“So have you gone upper class on me or something?”
Tara turned and gave David a curious look over one shoulder “Really? I wake you up early to come on an
adventure with me and that’s the first question you ask? More original than “So where’re we going” I’ll
give you that much...But seriously, that’s what you bring up?”
“I’m serious, last night you still seemed kind of ticked at me when we got home, so I can only assume
that you’re either an evil twin, or you’ve suddenly started doing that rich upper class thing people do
where they repress anything even slightly uncomfortable that happens. Until, a few decades later they
go crazy and they shoot their husband for not lining up the towels by thread count.”
Tara laughed and David grinned, having accomplished his goal of amusing her successfully “I’m not
repressing. Besides, I organize my towels alphabetically by store of purchase.” She teased, flicking his
pointy ear with a grin. “And you forgot a third option from your list. I’ve been thinking about it, and I
realized you were right.”
David chanced a sideways look at her, thinking of the things he had said about Justin and her
relationship with him, “About what?”
“About knowing who I am.” Tara spun to face David as she began to trudge backwards through the
snow, “I always thought it didn’t matter who I was born, as I just had to be sure about who I was
now...but I think maybe you were right about needing to know my past so I can know I am and be...me.
You were right about it making me feel weird about not belonging here...and so I thought maybe
figuring out who I am might make me feel...different.”
“Which brings me to the answer of the question that you did not ask! Where’re we going you say?
We’re off to the orphanage to break into their file room, steal the file labelled Tara...whatever my real
last name might be...and then read it. Sound good.?
“Sounds brilliant.” David grinned mischeviously at his friend. “Uh Tara, you might want to turn around
and walk straight for a bit.”
Before David could answer the question Tara felt the back of her leg band agaisnt something solid, and
she sat down hard on what fortunately turned out to be a bench.
“You could have warned me.” Tara reproached David as he laughed. “Oh and by the way, since I
admitted you were right, now’s the part you admit I was right too, so I’m just going to sit here until you
do. So don’t be stubborn because my butt is geting cold already.”
David smiled at her considering before taking a step, closing the distance between them as he leaned
“Ok. you were right,” David acknowledged “About me wanting things I don’t have...but I don’t think
that’s always a bad thing...” he looked at Tara meaningfully “It’s just...ambition. And wanting things just
means I care about them...and it doesn’t mean I will lose interest once I have it.”
“And the leaving?”
“I don’t know...do you think in two and half years there will be something here worth me staying for, or
will she still be with someone else.” He held out his hand to Tara and pulled her to her feet, allowing her
to dust the snow from herself quietly.
“We’re almost there.”
David glanced up as they arrived in front of a large official looking building, “Is this it?”
“This is it.” Tara confirmed “Wow...weird flashback moment.”
“So what’s the plan?”
“You know we’ve already had lots of doctors through here examining the other kids, the environment,
and potential causes for the illness, so far none of them have found anything.”
“Yes mam, but if you don’t mind we’re going to take a look around too.”
“Who did you two say were again?”
“I’m Doctor Smith, this is my associate Doctor Jones.”
“We’re specialists mam”
“I see...well...feel free to take a look around...I should probably go check on the kids. I won’t be far if you
“I can’t believe that worked.” David removed the glasses as the woman walked away from them.
“Neither can I actually.” Tara admitted, shedding the lab coat. “And it was my plan.”
“By the way, just out of curiosity, why am I along on this little field trip?”
“Because I needed a partener in crime of course.”
“Yeah, but why not Justin, he is your boyfriend after all.”
“Not anymore.” Tara said the words with a flippancy that could only be described as mind boggling. “I
think the office is this way.”
“Wait, what? You two broke up.”
“Very late last night. It was all very civilized, we’re still going to be friends. And that was the thing really
isn’t it. It was all ridiculously civilized, all very friends trying to be in love...that’s why I broke up with him
by the way it had nothing to do with what you said last night. It’s just that we didn’t really have any...”
“Yeah...Spark. I think this is the place...I mean it’s been Thirteen years but I can still find my way around
here apparently...that’s kind of pathetic when you think about it...Also...” she reached sideways and
jiggled the handle.
“Ok...since you admitted I was right...again....I guess it’s my turn, again...You’re right. I do have some
“David, do you really think this is the time?”
“Yeah I do.” David grinned as he put his arms around her. “Whatever you do, stay close to me.”
“Hey. You trust me right?”
“Yes...but in theory, but in practice I’m fairly sure I’m not going to like any idea that starts with that
question.” But David just smiled at her as he took a step sideways, his arms encircling her firmly.
He watched with amused satisfaction and Tara blinked in confusion, as they emerged in the office. She
pushed away from him, her eyes huge as she stared around “How did you do that?”
David shrugged, “Don’t know, it’s just a thing I do.”
Tara punched him playfully on the arm “Well you could stop looking so pleased with yourself about it.”
“Yeah...I could.” David shrugged, making no effort to wipe the grin off his face.
“Why didn’t you tell me about this before?”
Again David shrugged “You never asked.”
“Damn...well from now on that will be my first question when I meet someone, can you walk through
“Come on we’d better find these files before they find all those smoke and mirrors you set up outside
here to make it look like you could walk through solid objects just to impress a girl.”
Tara folded herself down in front of the computer jiggling the mouse to stir it into wakefulness, and it
blinked back a demand for a password.
“Sorry,” David told her, leaning over to see what she was doing. “My powers don’t include computer
hacking. I don’t suppose you learned about that in one of your many classes about everything.” But to
his suprise Tara’s fingers were already moving across the keyboard and a moment later it lit up with a
cooperative noise. “How did you do that.”
“60% of people’s passwords is....PASSWORD” Tara shrugged as she began scrolling through icons
“God how is this organized....how am supposed to find my file on here when it’s sorted by biological
parents’ last name...That’s just...wrong. Wait...I’ll try sorting it by adoption date...”
As Tara worked on the computer David stuck his nose back out through the wall to keep a look out. It
was just as she shouted out “GOT it!” That someone rounded the corner.
“We have to go.” David told her pulling his head back in. “Just put it on a USB key and we’ll get out of
Tara nodded, quickly jamming the small instrument into the computer and beginning to transfer the file.
She was just pulling it from the harddrive as they heard the sound of a key in the lock. They traded
panicked looks and this time David knew there was no time for warning. He wrapped his arms around
Tara and the two began to sink through the floor together.
“Ooof.” They fell through the ceiling and landed in a graceless heap on the floor of what appeared to be
a dormitory, David just managing to catch Tara on top of himself as they went.
“Yeah...you seem to have cushionned my fall. Thanks for that.”
“No problem...I didn’t really need those ribs anyway.” Tara laughed as she pushed herself a little
awkwardly off him.
“Come on” David seized her again, pulling her close, this time uncommonly aware of the feeling of her
waist as his hands slid across them and the warmth of her body held close to his, the rise and fall of her
“I won’t ever get used to this.” Tara laughed as she squeezed her eyes shut and, laughing David stepped
through the outer wall of the orphanage.
And then they ran.
“Ella Tremaine, twenty seven years old....and her husband Charles Tremaine, twenty eight...both killed in
a car crash...no surviving relatives. Daughter Tara Rachel Tremaine was in the back seat, survived the
crash aged three months old. Taken in by DeBateau orphanage, four months old. Adopted by Armand
Willian DeBateau, sole Gardian, at eight years old.”
“You ok?” David inspected Tara’s unusually still profile as she stared at the computer screen.
“Yeah...no...I don’t know.” She shook her head in confusion “They weren’t wearing their seatbelts
apparently. I don’t know...it’s just so...normal. When I was a little girl I used to lie in bed and imagine
that I had been left on the doorstep of the orphanage, or that I was some sort of hidden princess like in
fairytales, and that one day...I don’t know...that one day my parents were going to come back and get
me....and when I got older I realized that that was just a fairytale, that I wasn’t the lost heiress to a
castle or cursed by witches...but I guess a part of me never stopped thinking that somehow they were
alive. That maybe it was just that she was too young...she couldn’t keep me...but that I still had a mom
“And it turns out...I really am all alone.”
“No you’re not. Don’t say that. You’ve got your Dad....and me....”