Sad Fiction Mystery

Now, everyone has said their goodbyes. The house was quiet. No one was here but me. It was time to face the music. As I looked up the staircase, I pause took a deep breath and began to go up the stairs.  Once I reached the room, I stood at the door. I slowly open the door. The door hits the wall. What staring at me is a portrait of you. I know you couldn’t last forever. I wanted more time with you. I felt you wanted to tell me something. I sat down at your desk. I could smell your fragrance as I move around at your desk. Tears fills my eyes; I pull the desk drawer open I see a photo of me as a baby and a journal. I study the picture. The baby eyes were blue. Who baby is this? I turn the picture over it reads Aaron December 1965. I was a year old then. Peter and Pearl was five years old then. I continue to stare at this picture. My eyes are brown even now. Who is this baby?

       I didn’t want to read this journal. I knew the answer was in the journal. Maybe I should call Peter or Pearl for the answer. Then I might bring up some memories for them that was too hurtful. I need to know! This baby looks too much like me. I rush downstairs to the family picture album. I look at my baby picture of December 1965, it is identical to mine. Did I have a twin? Did I have a brother? No one ever told me about him, what happened to him? 

       I didn’t go in the room for a few days. I needed to get my thoughts together. I wasn’t ready to read the journal but was ready to ask questions. I was more afraid of the answers that I would receive. I wanted to leave the house. I knew if I did it would still be waiting on me. The questions and answers would still be looking at me. I slept in the guest bedroom downstairs. 

       Finally, Pearl had called to let me know she was back home. As we greeted each other I wanted to ask so badly. I waited as she told me about who had sent cards and money. She would put the money in my account to take care of the expenses. Before I could ask:

“Adam, what is wrong?” , ask Pearl.

"I went to clean out her desk. Mom had a picture of a baby boy that look identical to me but he had blue eyes. On the back of the photo was Aaron December 1965. Who is he?”

Pearl was quiet. I heard her let out a wailing that made me cry. I wiped the tears from my eyes. I screamed for Pearl. Luke came to the phone. “Adam she can’t talk. I have to get her calm down. What did you say to her?”, he asked.

“ I asked about a picture of a baby I found in Mom desk"., I replied.

Luke got very quiet. He took a deep breath. “Let me get Pearl calm down, I will tell you what I know”, he said. Without a goodbye I heard the click and a dial tone. I laid on the bed crying. What did I say? What did I awaken in my sister that I caused her so much pain?

       I waited for Luke to call me back. I didn’t want to call him. I still wasn’t brave enough to go read the journal. I knew the answer was there. Two days has passed Luke still hasn’t called. I stood at the end of the stairs. I looked at the photo. I took the first step and up the stairs. For the first time these stairs seemed so long this time. The arch in the stairs was detailed to every step this time. I finally got to the door. I stood there staring at the door for hours. That journal was still in the desk drawer where I left it. I sat down at the desk.  Her fragrance almost transported me to a time I would see her writing at her desk, smiling as her thoughts was coming to her mind. I pulled the journal out of the drawer so slowly. I wanted to keep it in tact. I sat the journal on the desk in front of me. Minutes felt like hours and hours felt like days. I opened the journal it was empty pages. All I could do was laugh, because I knew this was going to be my answer to the question to this photo. There was no answer in this journal. I began searching the desk. I didn’t find no answers. I checked the side table beside the bed. I found nothing. I left the room in a disarray. I went back downstairs to the guest room. I began to weep. The pain of not knowing is starting to make me feel powerless, broken and lost. 

       It is day five, I began my day like any other day. I knew something was going to happen today. It was after four in the afternoon, the phone rings. I pick up the phone, I could hear the someone breathing softly on the phone. Then, the voice was weak, stern with a soft bass says "Adam please sit down".

“Ok, who are you?”, I ask.  The person paused.  “I am your father”.

“What? My father has been dead for years.”, I replied. 

“Adam, your mother and I met in 1960 briefly at party. When Peter and Pearl father died in a car accident a year later. I helped her to raise Peter and Pearl. I fell in love with her. My job opportunity came for me to move to Texas. Your mother didn’t want to move, since your brother and sister was just getting back to some normalcy. I passed on that opportunity. I asked your mother to marry me. She refused. I was still there for Peter and Pearl.  The opportunity came again for me this time to go to Virginia. I took it this time. I didn’t know she was pregnant. When I learned of this you were three months old.”

“Did I have a brother name Aaron?”, he asked.

The voice paused; he began to clear his throat. “Adam, Aaron was your twin brother. He was sick. He died in his sleep. The doctor diagnosed it what you would call SIDS. Your mother went into depression. That is how you, Peter and Pearl lived with your aunt. I took care of all of you until your mother was back on her feet”, he replied.

Adam began to cry. Everything that he was thinking was right. 

“What is your name?”, I asked.

“My name is Charles Goastel.” 

“I would like to meet you, Charles.”

“I would like that.”, he replied. 

“Where are you now?”, I asked.

“I live in Chesapeake, Virginia.”

“I will call you when I have my flight booked.” I hung up the phone. I received my answer. I had a father that I never knew about. I had a brother that I never knew. Thank you, Mom for leaving me an answer to what you carried in your heart. I hope you are holding Aaron, now.

July 22, 2021 01:30

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Ben Rounds
00:43 Jul 29, 2021

Critique circle Okay. I like the open ended nature of the story, that it doesn't have a conventional wrap up, and doesn't need one; it's not really about that. However. Your prose could do with some work. You have a lot of repeat words; "I stood at the door. I slowly open the door. The door hits the wall" That's, 'door,' 3 times in 15 words... Also, tense and punctuation are, well, wrong. So. Good idea, but perhaps more re-reads? Happy writing, Ben


Mellanie Crouell
20:38 Jul 29, 2021

Hello Ben, Thank you for the critique. Yes, tense is a weak area for me. Please give an example of the punctuation.


Ben Rounds
00:44 Jul 30, 2021

I posted a response to this; did it go through?


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