A sister finds her brother

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Life. Just when everything is going normally, like clockwork, here is comes. A curveball from out of nowhere. Such is my story…

A sister finds her brother

First, a bit about myself. I was 31 at the time, single, not really interested in anything beyond the immediate moment, in terms of my private life. My father had passed when I was 25 and getting out of the military. My mother disappeared when I was 9, and we never saw or heard from her again. My father taught me that women were for the short term, get what you can then leave them before they could think of marriage. Professionally, I was doing well. I had done a few years in the military after high school, where I learned a bit about cyber security. After my father passed when I was 25, I used the insurance as seed money to start my own firm. I wasn’t rich, but I wasn’t broke either. I enjoyed my job. I still do.

Then one Saturday, about 9 am, my phone pinged. It showed a picture of my front porch (my video doorbell when straight to my phone). There was a young girl, blonde, thin, looking a bit scruffy…staring at my doorbell. I watched for two minutes before she reached up and pushed the button.

A quick camera check revealed no one else lurking about. Still wary, I took my .38 in my hand and answered the door.

“May I help you?”

“Are you Michael Atkins?”


“Michael Dean Atkins? Born in Chicago?”


“Was your father Mark David Atkins?”

“Yes.” My wariness was steadily increasing. I was about to order her away, but something stopped me. I never knew exactly what it was.

“Was your mother Karen Ann Atkins, maiden name of Pernell?”

“Yes. Now, please tell me what you really want. I don’t want to stand here answering questions all day.”

“My name is Jill. Jill Pernell. I think…I think we are related.”

“I seriously doubt it. My mother left my father when I was nine, and we never saw her again. I don’t even know if she’s alive.”

“My mother was Karen Pernell. She told me his name and your name…and she isn’t alive anymore.” A single tear tracked her right cheek.

“Do you have any proof of any of this? I would like to think that I have family alive somewhere, but I’ve never heard of you.”

“Please…please, just let me come in. I’ll show you everything I have. I…I…don’t know everything…” She was downright crying now.

I didn’t need anyone coming by to see this, and against my better judgment I invited her in. “Please come in, sit here at the table and we can discuss this.” I had already decided that she was probably trying to scam me for money, but I didn’t need a public scene either. I sat her on one side of my glass kitchen table. I sat on the other side and slowly and deliberately put my .38 on the table.

“Are you seriously worried I might hurt you? I’m 5’4″ and 110 pounds. I think you scare me far more than I scare you.”

“I like to have things in the open. I want you to understand I won’t be threatened in my own home, however.”

“OK…I have this bag, and I’m going to pull out some paperwork. Don’t shoot me just yet,” she said with a slight smile.

She pulled out a stack of paperwork in a large binder clip, somewhat dirty and stained. Everything else spilled out when she did, no knives or guns to be seen. I seemed to be safe for a second, so I relaxed enough to take in this person. Short, thin, short blonde hair, the white kind. Natural. She was not unkempt, but she wasn’t clean either. Dazzling blue eyes, and a figure best described as lithe. She also appeared scared out of her wits, and barely holding it together.

I browsed through the paperwork she had. Her birth certificate, her state ID (she was from Boston), some miscellaneous stuff, and then the last page. It was a picture. She said, “That’s Mom, and who she said was my father. I think you might be the young boy.”

“Excuse me for a second…” I went to my living room and picked up a frame. Comparing the two pictures, it was clear they were taken at the same time. Was this actually real? It was an old snapshot, just like mine was. This was getting real, fast. I sent off a quick text, while she gave me a questioning look.

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