Septemus 51


Dear son,

You were so sad at dinner that I knew my news had to wait. I had to find out what was going on with you, first.

“Wolfgang dropped by today,” you said.

That’s nearly always bad news, as far as I’m concerned. I know you’ve got your reasons for being his friend, but if it were up to me, we’d let him stand on the porch next time he came knocking.

“He came by with news,” you went on. “Big news. He asked me to guess.”

My guesses: 1) He didn’t get into college. 2) His brother Gunther didn’t get his manuscript accepted by a publisher. 3) Lucas joined the Merchant Marines.

None of these were correct. But the news did involve Lucas. You said you were so eager to hear anything about Lucas.


Except this. Nothing could have prepared you for this.

Lucas got married. To Raj.

You said you held it together until Wolfgang left, but once he reached the sidewalk, you lost it.


“To Raj?” I asked.

You nodded. Raj is a nice guy.

“That’s a surprise,” I said. I thought there was something between you and Lucas.

“I don’t know what it is! What’s the word for a bad surprise? A catastrophe?” you said.

Your heart was broken, I could see, and you were angry.

“I can understand that you might feel mad,” I said. “This came out of nowhere.”

“It sort of didn’t,” you said. “I could tell his feelings turned. It’s because of who I am.”

“You mean because you’re an extra-terrestrial?” I asked.

“Nah. He thinks that’s cool. It’s because I’m a bizoo.”

“That’s so lousy. What a stupid bias. How does he know you’re a bizoo?”

You said that he’d come over a while back, and the two of you had been sliding on the slip-and-slide. You were wearing your swim trunks.

“He asked why I didn’t have a belly button,” you said. “And when I told him, he went cold. Clammy. I repulse him.”

I tried to think of something to say.

Nothing sounded right in my head.

“Well, you know. I know this isn’t the time to hear this, likely, but maybe it’ll make sense later. Anybody really worth getting involved with will have an open mind. Your origin won’t be a deterrent. They’ll be able to see you, and how you came to be will simply be part of who you are, not something that puts them off.”

“I don’t think there are people like that,” you said, “besides you.”

You were ready to change the subject. You asked about my news.

“Go on, Pops!” you said. “Maybe it’ll distract me.”


I took a deep breath.

“Did you know your people came for me last night?” I began.

You started to chuckle. “Don’t tell me… don’t even… it can’t be! It is!”

You were laughing. And we said it together, “A baby brother!”


“When’s he due, Pops?” you asked.

I realized I have no idea. How long do these things take?

You didn’t have any idea, either.

There is so much I don’t know about this. I think I’m going to have to write Brio.


At least the news makes you smile.

“I’ve got the coolest family,” you said. “What do I need anyone else for? You, me, and pagoto makes three!”


I loved seeing your smile, Sept. You might have a broken heart. You might feel hurt, But we’ve got family. That’ll pull us through anything.

–Your pops

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