Sunday, December 5, 2010

Life Secret

Title: Life Secret
Word Count: 853
Genre: Realistic Fiction

One of the old communities I was part of had a number of challenges posted every week or so. They were designed to stretch our abilities as authors. I managed pretty well there, managing to place with the first piece that I wrote for them.

One challenge they had was a dialogue challenge. You had to write a story using only dialogue, so you couldn't show the emotions of the characters with their actions. Much like a screenplay.

It wasn't the first time I had heard of such stories; one of my favorite authors, F Paul Wilson, has one such story in one of his short story compilations. While I don't suppose mine was nearly as good as his, I did enjoy writing it.


Life Secret

"She'll be heartbroken if she finds out, Jack."

"We have to tell her. She has the right to know, and you know that."

"She doesn't even know who they are, so why does it matter?"

"Susan, she's old enough to know now. We can't keep hiding it from her... the longer we keep this from her, the more upset she'll be when she does find out."

"What makes you think she won't resent us for telling her now? She's only fifteen. She doesn't have to deal with this yet... she has a good life now, and she's happy. Why should we bring her such bad news?"

"She should get the chance to get to know the others. If we keep this from her, we may tell her too late, and she'll resent us for that."

"I don't understand why they came to us, now of all times. They're the ones who wanted the file closed and didn't want us to contact them in any way..."

"Honey, people can have a change in heart. You're much different now than when you were in your twenties, and so are they. They just want the chance to get to know her. To have a relationship with her."

"You just watch. They want to take her away from us. They'll file suit against us..."

"Now you're just being ridiculous. They experienced a loss, and now want to reconnect with a part of their past."

"Hmph."

"I don't think it's our decision to make either way. It is her life we're talking about."

"We're her parents. We're responsible for her well being. Our decision should be final. I don't think we should give her the option."

"Option to do what?"

"Margo! You scared me. You know better than to sneak around like that! You're far too quiet."

"Sorry, Mom. What were you giving the option to do?"

"Oh, nothing that concerns you, dear. I was just ranting a little about work."

"Susan..."

"Margo, your father and I have something to tell you..."

"Mom? Why are you crying?"

"Your mother is just a little emotional right now. We received a letter from someone who we haven't heard from in a long time."

"Your p-parents."

"My parents? What are you talking about?"

"Susan, it's okay. Deep breaths..."

"S-She's my b-baby!"

"Your birth parents, Margo. We adopted you from a young couple just after you were born."

"Oh. What did they want?"

"Margo, honey, you have to realize that we love you so very much. We always will..."

"Well, obviously. If you didn't love me, you would have come out and told me years ago that I was adopted..."

"You don't seem very surprised."

"It was a little obvious. I don't really look like either one of you, or any of my grandparents... your parents, I mean. You both have blue eyes, and I have brown eyes... It's basic biology. There wasn't any other explanation."

"Y-you knew?"

"Why didn't you say anything?"

"I'm happy here with you two. I mean, sure, I get upset when you give me an unreasonable curfew or something, but I have it better than a lot of people, and you both love me. Why should I really care about two people who didn't love me enough to take care of me after I was born?"

"Ohh..."

"It's okay, Mom. You can stop crying now. What did my other parents say?"

"Oh, right... one of your siblings... your younger sister, Jasmine, died in a car accident last week. They thought you might want to attend the funeral."

"I... see."

"You don't have to if you don't want to, sweetie."

"Do I have any other siblings?"

"They have a son as well. He's ten."

"I don't suppose he knows about me."

"I'm not sure, Margo. They didn't mention one way or the other in the letter."

"Did you two know about them?"

"We haven't had much contact with them since the adoption was finalized. We sent them a few pictures to let them know how you were doing, once you got a little older, but we didn't correspond regularly."

"So you didn't know."

"No."

"I'll go. If my... brother... knows about me, then it's only fair that I start a relationship with him."

"Margo, honey, you really don't have to do this."

"Mom, I know you don't want me to, but don't worry. You'll always be my mom and dad. You loved me enough to take care of me, while they gave me away."

"Margo, it's not fair to be so harsh on them. You don't know what they were going through at the time."

"Well, obviously whatever it was, they got over it pretty quick to be willing to keep another daughter and a son after they gave me up."

"While your mom doesn't want you to, I really think you should have a discussion with them. You don't have to love them as your parents, but you shouldn't resent them for what they did. Who knows what sort of person you'd be today if they hadn't given you to us?"

"Alright, Dad. When's the funeral?"
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