Gracie

“You’re not adopted?” Gracie was quite upset with her older sister.
“No.”
“All this time.” Gracie wiped a tear. “Wait. Am I adopted?”
“Yes.”
“I just… Why? Why did mom and dad say you were? Why didn’t you tell me?”
“Gracie, we all still love you. You are an amazing…”
“Hold on. You keep saying shit like that. You have to stop saying shit like that.”
“But it’s true.”
“I know it’s true. I know it. I get it. I’m an amazing women. People love me. I make a big difference. Blah, blah, blah. But I’m adopted. And you’re not and…” Her red cheeks were now wet with tears.
“Gracie…”
“How long have you known?”
“Mom told me at the hospital. The night before she died.”
“Why didn’t you tell me? Why didn’t mom tell me?”
“Tell you what? That you’re big sister was born before they had any money? That they were this close to giving me up for adoption? That mom changed her mind at the last minute and broke that other couple’s heart?”
“What are you talking about?”
“That’s right, Gracie. Mom and dad almost gave me away. The mom just couldn’t do it. Dad was furious, she said.” Now it was Gracie’s sister’s turn to cry. “A few years after I was born, dad got that job at the steel mill. Made great money.”
“So they adopted me?”
“They tried like crazy to get pregnant. But it just wouldn’t work. So after a long time, they decided to adopt. Said it was somehow a way to make up for not letting that other couple have me.”
“I don’t know what to say. You’ve been a great sister. The best. But you are the real daughter.”
“Now you stop that, Gracie! Don’t you see? Can’t you see the truth? I’m the one they didn’t really want! They were going to give me away. You…” She placed her face in her hands. “They wanted you so bad that they went and found you.”
Gracie was stunned. She hadn’t thought of that. Ever. She had always assumed that mom and dad adopted them out of pity or desperation. She had felt loved but she always assumed there was a certain level of manufactured family closeness.
Gracie spoke softly. “It’s finally clear to me. You and I, we saved each other.”
“How’s that, Gracie?”
“You showed them how much love they had to give. They loved you so much that they needed another child to pour their love into. So they went out and got me.”
“And you taught me how to love myself. And how to love others.”
“Well. I’m glad we got that settled. Now lets go have some ice cream with our lawyer so we can sue the hell out of that drunk driver that killed your biological parents!”
<dear reader: I sincerely apologize for that lame ending. I get it. It sucks. No. Really. It's horrible. But, look. You didn't pay anything other than a few minutes if your time and besides, I had to wrap it up. It's late and I must arise early to go make a few bad decisions while riding a bike across Iowa (www.ragbrai.com).>

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