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[Ongoing story of two brothers. Here is James, the one trying to solve their father’s murder.]

The detective leads me into the interview room and starts talking before I even sit down. “James, we found what you probably don’t want.”

He’s standing near the table with his legs wide and arms crossed over his chest. He looks like a cop. I’m sitting, looking like an idiot. I’m so tired. My head doesn’t want to stay up and my legs have already given out. But the tiredness is where you can’t see. Tired in my heart, which is not something you’d find me saying.

“Got something to show you.” Now he sits and pulls a dark brown folder in front of him. He lifts the cover and I see something that looks like it was printed by a computer not made for writing letters. Codes, lines, black and blues, then some words. “So your brother is a match.”

I read my mother’s name at the top of the sheet. “Well, of course he does. Mother, son.” My tone is sarcastic, like he really needs me to figure this out?

“James, the thing is. You don’t match her.” The room goes dark around the edges. The detective leans back in slow motion and he moves his arms over his chest again.

“But…she was our mother…how much do we have to match. I heard that matches aren’t 100%, that you can still be related.”

“Nothing James. I’m sorry.”

Nothing. Then the obvious. “Merrill and me.”

He shakes his head slowly, kindly. “No, your brother’s not …”

He’s not my brother. I stand up. But how the fuck can this be possible. And this isn’t what I need right now. I don’t need this. I can’t think. I can’t put these parts together.

“You know, you’re still brothers since you grew up together. Lots of families are made up of mismatched families.”

But not us, me and Merrill. I remember our mother. I remember when she left.

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