My friend Amber was just leaving when he walked in. She put her hand over her heart and said “oh. I have fantasies about that boy every night in my dreams. I’d better go before I start foaming at the mouth.”
He was a tall, blonde, blue-eyed Adonis. In my eyes, just by the way he walked, I thought he was quite full of himself.
He saw me and like a scene from a movie, slowly walked over and said, “My name is Noah King.”
I was thinking how fitting that name was, considering he looked as if he was wearing an invisible crown. He was beautiful but I had always believed that beautiful men were dangerous. I was determined not to act as if I was about to swoon nor was I going to act like he had just elevated me to importance by speaking to me.
I told him my name and was just about to say “stick around. I’ll cut you down to size,” when he held out his hand. When I shook it, it was as if there was an ethereal connection.
He sat down and we started talking. Before we knew it, we had talked until closing time. From that day forward, we were inseparable.
A year later, I was promoted and although it wasn’t to the upper tier, I was on my way. Noah was finishing his graduate degree. He was living off of an endowment left to him by his grandparents but he wasn’t the typical entitled trust-fund baby. He appreciated the gift and was almost what you would call overly frugal. I was sure that he appreciated his movie-star good looks but he was the most humble, unassuming man I had ever met.
It wasn’t long until we started planning to move in together and talked of eventually starting a family. I casually said “we could have our own little Cherokees running around. He looked at me and asked what I meant.
“I’m Cherokee,” I announced. “Um, yeah. I can see that,” he said. “Especially with that blonde hair and those green eyes.”
I giggled and said “well, you know that everybody in my family has black hair and brown eyes but I got that sideways gene.”
“That sideways gene?” he asked.
I said “yeah. You know, that gene that goes sideways and makes you look different from everybody else.” He laughed and said “well, it worked.” Then he said “but I will say that you look just like your sister and brother.”
I asked him about his heritage.
“I don’t really know,” he said. “I was adopted when I was three days old.” I couldn’t hide my surprise when I repeated “you were adopted?”
Noah looked at me, laughed and said “didn’t you wonder where I came from? You’ve met my parents. I mean I have two little short Jewish parents with black hair and brown eyes. I look nothing like them and I’m pretty sure that I don’t have that sideways gene.”
I asked him if he knew who his birth parents were. He said “no.” I asked him if he had ever thought about trying to find them. He said “sometimes I think about it. Mom and dad said they would help me but I never really pursued it.”
I found his lack of curiosity strange until I remembered my bottle. All these years, I had kept my bottle and had never been curious enough to try to find out what the note inside said. But that was just a note in a bottle. We were talking about his heritage. Even so, I wasn’t exactly sure what I would do if I was in his situation.
I said “why don’t we do that ancestry thing? You know, where you swab your cheek and mail it off and they send you a graph that tells you who you are. At least you would have some information about your heritage and maybe I can find out where my blonde hair and green eyes came from.”
“Please, please, please?” I asked in my best little girl voice. He finally said “alright” so I sent off for the kits.
That summer, we found an apartment and began moving in our things. He didn’t have very much and what he did have was far too caveman for my tastes. He had a huge, badly worn leather sofa that looked like every student in the school had either slept on it or gotten sick on it. “This,” I said, “is going to have to be left on the curb.”
It seemed to take forever to get everything moved in and put where we wanted it. Between work and school, there had been precious little time to do much of anything other than unpack but we were finally at the home stretch.
Noah walked in and was flipping through the mail. He said “oh. Our DNA tests came today. Why don’t you take a break and come sit with me for a minute and we’ll look at them together?”
I was so excited I could hardly wait but I told him that I only had one more small box to unpack. I picked it up and the bottom fell out. I heard a crash and my heart almost stopped beating when I looked down.
My bottle lay in pieces.
To be continued_________________