When I first met him, I was very unimpressed. It was just another day, another set of activities I had to get through in order to get to where I needed to be. I was rather pissed because he was late. Very late. And as someone with very little patience, sleep, food and plenty of anxiety, things didn’t bode well for him: he was about to meet my evil twin.
A gush of wind preceded him into the room. A square face with deep set brown eyes looked in my direction and caught my eye. He smiled and his whole face was transformed – light and muscle interplayed as though they were meant to compliment each other. I gasped out “Wow” and forgot to remember that I was mad at him for being late.
He moved across the room towards me. A lithe and loopy gait that spoke of someone very comfortable and confident in himself. I immediately felt self-conscious and my hand crept up to my hair, smoothing it into place as I wonder, simultaneously, if there’s lipstick on my teeth. I felt girly, awkward and antsy. It seemed like forever before he got to my table.
“Hi”, he said, reaching out a hand towards me. “I’m Richard Dawes, and it is so good to finally meet you”.
“Hi”, I breathed, “You recognised me immediately!”
“Well, you did say look for a female in glasses with purple frames with a green scarf. That is quite distinct”.
We both laughed nervously at that, trying to lighten the mood of why we were actually there.
“So, is it happening?”, I asked, too impatient to do small talk. My tummy was jumping in every which way, as fatigue from my sleepless night began to set in. I was about to get news that was going to change my life forever, either way.
“Meet your daughter, Xiomara. Her name means ready to battle, and you have been fighting for her for a long time”. He slid a picture toward me and my heart skipped a beat.
He found her.
It was a picture of my daughter. My whole body began to shake as a myriad of emotions swept through me. Loss, terror, relief, love and anger swirled in a vortex of colour in my mind as I contemplated the enormity of what the picture represented. She was taken from me when I was fifteen years old and now she’s here. Just like that. I searched for her for what seemed like an eternity. I am now forty-seven years old.
I looked at him and he was grinning like a Cheshire cat, seemingly oblivious to what had transpired.