The day eventually came to a close, I had taken lunch off school and went home for a singing practice before returning for last period. I was rushing down the stairs, I had been held back in class while I was given extra homework sheets to give me an idea of what was completed last semester. Now I was running late for my normal karate practise, which meant I would be late for Parkour practise. I noticed a large crowd around my car and realised I hadn't even remembered I was driving it and not the 4WD. "Shit" I muttered to myself before pushing through the crowd and pressing the engine start key. When the engine roared to life everyone squealed and jumped back. Leaving me with enough room to open the door and get in. I did it quickly ignoring the questions flying towards me and speed out of the school. Sighing in relief I sped to my karate lessons. I think my friends got the jist that I wasn't interested in talking. I rarely spent time down at the bowl these days and at lunch I usually sat in the library studying or had a singing lesson. Jess was around but I usually just walked past without saying hi. Come the beginning of November I had finished all my exams and was back at training in Karate for the Nationals, I had been doing Gymnastics, Parkour, Acrobatics, Fencing, singing and dancing all this semester and had loved every minute of it. Each sport had improved tenfold, I was faster in karate and could easily flow around my partner. I was looking forward to the nationals as I knew I was much better than ever before. I had taken my anger at everyone in my life and put it into training. My coaches were impressed. It was the middle of December and a week before nationals when some positive information came back about my twin brother. Turns out his father had died 4 months after his last letter and he and his mother had moved to England. Then just last year his mother had remarried again and now they were living in America, Boston to be exact. I was intrigued and asked Mr Whyatt to get the investigators to find out everything he could. Excited and joyous all in one I went to Melbourne for the Karate Nationals. Wining 3 Gold and two silver I was offered a place in the Australian Olympic team. But I turned it down. I didn't want to be an Olympian. My coach persisted tho and I eventually agreed to attending the trial for the Olympic team and the international Karate tournaments team. When I returned to Sydney that weekend I found a message from Mr Whyatt informing me the investigators' were waiting to meet with me. I rang back and arranged a time in two days. The meeting went well, they had somehow gotten photos of my brother and I was amazed to see he hadn't as much muscle as I had suspected he would. He was much less tanned than I and had his hair in a style down to his shoulders. But other than those slight differences it was like staring into a mirror. "I've reviewed the contract that your father had drawn up over the adoption of your brother, According to this, you are legally allowed to approach him at any time. But...." "But you would caution me against it because we don't know how he will react" I finished for him. "Yes" he said looking surprised. "I didn't get where I am today by acting stupid Mr Whyatt." I said smiling He laughed "No I suppose you didn't, may I ask what you are going to do?" "Send him a letter, explain to him how I never knew then hope he returns one. In the mean time I'm applying for uni, Harvard, Oxford, Stanford, Brown, ANU etc.. Where did you say he lived?" I asked just remembering something. "Boston" That made me sit up straighter and smile
"I hope I get into Harvard then, he still has a few years of High school and if I get into Harvard I might have an excuse to see him sooner than I thought." Mr Whyatt smiled at Cal's realisation. He knew the tough times Cal had been through the last 6 months alone and felt sorry for the boy. "How have you been lately, it can't be easy living on your own." He asked. Cal smiled at Mr Whyatt's thoughtfulness "Thanks to Ben I'm doing great. I'd be lost without him. Every second day he's over teaching me something new to cook. I never realised he was such an accomplished cook. Anyway, he taught me the in's and outs of how to organise your bills and everything. Very easy once you get the basics, I'm surprised I missed all that as I was starting up the businesses but I guess having people handle that for me was the reason." Mr Whyatt laughed again. "Sometimes I forget your only 16 and ½." He said. Cal blushed . "I've got to go. I've got Parkour and Karate on today" I said standing and shaking his hand.
"If you need anything, you have my number" he said shaking my hand. "Thank-you again Mr Whyatt" I said before leaving.
The day's passed quickly. If I wasn't doing some kind of sport or lesson of some kind I was working in my businesses trying to increase them and broaden their areas. It kept my mind off the fact that I hadn't heard a single thing from not only my father but my Boyfriend and Twin. I had come to the conclusion 2 months after I had arrived back from that funeral that Matt and I were no longer together. I had tried to explain how much it had hurt me to Ben but despite his loss I don't think he understood how I had truly felt. I loved him, I really did. But no matter how hard I had tried to get in contact with him he hadn't returned a single letter, phone call, text message or email. When I had come to that conclusion it was all Ben could do to keep me from falling off the deep end. I had cried myself to sleep after that for 2 months until the pain was hidden. It had never gone I was just able to bury it along with the pain from my father abandoning me. I knew the letter I had sent my brother was confronting and in all honesty I didn't expect one back. I had been burned by my boyfriend and father, why should he be any different. But I hopped and that hope kept me checking the mail box every morning and every evening. It was 2 months after I had met with Mr Whyatt that one letter did arrive along with several others. I had not only been accepted into Harvard Law school with a joint degree in Business but also Oxford for Business and Stanford for Language and Business. I had been accepted to ANU for Law but I turned them down straight away as I knew I was going to go to an international university. On a whim I had applied for McGill in Canada for a joint degree in Law and Forensic Anthropology. I was accepted but wasn't sure what university to accept. That day like every morning I stopped in at Ibiza for my morning coffee, but instead of my usual smile and chit chat I seemed to be grinning.
"Well, Well Well, Mr Taal you seem to be in an exceptionally good mood this morning" Lauren the girl who worked behind the counter said smiling at me. "I received my acceptance letters this morning, now all I have to do is decide if I want to go to Oxford, Stanford, McGill, Brown or Harvard." I said grinning at her surprised look. "You got accepted into all Five, Well done! That's Fantastic!" she said coming around the table and hugging me. "Thanks Lauren, so what do you think? Which should I take?" I asked "Me? What do I know, I'm going to Sydney Uni, that's nothing compared to those" "But which university do you think would suit me?" I asked, she knew I was Gay as she had bluntly asked me one morning, it surprised the hell out of me, but I had known her a little then and she understood that I wanted to keep it quiet. She frowned a bit. "Harvard will look good in resume, but then they all would. But if you're looking for somewhere to be yourself I would choose McGill, it's said that's the most accepting university in the world" Without saying anything I knew what she meant, I had heard the same thing. "Well, if my brother ever writes back and says he wants to meet then I am going to take Harvard if not then I might choose McGill, Brown was just to fill space so I'm defiantly going to turn them down today." Over The next week I was very anxious, I only had two weeks to contemplate who I was going to accept. But in that time I made the decision that if he didn't get in contact I would go to McGill so that I would be close but not too close, but then if he did apply, I would accept Harvard. I sent of my sorry letters to Stanford and oxford a few days after the Brown one. The letter I had sent him was very confronting, I wondered if I should have toned it down for the first letter. Dear Caleb,
My Name is Callum Taal and last month I found out about you. It was very confronting to learn my father had kept you a secret and had never intended to tell me about you. But somewhere inside a barrier just seemed to disintegrate and I knew that what I read on the birth certificate was real.
I read the letters you sent me and father, I haven't confronted him on the fact that you exist yet, as a matter of fact I haven't seen or heard from him in nearly a year. He abandoned me. And so I got myself emancipated. That's where I found out about you. The judge found our joint birth certificate and questioned me about you. That led to a search through my father's home office.
Of late, despite hating my father for abandoning me for a relationship, I have come to thank him for it. The idea that out there I have a brother who might just like to meet me......... It keeps my hopes running.
I have doubts about how you are going to take this letter. Maybe my father ruined any chances I had of meeting you years ago when he didn't reply? Maybe what I've written here will make you think twice? I don't know but if you reading this then I hope it means we will someday meet.
But in case this is the only chance I have of telling you about me then I am going to give you a full profile.
Name: Callum Alecandros Taal
Age: 16.5
Sex: Male
Country: Australia
Level of Education: Completed Higher School Certificate
Predicted study in University: Law and Business
Universities of application: Oxford, ANU, UNSW, Stanford, Brown, Harvard, McGill.
Sports: Swimming, Karate, Parkour, Fencing, Surfing, Skating, Gymnastics, Dance and Diving.
Hobbies: Singing, Writing, Sketching, Piano, Running and Photography. That's really about it........
Except one thing. Something that I believe you must know! I have known since I was 12 that I am Gay......... Here where I live I am not 'Out' as they say but I plan on being out when I start university this year as I hate living a lie.
I hope this doesn't affect what I believe we could build as brothers but if it does then I am sorry.
Sincerely Yours,
Cal The letter would be very confronting. I knew it and as a result I didn't think he would respond. Over the last few weeks I had been having this gnawing feeling not in my stomach but in the back of my mind..... It was like I had random thoughts suddenly intrude on me? But it was me just suddenly thinking something strange but saying something allowed that didn't match what I was saying at that exact moment. It was terrifying. Especially now that the last week I was also getting hints of slight pains like a tug at the muscles in my stomach or a sore hand. Finally the day came that I could no longer hold off accepting a position. This morning was the last time I would read my mail before I accepted. And as a result I was expecting to study at McGill............... I reached the letterbox not 1 minute after I heard the postie and pulled the letters free.
Bill, Bill, Lawyer, Bill, Bank................................ and LETTER! I nearly shouted out in surprise before racing back upstairs. My hands were shaking in anticipation. Caleb I hated my life, everything about it sucked! I was stuck in a crappy old school with teachers who know nothing about the subjects they try to teach. I can't believe she failed me in my final exam, now I was going to have to repeat. Eric was already verbally abusive as it was, this had just taken the top. He had tried to throw me out of the house once again but like always mum had somehow calmed him down by whispering into his ear and smiling seductively. I have no idea how she could even look at the pig. He was disgusting! Half grey hair, beer belly with fat that extended to his arms and legs. He was constantly swearing and spat his chew into a tin can. I shivered at the thought of him. The holidays had been going for about a month now. I was trotting back to the pig's sty from work and was in a good mood as today was pay day and I had been able to buy that new skate board I had been wanting for months. As I passed the letter box I noticed it was jammed full like it hadn't been touched in weeks, it probably hadn't. Sighing I collected it all up and began sorting it as I wandered up the path. Most of it was junk mail and as I reached the door I threw it into the paper bin. As I did something separated from one of the fast food leaflets that caught my eye. It was a letter addressed to me? I picked it up and frowned. The stamp indicated it came from Sydney Australia.... Interesting. I ripped it open and unfolded it as I read. Dear Caleb,
My Name is Callum Taal and last month I found out about you. It was very confronting to learn my father had kept you a secret and had never intended to tell me about you. But somewhere inside a barrier just seemed to disintegrate and I knew that what I read on the birth certificate was real......... I nearly dropped the letter in surprise. It had been a long time since I had even thought about my twin brother. Ever since we had moved to England after losing dad, I had just forgotten about him in my grief. I kept reading and became slightly anxious when he asked if I was angry at him because he and his dad had never replied. That defiantly hadn't been the case, I really had just forgotten. Too much on my plate. Emancipation? Isn't that where a kid separates himself from his parents.......... Didn't sound like he had as much an ideal life as I did. "6 Months!" I almost shouted ......... that's a long time for a father not to talk to his kid. Of late, despite hating my father for abandoning me for a relationship, I have come to thank him for it. The idea that out there I have a brother who might just like to meet me......... It keeps my hopes running. I smiled at that. I defiantly liked the idea of a brother. I have doubts about how you are going to take this letter. Maybe my father ruined any chances I had of meeting you years ago when he didn't reply? Maybe what I've written here will make you think twice? I don't know but if you reading this then I hope it means we will someday meet. I frowned at that. It defiantly sounded like he was setting himself up for a fall. I smiled, I would write back right now and tell him how much I wanted to meet him. I kept reading, his profile sounded like me! It surprised me to no end when he wrote a list of his sports and hobbies that I would have loved to have done on any given day. I kept reading until one section made me actually drop the letter in surprise........ I stared at it a second before a massive smile broke out on my face and I bent and scooped it up again and continued reading. I have known since I was 12 that I am Gay......... Here where I live I am not 'Out' as they say but I plan on being out when I start university this year as I hate living a lie.
I hope this doesn't affect what I believe we could build as brothers but if it does then I am sorry.
Sincerely Yours,
Cal I totally forgot about my new skateboard and jogged up the stairs and wrote the letter. It was only when I decided to go post it now that I remembered my skate board and tore it out of its new packet to ride to the post office. I couldn't wait to meet my brother. I loved his letter. The way he wrote and all the similarities made my hair stand on end, I was totally freaked out but that also made me feel closer to him somehow. God...... I Couldn't Wait to meet him! Callum? How odd that our parents would choose such similar names......

 

Sydney

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