The phone rings once and he picks up.
I really wasn’t ready but, “Hi. This is Tracy. I’m looking for Spencer.”
“Yes. Yes. This is Spencer.”
His voice is shaky.
He sounds out of breath.
“I can’t believe we found you.”
He talks more.
I say, “How do you know I am your sister? Maybe this is a mistake? How can you be sure?”
My body is shaking.
I don’t know what is happening to me.
I can’t stop my body from shaking.
I am talking louder and louder.
When things scare me—I get angry.
I sound angry now.
Why does he sound like an Italian man from New York?
He says, “You ARE my sister.”
“But how do you know?”
The question hangs in the air.
I am suspicious.
Who are you and what do you want from me?
Please don’t hurt me.
I am tired.
His voice is calmer now, “Do you have curly hair?”
“Yes”, I whisper.
How did he know that?
“Do you have freckles on your face?”
“I do”, I say a little louder.
“Do you have big square flat Barney Rubble feet? Did they say something is wrong with your feet?”
“Yes”, I scream at him, laughing now.
The doctors gave me special shoes when I was a child. I forgot until he mentions it.
“How did you know that?”, my voice is small.
He laughs and it sounds like my own.
“BECAUSE YOU ARE MY SISTER!! Listen to me, I have loved you all my life. I know just by the sound of your voice that you are my sister.
You have a big family and they all love you and miss you and everyone is very excited. Everyone is so glad to have you back!”
A big family?
I always did want a big family.
Spencer is older than me.
I am the second oldest.
The first girl—-Jerry’s first daughter.
I heard that name before.
Jerry is my mother. I heard my foster mother say that name when I was young.
“Do I have more sisters and brothers?”
“Yeah, yeah. There’s ten of us. Your Grandma D always felt bad about them taking you. She tried to keep everyone together. She took care of all of us. She looked for you until she died. I remember playing with you when you were a baby. I was so happy to have a little sister. And then one day you were gone. I never understood what happened. I just knew I loved you and was going to find you and get you back. I have loved you all my life and I have been looking for you”
Spencer is so happy that he is crying.
He is crying because of me.
I cry harder.
I have never heard this man’s voice before but it makes me feel safe and loved.
My big brother Spencer was looking for ME!
I talk between heaves of air.
“I have always been alone. It’s just me and my daughter. I am a Mom. Her father and his family left us when I was 17. My foster mother left me in the streets to fend for me and my kid. I did what I had to do to get by. But I AM ALIVE.
I never took those pills! I never pulled that trigger! I never jumped off that bridge! I am here! And I put myself through school and I have two college degrees and I work a good job at a very prominent place.
I have my own house.
My daughter is a wonderful child.
I am not a crackhead.
I am not crazy.
I got through this shit AND I AM ALIVE!
I have always felt forgotten. That no one cared….”
I have to hold onto the building now.
I am weak with emotion.
So this is what it feels like to faint?
I light another cigarette.
“Always felt that I was invisible. Every year for my birthday I looked at the mail. Maybe if I was forgotten about someone will remember my birthday. Waiting for someone to remember me. Every year I looked and nothing ever came. EVERY YEAR OF MY LIFE I LOOKED! And when one day I stopped looking.”
I can barely speak I am crying so hard.
I inhale, “My birthday is in two days!”, I tell him.
“…..And we are here Now, kiddo. And I am never gonna leave you. You won’t be alone ever again in your life”, he sounds so confident.
Now I believe him.
I am crying.
Spencer is crying.
I ask if I have a mother?
“Yes. Yes, you do. She’s fine. She lives in Mexico. She’s a such a nice woman. She loves you so much. We found a man that might be our father. You and me may have the same father. We are the oldest. It started with us.”
I have a mother?
She is fine?
I never even dreamed of my mother being okay. I thought she would dead or on drugs.
I get to have a mother and father and siblings?
I have a grandfather who is 92?
I ask more questions and he answers.
I am giggling in between words.
It’s a habit I have when I get nervous.
He talks rapidly and laughs in between his sentences.
Just like me!
I am listening to the sound of his voice.
Listening to my brother talk and laugh because he is nervous…just like me!
For the first time in my life I feel safe.
I trust my big brother Spencer because he said I am not alone and I never have to feel alone again.
My big brother is Spencer is here.
I have to go now.
I have been gone from my desk for a along time. I am not sure what to do now.
I spent my entire life being adopted and alone…..Now I am not.
I feel lite.
I could float away now.
We say good bye.
More people will be calling all weekend.
“Get ready”, he tells me.
We are both at work.
He is in California.
Three hours behind me in NY.
We will talk more later on.
He says “Steph is sending pictures to you now.”
OK, well that’s what she said she would do. I don’t want to get too excited just in case she forgets or gets busy.
“I love you, kiddo and I am so happy I found you!”
Spencer says more people are going to call me.
My mother should be calling soon, he says.
People are staring at me as I talk.
I am yelling and crying and talking and crying and smoking and talking and crying.
We hang up.
I am excited.
It begins to rain.
I lift my head and let the raindrops wash the tears from my face.
Wash the feelings of nothingness off of my body.
I breathe in air………Clean beautiful refreshing brand new air.
I exhale the hatred I have for myself.
I breathe in hope.
I head back through the lobby.
Back on the up elevators.
Back through the one and then two security doors and down the stairs to the lower floor.
I run/walk to my desk and check my email.
I open my Outlook screen.
One new email.
It is from Stephanie ****.
I click it and begin to read……
(to be continued…..)