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False Expectations

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Is giving up your kid for adoption a moral thing to do? Is sex work a moral occupation? Is looking for your biological parent a moral thing to do, considering all the adoptive parents have done? These are questions I want a reader to ask themselves as they read this very short story.

Mystery / Drama
Age Rating:


“Have we not done enough?” I sigh to my wife, who was attempting to massage away the incoming lines on her forehead. Each line representing each time she would cry, be angry, or explode with laughter. Children age us, yet our son did not seem to appreciate it. Freedom can be a selfish thing. He had a choice, and he chose to forget our altruism. When clothes get returned, the sales assistants don’t go hunting down the culprit. His mother made her choice, and she did not keep the receipt.

Behind this paper covering, a life story thought Brian - a 22 year old law student, who looked nothing like a law student. His achilles heel was, funnily enough, that he was too attractive, so people never took him seriously. And no, not attractive in the sense that he could use his looks to his advantage, a type of ghoulish attractiveness which made him look effeminate and ethereal. His near crystal white wispy hair, the icing on the cake. His narrow but muscular shoulders screamed “model”, while his thinness made people scream “eat!“. The worst part was, people fascinated by his looks would say, “You must’ve gotten these looks from your mum”. Each and every time, it was as if a million shards of glass cut through his thin body, mixing with his biological makeup causing him to be more and more fragile on the topic of his mum.

The letter was packaged and posted, just as he had been, he remarked to himself in his boxy bedroom, acting as a storm shelter from the tornado his ‘parents’ were stirring up. It wasn’t fair, he thought. Finally, he worked up the courage to tear open his life story, his bony fingers quivering and becoming numb while ripping open the letter (because, lets be frank, it’s crazy how difficult it is to open letters! he screamed in his head). His tears which seemed to be running away from his eyes acted as the antidote to the numbness his hands were experiencing, as they splashed on them - a storm without any calm. Bracing himself, he unfolded the glistening, white paper. “Surely for this type of letter, they would’ve gone to the bleeding effort of using coloured paper!” he said, making his hands into fists.

His eyes skimmed the paper quickly, just as law school had taught him.

“J- Jona Nichols” he breathed.

The walk was only twenty minutes, but it was either his unhealthy university lifestyle or his anxiety ,which was reaching boiling point, making the journey so awfully long. “It’s worth it, it’s worth it” he repeatedly mutters to himself. He was taking the journey of finding his creator. Of course, the majority of the time, when he left the comfort of his home it felt as if he was the creator with all the gawking faces noticing his sheer beauty. His presence blessed the pavement, therefore surely his mother would be pleased to see him too.

“Doubt weakens men” his dad, well his adoptive dad, would say, as if it were his own marketable catchphrase for hubristic men. It was rather unsurprising to finally find out that him and his ‘father’ were not related. “Clearly!” laughed Brian at 18. He looked his father up and down, comparing their shoulder length and muscle mass. They were definitely the same breed, but Brian was the domesticated type, in the sense that he was far too fragile.

This…must be it?

The bottom floor of a council estate, the perfect breeding ground for conformity and subservience. The government’s best mode of control. “This is not good” he explained, his shiny nose tilting towards the air as he said it. Now, it was time to knock (although, he would have rather gotten knocked out, so he could escape the sinister stench coming from … everywhere!). Should it be a faint knock, hard knock, full on bang? In one sense, he had wanted to make a good first impression, but his looks were already employed in that area. In another, he had wanted to pursue revenge. Acting as his own mediator, one hard knock, one soft (although he realised that two hard knocks would have decapitated the entire door, it nursing seven spots of mould).

“Coooommmmiiingggg!!!” screeched a sub-human voice, possibly a victim to nicotine, possibly a victim to the mould taking the council flat hostage, most likely a combination of both. A short, plump woman, wearing fish net tights and more deodorant than in a boys PE changing room - my mother. I stared. I watched. No swift movements, he absolutely did not want to scare this…woman.

“Hey hon’, y-you the 7 o’clock massage and happy ending I was expecting?” she coughs out, surprisingly, with no phlegm in sight. He simply stared. Impossible. She was his creator? Simply impossible!

“Jona, come back to bed!” an impatient man yells from inside.

“Just a minuuuutttteeeeee!!! I’ll be back in a mo’ love, Gary’s quite quick.” She slams the door shut, suddenly reminding Brian of the door she shut on him as soon as he was exported by this woman.

Speechless, Brian walked slowly back home, glad it was only mould she nursed, and not him.

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