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I know you will never believe me. I can hardly believe it myself. Naturally enough, I was first introduced to my parents at my birth over fifty years ago. The twist is I was reintroduced to my parents when I was fifty, but they were just twenty years old. Impossible, you say?

Mom and Dad met back in the day when they were undergraduates at Hogan College, a small liberal arts college here in town. They were immediately bound by an urgent chemistry, a hormonal gushing that could only mean --- love. Although their passion subsided over time, they cared for and respected each other for the rest of their lives.

When Mom and Dad were in their mid-fifties and I was grown and out the door, they decided to imbibe in a grandiose experiment. They wondered whether their initial overwhelming attraction to each other was genetically based or was a matter of circumstance. They both believed that if they met again in another life, they would be attracted to each other even if their environments were not identical to that from which they arose.

My parents found a genetic laboratory near Hogan College. They went to the laboratory and agreed to allow their genetic material to be used in a cloning experiment. They would be cloned in the laboratory and the babies would then be adopted-out to childless couples. Mom and Dad, however, required the laboratory to stipulate to one minor detail; that is, their clones would be adopted-out to separate parents who had attended Hogan College. Their aim was to create a circumstance when they would again have a chance of meeting as young adults, just as they had met as freshmen.

For the most part, Mom and Dad went on to live their time under an umbrella of love. They had one child who, if I may say so, turned out to be a remarkably attractive and talented woman. They were the best of parents to me. They tried to instill in me a sense of honor and honesty, and they supported me in all the decisions I made, right or wrong. To their end, I loved them and I knew all my life that they loved me.

Now, as all good storytellers say, we move forward in time to when I was in my early fifties. Mom and Dad were gone, I had two children, and, if I may say so, and as you can no doubt tell, I had a successful career as a writer.

Then came the literary knock on the door. In front of me stood a young couple, with scrubbed smiles, trendy clothes and the confidence of youth. They introduced themselves and the woman stated that she believed she was related to a person who had once owned my house. I invited them in, half-expecting an attempt to sell me a vacuum sweeper, but their story, it turned out, was our story.

Dan and Heidi told me that they had met as freshmen at Hogan College. A relationship grew out of their meeting, and soon they moved-in together. Dan interrupted Heidi to tell me that he loved Heidi which led to a back at you from Heidi---as though I didn’t know all along. Student life being student life, the couple needed money so they answered an ad for volunteers at a local genetics lab. If accepted, they would each earn five hundred dollars for donating their genetic material. But, lo and behold, after the initial testing, some ogre from the laboratory called to chastise them for attempting to commit fraud. It seems that the lab had cross-checked and already had their genetic material.

How could this be? We know, don’t we?

Dan and Heidi went to the lab and met with the geriatric genetic ogre. They asked him the names of the previous donors that matched their genetic material.

He replied via his nasal voice that, “Pursuant to the Federal Law of privacy, I am not permitted to tell you.”

Upon a closer review of the file, he did reflect on the obvious error which indicated that the material had been donated twenty years earlier.

Dan and Heidi excused themselves and huddled in the generic genetic hallway. Then, without warning, there surfaced a simmering, then simultaneously orgasmic “aha” moment. “Could it be…could it be”… that they were clones and not the biological children of their parents?

Dan and Heidi returned to the ogre’s office and did the only honorable thing. They bribed the ogre and he gave them the names and address.

That led them to knock on my door because I had moved into my parents’ house after they died. After the initial pleasantries, Dan and Heidi told me the story that I just told you. Before they finished, I knew the beginning of the story from a conversation I had with my mother many years before

When it was my turn to speak, I told Dan and Heidi the first part of this story.

We sat around in total disbelief. I was talking with the genetic twins of my parents and they to their genetic daughter who had not been born to them. Or, since Mom and Dad were the parents of the three of us, was I the sister of both Dan and Heidi? I started to feel like I was living the lyrics of that old country-western song, “I’m My Own Grandpa.”

After considerable discussion, we agreed that Mom and Dad had been right; regardless of being raised in different environments, there was an innate chemistry wandering about in the DNA of my parents’ that brought them to love and then brought the clones to love so many years later.

I wish that was the end of my story. “And they lived happily ever after.”  Seldom is it so.

In one conversation I had with Dan and Heidi, they asked me how our parents’ lives had ended. I questioned whether they really wanted to know because genetically it could be their fate. Both recognized the validity of my point and we left it at that.

We left it at that until a few weeks later when Heidi appeared and asked me to tell her about the last years. I hesitated to tell her, but she convinced me otherwise. The actuality is that Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease when he was fifty-five. From that point on, Mom’s life became the conscious nightmare of caring for a man day in and year out. The last four years of his life, if one may call it life, Dad didn’t recognize Mom. If Heidi and Dan made a life together, there was a fair possibility that Heidi would end up being alone for a very long time.

How does my story end? Did Heidi decide to stay in a long-term relationship with Dan and live happily ever after? I don’t know. I never talked to either of them after my talk with Heidi.

 

Biography

I am a retired attorney. I have five children and ten grandchildren keeping me busy. I enjoy writing, singing, ballroom dancing and golf. My favorite writer is Erma Bombeck. I am a male, but I write better as a female.

 

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