“Goodnight my love.” I cooed at my son. Hawk had picked up a crib from the secondhand store a few days ago, and I was extremely grateful. It felt nice to have actual baby things for my baby. The whole father thing was getting easier, it was a huge adjustment but I was getting the hang of it.
As I put Aspen down for the night, Hawk entered the room apprehensively. “Uh, hey Thorn, can we talk?” He asked.
My heart jumped into my throat. Was he going to ask us to leave? Were we too much of a burden? Could he not stand to have us around anymore? My mind was racing and my anxiety was spiking. “Sure, what’s up?” I tried to act as cool as possible, I wanted to keep a little bit of my dignity.
“You might want to sit down for this.” He gestured to the bed, and I took his advice.
“What’s up?” I asked as soon as I got comfortable.
“Well, I wanted to wait until you got settled and comfortable here before I told you this.” He looked nervous.
“What is it?”
“I found your father.” He told me. “When I moved here last year, I heard a rumor that he lived here and I managed to track him down. I’ve been talking to him, I’ve even gone to visit him a few times. I’ve told him all about you.”
“Oh my god. Oh my god, he’s alive?” I asked, half-shocked and half-excited. My dad was alive, and in Bridgeport! I was right!
“He said the same thing about you, when I told him I found you.” He chuckled.
“D-does he know I’m trans?”
“He does, I hope that it’s okay that I told him.” He rubbed the back of his neck nervously. “You’ve never been shy about it so I figured it was okay.”
“It’s perfectly okay, I’m not hiding anything. But…” I hesitated, unsure of whether or not I wanted the answer to this question. “Does he accept it? Does he want to meet me?”
“He’s absolutely thrilled to have a son, and he would love to meet you.” Hawk told me, trying to suppress a smile. “He’s a very cool, accepting dude. He has absolutely no issues with it.”
“Oh my god.” I said again, I felt like I was dreaming, like my wildest fantasies about my father were coming true.
“He wants to meet you, if you want to meet him.”
“Absolutely, I’ve been waiting for this my whole life.” I nearly started to cry, I never thought this day would come.
“Well, I’ll go call him. Maybe I can set something up for the morning.”
“Thank you. Thank you so much, Hawk. I can’t believe this. This is the greatest thing anyone has ever done for me.” I was so overwhelmed with emotion, I felt like I was rambling. But I didn’t know what else to say. How do you thank someone for bringing your long lost father back to you?
“You mean the world to me, Thorn. I want to do whatever I can for you. I’ll go call him right now.” He smiled, pulled out his phone, and left the room.
It was possible that in less than twenty-four hours, I’d be meeting my biological father. It was so surreal. I had no idea what to expect, or what to think.
I was nervous, excited, and scared all at the same time.
The next morning, Hawk drove us to the house my father lived in. It was a large house, two stories and it looked very nice. My father seemed to be doing pretty well for himself.
Now that I was here, my heart was pounding. What do I talk about? What do I say? My life wasn’t exactly the nicest, I doubt he’d want to hear such depressing things. Do I ask him about his life? What if he doesn’t want to talk about it?
“It’s okay, you’re gonna do fine.” Hawk reassured me. He knew me so well he could tell when I was starting to freak out.
“I hope so.” I took a deep breath. On the other side of that door was my father…
“Ready?” Hawk smiled at me reassuringly.
“Ready.” I reached up and knocked on the door, and instantly it swung open.
“Oh my gosh, hi! Come in.”
A bright, cheery older woman quickly ushered us inside. I recognized her, she was the woman I found on social media. I was right, she did know my father.
Behind her, the man I assumed to be my father rolled up in a wheelchair. He looked the same age as my mother, though a little more worn down. He looked a lot like me. Same skin tone, same eye color, same wing color. He was without a doubt my father.
There was a man standing next to him, who looked older and way more worn out than either Honey or my father. He had the same skin tone and hair color as me, there was no doubt in my mind that we were related.
“Hi.” I said shyly. “I’m Thorn.”
“Oh Thorn, we’re so excited to finally meet you.” Come, lets all sit.” Honey gestured for us to follow her.
We all took a seat in the livingroom, and I glanced around awkwardly. I didn’t know what to say, I was a little overwhelmed.
“I’m so happy to finally meet you, son.” My father told me, it was the very first thing I’d ever heard him say. I started to cry slightly.
“I’m so happy to finally meet you too, dad.” I had been waiting my entire life to tell him that.
“I want you to know that I didn’t abandon you. I didn’t have a choice, your mother…” He trailed off.
“She’s a complete garbage person, I know. You don’t have to censor yourself around me.” I chuckled.
“She had me committed to a mental institution. I mean, I did have a psychotic break, but she made it incredibly difficult for me to get out of there. She practically made it impossible for me to get the help I needed.” He sighed. “My dad,” He gestured to the man in the chair next to Hawk, “He had to spend a lot of time and money to get me out of there.”
“Well worth it, though.” The man who was just revealed to be my grandfather smiled. “I’d do anything to get my son back.” He beamed at my father, I could tell he really cared for him. “I’m your grandfather by the way, I’m so incredibly excited to meet you.” He smiled at me.
“Me too.” I smiled back at him.
“I didn’t even know you existed for a long time. I didn’t know she was pregnant when I had my accident. I wish I would’ve known, maybe things would’ve been different.”
“I don’t blame you. I never have. I’ve always known my mother was a bad person, I always figured she had something to do with it. I’m sorry she put you through that, you didn’t deserve it.”
“Thank you. I can’t imagine the hell she’s put you through either. I’m sorry.” He looked down at his lap sadly.
“It’s okay, she’s out of my life now. And you’re in it. So that’s a damn good step in the right direction.” I smiled at him. I was so full of happiness, none of what happened with my mother even mattered anymore.
“That’s such a great thing, Thorn. I’m so happy you’re here.” Honey chimed in from across from me.
“When I first met Lake, all he could talk about was that he had kid out there that he’d never met, and all he wanted to do was meet them. But when we heard you went missing, he was so terrified he’d never get the chance to meet you. And when we met Hawk here, he helped your dad so much. None of us knew if you were alive or not, so the best we had was the stories Hawk told us about your life. And boy, did he have a lot of stories! This kid is very fond of you.” Honey laughed, and I could see Hawk starting to blush.
“When Hawk called us and told us he found you alive, Honey and I couldn’t believe it. I’ve never been so happy in my life.” My dad told me.
“Me too. I mean, when he told me you were alive, accepted me, and wanted to meet me.”
“Well of course I accept you, how could I not? You’re my son.” He furrowed his eyebrows.
“Well my mother didn’t.” I sighed.
“Ah, I wondered why she kept calling you by your old name on the television. I’m not surprised, she really is a wicked woman.” My grandfather chimed in.
“At least some good came from her not accepting me. She’s been dethroned because of my absence.” I laughed.
“That is a good thing. My brother is a much better king than her or Aloe could ever be.” My father smiled, but it dropped a few seconds later. “Where did you go?”
“Um, I was homeless, living in a park with other trans kids.” I looked down at my hands, I could feel my face getting hot.
“And where are they now?” Honey asked apprehensively.
“Can I hug you?” Honey asked, with tears welling up in her eyes. I nodded, and she jumped up. “I’m so sorry. I can’t imagine what you’ve been through. But you’re safe now. Both of you. Hawk told us about your son. You’re both safe. You have your family now, and we’re going to take care of you.” She comforted me in a hushed tone.
“Thank you.” I managed to say, despite the fact I was fighting to keep myself from crying.
“Of course.” She squeezed me tightly. “I want to meet this son of yours. Next time you come here, he better be with you.” She laughed and pulled away.
“Absolutely. I’d love that.” I beamed at the idea of having such a personal relationship with my family. It was what I always dreamed of.
“Speaking of Aspen, we should probably head out soon. I don’t want to leave him with the sitter for too long.” Hawk chimed in. He’d been worried about leaving the baby with a sitter. He didn’t trust anyone else with my son, it was cute.
“Ah, okay.” I sighed, slightly disappointed. It felt like we’d just gotten there.
“Thank you for bringing him to us, Hawk. You’re right, he is absolutely amazing.” Honey smiled at both of us. He started to blush even harder than earlier, and consequently I started to blush as well.
I let go of Honey and walked over to my father. “I’ve been dreaming about meeting you since I was a kid. I’m so happy we finally got to meet. I’m looking forward to getting to know you better. I’m so excited to finally have you in my life after all these years.”
“Thorn, I’ve been dreaming about this too. You’re so much better than I could’ve ever imagined. You’re so handsome, so strong. I can’t wait to get to know you and your son. Please come back soon.” My father smiled up at me.
I bent over to give him a kiss on the cheek. “I’ll be back soon, I promise.”
“I love you, son.”
“I love you too, Dad.”
As soon as Hawk and I left the house, I threw my arms around him. “I don’t even know how to thank you for this. You’ve given me such an incredible gift, you gave me a family. I don’t know how to repay you.”
“You don’t ever have to repay me. Your happiness is payment enough. All I’ve ever wanted is for you to be happy. I’m glad I could make that happen for you.” Hawk rubbed my back comfortingly.
“Hey, so Aspen is finally down for the night.” I came out of the bedroom exhausted. He didn’t seem to like the sitter, and he’d spent a few hours screaming about it. It took forever, but eventually I was able to get him to sleep. “I just want to thank you again, Hawk. You gave me such an incredible gift today.”
“Thorn, you don’t have to keep thanking me. It’s my pleasure.”
“I care about you so much, Thorn. I always have.” He sighed.
“I’ve always cared about you too. You’ve always been my best friend.” I smiled at him. He looked so pained, I couldn’t figure out why.
“I know. But I’ve always cared about you differently, Thorn. You know that.”
“What do you mean?” I asked, my face starting to get hot again. Suddenly I remembered the moment by the pool, shortly before I ran away. When he told me he was in love with me.
“I know you’ve been through a lot recently, with losing your boyfriend. And I’m not trying to pressure you into anything by saying this. I just needed you to know, since you’re still alive and you’re here.” He took a deep breath. “I’ve always been in love with you, Thorn. Always. Ever since we were little kids. I’ve always known I liked boys, and I’ve always known that you were the boy that I liked. Those feelings have never gone away. I don’t think they’re ever going to go away, even if I wanted them too. But I don’t want them to. I love you, Thorn Fae. And that’s never going to change.” He took another deep breath. “I don’t expect you to love me back, especially not now. I just needed you to know.”