I tossed and turned during the night. I couldn’t help but wondering what was my parents talking about. What do they mean they need to tells us the truth? Whatever it was, it sounded seriously. Eventually I drifted off to sleep, dreaming my usual dreams of having full genie powers and living on a world made of ice cream. Usual kid stuff ya know.
In the morning, I wasn’t awaken by the smell of mom’s cooking of pancakes or waffles with eggs and bacon. Instead I was awaken by the sound of rolling thunder. Dad said that it was going to be storming and raining most of the day, and told us we won’t be going to day camp because of it. Dad’s work shift starts slightly after mom’s shift ends, so there wouldn’t be an issue.
Dad opened the door and told us to get up, breakfast was ready. I didn’t smell anything, so I was confused. My brothers and I exited our bedroom and headed to the dining room. We found breakfast on the table, lumpy oatmeal. Mom doesn’t make oatmeal, she always said that wasn’t real breakfast. But we also notice mom wasn’t there. Dad made breakfast today cause mom had to go into work early today.
Valerii looked at her bowl with disgust. She whined saying she only wanted to stay the night so she could have my mom’s famous butter pecan pancakes. She complained how she doesn’t like her mom’s cooking. She wanted real food for once since her grandma Fraine got a job in Richdale and she’s too busy to cook like she use to. I teased Valerii back, telling her to go home if she didn’t like the lump-meal which she called. She stuck her tongue out and I stuck mine out in return. Dad didn’t say anything, he didn’t look away from his bowl. Something about dad wasn’t right.
Dad was unusually quiet and distance today. He was always telling jokes at the table but today, he didn’t say much. He didn’t bother to join in our conversations. We all took notice of dad’s odd behavior and the chatter soon died. We sat there and finished our “lump-meal” in awkward silence.
“Hey Montell, Antonio, Clarice, Raiden and Giana, I need to talk to you guys when you’re done.”
Dad had finally broke his silence, his tone was serious and it’s rare to see dad serious. Dad was all jokes and play.
“Are we in trouble? I didn’t do it. It was probably Stella!”
“Hey! I didn’t do anything!”
Giana was nervous just like the rest of us, we felt we were in trouble although none of did anything. But if something was broken, it was probably Stella. However Stella has been acting pretty well lately, so it had it be about something else. Then I thought about how weird our parents were acting last night.
“No Giana. No one is in trouble.”
My litter mates and I all met dad in the living. Dad still had a serious face but also a look of worry. I could also tell that he didn’t sleep much last night either. He yawned while he massaged his neck a bit.
“We wanted to tell you guys this together but your mom’s has a deadline at work today. So it’s just me. I dunno how to explain things are how to start but the unthinkable just happen and it is time to tell you all. The truth… The truth of how you guys came to be.”
“Your mom Nakia isn’t your actual mom. I mean legally she is but by blood.. She’s not. A long time ago after driving home from a Valentine’s day dinner, your real mom Clarissa and I got into a car wreck. Clarissa slipped into a coma and we was told that she was in a permanent vegetable state. Meaning she would never awake from her coma. I also found out that she was pregnant with you guys. It was very early in the pregnancy and doctors advise me to have the pregnancy ended. They felt she would lose you kids eventually but I decided not to obviously. The pregnancy was doing well for the most part until the 8th month. The were some issues and you guys ended up being born 6 weeks early. You guys had to be delivered at that time or you kids and Clar would all die. We you kids were born, we learned that Clarissa actually had 8 babies. Unfortunately your brother Nuri was stillborn, your sister Desiree only lived for 2 hours while your other sister Jada lived for 14 hours. Nuri, Desiree and Jada were hidden behind you Raiden, reasons why it went unnoticed.”
“When I asked Nakia to marry me, I also asked her to adopt you 5 along with Eli, Orion and Solar. ..Oh and Stella too! She loved you all like you her own. But we had some issues with Nakia adopting you 5 since Clarissa is still alive. She still had brain activity although she was a vegetable. Legally Nakia couldn’t adopt you 5 however a new law was passed allowing Nakia to do so. A week before your 5th birthday, Nakia became your legal parent. Nakia and I had to be married before she was allowed to adopt you 5. But I am telling you all this because the impossible had happen 3 weeks ago. Clarissa came out of her coma. She woke up shortly after I visited her for the final time. I told her goodbye and I guess that woke her up. But that doesn’t mean anything is going to change. Nakia is still your mother no what matter. I’m not sure when you kids will get to meet Clarissa. I’m sorry for keeping this from you guys but we planned to tell you about Clarissa when you kids were older. Your grandparents in Italy are Clarissa’s parents. You got your wolf genes from her, Raiden. Clarissa is a lycan like your grandpa Muraco. So if you got any questions. Let me know.”
My heart dropped into my stomach. My mom isn’t really my mom. My real mom is a wolf and she made me into what I am now. I always wondered how we had a third set of grandparents. Mom and Dad never really explained the relation nor did we ever questioned it. It’s not like we see our Italian grandparents much anyway. I wasn’t sure how I felt about the truth. The more I thought about it, the more I became to feel hurt and betrayed. How could they lie to us? Why have us believe that Nakia is our mom. I knew she adopted the other kids, it was obvious but I thought my litter mates and I belonged to both my mom and dad.
Dad said this changes nothing but it changes everything. What do I call our real mom? Will she live with us? My litter mates had a better reaction than I did. They didn’t seem too bothered and Clarice thought it was cool to have 2 moms cause they means we will get more presents. They others went off to play while I sulked in my room. Dad came to talk to me. I asked about the other litter mates, were they like me. Dad told me that Nuri and Desiree were both full wolves but Jada was kinda like me. She was both wolf and genie but her wolf DNA was higher. I asked dad if our birth mom knows about us. Dad said he didn’t know, he haven’t spoken to her yet. He just found out last night when one of the doctors left him a voicemail.
After a chat with dad, I got dressed and played with my brothers. Naturally they wanted to talk about our real mom but I wasn’t in the mood to think about it anymore.
“Dad said our real mom is a wolf. I think that’s kinda cool. Whatcha think, Rai? I guess that explains what you are.”
“I’m a genie. That’s all that matters.”
“But you’re so a-“
“No Monty! I am a genie! Just a genie like you and the others!”
“Child boy! You know that isn’t true. I think it’s cool. We are just boring genies and you get to be both.”
“It’s not cool turning into a freak monster every full moon! I bet if you had wolf blood then you wouldn’t think it’s cool. Plus I’m sick all the time and I can’t do things like you guys do. How is that cool, Tony?”
“Sorry Rai. But I wonder is our real mom is really pretty. Cause I probably got my good looks from her. You guys are ugly. Ha ha ha ha!”
“Whatever Tony! I wonder when do we get to meet her. What do we call her? Other mom? Wolf mom? Mom 2?”
“She had us, Monty. She would be mom 1. So our mom here is mom 2. So I guess we call the real mom, mom 1 and the mom here mom 2.”
“You got a better idea, Rai?”
“Yeah. Let’s not talk about it. Let’s just build our town again.”
“Better my building is better than you guys. It’s my fashion salon.”
We didn’t talk about our birth mom much after that. We carried on and played in our room like any other day. But I often thought about her in the back of my mind. What was she like? What was her favorite food? What was her favorite music? I find myself thinking about tons of questions to ask dad about her. I’m pretty sure Clarice and Giana are talking dad’s ears off about her. I guess I can wait for another day.
As the day went on, I felt a bit weak and decided to rest for a bit. Dad asked me if I was okay but I told him I was just tired. He told me to rest up and mom would be home soon. Dad had to stop at Fraine’s house for a little bit before he headed to work, one of the quads was cranky. Since Janaya was home from school, she would check on me until mom got home.
The sound of mom’s voice woken me up. She sat down next to me on my bed and placed her hand across my forehead. Usually I’m happy to see her but I felt slightly different today. I wanted to pull her hand away and roll over but I couldn’t bring myself to do so.
“Your dad said you weren’t feeling well today. You’re warmer than usual. You got a little fever now. But I’m gonna take care of that.”
“Why do you care? You’re not my real mom…”
“Little boy, watch your tone. I am still your mother. I may not given you life but I raised you since one day.”
“I’m sorry mom but how can you be our mom when you know we really weren’t yours?”
“Because you picked me to be your mother.”
“I picked you? How?”
“You picked me on the day you were born. I decided to spend the summer with your dad in EC so the quads could spend more time with him. Plus I finally decided to cash in my vacation time. I was there the day you and the others were born. You were so tiny, you barely weighted 2 pounds. You had to go into surgery as soon was you were born. Your heart was on the outside. But before you went, your dad and I got to see you for 30 seconds. You squeezed my finger before you rushed off. At that moment, I knew you picked me.”
“So you was always around?”
“I stayed in EC until early September. The kids had to go back to school but we did come back for Thanksgiving and Christmas. When I wasn’t there, your dad and I video chat so I could see and talk you guys. You always responded well to me, whenever I touch, held or talked you to. You got stronger whenever you knew I was around. When it was Christmas time, I hate knowing that you would be spending your first Christmas in the NICU. Your siblings were ready to go home a little bit before Halloween but the doctors didn’t think you would be ready until New Years.”
“So when did I come home?”
“On Christmas. I went to the hospital, I wasn’t about to let you spend it alone. You were so strong and I knew you was ready. I told the doctors that I wanted to take you home. Course they felt you needed more time but you had a huge turn around that day when I held you. The doctors notice how you only responded to very well. Your doctor looked at me and said, “I guess all he needs now is his mother’s love.” I called your dad telling him to get up there so he could sign your release papers. Within an hour of me coming up there, we brought you home. And I knew it was official that you 5 were my babies rather your dad decided to be serious with me or not.”
“So is that when you decided to marry my dad?”
“I wanted to marry your dad a long time ago but he played too much. He didn’t know what he wanted. He was confused and had a lot going on. He was pretty upset about Clarissa. Their relationship didn’t end, it was taken away. The more we spent time together, the closer we got. Eventually your dad wise up when I told him that I was done playing house. He said when you saw a picture of me, you said “mama” and smiled. Your dad made up his mind, and asked to move in with me. He wanted us to be a family. And now we are.”
“So what do we call the other mom? Is she gonna come live with us? Does she know about you? Is she gonna make us go live with her?”
“You can just call her mom too or mama or even mommy.”
“Mommy is a baby word.”
“Ha ha ha, yeah. But Raiden, I’m not sure what’s going to happen at this point. Your dad and I are trying to figure things out. You don’t need to worry about that. We just need to get your fever down.”
“Can I have some ice cream?”
“Not before dinner, boo.”
“Okay. I love you, mom.”
“I love you too.”
After dinner I was feeling better. Of course after some cookies and cream ice cream. It was my turn to take the mail to the mailbox. Since I was feeling better, mom allowed me to do it. I heard some footsteps coming behind me, I didn’t much of it until I heard a voice say, “Hi.”
“Hi there! My name is Noelle Sheridan. My family just moved in from Bridgeport. Whoa you have really weird eyes. What’s your name?”
“Who are you calling weird! I’m not weird or freak!”
“What? I didn’t call you a freak. I just said you had weird eyes. They aren’t the same color.”
“Yes you did! You just said I was!”
“I mean weird as in cool! You got an orange eye and a blue eye. It’s cool.”
“Well I don’t like being called weird!”
“But I didn’t call YOU weird.”
“It sounded like it! But you called my eyes weird. Maybe your eyes are weird too!”
“Hey! My eyes are pretty like my mom’s!”
“I said maybe. Your eyes aren’t weird!”
“Then why did you say that?!”
“Cause you said mine was but I didn’t mean it!”
“Well I didn’t mean to call yours weird in a bad way!”
“Okay well you shouldn’t use the word weird if you think it’s good thing.”
“Don’t tell me what to say! Weird is means cool in Bridgeport!”
“But I didn’t know that!”
“Now you do! You didn’t even tell me your name. How are we going to be friends?”
“My name is Raiden but my family calls me Rai.”
“I see! You’re a ray of sunshine! You’re really grumpy. I think I’ll call you Sunshine.”
“I had a bad day! Don’t call me Sunshine!”
“I’m sorry that you had a bad day. So your name is Raiden? That’s a cool name but I’m still gonna call you Sunshine. So how old are you? I’m 6 but I’ll be 7 on September 22. There’s something different about you. What are you?”
“I’m 6 too but I’ll be 7 on July 10th. Maybe you can come to my birthday party next month. My parents always throw us cool birthday parties. And yeah there’s something different about me, I’m a genie.”
“You’re a genie? Really? Oh cool! I never met a genie before. I really the occult like fairies, genies anything magical! I think vampires and wolves are cool too! But wow a genie! Can you really make wishes? That would be great! I got so many wishes to make but my first wish is to be your friend! I think you’re cute.”
“Genies can’t really make wishes like in the movies. But we can do other cool stuff.”
“Ohhh well I bet the other things are just as cool. Can you make ice cream appear?”
“I could but I haven’t learned to do my powers yet but I will one day.”
“That would be cool and then we can have an ice cream party!”
“Yeah that would be super cool.”
“I hear my mom calling me. I better go. We are still moving in. I’ll see you later, Sunshine!”
“Okay so are we really friends?”
“Yeah! Why not? I like you.”
“Oh cool. I guess I’ll see you later.”
Noelle headed home, I was taken by surprise when she hugged me. I never had anyone just come up and hug me before. Noelle has been the first person since I was 5 who wanted to be my friend. I was happy to have a friend finally. I was so happy that I ran into the house and told my parents about Noelle. But then I thought, will she still be my friend when the other kids tell her that I turn into a freak monster?