I'm at a party with some friends, Jennifer, Brook, et al, and we're gathered at a rather fancy house in the suburbs. My parents arrive, unexpectedly, accompanied by a stranger. The stranger is a middle aged male, round doughy face, thinning hair, placid expression and he's blind.

My parents take me out onto the front porch of the house - white pillars and brick frontage - and tell me that this blind man, who is showing every sign of being mildly retarded, is my natural father. I'm rather startled by this and ask how such a thing could be. Susan tells me that this man wasn't always as he is now. He has contracted a disease, or suffered in an accident - it's not clear which - that has left him in his current state. Susan tells me that when she knew him, he was a normal, healthy man.

Still, I can't believe that Christopher is not my biological father - after all, there is a strong physical resemblance between us - but my mother assures me that she is telling me the truth. I ask them why they had lied to me all my life, and they can only look shamefaced and mumble something about being in love, and thinking this was best.

I talk to this stranger for a few minutes. He has the manner and intelligence of a twelve year old, and that child-like demeanor that marks some mentally disabled people. He understands that he is my father, and he asks me what I've done with my life. I give him a very short run-down of my accomplishments - got a degree, got married, got a job - and that pleases him no end. His slack-jawed smile only annoys me further.

I take a deep breath - quite a few - and tell my parents to take off, and to take this stranger with them. As far as I'm concerned, I'm Chris' daughter and that's the end of it. I don't want to see this lump who is supposedly half of my DNA. I'm fostering the hope that Susan could be mistaken about my paternity, but even as they leave, they are adamant.

Jennifer has been nearby through this. Once my family is gone, I ask her to walk me to my car, and to tell Alex I want to go home now. Then I break down. I'm ravaged with dissapointment at my parents' lies, and the uninspiring being that has fathered me - it causes shame on too many levels, and I just can't cope. Fade.




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