'Come on, Johnny is putting the plane away, let's get you home' Ben said pulling me over to a new Audi TT Coupe quattro that was fire engine red.
I didn't really register everything that was happening. I didn't know that days had passed or that a psychiatrist Ben had called in had been and gone leaving anti depressants. But slowly the fog I had found myself in started to clear. It felt like I was being dragged out of a comforting fog and into the pits of hell. Every step forward felt like I was heading to an even worse future'.. but deep down I guess I knew the more I confronted my feelings and faced the world the more I would be able to move on.
I know normally I wouldn't break down over something like my hurting boyfriend forgetting to talk to his father about me staying with them but with everything else all on top of each other''. I guess it was just too much.
I was amazed that despite the depression I had been in I could remember everything that had occurred over the last 4 days and when I was lucid enough I thanked Ben for everything. Although it was only about a week, Ben had forced me to eat, held me when I cried and fed me the pills the doctor had prescribed.
It took me another week to fall into a routine i felt comfortable in. Every morning before dawn i would get up and change, run down to the local gym which was 3 km's away and then work out until 8am. Following that, i would run or walk home depending on my thoughts. That walk would allow my mind to sort out a few more of my emotions and allow my brain to deal with the depression. Once home i would usually find Ben out exercising himself so made my own breakfast and would either work or study.
Ben was a language fanatic and although I myself knew 5, I quickly became immersed in learning a few more and asked Ben to teach me, as it was the holidays Ben graciously agreed and was amazed at the vocabulary that I already knew.
Time flew by as I worked, studied, ate, slept or worked out. I didn't notice things changing over the following weeks as my body dropped all expression of the child I had once been.
My languages improved 100x increasing vocabulary to 8 languages, I studied new business strategies and put them into practise, imagined future projects I could work on and with all this driven attention on the business the business itself sky rocketed. Ben noticed and kept a close eye as the psychiatrist said I could break down again at any minute.
A month after I had returned from the funeral and neither my father nor boyfriend had called even though I called them both almost weekly if not daily depending on my mood.
I had forgotten about my emancipation until Mr Whyatt had called waking me up out of the safety network i had placed myself in. I listened to Mr Whyatt's report stating that father had not been back to the house since he had last called and that was a worry to him. He asked if he should put the papers in to be processed.
'Yes!' was my immediate reply and one that no-one however hard Ben or Mr Whyatt tried could not break my decision.
A fortnight later myself, Mr Whyatt and Ben were at the Sydney courts in front of a judge waiting for father to turn up. He was already an hour late.
'Looks like he doesn't care son' the judge said sadly. Ben was fuming but i just felt numb. i at least thought father would show up.
'I hereby emancipate you and in the eyes of the law you will now be considered an 18 year old until your 18th birthday. I have seen some of your financial records and hereby place them under article 56 until your 18th birthday.' All our jaws were hanging as the Judge signed the papers.
'Now I see you have a twin here, is he going to be emancipated as well?' the judge asked.
Confusion reigned down on the court as I explained I was an only child.
'But here on your birth certificate it says your brother was born 5 minutes after you were, your mother died just after giving birth to him.' The judge said reading off a copy of his birth certificate.
Mr Whyatt started throwing papers around in his haste to get to Cal's real certificate.
'Holy Shit!' Mr Whyatt said reading from the certificate before passing it to me. i was already stunned and barely took it in.
'I never noticed? What information do you have on him sir?' Mr Whyatt asked and started writing down information while Ben tried to attract my attention as I sat staring at the birth certificate.
I have a twin''.. I have a Brother''. I have a twin'... His name is Caleb'' I have a twin''
It was like a broken record was spinning around and around my head as Ben helped me up and escorted me outside. The cold bite to the air woke me up from my stupor. I barely heard Ben whisper 'Thank God' when I came too.
'Mr Whyatt what did the judge say?' I asked suddenly extremely excited.
'Your brother was adopted out by your father a month after your birth, he said the reason was your father couldn't cope with the two of you. He unfortunately couldn't give out much information because of the laws protecting adoptions but he was legally allowed to give us his name. They call him Caleb, it was part of the agreement your father had signed upon. Caleb Hannes Weidner'
'He's German?' i asked confused
'I don't know? But I can track him down for you.' Mr Whyatt asked as we made it to the Audi.
' Do you think your father may have stayed in contact with them?' Mr Whyatt asked.
'I don't know? But find out as much as you can Mr Whyatt, were going to grab my stuff from dads and put it in the new apartment I bought a few days ago at Ben's insistence. If we find anything at the house I will give you a call.' we shook hands and separated.
Ben took off in his car.
'Oh My God! I have a brother Ben!' i was grinning from ear to ear and couldn't sit still in the car.
I can't believe I have a brother, a twin brother. A brother that was fantastic, I felt my heart swelling and my grin splitting my face and making my cheeks ache.
I actually enjoyed packing all my things as I messed around with Ben laughing for the first time in a long time.
My room was a little dusty and the movers we had brought with us were laughing as they would pack something and then sneeze. Half way through I went upstairs to my father's office and went through his filing cabinets until I reached a file called Weidner, Caleb. I pulled it out and lay it on my father's desk.
I was suddenly nervous, I had seen this file before but had just assumed it was another partner or one of the files he kept on his opposition. I opened it and was first assaulted with a bunch of photo's in which it looked like me at first. That was until I noticed that they were of a person who looked like me and were doing sports I was never allowed to do, dance, gymnastics and singing just to name a few.
Father had always prohibited me doing these things saying I was a man not a woman. It was then I realised we were identical twins. Grinning I picked up the file and leaving the room in a mess ran down stairs to where Ben and the Movers were just finishing. Ben was moving a bunch of DVD's that I suddenly realised were what had made that he was now wearing from ear to ear and the other movers were moving another bunch of magazines, all were smiling and laughing. I turned bright red.
Ben must have seen me and laughed harder. 'Sure you've got enough porn here?' he asked dumping them in a box. I had always been quick to the mark and while staying at Ben's I had noticed that he not only had a larger collection than me but had a fair amount of the same things.
'Not as much as you, although I'm sure I've got some of the same things.' The movers were shaking in so much laughter that the magazines cascaded into the box and the other had his hands on his knees trying to get his breath. I watched them trying to figure if it was laughter in embarrassment or genuine laughter. One of them must have noticed because he stopped laughing and calmed my nerves.
'You should see the amount of men who have Gay porn son, especially married men' he burst out laughing again and the one on his knees lost it sitting on his arse laughing harder. Eventually they calmed down and finished the job and were out the door within an hour.
I forgot about the file as I directed the movers and Ben where to place things in the 3 bedroom unit I had bought last week. It was 30 minutes from the city where work was and 30 minutes from school. Not that I felt like going back to school. I only had another two weeks until school started again.
Finally as dusk was settling Ben and I paid the movers and collapsed back onto the couch. It was then that the peace was interrupted by my mobile. Still smiling at the last joke the movers told i answered it.
'Cal its Mr Whyatt, did you find anything at the house.' I quickly sobered up. I had indeed found a file and said so, explaining my thoughts that I thought we were identical twins. I opened the file and Ben gasped at the photos then smiled, he knew how much I wanted to dance, sing and he remembered the stage I went through wanting to be a gymnast. We looked through the file and found an old address from when we must have been 8 but then nothing, I noticed Dad had received letters up until my 14th birthday and then they stopped. The last letter made my heart pound as it wasn't from his parents but from my brother.
Dear Paternal Father,
My parents just informed me that I was adopted as you and they had agreed they would in the contract they signed over my adoption. I have always felt a connection was missing in my life and to learn I have a twin brother seems to fit with it. I don't understand why you would put up one twin for adoption? But I can forgive you for it. I look forward to meeting you and my brother sometime in the future.
I had tears running down my face. I had felt like something was missing my whole life as well, I had just wrongly assumed it was my mother. It turns out it was my Brother.
'I wonder why the letters stop?' I asked Ben who had just gotten off the phone to Mr Whyatt who he given the last known address too.
'I don't know Cal but there must be a reason' Just then his phone went off. This time it was Johnny from the airport, a storm was coming in and wanted to know when Ben would be coming to lock down the hanger.
I waved him away with words of assurance that I would be okay. And I knew I would. Out there I had a brother who looked identically to me, who wanted to meet me some day. I instantly decided that I would learn to sing and dance too, now that dad couldn't tell me what I could and couldn't do I was adamant to do as I pleased.
Over the following weeks I started private singing lessons with a coach that cost me nearly $150 for a two hour lesson every day. I enrolled in a beginner's course in Jazz in the city and a Beginners course in Hip Hop. I already knew Ballroom, that had been the only dancing Father had allowed me to attend saying I would need it when I one day took over his business. I had reached advanced level by my 13th birthday. I had been devastated when he had withdrawn me from classes but had secretly been attending once a month ever since I had gotten my licence.
I tried to start Gymnastics but the teacher laughed in my face saying I was too old and not flexable, I would never be flexible enough apparently. Adamant that I would at least learn the basics I went to numerous classes in yoga, tai chi and acrobatics. I loved them and could feel myself getting more flexible.
It was through acrobatics that I learned about Parkour and soon started a basics course. I was loving my time alone, it was only at night that I became lonely missing Matt and sad that neither he nor my father ever got in contact. But every time that happened I would remember that soon Mr Whyatt would call and tell me my brothers address.
I would call Mr Whyatt every week and he would give me updates, he had two well known and competent private detectives on it and they were working as fast as they could.
The beginning of the second semester of school caught me by surprise. I rushed around ironing clothes and packing my bag and lunch that morning. Chucking it into my car I pulled out onto the road and speed the whole way. It was during the drive that I realised that I could finally jump into year 12 instead of being stuck in Year 10 this year. Grinning I screeched into the school parking lot and parked as close to the office as I could. I jumped out the car and hearing the bell for roll call I speed off not noticing the students lagging behind staring at me and the car i had pulled up in with open mouths.
The principle was sitting at her office when I knocked and entered.
'Ah Mr Taal, I was just about to ask you to come here'
'You were? Oh, I guess you heard about me emancipating myself from my father? But that's not why I am here, my father insisted that I stay in my age group at school but the truth is I have always felt like I'm being held back. I would like to get my HSC as soon as possible, I was wondering if I could transfer into my year 12 subjects and complete the HSC.?' I wasn't sure if she would allow it.
She seemed really surprised but searched for my file and started flipping through it.
'We offered your father to put you in a higher grade when you were in Year 7 but he was adiment that you remain with those people your age.' She explained.
'Well if you've become emancipated and have your papers on you then I don't see why not? I will just write you up a note and give you the time table' she said once I showed her the card I contained in my wallet that proved mean emancipated minor.
When she had done that I went to stand.
'Hold on a minute Mr Taal, we still need to talk about this emancipation and I also require you to show a new student around.' I sunk back into my seat and listened and answered as she talked about making sure I was okay and what all the changes would mean until a knock came at the door. I was glad as she was just getting into personal stuff I didn't want to talk about.
'Come in' she said standing and moving around the desk. I turned and couldn't hold the smile back when he saw Jess and Mike.
'Jess, look at you, you babe, your hardly even limping' I said standing and hugging her. She was smiling when he pulled back.
'It's good to see you Callum, where have you been the last month?' she asked.
'Mr Wingate, it's good to see you again' I said avoiding the question. As was business etticate I went back to using his last name as I hadn't spoken to him in over a month.
'Please Callum, its Mike when I am not at work.' He said grimpsing.
'Ah so you know each other that is perfect, although now you've transferred to year 12 Mr Taal, we will have to find Miss Wingate another student to show her around. Miss Wingate do you have anyone else in mind?'
'I don't know anyone else here, my brother has friends but I don't know of any other than Cal here'
'What classes are you taking?' I asked thinking of all the classes my friends were in.
'Business, English, Advanced Math, Ancient History and Legal Studies' she said taking the seat her father pulled out for her.
'Well I would suggest Peter Usmar or Andrew Hamada' I said standing and giving Mike my seat.
'Are you sure, both Peter and Drew are trouble makers.' When the principle said that Mike looked worried.
'Jess can handle them, they defer to women easily. It's the males they have most trouble with. If she just doesn't take their bullshit she will be fine.' I explained.
'Well alright, is this okay with you Miss Wingate' Jess nodded in acceptance.
'Okay well here's your timetable, Mr Taal will you escort Miss Wingate to her first class while I discuss all her enrolment information with her father.' We stood and were half way out the door when she called out.
'Oh Mr Taal, I do believe I need your new contact if your ill and your new address.' She said coming around her desk with the forms.
'I will have them too you by the end of the day' I said taking them and leading Jess out of the office.
We walked in silence and I couldn't help smiling when I noticed you couldn't tell that she had prosthetics.
'You really are walking fantastically now, you can't even tell.' I said as we reached the second building, here we walked up the stairs, she stayed by the railing but didn't flag much.
'Yeah, Dad promised me new prosthetics if I could finish all the study I had missed by the time this semester started.' She explained.
Awesome' I said simply as we reached her room, but before I could knock she grabbed my arm.
'Why haven't you asked about Matt?' She asked frowning at me. I felt it and didn't turn.
'I called him every day for a month Jess, I called you guys as well, he never answered his phone and just let it ring to voicemail, I left so many messages I just got sick of it. I only ever got updates that he was doing fine from you guys. So I assumed he didn't want to talk to me so stopped trying. I will speak to him when he gets back, but until then it is his move.' I said getting angry and knocking on the door and storming in.
'Mr Taal your late' It was Advanced English.
'This is Jessica Wingate, Matt's twin sister, she will be starting here this term. Andrew the principle has asked that you show her around for the day. Mrs Freeman, I have been advanced to Year 12, I will not be attending this class anymore' I said no more, and walked passed Jess without even a glance.