8 - Epilogue
up at the semi-detached suburban house and tried to remember what
it was like to be in just the ordinary world. The house looked
like every other house in the street, a sixties clone house in
an average road, but nothing looked average to Sam anymore. The
house was bigger than the one he had grown up in - his parents
had moved here after he left for university - but there were the
little touches that reminded him of the old home. The thing was
Sam felt like he'd been living a lie. His whole life had been
an illusion and he was having trouble coming to terms with it.
It had been Chris who had suggested he go home, talk to his parents
about the truth. The American had even offered to come with him
if he wanted moral support, but Sam knew he had to do this alone.
Finally the agent picked up his solitary bag and walked up to
the front door. It opened before he had a chance to knock.
his mum said with a very motherly smile, "I wondered when
you'd get round to coming in."
Sam said suddenly feeling a little better about things.
Without so much as
a moment's notice the short woman pulled her son into her arms
and gave him a hug.
"I've just put
the kettle on," she said lightly and broke away. "Come
on in, sit yourself down and tell me what's bothering you."
To most of the world
Sam Curtis was as unreadable as stone, to his mother he was completely
transparent. It was something he had accepted a long time ago,
and something which gave him great comfort at that very moment.
Forgetting just for a while that he was a hard-bitten CI5 agent
Sam followed his mother into the kitchen and let himself just
be a son.
"I hope there's
nothing the matter with that nice American friend of yours,"
his mother said as she pulled two mugs from the cupboard.
Sam said evenly, "Chris is fine. He was the one who told
me to come home."
she replied with a smile. "I really would like to meet him
She poured milk in
both mugs and then reached for the teapot. Sam tried to figure
out how he was going to broach his newly discovered heritage,
and his mum left him to think.
finally started as she put the mugs on the table and sat down
opposite him, "was I ever strange as a kid?"
Sam watched his mother's
face as it first went expressionless and then softened into a
resigned half smile.
said as if she'd finally heard what she'd been expecting for a
long time. "What happened?"
Sam replied shortly, " Mum, did you know I wasn't normal?"
His mother picked up
her tea and took a sip.
she replied calmly, "after all I carried you for nine months.
I knew something was definitely off when your dad seemed to think
you were conceived at a different time than I did. I kept telling
myself I was imagining things but as a toddler you were never
boring. You used to know things. You'd tell me things that a two
year old could never have known. It stopped when you went to school
and I tried to forget there was anything strange about you."
"You know Dad's
not my father, don't you," Sam said quietly.
never really thought that," his mum replied honestly and
gave a sad smile. "I remember your dad on the night you were
conceived. It was him."
Sam shook his head.
"It was a demon,
Mum," he said as gently as he could manage.
Somehow Sam had expected
more of a reaction from his mother than picking up her tea and
sipping it. Then again she was the one person in the world who
never ceased to surprise him.