The car was stifling hot. It was so stifling infact that I felt like curling into the foetal-position and try to take a deep breath. One at a time. My Dad was explaining my whole life out to me as we headed home. I'd just gone to the airport. Dad had come back from America and it's our tradition to welcome eachother back. But anyway, I'm told (every single day apparently) that I have this condition where I forget basically everything each day. So, it's Dad's duty to keep me in the know. He was at the point where he explained that my mum wasn't living with us because she and dad had divorced four or five years ago. He's never mentioned any siblings which I think is really unfair. I've always wanted a sister.
“If I did have a sister, what would her name be?” I looked up from my book, which I'd started reading for about a year.
Dad pulled the car over to the side of the road and gave me the I-do-not-want-to-answer-this-question-but-I-will-because-I-love-you look. And then, as per usual, he sighed heavily before replying. “We never really thought about it,” Dad admitted. “But I guess her name would've been Carol.”
Of course before then I would've fallen for that. With me you believe everything you hear because you never know, it could be true. “Oh that's an interesting name. You know...I think Olivia would've been better.” I waited for Dad to react. Anything from jumping to getting angry. But he just sat there in silence. Long, agonising silence.
“Why do you think that?” Dad's voice was strained.
“I don't know,” I shrugged. “It just fits better. I'm sure Mum would've agreed.”
Dad spun around sharply. “Who told you?”
I grinned like a madman. “I remembered, Dad. Isn't that great? Even though it's been a real long time I remembered my sister's name!”
“Yes...” Dad said. “That's great.”
“Why didn't you ever tell me about her?” I stared meaningfully at Dad to try to make him feel so guilty that he'll tell the truth but he ignored me and started the engine again.
“Ask your Mum,” Dad murmured. And then he stopped speaking all together until we were in the safe confines of our house where he stated that we were eating take-away for dinner.
Lying in my bed during the silent night and staring up at the ceiling really helped clear my mind before I went to sleep. Every night I try to stay awake for as long as I can before midnight because if I doze off I'll lose my memory. I didn't want to forget about Liv...I didn't. Even if I had to I didn't want to.
Dad came in a few minutes past ten to check that I was okay (he's over-protective) which was when I had to fake sleeping, which in turn meant that I did fall asleep. I think he was also bringing up some water if I needed it.
Anyway, I woke up in a strange bed in an unfamiliar room and there was an even stranger man standing at the door.
“Morning,” the strange man said cheerily.
“Wait. Who're you, again? And what am I doing here?” I demanded. For all I knew this could be a kidnapping!
The man sighed as if he'd heard this all before. “I'm you're dad,” the man said.
I studied his face just in case he was lying. There wasn't any signs of anxiety or stress so... “If you're my dad do I have a mum and siblings?”
The man (Dad) smiled sadly. “No mum. She moved out a few years ago.”
“By a few years ago you mean what? How old am I?”
“Oh. So has she had any children since then. Like, do I have a brother or sister?”
Dad seemed to hesitate. He glanced quickly at the ground. “No. She hasn't.”
But I knew that wasn't true. I don't know how but I knew.