Aphrodite

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The Story

"Be yourself and don't apologize."


I did the best thing I could, I ran.

I left all my things behind as I ran out the door. I could hear Mr. Fial, my father, calling my name but I paid no mind. All I could think of was run. Run far away from this. It was all too much. Finding out my math teacher of all people was my father. That my mother was dead.

All my life I've wished to find my real parents, but not like this. Not where I sporadically find out my math teacher is my father, my mother is dead, my father started his life over again, he didn't even know I existed. I always loved my unknown parents, even if I didn't know their names or what they even looked like. But I have this hatred for Shana Hemmings. The woman who got pregnant in a drug haze and didn't care enough to keep me, over even fucking try. I don't know what to do as much as Mr. Fial does.

Cursing at myself for running out, I looked to see where I was. I was in town, a couple blocks from my apartment, on the sidewalk by some restaurants. The street was lit up by vintage street lights and all the restaurants and shops were in brick buildings. I haven't been back here since I went to Debbie's coffee shop. Speaking of her coffee shop...

I turn around, and there it is. Debbie's Coffee Shop. Very basic name, but inside is where the basic ends. I don't particularly know what time it is, but the sign says 'closed' on the door. I knock three times anyway, just in case she's there.

Debbie's face comes to view after a few minutes. She was confused at first, but he face lit up when she saw me. "Girly, what are you doing here so late?" She asked when she opened the door. She rushed me inside, and I answered her. "I found something out, and I didn't know where else to go. I found myself here actually."

She frowned at my tear stained cheeks. "What's wrong? Did Ace hurt you? Did he do something you didn't wanna do? I swear to baby Jesus, I'll castrate that bo-"

"Whoa, Debbie, Ace didn't do anything I promise!" She hummed, not seeming to believe me. "Actually...it has to do with my biological parents." I finished in a meek voice.

She blinked in suprise and mumbled an 'oh'. She seemed in deep thought for a moment before she spoke. "Come with me girly, let's have a talk."

She gave me a sweet smile, making her crows feet more profound, and started walking toward a booth on the far left corner of the room. What I never noticed before, was a sweet scent of lavender and vanilla around the room. The whole place looked more cozy and warm than it does in the day, if that makes scene. After a few moments, we made it to the book where she sat in front of me, while I sat on the other side.

She clearned her throat, looking apprehensive, but talked nonetheless. "When you came in here, and told me that all they taught you at orphanage was your manners ane how to get adopted, I knew right from the start that I liked you. Now I'm not saying I know what you've been through, but I do know what I've been through in those orphanages and it ain't pretty." Her lips flattened into a thin line before she sighed. "I don't know how many times I was passed around from foster home to foster home, and none was better than the last. By the time I was 16, I'm pretty sure it was over 30 fosters homes I've been to. Each and everyone of them either drank, smoked, did drugs, killed people, or just plain abused me. I was only a check in the mail for them."

Debbie's breath came out as a shudder, I could see she was trying to hold tears back. My hand stretched across the table to hold her hand. I gave her a reassuring squeeze and she sniffled.

"One day I was adopted by this rich family, one that pretty much owned half of New York. The family was a man named Derek James and Lilah James, with their two kids Amelia and Donovan. I immediately felt like scum because I came to their house in ripped dirty jeans and a black and white flannel while they were all in nice dresses and suits. They made me feel welcome though, believe it or not.

"After everything I've been through, I can say that living there was the safest I've ever been. We were like an actual family, until one day. One day is all it took to change the way I saw things. You see, no one was ever aloud in Derek's office and I decided I wanted to be rebellious and go into his office. The office was like all rich mens, pristine and perfect. I went to his desk and found everything unlocked but one drawer. I found a paper clip and tried to unlock it." She snorted and rolled her eyes. "That was probably the most stupid thing I've ever done, going into that drawer. What I found there made me run from everything I ever wanted, everything I needed."

She gave a humorous laugh and gave a hard squeeze to my hand that gave it tingles. "In that damned drawer was a plain vanilla folder that held on my information. The first few pages were just pictures of me, just random ones where I was at school or work or just around the house. The next was all my information, where I worked, where I went to school, how much money I maked...my birth parents, everything. I kept reading and reading, and it told me that my parents were Dixie James and Dimitri James...so that meant that the person who adopted me was my uncle. He was my father's brother. It took all I had to not go and pummel that sack of shit that adopted me to the ground. The rest...well, it was a journal that was written by Derek saying how he hated his piece of scum niece and he couldn't wait to get rid of her. He played me, just so I could marry his competition's son so that he could own that business."

I gasped. How could someone be so vile? So evil?

Debbie gave me a knowing look, like she knew what I was thinking. "He was an evil man with an even worse agenda. He planned on selling me to him, like he just didn't care. Eventually I left, I just ran away. I didn't care if he looked for me, I didn't even care if the police did. All I wanted what was best for me and leaving was it. I found my way back to the orphanage, where I belonged." She suddenly smiled. "Once I was 18, and I was out, I went to college, the same one you're at. I met the love of my life, who I'm with today. My everything. He's like an older Ace."

I chuckled at that. An older Ace, that's a scary thought. She grinned at me. "I don't let my past make me who I am, not anymore. I have in the past and I regret it. I am who I am today because of me and me only...well I guess my husband helped a little bit."

I laughed out loud, titled my head back and everything. Our laughter simmered down a little bit, until we were only chucking with just a little bit of tears in our eyes. She was still holding my hand, so I jumped a little when she squeezed it. "So girly, what's gotten you so down?"

I bit my lip and glance at the table. I have to tell someone, and if I wait to tell Ace I might just explode from sensory overload. Making up my mind, I decided to talk. "I've never been adopted." Good start Aphrodite. "Never had a family, not even friends. I was dropped off at the orphanage when I was just 2 months old, with a note saying what my name was meant to be. I've been lonely and I've never known what it's like to be loved and cared for. I always dreamed of doing something on my own and making something out of myself. So that's what I wanted to do when I came here, I wanted to start over and live life. Be happy with my boyfriend and my friends, who are turning into my family. But life loves to give me curve balls. Never knowing my biological parents hurt me deeply and I've always wanted to know, but now I wish I didn't. My worlds feels like it's tilting over the axis and won't go back to normal."

My voice is frustrating to my own ears. Tears try to spill from my eyes but I push them back. I can't cry, not yet. "My math teacher made me stay after school today and told me a story. A story of loving a woman named Shana Hemmings. And story filled of drugs and stupidness. They loved each other and had me, but he never knew. She kept me for two months, then dropped me because she couldn't handle it, couldn't handle the responsibility. She sent a letter to my ma- my father, so when she died he would get it."

I was sobbing by now, ugly sobs that racked my whole body. I heard a bell chime from the door when I started, but I couldn't concentrate on more than one thing, and the only thing I was preoccupied with was crying. Warm, familiar arms wrapped around me, and I instantly knew who it was.

Ace. My love.

My hands were out of Debbie's, and around Ace one he sat down. I don't know how long he stayed or what he heard, but I don't care. He deserves to know everything in my life, as do I.

"Shhh Angel," He cooed in my ear, "I'm here baby."

Sobbing harder, I grip him to me so he won't go away. Not like he'd try.

And that's how we stayed till he took me home in his arms, where I belonged.

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