Paternity, part 9

I want to be the person you can confide in. I want to be the person you call at two in the morning when the world starts to crumble and your studied control starts to shake. I want to be the person who pulls you out of your shell and makes you believe it’s okay to be vulnerable. I want to be the person for you that you have been for me. If that is selfish, then so be it. There are so few people in my life worth caring this much about. You have become my favorite.

Someday, you’re going to be famous. You’re going to have women throwing themselves at you whenever you walk through town. Your address will be a poorly kept secret, and fans will show up to get your autograph and to talk their way into your bedroom. You have a power that draws people in, regardless if you want them or not.

And when you’re surrounded every day by people who are blindly loyal to the image you have put out to the public, I will be waiting in the wings for you to see me. I will not push my way to the forefront of your life. I will not demand you spend your time on me. I will just wait for you to acknowledge your friend, the person who has been there, and who has loved you at your most honest moments.

If that moment never comes, that is fine. If you find someone else who loves you, that is okay. Just know that my heart is yours if you want it, and that is not going to change.

“So that’s how she drew them in,” Bradley muttered as he flipped through his mother’s diary. He felt anger and disgust. He felt, with every page, the individual snapping of the threads that tied him to her memory. The woman who held him as a child began to float away from his consciousness, replaced by visions of a faceless whore, beckoning a series of powerful men into growing darkness.

How could she do that to them? How could she convince each of them she loved him and him alone? A stack of diaries against the wall, hidden in the dusty attic at Andrew’s house. Bev didn’t know about the stash of journals that had just arrived from Colorado. Bradley read them–filling in the gaps between her entries with his own imagination. There were two journals from her marriage to the writer, one from her marriage to the musician-turned-CEO, and four from her marriage to the architect, Christopher. Every journal was convincing. Every journal was honest and raw. How could she be in love with each man?

Bradley couldn’t wrap his mind around the concept, especially once he realized that his mother was married to the CEO and the architect at the same time. Instead, he focused on looking for any reference to her pregnancy, any hint as to where she spent her time, or the travels they had before he was old enough to understand. Those journals were missing, and so were any references.

So, he started at the beginning, with the first journal. He studied it, looking for her friends, anyone who could tell him more. Nothing. In the third journal, the one about the musician, one other suitor made his appearance.

James was at the store today. We talked, played a board game, and talked more. He’s easy to talk to. I feel like I can tell him everything. I thought I might, but today he told me he’s leaving. He’s taking a job with Microsoft. I know this isn’t the end of him. I don’t know why. But I know this isn’t the end.

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