Day 92 – The Truth About Graeme

I’m tired. I’ve been paintballing. I didn’t sleep very much and I could not be arsed.

 

Word count: 904

 

Graeme was slumped in the flower bed just outside his mother’s kitchen window. No one knew he was there. He was hiding; not from anything in particular, but to simply savour the silence of the back garden. It was quiet out here. The sun’s rays warmed him as butterflies fluttered from petal to petal and bees zoomed by with dripping delight.

It was the Sanderson’s annual family reunion. Every year Graeme, his brother, sister, cousins, aunts and uncles would meet up at his parents house to indulge in barbeque, ketchup and length discussions of past family rows and arguments; disastrous weddings and fumbling funerals. Over the course of around three to four days the ambience of the family unit fell from the happy heights of chatty hilarity downwards into the hell of irritating social entrapment. Though all too polite to say, by the third day they were all most certainly getting on each other’s nerves. Graeme’s mother would be bitching to his dad about her sister; Graeme and his brother would have found a reason to stay out of each other’s way; his sister would have gone flying to her room in subdued tears at something their mother would have said and all the cousins were clearly yearning to get back to their normal lives.

Graeme lived about an hour away from his parents, so they saw each other quite regularly. His brother lived on the other side of the country, whilst his sister lived up North with her boyfriend. Out of them all, Graeme was the most steadily successful. He was engaged in a nice job with a good house and new car. He’s seen the world. He’d visited many places. He’d wondered the streets of ancient Roman towns and dived into the depths of far flung coral reefs. That seemed such a long way from the suburban garden he was currently sprawled on. Here, there was a charcoaled remains of a barbeque and a few remnants of plastic plates and alcohol stained plastic cups.

From the rockery, the cat glared at him as if to warn Graeme that he was resting in his spot. Inside and just above his head, he could hear his mother arguing faintly with his aunt. Graeme rolled his eyes and stuck out his hand towards his tall glass of ice cold gin and tonic. It was so refreshing in this heat.

It was the hottest day of the year so far – as it customary for the weathermen to report on a daily basis during the summer months. There were rumours of a hosepipe ban in some parts of the south and ice cream was being handed out to children on a semi-prescription basis.

As Graeme earned himself a tan, he began to dwell on the very thing that had made him come out to the garden in the first place. Graeme was very different to everyone, though no one would ever think to believe it. He had average looks with an average height and average build. He was good looking in some photographs and horrendous in others. He likes popular films and popular music. He liked the colour red and travelling. Sometimes he liked to play chess, but mainly he just liked drinking beer and watching football. But far from average or ordinary was Graeme.

No one in his family knew. Of course they were all aware of the adoption. At the age of thirteen, Graeme was sat down by his parents and told that they had adopted him and that they were not biologically his parents. What they were not aware of was that Graeme had known all along. He had known since birth; so when, at age three months, he came into his parents lives – he was quite aware of the conversation they would be having thirteen years later.

Graeme had decided to tell his family the truth today. He needed them to know. It had been killing him his entire life, having to lie to them and hide the truth. During his teens, it had made him physically ill. But for too long the secret had grown around his way of life like a weed.

Graeme got up from the flower bed and winked at the cat before returning inside.

“Mum, Dad, everyone…. Can I speak to you for a second?”

Everyone gathered around in the kitchen, all united in concern.

“What’s the matter?”

“You alright?”

“Everything ok?”

Graeme waved down their worries and cleared his throat.

“As all of you know, I was adopted,” he saw his mum begin inhaling short, sharp breaths, “What you don’t know, however, is that I knew about it. I knew all along. I’ve always known. Don’t worry mum, it doesn’t mean I don’t love you any less. In fact, it means I love you even more. I love you all. For, and this is the thing that’s really awkward and if I could ask you to keep quiet about it, I would be very appreciative, but well… I’m an alien. I’ve come to take over earth and I was wondering if you lot would accept my offer to join me in creating my global dictatorship?”

His family exchanged glances and a ripple of one worded discussions reverberated across the kitchen. After a few seconds they simultaneously stopped talking before his dad stepped forward and sealed the fate of the planet with the following words:

“Alright, then.”

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~ by S.G. Mark on January 7, 2012.

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