“Still holding Field’s hand, I led him out of the room and to the elevators, where we ascended to Grace’s floor. As we emerged and I caught sight
of Ben, a warm smile spread across his face.
I led Field to him and introduced Ben. “This is my husband,” I told him. I was tempted to add, And the closest thing you have to a father, but
there would be time for that later.
Field was in too much of a daze to smile back at Ben.
“And Grace, whom your blood saved, is your sibling,” I continued. “Is Grace awake?” I asked Ben.
“Yes. She came out here just a short while ago. Lawrence is with her now.”
I turned to Field. “Let me go in and break the news to her. Then you can meet her a second, proper time.”
Ben and I left Field in the hallway and entered Grace’s room to find her and Lawrence sitting on the bed. As I hurried to my daughter and knelt
before her, I told her everything about Corrine’s findings. Her expression mirrored Field’s uncannily.
“Oh, my God,” she said, her voice choking up. “Wh-Where is he?”
I took that as my cue to return to the corridor and bring Field in. He eyed Grace nervously, then slowly moved toward her. As Grace attempted to
stand up, Lawrence assisted her, holding her waist and steadying her as she reached out to brush her hand against Field’s right arm.
Through her moistening eyes, a smile shone through.
“My brother,” she managed, before throwing her arms around him and holding him in a tight hug. Then I heard her whisper into his ear: “Thank
you.”
G r a c e
M y brother .
I had a brother. I had heard my mother’s words and yet I still couldn’t believe it. Even in spite of his eyes, so close a color to my own. He had my
mother’s lips, too.
Field’s expression was that of confusion, uncertainty, as though we both shared the same doubts. Could this really be happening?
“Are you sure, Mom?” I couldn’t help but clarify, even though I knew she would never have told me if she was not completely certain.
“Corrine ran a DNA test,” she said, her voice deep. “It’s true.”
This was so weird. Who was—or is —Field’s father? This must have been even weirder for my dad.
My mother explained to me in brief the gaps in my knowledge about Field’s appearance in The Shade—how and where Lawrence had found him
and the other four young men. After that, none of us really knew what to say for a while. We just sat in the room and looked at each other.
“So you’ve basically lived your life alone, with your other four… brothers?” Even though they weren’t related—or at least, didn’t appear to be
—‘brother’ seemed to be the right term to use.
“Yes,” he replied.
“Since you escaped the harpies and left the supernatural dimension, you’ve been in Canada… in that cave, all those years?”
“Yes,” he said again.
His tone was stiff. Considering that he had just discovered his long-lost family, I would’ve thought he’d look more emotional. But it seemed that
he’d never really been in an environment to develop emotionally. Harpies had been the closest thing he’d had to parents.
I felt almost guilty. My life had been so easy, so carefree and happy, compared to his.
I felt the urge to understand him more. I wished to know him. But I found myself faltering, uncertain of even what questions to ask next. It felt like
we were from two totally different worlds. I didn’t know how to relate to him. All the usual questions I would’ve asked a stranger—about
hobbies, favorite subjects, and so on—didn’t seem to be applicable here. His life appeared to have been just one long, hard struggle, from his
birth, up until now—all a fight for survival. But I knew there were deeper levels to him, just as there were to all of us. I supposed it would be a
slow process, a matter of time and patience as he settled into our environment in The Shade.
All I could think to do now was hold his hands, pull him in and hug him again tightly. Then I kissed his cool, pale cheek.
“Do you know when your birthday is?” I asked, I wanted to know whether he was older or younger than me. He looked like he could be older,
but that could simply be his mature demeanor.”