“Promise me you won’t send the sample in. Promise me!” Victoria reached out and gripped Kestrel’s free hand tightly.
“Mom, I’m not going to promise you anything until you tell me what the hell is going on? Why are you so upset?”
Kestrel considered dropping the whole thing and walking away.
She knew that whatever came from this conversation might be better left alone, but she couldn’t let it go. For the first time in her life, she might find out the truth, but she wasn’t sure she was comfortable with it, whatever it was.
Victoria had turned away from her. “Damned DNA.”
“What is it you think I am going to find out, Mom? What lies have you told?”
Victoria seemed to consider all the possibilities. “I don’t know what you will find, or not find. I just know you won’t find what you expect.”
Kestrel pulled out a chair and sat down across from her mother, but not before she finished her glass of white wine and refilled it generously.
Conversations with Victoria were never easy, even the simple ones, and this one was grueling. By now Kestrel could almost see the wheels turning behind her mother’s eyes. How much should she tell, what had she said before, how little could she get away with revealing?
“I don’t know where to start…” Victoria topped off her glass of wine and returned to a different chair at the table, one a little farther away from where Kestrel sat.
“You have a choice, Mom. You can either start at the beginning, like a normal person, or I can ask specific questions and you can try to figure out how to not answer them.”
“Very funny… Okay, you ask me questions.” She took a healthy swig of wine and a deep breath.
“What are you worried I will find out if I get my DNA done?”
Victoria hesitated and took another gulp of wine, buying time.
“Do I need to make the questions easier?”
“No… I don’t know what you will find if you do it. Doesn’t it depend on what other people have done?”
“Yes, as does all of life. What is the best I will find?”
“Nothing at all.” That at least seemed like an honest answer.
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