During a business meeting, a man was told that his birthmark was similar to the one someone they knew long ago had. He decided to investigate further, only to discover his birth father’s old trailer and the truth of what happened many years earlier.
“You know, Andrew, before we finish this meeting, I want to ask you something. Have you always had that birthmark on your arm?” Mr. Collins asked Andrew toward the end of their business meeting. Mr. Collins owned a competing contracting firm, but they would be in business together if Andrew could secure this contract.
“Ah,” Andrew hesitated, looking at the spot on his arm, which looked like a boot, and most people commented on it. “Yes, I’ve always had it.”
“Do you know a man named Carlyle Johnson?” Mr. Collins wondered, raising an eyebrow.
“You mean….?” the old woman asked, looked at Andrew with a mixture of wonder and regret.
“No, sir. I have no idea.”
“Why?” Andrew asked, confused.
“Carlyle was an old partner of mine. In fact, we dreamed of the business I have today and started working toward it many years ago. But later, other colleagues and I discovered that he had been defrauding funds and dealing with competitors. In the end, we cut ties with him, and I never saw him again,” Mr. Collins continued, twisting his mouth and rubbing his mustache.
“Well, that happens with money, sir. But what does that have to do with me?” Andrew questioned, squinting his eyes.
“Carlyle had the same birthmark right on the same spot. So I thought it was weird. Who’s your family? If I may ask,” Mr. Collins continued.
Andrew had to explain that he didn’t have a family. He was abandoned on the doorstep of a group home many years ago and then bounced around between foster homes until he turned 18. “I had to make it in the world without any help, but I like to think I made it rather successfully. Or at least, I’m on my way,” Andrew finished, lifting one side of his mouth.
“You know what? Send those papers to my assistant. We’re in business, young man,” Mr. Collins expressed, shaking Andrew’s hand and leaving quickly.
Andrew wanted to shout from the rooftops. This deal would change this company, and his superiors would be insanely glad for him. He would get that fantastic promotion and keep climbing the corporate ladder.
But as he stared out his office window at the end of the day, he thought about Mr. Collins’ words and the man he was talking about. Could the birthmark be a coincidence, or was it something more?
He couldn’t think about it further because his colleagues entered with cake and champagne to celebrate his big deal. He smiled at them and put the questions at the back of his mind. For a while…
Despite being busy with the new deal, Andrew couldn’t contain his curiosity. He went in search of the man Mr. Collins mentioned, Mr. Johnson. It wasn’t hard to find out things about him from years ago, but his whereabouts after cutting ties with Mr. Collins was a little trickier. However, Andrew had friends in certain places, and eventually, he discovered certain things, including the fact that Carlyle was most likely his birth father.
Unfortunately, Carlyle died a few years ago, and his last known address was in a plot of land outside of New York. Andrew drove up there and discovered an abandoned trailer in terrible condition. But he still went inside, got assaulted by the stale smell, and found disarray of garbage and old possessions.
Among them was a diary, Mr. Johnson’s personal diary, where he spoke of his old girlfriend, Mary, and what would’ve happened if they kept the baby neither of them wanted. “I guess that confirms I was his son,” Andrew shrugged as he kept reading inside the trailer.
He saw the full name of Carlyle’s old girlfriend – Andrew’s presumed birth mother – and decided to find her as well.
To his surprise, she was alive but living in a terrible apartment in a bad part of Brooklyn. Andrew asked to speak to her about Mr. Johnson, not telling her immediately why else he was there or who he might be to her, so she invited him inside for a chat.
“Carlyle and I had dreams of making it big. I wanted to be a Broadway star, and he wanted to be a business tycoon, so a baby was not in our plans. We gave him up and went our separate ways,” Mary explained, shaking her head as she served Andrew some tea. “I always wondered what would’ve happened. But I’m glad I gave him up because my life was a disaster. Wherever my boy is, I have to believe he’s doing better.”
“He is, but it was hard,” Andrew said dryly.
“You mean….?” the old woman asked, looking at Andrew with a mixture of wonder and regret.
“Yeah, I think it’s me. I’ve traced back things after some research, and because someone told me I had the same birthmark as my father,” he continued.
“The boot?” Mary asked.
“So, you know.”
“Well, it’s nice to meet you, Andrew. I… I don’t have any excuse except I was irresponsible. But I’m glad you’re doing well. Can I say I’m proud of it?” Mary stated, smiling slightly.
“That’s good to hear,” he replied, grinning a bit.
With a DNA test, Andrew later confirmed that Mary and Carlyle were his parents. Mary wondered if she would ever see him again, but he couldn’t answer immediately. Eventually, he would call her and visit her once in a while.
His business deal with Mr. Collins kept him busy, so it was not often. But when she got sicker and sicker, he arranged for her to move to an assisted-living facility. She was cared for, thanks to his money because life had already punished his birth parents for giving him up, and he didn’t want her to suffer all alone anymore.
Finding his parents didn’t give Andrew any closure, and he didn’t feel like Mary was his mother at all. But it eased something inside himself. He realized he had been angry at them for abandoning him. However, he forgave them. It also felt good that he could help her, thanks to his hard work. Eventually, his real family came later when he married Mr. Collins’ youngest daughter, Alyssa, and had three children.
What can we learn from this story?
Learning to forgive is important – not for others’ sake but yours. Andrew forgave his birth parents after realizing that life had punished them for their actions. But forgiveness was not for them. It was for him.
Your real family is the one you make along the way. After finding out who they were, Andrew didn’t feel a connection to his birth parents, even with Mary. His real family came later when he got married and had children.
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