At times even I wonder about my origins. For all her efforts to create our definitive history, there are no photographs of my parents' wedding in the family album, none of my mother pregnant and none of me as a newborn. In the only snapshot of me taken before the age of seven months a blurry infant in light blue, teetering on a bed I do not recognize. I saw little resemblance to the buttery-colored baby my mother claimed I had been, the newborn whose sloping forehead and masses of long wavy hair looked "just like a Mayan or Egyptian princess." Whenever I demanded proof of this previous incarnation, she explained wistfully that she and my father could not afford a camera. By the time they got hold of one, my forehead had rounded out and my hair tightened into curls. But that was fine too, according to my mother.
Back rigid against the sofa, I unfurl The Question onto my tongue. Though I am nearly sixteen, it drags in my throat. "So...I'm adopted?"
My mother whips her head from side to side. "No, no, no. I'm just saying that your poppie and I were never married." A faint smile lurks around the corners of her mouth.
Not married! My best friend Cheryl will undoubtedly add this to her list of why my mother and I are going to Everlasting Hellfire first being my refusal to accept Jesus as my personal savior and second my refusal to get my mother to vote Republican. I can see her asking her youth group to take a break from playing rock records backwards in the church basement in attempt to detect messages from Satan, so that they can spend an afternoon praying for my bastard soul.
I grin, mildly titillated by my parents' lack of convention. Here at last are the romance and drama of my origins previously missing from my mother's stories. I sit back, eager to hear the rest.