Creative Comedy Project

Family Tree By Alice Little

‘Girls, we have something to tell you.’

Mum and Dad looked sheepish, Aunty Anna hanging a few steps behind them in the kitchen doorway.

Their twin daughters, Sarah and Julia, had been deep in conversation sitting on the floor of the living room, preparing for their eighteenth birthday party in a few days’ time.

‘Ooh, have you brought us presents?’ Julia asked.

‘Or are you about to tell us we’re adopted?’ Sarah joked.

Mum went red and looked at Dad. Dad looked at Aunty Anna.

‘Oh my God, we’re actually adopted,’ Sarah said, standing up.

Julia looked back and forth between them, her eyes wide.

‘It’s not like that, hold on,’ Mum said, looking at Dad.

Dad opened and shut his mouth several times without any words coming out.

Sensing their panic Aunty Anna stepped forward and perched on the arm of the sofa. ‘Girls, I am your mother,’ she said. ‘When I got pregnant with twins I knew I wouldn’t be able to cope, and your parents wanted a baby so much, so we arranged an adoption.’

Sarah balked. ‘But we see you all the time! How could you not have told us all these years?’

‘We thought it was for the best, sweetheart,’ Mum said.

‘And don’t forget, your mother is still your mother,’ Dad said, finding his tongue at last. ‘She’s the one who’s brought you up all these years.

‘And you’re still our dad,’ Julia said, standing up to give him a hug.

‘That’s right, sweetie. And we all love you both very much’

‘But what about Uncle Mark? Why isn’t he here?’ Sarah asked, still reeling. She sat down heavily on the coffee table, which creaked in protest.

Julia joined in: ‘Is he embarrassed by us being his daughters?’

‘No, you don’t understand, darlings,’ Aunty Anna said. ‘I’m your mother, I mean, obviously your mother is your mother, but, I mean, I’m your mother, but your uncle isn’t your father, your father is your father.’

Julia gazed at her blankly.

Sarah looked back and forth between them all, trying to comprehend. It wasn’t the simple facts so much as the implications that were dawning with full force.

‘Does that make sense?’ Aunty Anna asked hopefully.

Sarah mutely nodded. She fought the urge to run to her room: it must be just as difficult for them as it was for her and Julia.

‘So do you want us to call you Mum now?’ Sarah asked.

‘No, you can keep calling me Aunty Anna if it makes you more comfortable,’ Anna said with a smile, placing a hand on Sarah’s arm. The panic was beginning to subside: they were going to get through this, as a family.

But Julia was getting riled. She looked back and forth once more between her Mum and Dad, then between her Aunt and…

‘Does this mean Dad is our Uncle?’ she asked.

Anna slid down onto the sofa: it was going to be a long afternoon.

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