Thursday, March 26, 2020

A vine with two branches

Zach first met Jeremy during Zach's freshman year of junior high. Jeremy was a year ahead of him. They were complete strangers–or so it seemed. But they took a liking to each other and began to hang out a lot. There was a certain affinity that drew them to each other, even though they couldn't quite put their finger on it. It went deeper than natural rapport between best friends. The more time they spent together, the stronger the sense of affinity. They could anticipate each other's thoughts. They could anticipate what the other was going to say next. It was uncanny, as if they had overlapping minds. 

Zach always suspected that he was adopted, but he never asked his parents. A part of him didn't want to know that his own parents rejected him. 

But the dynamic with Jeremy made him wonder if they might be related. What were the odds? Under what circumstances could they have been separated? It seemed so far-fetched. And yet they appeared to have built-in bond. 

So Zach asked Jeremy if he thought they might be related. Jeremy didn't think that was possible. Still, when he got home, he posed the question. 

The expression on his mother's face was a dead giveaway. Turns out she had Zach and Jeremy out-of-wedlock by the same boyfriend, but at the time she couldn't afford to raise both as a single mom, so she put Zach up for adoption. They were too young to remember each other.

Jeremy was shocked. All these years he had a brother he never knew about. Never suspected the existence of a younger brother. He felt betrayed. All the lost years. 

So that explained it. Their minds were indeed linked. A part of each other, not just genetically but psychologically, like two branches of the same vine. 

It took Jeremy months to forgive his mother, and even then a part of him held it against her. As for Zach, when the situation was explained, he understood his mother's motivations. She was in a desperate situation at the time. It wasn't malicious. It wasn't intentional rejection. 

But he just couldn't get over it. He couldn't bring himself to meet her. It cut too deep. It was too awkward. How as he supposed to act? She both was and wasn't his mother. She hadn't raised him, so he didn't know how to act around her. 

He did track down his biological father, but out of curiosity, not reconciliation. After meeting his father, he could tell he didn't miss out on not having a father like that. 

However, Zach and Jeremy now had each other, and made up for lost time. 

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