Max got home early the next morning. He stayed up all night. He was overwhelmed by the fact that he could no longer deny the bizarre things that had been happening to him lately. Something was going on and he ran out of possible explanations for it all.
He knew he should probably get some rest; but he couldn’t. Instead of going into his bedroom, he went straight towards his father’s office.
Max believed that the best place to start would be the beginning. He didn’t know too much about where he came from. All he knew was that shortly after his biological mother gave birth to him, she found out she was dying. She was a single mom and had no relatives who could take care of him, so she sought out a couple to raise her son and chose Jackson and Eve Trenton. She passed away shortly after the adoption. Max always accepted this story and never felt the need to find out more about his origins.
Max opened the door to his father’s office and immediately closed it behind him upon entering.
Jackson looked up from his desk; surprised by his son’s sudden entrance.
“Max! I heard about the fire last night, are you okay? You should be resting.”
Max didn’t say anything. He only pulled up a chair beside the desk and sat down. Jackson knew something wasn’t right.
“Dad, where did I come from?”, he asked straightaway.
Jackson hesitated, then slowly responded with, “Well, your biological mother came to us after she-”
“Dad, I already know that story”, Max interrupted. “Is there anything else that you know? Or do you know of somebody that might know more about me?”
Jackson searched his son’s dark blue eyes. They were tired, wearied, and burdened.
“Son, is everything okay?” he asked softly.
Max didn’t say anything at first. He let the anxieties, thoughts, and emotions that have been plaguing him lately, build up inside. He finally broke down and let it all out.
“I lifted a car. By myself.”, he said hurriedly, “I bent a steel wrench - in half - with my bare hands. I tore open a car door. I ran a 4-mile trail in less than five minutes yesterday.”
He took a deep breath before continuing, “And last night at the call, part of the ceiling came down on top of me - and I came out without a scratch. Dad, I don’t know what’s happening to me!”
Jackson’s stomach started to sink. He couldn’t be shocked at what Max had told him, and yet he couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed by the fact that this was all really happening now. Just like she said it would.
Max read Jackson’s expression and didn’t see what he expected to. He didn’t see shock or surprise or even disgust. Instead, Max saw something in his dad’s face that told him his father had been expecting all of this.
“Dad, there’s something you haven’t told me. Isn’t there?”, he asked quietly.
Jackson knew the day had finally come; the day that he had been anticipating for twenty years.
He took a deep breath and said, “Max, there’s no easy way to say this.”
He hesitated a moment before continuing, “You’re not from here.”
“What do you mean? A different state? Another country?”
“You’re from a whole different world.”
August, Twenty Years Ago
“I need you to raise my son.”
Jackson and Eve Trenton looked at each other, completely taken aback. This was not what they were expecting when they were awoken by the sound of someone knocking on their door in the middle of the night.
They looked back at the mysterious woman in front of them. She truly looked angelic with her ivory skin, her pale blue eyes, and her long wavy hair that was so light in color, it almost appeared silver.
The woman continued, barely speaking above a whisper, “I understand this is a lot to ask of both of you, allow me to explain. My name is Celeste and we are from another world called, Tymorre. We are here because a civil war is destroying our world and we only wish to quietly live in peace among humans.”
Jackson shifted uncomfortably next to his wife. He wasn’t believing this woman’s story so far.
Celeste continued, “Unfortunately, some of our enemies followed us here; and we were ambushed. Many of us died. And many of us that survived, did not come out unscathed.”
She stopped momentarily and pulled the collar of her dress down just enough to reveal the beginning of a long, deep gash that ran all the way down her chest.
“Now that our enemies have followed us here to Earth, my people have all been forced to go underground. The battle is not over as we had hoped. We do not know our enemies’ plans; but we fear the worst.”
She then paused for a moment and took a deep breath.
“I am dying from my injuries. And if the enemy finds out about my son - they will kill him. I believe that my son’s best hope for survival is for him to be raised as a human; by a human family.”
A strange and uncomfortable stillness filled up the room for Jackson Trenton.
‘This woman needs help, I’ve never met anyone before who was this delusional’, Jackson thought. He didn’t accept a word of the woman’s story, but sincerely thought she needed serious psychological treatment. ‘We’ll probably have to call Child Services for the infant-’
“I know this is difficult to believe. Your civilization has not yet discovered that life exists on other worlds, like we have. But I can offer you proof”, Celeste said looking directly at Jackson, as if she had just read his thoughts.
She then reached into her overcoat and pulled out a thin, trapezoidal-shaped metal and handed it to Jackson.
“This is my son’s Tymorrean birth certificate.”
Jackson examined the strange metal in his hands. He really couldn’t find the words to describe what he was holding. It was as if those words didn’t exist. Jackson was a carpenter, and while he wasn’t an expert on metals, he was definitely familiar with a variety of materials. And this alloy was something he’s never seen before.
He then examined the symbols that were lightly engraved onto the material. He didn’t know too much about other languages either, but the symbols at least looked like they could very well be alien. He was starting to become convinced that this woman might actually be telling the truth. But it was what Celeste said next that really started to convince him.
“I also know that you both have been longing for a child of your own, for many years now. That you are waiting for the right child to find you”, she said to the now-speechless couple. They could only stare as they wondered how this strange woman knew something so personal about their lives.
Celeste explained, “Though Tymorreans and Humans look very similar, there is a vast difference between our two races. Every Tymorrean is born with two special abilities that have been inherited from their parents. I have what your people would call ‘Telepathy’.”
Eve’s attention was caught by the infant in Celeste’s arms. He had quietly opened his eyes and was gazing directly at her. Eve smiled softly as she looked back at the little boy she was suddenly finding herself captured with.
“A few days ago, I found this small beautiful town of yours. When I saw the two of you - how you behaved, how you treated others with genuine kindness, how you both love each other so - I could see that your actions matched your hearts and minds”, Celeste continued as her voice started to crack.
She stopped again as if to try to regain her composure. Eve could see the tears that were starting to form in this dying mother’s eyes.
Celeste looked at them both and said, “I know that you are the parents who are meant to raise my son. I am here, to tell you that this is the child you have been waiting for so long to find you.”
The tears had finally escaped the wearied mother’s eyes.
Jackson, who was overwhelmed and still didn’t know what to make of all of this, looked over at his wife, and saw that she too had tears flowing down her cheeks.
“...anyways, Celeste continued explaining to us about these special abilities. She told us about how you inherited the ability to be invulnerable from your father, and you would either have her telepathy or her invisibility.”
Max briefly looked down at his hands as he recalled how they seemingly vanished for a moment last night right before the ceiling came down. He didn’t say anything though.
Jackson continued the story, “She also said that you all have strength and speed which would be called ‘superhuman’ in our world. And that all these abilities take about twenty years to fully mature and show themselves, which is why you’ve never noticed any of this before. Now, there was one more thi-”
“Dad, I’ve heard enough”, Max said hoarsely.
He didn’t believe what he was hearing. Even though everything had been filling in the missing pieces so far, Max still couldn’t accept it. Maybe he just didn’t want to believe it was all true.
“Are you really trying to tell me that I’m not even human?”, Max laughed, “Come on, Dad! Have you really spent the last twenty years believing that I’m some super-powered being from another planet?”
“Son, I know this a lot to take in, and yes, I understand it’s a little hard to believe...”
“Dad, there’s no such thing as life on other planets!”, Max exclaimed.
Jackson sighed and stood up from his desk. He understood where Max was coming from.
“Let me show you something then.”
He walked over to the other side of the room and rolled back part of a large rug. There in the wooden floor, was a small door that Max had no idea existed. He got up and joined his father.
Jackson lifted the door and took out a strongbox that was kept underneath the floorboards. He pulled a small key out from his pocket and opened it up.
“This is your birth certificate - your real one”, he said as he handed Max a strange object.
Max looked at the foreign piece of metal he was now holding - it was exactly as Jackson had just described it in his story.
Jackson then handed Max a videotape, “This is something that Celeste, your mother, recorded for you just before she left. Your mom and I have never watched it. We were waiting for the right time to give it to you.”
Jackson put the box back underneath the floor, and stood up to face his distressed son.
“Max, I really believe that everything Celeste told us that night is true. Shortly after we adopted you, your mom and I found an article about a mysterious disturbance in the Earth’s atmosphere, which happened around the time you all apparently arrived here.”
He then pointed to the alloy Max was holding, “I’ve spent the last twenty years researching those symbols to see if they matched up with any languages known to man. So far, I’ve found nothing - not even among the dead languages.”
He looked at Max and softly spoke, “And you have the abilities she predicted you would, and they’ve taken twenty years to fully show themselves. Just as she said.”
Max silently took in everything he’s just heard over the past hour. Looking back, certain things - things that didn’t seem to mean much at the time - started to look bigger. Like the fact that he’s never been sick. How he doesn’t tire that easily. That he was always just a little bit faster and stronger than everyone else. And he’s never received any sort of deep wound within his flesh; despite there being a few instances in his life when he should have.
He looked down into his hands and asked, “If this is my real birth certificate, then what about the one I’ve been using my whole life?”
Jackson looked a little guilt-ridden as he responded, “That birth certificate was forged. The same with your adoption papers. Celeste helped put us into contact with a few trusted people who made it all happen.”
Max looked at his father with surprise. This was the man who has always taught him to never lie and always tell the truth, no matter what. Now he’s suddenly turned into the man who has been lying to him everyday for twenty years.
Then, all these small and seemingly insignificant memories started to flood Max’s mind, and they suddenly became much bigger and important.
“So, when you said I couldn’t try out for any sport teams during high school, because you needed me to work and help take care of Abby - the real reason was because you could see me getting faster and stronger everyday, and you were afraid of someone noticing. Or even worse - you were afraid of me noticing something. Wasn’t it?”, he asked angrily.
“Why did you keep this from me? Why did you leave me on my own to figure this all out?”, he asked bitterly.
“Max...Your mom and I talked about possibly telling you when you reached high school. But then she died and I was left on my own to make that decision. Then that time came and you were so...happy.”
Jackson looked into his son’s eyes - angry eyes that could only see hurt and betrayal right now. He desperately sought to reach through to Max. To at least try to get him to understand.
“I didn’t want to ruin that for you. I just wanted you to be able to have a normal life for as long as you could! ... But there is one more thing-”
“No! I don’t want to hear anymore!”, Max yelled as he stormed out; not listening to what his father was trying to say.
Max went into his room and shut the door. He sat on his bed and looked down at the items he was still holding onto. He wasn’t ready for all of this to be real yet. He quickly stuffed them into a box underneath his bed.
He felt like a teenager right now who couldn’t control his emotions, instead of a grown and sensible man. But what do you do when you find out everything you thought to be true, is suddenly not? When your life changes forever in a moment and you know you can never go back to the way it all used to be.
Max walked over and opened his bedroom window. He didn’t know how to be calm right now. He didn’t know how to be rational. All he knew how to do, was jump out and run.