As they were

Historical display, Capilano Suspension Bridge, North Vancouver 2018

Historical display, Capilano Suspension Bridge, North Vancouver 2018

WRITING PROMPT NO. 144

The photograph he held in his hands seemed new to him somehow.

Despite the ragged edges, creased corners and the yellowing stains of age, the people gazing back at him were those from his past. He’d discovered a family he never knew he had and now here he was holding in his hands evidence of his bloodline.

A shiver ran through him rippling down his spine making his hands shake when it reached the end of his fingers. He sat for longer than he realised until the woman helping him broke his silence.

“How is this for you?” she said.

Robert placed the photograph down on the desk in front of him.

“I don’t…I’m not sure…I don’t know what to say.” Heat rose up the back of his neck. He ran a finger around the inside of his collar. “It’s very warm in here,” he said. “Do you think I could open a window?”

“Of course. I’ll get it,” she said. She stood and walked over to the window. “Many people find the discovery of their biological ancestry difficult. You have to put aside all the stories you may have told yourself about where you come from.”

Robert didn’t say anything for a moment. He made fists with his hands and opened them again.

“I read about a man who found out he was related to William the Conqueror. Direct line!” he said.

“Yes,” she said. “It happens. It’s unusual but it does happen.”

“But I’m related to a killer. A murderer. How do I reconcile that?” Robert stood and began to pace the room.

“Let’s arrange another session, Robert. We’re out of time now I’m afraid.”

Robert shook his head and waved his hands.

“No. No,” he said, as he walked out of the room.

Feeling brave? Want to share your story? In the words of one Disney princess, Let it go, in the comments below.