Hamish grinned at my request, and it was good to know that I hadn’t offended him. He only gave a little cough before going into his story.
“I suppose fair is fair, huh? Well, Dad knocked up Mum with twins when they were seventeen, and my Grandda forced them into a sort of de facto marriage situation, setting them up with their own little apartment with the hopes that they would both get their heads screwed on straight when faced with actual responsibility. Mum didn’t make it til 2003 before jumping ship–she was gone before our first birthday. When she left, Grandda and Nana took us all back in, not trusting Dad to take care of us on his own, which was probably a wise decision on their part. Dad died when we were five of a drug overdose, and Grandda and Nan raised us until Grandda died when we were sixteen. Lizzie, my twin sister in case I didn’t mention it before, got married right after we turned 18, to a guy who is sweet enough if a bit of a idiot. They had a baby just before we turned twenty one–a little girl they call Lilly after Nan who is about the sweetest child you will ever meet, and I think they’re thinking about trying to give her a little brother or sister. That’s my family history in a nutshell.”
“Wow. To parents that abandoned us, eh?”
“And to those who never will.” Hamish countered.
I tried to imagine what that might be like, and found that I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. To have both parents gone by five, and to have the people as close as parents to you gone by twenty five–that’d be too much. Sure–I couldn’t say I had a lot in the way of family, but at the very least I still had my mom. And that was worth quite a lot in the long run.
“Right–anyway. Enough with the sob stories–lets figure out our little romantic tragedy that we have here before us, huh? Want to explain to me your organization system that you’ve got here so I can help read over the letters?”
The system was rather basic, all things considered. The letters from 1969 were at one side of the table, stretching out to the letters from 2010, just before Grandpa Dougie died, on the other side.
We decided to go through as many of the letters as we could, reading them for any details or references to their stay in Virginia besides the fact that Douglas had made a mistake and that Lilly had forgiven him for it. Apparently, Hamish had taken all the time to sort the letters and get them in these protective cover things, but he hadn’t had the chance to read them all. Not that I could really blame him. There were a lot of letters there.
I opted to start with 1969 and work towards the future while Hamish was taking the 2010 and working his way into the past. Perhaps it wasn’t quite fair to Hamish to leave him with that end of the time line knowing what I knew, but I also know that I couldn’t handle it. Not yet. Not right after hashing out the whole thing about my dad. Only one family tragedy at a time.