Interracial Erotica -
Diary of a Reformed Harlot: Part Eight
By Tracy Ames
Published on April 19, 2012
The True and Unabridged Diary of Lena Amelia James, Reformed Harlot.

Diary of a Reformed Harlot: Part Eight

Your father, your real father, is dying. He wants to see you. Call me. Mom.

At 5:21am on a bright Tuesday morning, that fifteen word text changed my life. Why did the man (or BD as I have labeled him) who inseminated my mom and vanished suddenly want to see me? It’s the old story: Girl gets pregnant in college, child is born, and no one talks about the person who supplied the other half of her genes. In all my years, Mom never spoke ill of him, never mentioned his name—she airbrushed him off the face of the earth and returned to her studies. Then nearing graduation, Gary, a shaggy haired brainiac, swept her off her feet and, rather haphazardly, at first, given that he came from a long line of eruditions who regarded their children as genetic achievements rather than actual humans in need of affection, grasped the reigns of parentage and hung on.

Back then, he was imperfect but I never doubted his love for mom and me. He had gotten the hang of things by the time Miko came along and he and Mom were good parents when they were around. Both anthropologists, and living from dig site to dig site most of the year meant they were often away. In hindsight, they never seemed that far. Stranger still, neither did my biological father. He was always there but not there. Nowhere – yet now, here.

For years, I have denied my curiosity in the void lurking in the dark corner of my mind because I feel doing so would open up a door of vulnerability that I’ve put great effort into keeping sealed. However, the pangs have grown to a fever-pitch especially when there are slivers of personality unattributed to my maternal parentage. I often wonder if my paternal traits are coming out of hibernation. And if so, what the fuck!? I didn’t even know his name.

I don’t need this right now, I kept telling myself as I wrestled my emotions into submission. I wanted to delete the message and act as if I had never received it. Try as I might, I couldn’t hit the delete button. I rolled out of bed, showered, made breakfast, drove Miko to her therapy session, and came home. I paced the floor, a terrible habit I picked up from Bishop, in a vain attempt to summon the courage to delete the damn thing. I couldn’t delete it. I didn’t resent him enough. In fact, I was curious as if seeing him would somehow unlock some secret door of greater understanding within myself.

But my curiosity was also spiked with a fear that BD would look like something that crawled from a hollow tree—a drunken waster squatting in a burnt out building sustaining himself on a stew of nail clippings and shoelaces, and who, in a fleeting moment of lucidity, contacted Mom to announce his imminent demise. I didn’t know if I could handle it. In my mind, he lived in suspended animation: The young college guy. I wasn’t sure if I was emotionally ready to discard the father of my imagination with the genuine article. He is, after all, half of me. And, as any child who has never known their birthparent, I found comfort in not knowing his true character. I couldn’t be disappointed. I couldn’t hurt. But at the same time, I was curious and the same question kept popping up: If his absence made me who I am, who would I be afterwards?

On Thursday, Mom gave Brit BD’s contact information, then, as if we’d come to some unspoken consensus, he told me to grab my coat … it was time. An hour later, Miko and I were sitting stark still in an immaculate living room in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, an affluent county in the New York metro area, while Brit spoke with a tall, handsome, well dressed gentlemen whom I assumed was BD’s caregiver. However, after closer examination, his confident demeanor spoke of higher birth, and his cynicism was a trait I recognized in myself.

This certainly wasn’t the made-for-television family reunion complete with bone crushing hugs and sobs of remorse and forgiveness I had dreaded. Frankly, I felt indifferent until I deduced from a picture seated on the expansive marble top table that his children, my half siblings, and I attended rival academies. Knowing he had been within close proximity all this time hurt and begged the questions why hadn’t he contacted me? Did his new family know of his past, about me? I decided immediately to hate this man. Gary wasn’t perfect in the beginning but damnit he was there. Miko took my hand. In her small way, she understood the dissonance swirl of intense and conflicting emotions screaming around the thick silence.

Brit and Miko stayed behind while Leon, the tall guy, led me through a maze of corridors. Leon wasn’t the caregiver. He is my half brother. “Our father’s eldest child after you, of course.” He laughed casually and told me about our two younger sisters, twins, Amelia and Averell both veterinarians who moved to NYC after their mother passed away last year.

Diary of a Reformed Harlot: Part Eight
Brit and Miko stayed behind while Leon, the tall guy, led me through a maze of corridors. Leon wasn’t the caregiver. He is my half brother. “Our father’s eldest child after you, of course.” He laughed casually and told me about our two younger sisters, twins, Amelia and Averell both veterinarians who moved to NYC after their mother passed away last year.

“My middle name is Amelia.”

“I know. We’re all named after you in one way or another.” A smile inked his melodious tone. “You’re Lena. I’m Leon. Amelia has your middle name. Averell is the name your mother rejected.”

“Too progressive I suppose.” I joked.

“Quite.” He winked and pushed open another set of doors to yet another corridor. “Our parents told us everything about you. You felt so close, the girls and I used to pretend you were away at school.”

As we walked, he rattled off facts about my life and told me about the albums of photos our father kept of me. And judging by the family portraits he pointed out along the way, the collection of albums must have been impressive – this certainly wasn’t a camera shy family. Leon was such a sweetheart. His voice was dreary but lively. He was well over six feet, thin but not scrawny, and with the most beautiful blue-green eyes imaginable which I attributed to his Caucasian mother and a pointy nose like mine.

“This was your cat Rex, correct?” He picked a silver framed picture of Miko, Rex, and me from our days in upper state New York.

His thorough knowledge of my life took me off guard, but it also afforded me insight into the manner of the man I was about to meet. Certainly, my father was a man of few secrets and had what appeared to be a genuine desire to ‘know’ me. But I knew little else. I probed Leon for the truth as it was relayed to him: Our father and my mother’s relationship wasn’t an isolated event. They were in love and had been living together in an apartment minutes away from the university for over a year before she became pregnant the first time.

They wanted the child but they were young students and weren’t in a position to raise a child so Mom had an abortion and they swore they wouldn’t make the same mistake. Wisely, their parents were kept in the dark. And wrongfully I assumed the mistake was pregnancy; the mistake was a second abortion. Months later and still very much devoted to one another, Mom became pregnant with me.

With monetary assistance from their families, they juggled school and their overactive newborn. It wasn’t easy but they managed for well over three years. Leon showed my picture of us celebrating my second birthday on the Santa Cruz boardwalk. Our father, the spitting image of Leon, held me; my mouth was wide open as always, another with my tongue sticking out. There were other pictures, us on camping trips, at fairs, at my grandparents’ house, and there were even shots of me sleeping. We were a happy family for a while, then academic pressures overwhelmed them and I was sent to live with my grandparents. My parents returned to their studies and visited as often as they could but we never lived together again.

After graduate school, the plan was to move to Oregon where my father was offered a research position in a lab rather than a field position which would send him away for months on end. Mom wasn’t so keen on the idea of giving up her career for it had just begun. Their relationship slowly deteriorated. Leon showed me a picture from my fifth birthday. Looking at my father’s strained distant eyes, I think he knew it would be the last time he saw me. It was. He moved to Oregon and entered a PhD program and Mom entered a PhD program in California where she met Gary. My father didn’t want to complicate things so they airbrushed him away although he was never far. My parental units never lost contact. There is no bitterness or no animosity. It is what it is.

In the end, my parents got what they wanted in one respect or another: marriage, family, and careers. And I … well, I was officially confused. I had been abandoned but I hadn’t. I felt it my duty to hate him but I didn’t. I wasn’t a love child …I was a child born of love. I had always felt a presence following me, something just off in the shadows, and now that presence had a name, Carlton Marshall. My father.

When we entered his study, it dawned on me that this weathered yet handsome man had been taken unawares but needed no introduction. Against my nature, a swell of emotion overtook me. I was simultaneously the two year old sticking out her tongue from the protective arms of her father and the present me compelled to lay bare her soul with starry-eyed hope her mountainous though terminal ill father would intrinsically recognize and heal the troubles brimming beneath her mask.

It was then, with my face buried in my father’s chest, that I realized my mother’s decision to airbrush my father from my life achieved its desired effect: it hadn’t produced an empty void of sorrow and hatred - it left a blank slate on which I would forge an indissoluble relationship with him. It seems cruel that cancer will take him away from me so soon.