I needed to clear my head. The gym wasn’t doing it for me. Somehow, the elliptical machine did little to change the past. A 25-year-old past was sneaking up on me and I couldn’t turn to anyone and tell them. My girlfriends could never know and my family would flip out if they knew their secret was back. They had worked so hard to protect our family image.
The letter went through my head again and again. How could I make this all go away? I’ve always been raised knowing my family was “above the law”, so to speak. We didn’t have to operate under the “rules” “normal” people do. I’m not quite sure who we were, but my mother had always made it clear we were better than everyone else.
Why? I had no answer to that question. It’s a lonely world when you’re raised to believe you are better than all of your classmates. My friends were my parents’ friends’ children. I was still amazed when I went to weddings and some failed to compare to the grandiose birthday parties I went to and grew up with. Last year was the best birthday in the world. My girlfriends took me to this little fish place on the Cape and we sipped on cheap wine and ate fried food until our hearts were content. I also believe my feet were dressed in cheap flip- flops to complement my cut-off jeans and tank top. There were no tiaras, gowns, councilmen, or mayors. Nope. It was me, my friends, and a bar full of strangers. It was the best birthday of my life.
What did I have to show these women who gave me my first real birthday? A family secret I’d never shared with them. They were like my sisters and how could I now tell them the daughter I had at fifteen, who I never met, just found me?
© 2013 Mia L. Hazlett
All Rights Reserved. Excerpt from Conundrum- March 2014 release date.