I lay in bed, my teenage body exhausted from sporadic outbursts of anger and a constant state of crippling embarrassment. My eyes had fixed themselves onto the black flowers stencilled onto the walls of my childhood bedroom, a frequent focal point of mine on these Saturday mornings, as my mind considered whether it would be my full bladder or empty stomach that would eventually drive me from this cave. I could hear the distant clanging and clattering from the industrial estate a couple of miles away; it must have been around 11am. Footsteps on the stairs- Mother. My ears were acutely attuned to the different way each family member ascended. I heard the creak of the floorboard that could only be disturbed on the route to my room, and prepared myself for her entry.
The familiar sight of my mum was interrupted by a mysterious red folder in her hands. Curiosity and panic began to duel in the pit of my stomach.
“What’s that?” I asked, before she even had a chance to say good morning.
“I didn’t like lying to you last night.”
My mind flicked back to her walking through the door the previous evening, returning from an unknown location, asserting that it was just allergies that had blotched her face. I knew she was lying.
Panic took the upper hand over curiosity; I said nothing.
“I’m going to leave this here for you to read. Let me know when you’ve finished it and I’ll come back for a chat.”
She left the threatening folder on my bed and left the room, closing the door behind her.
Curiosity took control, picked it up and began flicking through the pages.
Birth certificate, letters, photographs. There was a reason my mother’s eyes were hazel and her brother’s were blue. My grandfather was an imposter.