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My So Called Life
#11
Sterling looked at woman. She was nice, but she wasn't sure what she'd missed. But Risha was about to go off the handle again. So Sterling spoke up quickly before her best friend could begin her triad. "I had a heart defect when I was a baby. And suddenly for no apparent reason I was better. But my parents didn't take me home. They were dead. And my brother too. I was adopted by my parents. And they just told me about my parentage. I have the news articles and the hospital records. But none of it makes any sense. But they have to be connected."

Sterling sighed, "So I'm looking at how my disease might have been cured. Maybe they did something illegal and the old regime or whatever didn't like it. I don't know. Grasping at straws here. I'm just looking for my family. I have to have some, I mean my birth mom and dad had parents right? And all records of my father kinda just start up out of now where here in Moscow. It looks weird to me."
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#12
Liv frowned. Diseases didn't just disappear. At least not that she'd ever heard. Well, there was sometimes spontaneous remission. "Hmm....Ok. I get it." She stopped to think. "Without the records, yeah. Or details, rather. It is odd." Something about that tickled the back of her mind, something familiar. Did Laila mention something about that? She was a respiratory therapist. But recalling it was like grasping at smoke.

Small wonder Liv didn't remember all that well. A lot of those memories were safely sealed away.

And then she thought of something else. "You could do an ancestry search. Find grandparents or great grandparents and then work forward. Find a cousin or someone who can give more information."
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#13
Sterling wondered if she was piling on too much information and the woman couldn't exactly follow along. Overworked probably. Stress did stupid things to people - look at Risha. Sterling tried not to be annoyed but the look from Risha said she wasn't making it happen. "Like I already said. My biological mother was an only child. Her family is all gone. My father sort of just appeared here in Moscow shortly before my birth. Like literally there is nothing on record before that. He has a birth certificate and then bam all sort of on the books records right before I was born."

She sighed. "I did the only other thing I could. Made a video, gave all the same details and hopes that someone recognizes him."

Risha interrupted. "Like I said, Ster baby, this is pointless. Let the internet do it's work. Someone will know something. I want ice-cream." She stood up and looked at the woman. "Maybe you'd like to come - chill or something."
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#14
Liv smiled. She hadn't been clear. "I meant genetic ancestry. There are sites you can submit your DNA to and, after paying a fee, it will search to find close genetic relatives and their degree of separation."

She glanced at Risha with a smirk. "Well, he did live, after all. Phony records or not. The proof is right there," she said, gesturing at Sterling. "Those sites have pretty extensive databases of genealogies and their genetic profiles. Even if he or his family were hiding, not everyone related to them may have. Someone may have had a one night stand and knocked someone up. Or something else. There will be connection somewhere. If you can get to a grandmother or great grandfather or a second cousin, it would give you a place to start."
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#15
Sterling wasn't sure that was going to work. But it wouldn't hurt to try. She gave a nod. "I'll ask my parents, but my biological father is like a ghost, I doubt anyone on his side of the family is going to be found. They don't seem like the kinda people to submit to genetic testing ya know."

Her biological mother was Russian. She was easily followed. "And all the family on my biological mothers side is gone. She was the last alive. All only children. And anyone outside of close relatives isn't going to be helpful. There is no family heart disorders of any kind." She was an anomaly.

Sterling shrugged. "I'm not sure I have any biological kin left." She stood up and smiled. "We are going for ice-cream. Would you like to come? We can talk about something else." Sterling grinned taking Risha's hand. "Like why a microbiologist has a big heavy art book and isn't studying arm." Risha was starting to tug her away by the held hand towards the door, Sterling did her best not to be dragged along before getting the answer.
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#16
Liv laughed, touching the book's open page absently. "Kinda a long story. Still working it out myself." She looked at Sterling. The girl was earnest. And hungry for answers. For a moment, Liv felt old. She hadn't felt hungry in....she couldn't remember when.

But now that she thought about it, well, she was human. And yet she had just been living in limbo. For months even. And now she was stumped. What did she want? What was she hungry for? Friends, yes. She had kept them at arms length for a while. She wasn't ready to admit everything. Not yet. To face the scorn or disappointment she knew would be there. She had her family, too. They were her rock. The only reason she lived.

This girl hungered for family. Anyone. And so she was seeking it.

Liv looked out the window again, seeing all the students. This guy sitting next to his boyfriend, both lost in their own wallets. A girl in a pretty sundress, laying back with her boyfriend's head in her lap, both napping in the sun. Those two girls under the shade of a tree, one hunched over her textbook and reading aloud while the other writes in a notepad. Her vision shifted and she saw something else. A pulsing golden cord seemed to emanate from each of them, twining ad twisting with the other's, the braid disappearing off into the distance.

She stared, trying to comprehend the image she saw. What it meant.

And she did feel a hunger pang, then. A real one. A raw ache, as if she had been starving to death and hadn't noticed it, sharp and stabbing.

She couldn't help but smile as she felt a burning behind her eyes, a relief so powerful that she didn't trust herself to speak or be around others. She wasn't dead. Not yet. She had thought....she had come to believe it, that she was a burned out husk. An empty shell. But no. The flame was not out yet. A small flickering spark still smoldered in her yet.

Of course, she wasn't sure what to do about that. But it was something.

She looked back at the girls. They were unaware of what had transpired. What had happened today. But that was ok. She smiled at them, bringing herself under control. "I can't. I have class soon. But thanks Sterling. Good luck on your search."

She left the book on the table. It was the libraries anyway and the staff preferred to put things away themselves.

The sun was bright and the air cool. And Liv was alive.
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