. Lucy again I just stared at her.
"Is there something on my face?" She asked sweetly and chuckled nervously.
"Um. No." I said shyly. There was a long pause.
"Did you find your son?" I asked. Could she really be?
"Yes. He's very..." Ms. Lucy trailed off. "Interesting." She said.
"Hm?" I said, confused.
"Nevermind." She said.
We stood in silence again. This is so awkward. Do I just ask her if she's my Mom or something? What if she's not? Eh, maybe we can laugh it off.
"Well, see you later." Ms. Lucy said. She left. I like her.
"No worries Ms. Dinza. Just a routine appendectomy; an intern could do it." I joked.
She chuckled. "How long will it take?"
"A little over an hour." I answered. "Your recovery will take a couple of weeks."
"Okay." She said.
A nurse came in, "alright Ms. Lucy, we'll take you up now."
I walked out of the room after they wheeled her out. I stared as they went down the hallway. I was having a weird thought.
Jeanette was walking down the hallway and stopped beside me.
"What is it?" She asked.
"Nothing." I said.
Once the surgery was done I was paged to Ms. Dinza's room after she woke up.
"Ah! Just the man I wanted to see." She said.
"What's going on Ms. Dinza?" I asked as I checked her chart. "Are you experiencing any discomfort?"
"No. I just need you to hand me my purse."
I went over to the cabinet and took her purse from the shelf. I put it at her side. She went through it and pulled out a folded piece of paper.
"Now, I don't want you to freak out." She started. "But, I didn't come here for a simple surgery." She handed me the paper.
I unfolded it. It was a birth certificate with her name and two other names. I ran cold when I saw a picture of Luc attached to it.
"You may want to call your wife in here."
"Ms. Dinza." I said. Of course I had my doubts.
"I think we're going to get a lot closer soon. You can call me Lucy."
A couple days later I walked home happily.
"La la la la la la why am I la'ing?" I sang to the Smurfs tune as I walked up to the house.
I opened the door and saw Mom sitting in the dining room. I closed the door and went in there.
"Hello!" I waved. Mom looked at me, then back to what she was looking at.
I turned my head. Ms. Lucy was standing there. Brian sat at the other end of the dining table.
We pointed at each other, "oh my gosh you're here!"
We then laughed.
"What are you doing here?" I asked.
Brian came over. "She's a patient of mine!" That's odd.
He looked at her, "I really wish you'd sit down."
Ms. Lucy sat down.
"Luc please go upstairs. We have doctor stuff to talk about." Brian said.
I frowned and did what he said.
Strange. Why would Ms. Lucy be here? Unless she's my real Mom!
Of course I did the sensible thing and ran a DNA test.
The computer trilled, calculating.
The results came back. "99.99% Match."
"Oh." I said.
So I brought Lucy to the house after work, when Jeanette was there. We interrogated her.
"Where have you been all this time?" I asked her.
"Around the country. Looking for my family." Lucy answered.
"Once I realized I couldn't do it on my own I hired a private investigator." Lucy held her hands nervously.
"Why was the family broken up?" I asked.
"Well, my then-husband and I weren't doing well, in any sense, and raising a child would be no easier." She explained.
"What did you do with Luc?" Jeanette asked. She had her arms crossed and a stern cold glare.
"I left him at a fire station." She lowered her head, ashamed.
"We lived in Seattle. I didn't expect him to be moved so far East. That's how I lost him."
I sighed quietly.
"What about when he moved back to Seattle? Why didn't you find him then?" I asked.
"I had no way of knowing." Lucy answered.
"Why would he have been moved back? What happened to the family that adopted him?" She asked.
"That family abused Luc. Tormented him." Jeanette said scornfully. "Why didn't you oversee the adoption?"
"I couldn't. I was afraid if I did it'd be harder to leave him. I chose to have faith." Lucy said. "It seems I was wrong."
"He was abused." Lucy mumbled with her head low.
"How badly?" She asked.
"Badly." Jeanette answered with a hard stare.
"How long has he been with you and your family?"
"Almost three years." I answered.
What is she hoping for? Does she want us to give up Luc?
"How did you find him?" She asked.
"He was in a foster home. The firefighters who found him must've taken him there. It's the same one he went to when he was removed from his former home." I said.
"I see." Lucy said. "I'm glad you did. He seems happy here."
"But, Luc is my son, and I want to put my family back together."
"Let's leave that decision to Luc." I said.
"Besides, we have more questions." Jeanette jumped in.
"What do you do for a living?" She asked.
Lucy looked at her. "I'm a designer for a fashion company."
"Where do you live?" Jeanette asked.
"I'm staying at a hotel not too far from the hospital, but I live in Seattle- or at least I hope to go back there." Lucy answered.
I sat back.
"Please let me see him." She begged.
"Like I said, we'll leave that decision up to him." I said.
"Luc has been diagnosed with mental illnesses." Jeanette started. "Are you equipped to handle that?"
"I'll be honest, I don't know anything about that. But maybe you could help me?" Lucy replied. Maybe one meeting couldn't hurt.
I looked at Jeanette. "I'll go talk to Luc."
"I knew it! She is my real mother!" Luc said once I told him everything. He smiled happily. He stood up from his bed.
"Can I go see her?" He asked.
He ran past me.
If he decides he wants to stay with her what then?
I sat outside on the porch with Ms. Lucy. I could tell that Mom was checking on us from the window every now and again. I moved my shoulders shyly. I wonder why she gave me up.
"So...tell me about yourself." We said.
"You go first. I want to see if we like the same things." I told her.
She nodded. "I like drawing, designing things."
"I write." I replied.
"Poems?" Lucy asked.
"Do you want to publish?"
"I don't know."
"What do you do for a living?" I asked.
"I'm a fashion designer." Lucy answered. "Do you know what you want to be?"
"No." I said lowly.
"Oh." She said.
I looked at her. She looked at me.
"You want to know why I gave you up." She stated. I nodded slowly.
"Your father and I couldn't take care of you. So we gave you away." She said. She lowered her head.
"I should've stayed for the adoption. Your mother mentioned how you were raised."
I hunched my shoulders slowly.
"Your father does the same thing."
"Huh?" I asked.
"When he has nothing to say; he hunches his shoulders too." Lucy explained.
"So, where is he?" I asked.
Lucy shifted. "I don't know."
I turned my head when I heard tires rolling. Indra's car pulled into the driveway.
"Sorry. I'll be back." I said. What is he doing here?
I got up and went over to the car. Indra got out and stood in front of me.
"What are you doing here?" I asked.
"You've been acting weird. I just came to check on you." He answered. He shouldn't be here. I don't know if I want to explain him to Lucy yet.
"I'm fine." I said bluntly. "You can-"
"Who's that?" He asked. I took a peek behind me. Lucy was standing up, watching us.
"Don't worry about her." I said. "Go home."
Indra hesitantly drew his foot back, then turned and got back in his car.
I went back to Lucy. I heard Indra leave.
"Who was that?" She asked.
"That's not important right now." I answered.
"Oh. Okay." Lucy smiled.
She stared at me. I tilted my head.
"Why do you cover your eye like that, Luc?"
I grinned nervously. "Also not important."
"Anyway!" I brightened up. "Can you tell me more about you? Or my Dad?"
Lucy chuckled and nodded.
"I always knew you'd be a lively one." I looked at her.
"When you were in my stomach you'd kick me so much. You would only calm down if your father talked to you or if I gave you prime rib."
Sounds like me.
"Let's see, your Dad." Lucy looked up in thought.
"He was always planning things." She looked back at me. "And he was always doting on us."
Lucy leaned side to side. "What is it?" I asked.
"Do you wear a necklace by chance?" She asked. That's a weird question.
"No." I said. "Why?"
"Well, before we gave you away, he left you something. We both did." She explained. "There was something in the necklace he got you." A locket?
"Maybe he just put it in the box." She rubbed her chin.
"Box?" I asked. "A red box?!" I asked eagerly.
"Yes." She said.
"Stay here!" I ran inside.
I grabbed the box from my closet. Finally! I know what it means! It was my family! My real family! This whole time my answers were in this box!
I ran back outside to Lucy and we sat down on the porch again.
"I always kept it with me, but I never opened it. I thought it was things from my old family." I told her.
"Nope. Just us." Lucy said.
"Should we open it?" She asked me. I nodded. We opened the lid.
It was all there.
There were papers, pictures, trinkets, and a couple baby toys.
I picked up a little blue and white rattle thingy with a bell at the end. So that's what that tinkling noise was. I looked at Lucy. She chuckled.
"We assumed the people we gave you to would open the box and give you your favorite toys back. Guess not." She smiled happily.
She dug through the box. I held the rattle in my lap.
"Here it is!" Lucy said. She pulled out a gold necklace with a vertical tube at the end.
Lucy started pulling on it. "I think you unscrew it like...yes!" It unscrewed and she pulled the bottom down. A rolled up white thing stood in the bottom.
Lucy took it out and unravelled it. A picture.
"Aw." She sighed. Her eyes teared up. She held the picture in between us. "I thought I'd never see this picture again."
It was her, a tall brown man, baby me, and...another baby.
"It's us." Lucy looked at me.
"That's your Daddy." She said, pointing at the man.
He had shaved hair and beautiful narrow almond-shaped brown eyes. He had a big thin nose, and thick lips. He had a "protect you" vibe about him.
"I always thought it was my Dad's hair I inherited. But it's yours!" I said. Lucy nodded.
He held the other baby while Lucy held me. The other baby was small and asleep.
I pointed, "who is that?"
Lucy wiped her eyes.
"That's your little sister." She said.
"I have a sister? A real sister?" I asked excited.
"Who is she? What's her name?" I questioned.
"Her name may have changed." Lucy mumbled. "But I named her after a really good friend of mine."
"Amber." I repeated, awestruck.
"You guys are a year apart." Lucy said.
"Cool." I beamed.
"I'll find her. Then the two of you can finally meet." She said.
"I'd like that. A lot." I said.
I looked Lucy. She looked at me and we smiled.
"I was thinking...you're really pretty." I said with a blush.
"Thank you." She said.
"Um...what was my Dad's name?"
"Ezra. Ezra Lucas Dinza." She answered.
"Actually, you were named after him; Ezra Luc."
My eye widened.
"Oh, sorry. You might not have wanted to know that." She apologized.
"No, no!" I waved my hands, "I think it's pretty cool. I have a two-parter name."
Lucy chuckled. She stared, smiling nostalgically.
"I really love you, Luc."
She panicked, "ah! Sorry! This is all probably a lot for you. Sorry. It slipped out."
"It's alright." I said cheerily.
Her phone rang.
"Hang on." She reached into her pocket and pulled it out. She answered. It sounded like she was being called in somewhere.
I was overjoyed. She's real.
When she hung up she turned to me.
"Sorry. I have to go. Work." She said.
She smiled again.
Lucy looked at the photo in her hand. She rolled it up and put it back in the necklace and screwed the necklace back together.
"Do you want to keep this?" She held the necklace up to me.
"Can I?" I asked.
"It was meant for you." She said. Yes. I'd really love to have my family with me.
"Yes." I said. Lucy opened the necklace. I lowered my head and moved my hair. She clasped it around my neck and it hung right on my chest.
I looked at the vial. "Hm." I smiled.
Lucy pat my shoulder and stood up. I looked at her.
"Will I see you again?" I asked.
"Of course. Tell your parents I said thank you."
Parents? Oh right.
I nodded. Lucy left.
I sat outside for a while. I love her too.
I just met my Mom. Talked to her. Learned about her, my family, myself. I have a Dad out there. And a sister.
All this time I thought it was just me. I want to meet the rest of them.
The door opened.
"Luc? You okay?" Mom's voice asked. I closed the lid to the box and picked it up and scrambled to my feet.
"Yeah." I walked past her and ran upstairs.
I sat on my bed. Lucy. I smiled.
The next day at school I caught Indra in the hallway while we were transitioning classes.
"Indra!" I ran and hugged him tightly. He grunted.
"Guess what? Guess what?" I asked excitedly as I let go.
"What?" Indra asked quietly. When the hall cleared I unloaded.
"I met my mother! My real actual mother!" Indra just stared. "She's amazing! I love her so much already!"
"This whole time I thought I inherited my hair and good looks from my Dad, but I got them from her! Oh! And, she showed me my Dad! A picture of the whole family is in this necklace I'm wearing! You can't see it because it's under my shirt!"
"Oh! And I have a little sister too!"
"And get this, my real name is "Ezra Luc!" Named after my father!"
"And my Mom's name is Lucy! I wonder what's up with all the L-U-Cs. And my sister's name is Amber!"
"Amazing right?!" I finished. I couldn't stop smiling. Indra stayed neutral and unmoving.
"Amazing right?!" I repeated.
Did I put him in shock again?
"A mother and father, huh?" Indra said lowly.
Why does he look so...stiff? He should be happy for me!
"There's pictures and everything!" I said.
"That's great." Indra said finally. "What'll you do now?"
"I don't know. I'd like to talk to Lucy more." I put my finger on my chin.
"Aw crap! I don't have her number!"
"Maybe Brian does. She was his patient after all."
Indra didn't say anything.
"Okay...thanks for getting hype with me." I said. I began to walk, but he put his arm out across my stomach and gently grabbed my arm.
"What?" I looked at him. He looked at the floor. It looked like he had something to say.
"What is it?" I asked.
Again, he said nothing. I scoffed.
"Can't you just be happy for me?" I muttered. I pushed his arm away and walked away.
I clasped the necklace and fabric of my shirt.
"Maybe I can ask Lucy if she'll take me with her to look for Amber and Ezra."