I Know You
By Daniel C. Hein
It’s been a while. Two months, I think? I know we parted rather bitterly, however long ago it was. I’m writing you, now, to apologize.
You have to understand how angry I was when you told me about my past. Where I was born, about my parents, all that. I was angry because it was such a shock to me. I wasn’t expecting it, so when it came out, I just - didn’t know how to react, I guess. So I lashed out in anger.
I remember sitting in silence as you drove me over to meet my parents. I could see that you were occasionally looking into the rear view mirror, trying to think of something to say to me. But I think you knew that I wasn’t in the mood to talk about anything. So we drove down without saying a word.
I’m sorry for how I acted. I was angry because you hid the truth from me for fifteen years. I didn’t want to believe that I was just an adopted child. But, I realize something now.
I know you.
You’ve been with me my entire life. You were the ones who raised me. Everything in my life, I owe to you guys. Not my parents. They said that not a day went by in their lives when they didn’t think about me. I think they expected me to feel the same way - my mother hugged me as I stepped inside the house. She was a complete stranger to me. It didn’t feel right. What they didn’t understand was that I had no idea that I was their biological son. I wasn’t thinking about them like they were thinking about me. How could I? I had no idea.
They’re nice people,ut they’re trying to make me feel what I don’t want to feel. I haven’t told them this. It would break their hearts. Fifteen years of not being able to see their son, and I was going to tell them outright that I didn’t want to be with them? I couldn’t do that to them. Not to a pair of strangers - you know how I am.
So I act like I care for them. Every day, I put on my mask - I tell them that I love them too, I give them hugs and kisses, all that. It all means nothing, it’s all nothing but a big lie. I don’t love them. I don’t know them.
I don’t know them. But I know you.
I can’t do this anymore. These people - I refuse to call them my parents. They birthed me, and then they left me. I don’t blame them for it. But they can’t expect me to just fall in line and be their son out of the blue, just like that. And if they knew that I was just hiding behind a mask all this time...
You are my father and my mother. I want to see you again. I love you two. I don’t need to hide anything from you. You know who I am. These people know little pieces about me, but they weren’t there. They weren’t there to hear my first word, or to wish me luck on my first day of school, or to watch me win the little league championship game. You were there. And these people-
Dad just came home. Time to put on my mask again.
Write back soon. Don’t let them know I sent this letter. I miss you and Mom so much.