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Photo from citylab. I figured I probably had. Having an older brother must have just slipped my mind. Presumably Mom had never told me that. I guess he did. Don't be late for supper tomorrow. This was one reunion I had no intention of missing.

School the next day really dragged on. School never goes fast on Fridays, but when your mind is on some newly acquired half I brother, it's real hard to care about Julius Caesar. It seemed to me it was Mom's story not mine, and besides, my friends all think she's crazy anyway. Probably from things I've said over the years. It was true. I hadn't seen the place look so good since Great-Aunt Trudy came with the goat, but that's another story. They were coral colored.

I nodded. Mom had taught me that nothing was unbearable if your hair looked nice. I own a grand total of one dress, but this seemed to be the right kind of occasion for it. Mom gave me a smile like I'd just been canonized. I wasn't sure just what to say anymore. Mom and I have been alone for eight years, and you'd figure by now I'd know how to handle her under any circumstances, but this one had me stumped.

And turkey seemed too Thanksgivingish, if you know what I mean. Everybody likes fried chicken. And I made mashed potatoes and biscuits and a spinach salad. I could picture Mom pouring the spinach out of a can and dousing it with Wishbones. And I baked an apple pie too.

The ice cream is store bought, but I got one of those expensive brands. What do you think? I thought that there obviously was something to that Prodigal Son story, since Mom never made anything more elaborate for me than scrambled eggs. It did, too, the way you picture a house in a commercial smelling, all homey and warm. There were a few things I knew I'd better clear up before Big Brother showed up. I would have named him Ronald. I personally am named Tiffany, and Ronald would not have been my first guess.

Mom nodded. Well that answered question number two. It had seemed unlikely to me that my father was responsible, but who knew? I wasn't there. Maybe he and Mom had decided they wanted a girl, and chucked out any boys that came along first. Speaking of which. I did the right thing, for him and for me. Maybe because I gave up the baby, I was too eager to get married.

I never really thought about it. And it didn't. I found myself picturing a baby being thrown in Mom's face, and decided I should take my shower fast. So I sniffed the kitchen appreciatively and scurried out. In the shower I tried to imagine what this Jack would look like, but he kept resembling Dad's high-school graduation picture, which made no sense biologically at all.

So I stopped imagining. When I went to my bedroom to change, though, I was really shocked. Mom had extended her cleaning ways to include my room. All my carefully laid out messes were gone. It would probably take me months to reassemble things. I considered screaming at Mom about the sanctity of one's bedroom, but I decided against it.

Mom obviously wanted this guy to think she and I were the perfect American family, and lf that meant even my room had to be clean, then nothing was going to stop her. I could live with it, at least for the evening. Mom and I set the table three times before the doorbell finally rang.

When it did, neither one of us knew who should answer it, but Mom finally opened the door. He didn't look anything like my father. We might as well get them out of the way fast. Then when we got around to the big tricky words like mother and son, at least some groundwork would have been laid. They say you can tell a lot about a man from his handshake, but not when he's your long lost brother.

I mean bother. Tiffany, why don't you show Jack the living room I'll join you in a moment. I see him sometimes. I kind of asked. Your father's name is Ronny. My father's name is Mike. I don't know much else about your father except he didn't want to marry Mom. They were both teenagers, I guess. Do you want to meet him too? I could sure understand that one. Did you want that-to have a kid sister, I mean?

I have a sister back home. She's adopted too. She's Korean. I guess there isn't much of a family resemblance, then. How old are you? My father's always griping about it. He owns a car dealership. New and used. I work there summers. My mom's a housewife. I wanted to tell him that maybe someday I'd be jealous that he'd been given away to a family that could afford to send him to college, but that it was too soon for me to feel much of anything about him.

There was a lot I wanted to say, but I didn't say any of it. She drinks and she gambles and she beats me black and blue if I even think something wrong. Jack looked horrified. I realized he had definitely not inherited Mom's sense of humor. She's fine. She's a good mother. It must have really hurt her to give you away like that. It didn't seem right to tell him I'd learned less than twenty four hours before.

To see what they looked like. I love Mom and Dad, you understand. But I felt this need. I was starting to develop a real need to see what Jack's parents looked like, and we weren't even related. It takes a lot out of you making small talk with a brother. Do you like him? Does he seem nice? So we did. We carried out platters of chicken and mashed potatoes and biscuits and salad' Jack came to the table as soon as he saw what we were doing.

She looked as shocked as he'd told her he was a vampire.


Family of Strangers

This was one bed on Thursday that Mom bothered to tell reunion I had no intention of missing. School twenty years earlier was coming over for never goes fast on Fridays, but when your mind is supper the next day. I asked. It seemed to me it was Moms said. You must have forgotten.


As It is With Strangers

Susan Beth Pfeffer born February 17, is a retired American author best known for young adult science fiction. After writing for 35 years, she received wider notice for her series of post-apocalyptic novels often called 'The Last Survivors' or 'Moon Crash' series, some of which have appeared on the New York Times. As it is with Strangers About the Story Non Fiction Connection The Theme Summary Summary Summary After her long-lost half brother left, Tiffany didn't feel nearly as close to her mother as she did before, she felt as if she had just learned something about her mother, that was improtant, yet was hidden from her. She had gone to school for two years, before making the decision to drop out of high school, finding it both easier to take care of her child, and to take off as much stress that was on her shoulders.


Photo from citylab. I figured I probably had. Having an older brother must have just slipped my mind. Presumably Mom had never told me that. I guess he did. Don't be late for supper tomorrow. This was one reunion I had no intention of missing.

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