Solace ~ h.s.

If he weren't there... I don't know what would have happened.

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37. ⪻ 37 ⪼

There is a name in this chapter that may be a bit hard to pronounce: Edan is said like Aidan!

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I brought that envelope with me wherever I went, merely on the off chance that I decided to be bold and have a good look at all the contents. In reality, it sat in my rather large handbag, collecting dust and getting in the way of everything else that I have in there; that is, until tonight.

“Can you read it?”

After collecting myself and clearing the remnants of our pizza and film date, Harry and I were sat on his sofa staring at the large envelope sitting on the coffee table before us.

“I honestly don’t think I can.” Looking down at my hands, I see them shaking ever so slightly as they have been for the past twenty minutes whilst reconsidering this decision.

“Of course.” Harry leans forward, picking up the envelope from the table to hold in his hands. Turning towards me, he sends me a smile, “are you ready?” He asks, and though I’m freaking out, I find myself nodding.

“I believe so. My life has already been flipped upside down; I don’t think it can get any worse.” Harry smiles at my optimism and ever so slowly opens the top of the envelope.

I can already feel my heart doing backflips in my chest as his long fingers pull the entire stack of documents out of the envelope. Carefully, he sets the envelope down on the table before eying the first page of documentation, the only I’ve actually seen.

“Well, you’ve seen this already.” He tells me. “It looks to be the final documentation of your adoption, signed by Jacqueline and Philip Chambers.” I nod my head, having already had a peak at that page when I first received the envelope. “It’s dated the twentieth of November, 1995.” That was something I hadn’t seen the first time I had a glimpse of it.

“That’s eighteen days after my birthday.” That fact alone only brought more questions forth.

Where was I for eighteen days?

Did my birth parents consider keeping me or did I spend that time in the hospital waiting for someone to adopt me?

“Do you want me to go on?” Harry asks, peering over at me from the items in his hands.

Without thinking it over too much, I nod my head. Now I’ve got too much information in my head and it’s only bringing about more questions. Surely there’s something in that envelope that can answer my hard hitting questions.

“Okay, next looks like,” He draws out his word, flipping to the next document in the hefty stack, “more legal terms, most of which I can barely understand.” He continues flipping through. “More legal jargon, and some more, and some more, and… oh, here’s a birth certificate.” Sucking in a deep breath, I stare over at Harry. “Have you ever seen your birth certificate before?”

Thinking back, it just now dawns on me that I’ve never seen my actual birth certificate and I can’t believe it. Something as important as a birth certificate should have been for my eyes from a younger age, yet I’ve never seen mine before.

“I must have.” I find myself saying, trying hard to think if I had. “There’s no way I’ve gone twenty-two years without seeing it. But I can’t remember.” Simply glancing over at the formal documentation, I can see that it looks incredibly foreign to me. Perhaps I hadn’t ever seen my birth certificate.

“What does it say?” Harry looks down at the document, taking a deep breath before looking up to me slowly.

“I want you to take a deep breath before I read this to you.”

“What? Why?” I’m suddenly nervous for what it’s going to have written on it, worst case scenarios are running through my head. “Is it that bad?”

“I just don’t want you to freak out too much. Honestly, it’s not horrible, but I don’t know what you’re expecting.” Nodding my head, I take a deep breath for the sake of my erratically beating heart and quickly rising and falling chest. “Okay, tell me.”

“It’s not an English birth certificate.” He warns.

“It’s not English or it’s not in English?”

“English, it’s in English.” Exhaling slowly, I nod my head for Harry to go on. “You were born in Scotland., Inverness to be exact.”

“That’s not that bad, at least I’m still from the UK, right?” I don’t know why I had been stressing so much over being born in the UK, maybe it’s because it’s all I’ve ever known. Knowing that I wasn’t born too far from where I live today, calms my nerves ever so slightly. “Okay, carry on.”

“Name: Annis Reid Thomson.”

“My name isn’t even Annabelle?”

“Well, it is now.” Harry assures me as I sit shell-shocked in my seat.

Honestly, it didn’t even occur to me that I could possibly have been born with a different name. Different surname, of course, but different name entirely, no way. At least I kept the same middle name.

“You okay?”

“I guess. I just thought that I was born with this name or I wasn’t named until my mum and dad adopted me. I didn’t know I had an entirely different name than I do now. Well, aside from Reid, that’s still my middle name.”

“Perhaps it’s important, Reid.” I shrug.

“Perhaps.”

“It’s a beautiful name.” I find myself smiling at the thought. It was in fact a beautiful name, sounding perfectly Scottish.

“It is, but I think Annabelle fits you better.”

“Says the man who doesn’t even call me my full name.” I joke lightly, trying to bring happiness to the situation at hand.

“Shall I go on?” Harry wonders, eyes scanning the paper in front of him.

“I suppose.”

“Okay, well your birth parents names are on here, so that’s good.” He pauses, reading the handwriting a little bit clearer. He’s a doctor so he should be able to read another doctor’s handwriting. We all know what they say about doctor’s penmanship. “Name and Surname of Father: Edan Thomson, born on the fourth of December in 1978. Name and Surname of Mother: Grace Reid, born the twelfth of March 1979.”

A couple things were shocking about the facts recorded on the birth certificate. At least now I know that Reid is in fact special, as it’s my mother’s surname. Perhaps it’s a tradition of some sorts, for a daughter to carry her mother’s maiden surname. But more importantly, the age of my parents was the most shocking part of that certificate.

“They were teenagers?” Only sixteen and seventeen to be exact.

Now I see why I was put up for adoption, and honestly a small weight is lifted from my shoulders. At least they weren’t full grown adults who decided they simply didn’t want their mistake of a child. Perhaps there’s more to the picture than I’m seeing.

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