The lies my mother told me shaped me like half dried clay.
"I don't know who your father is," she would say after I asked, braiding her long, dark hair and changing the subject as soon as she had the chance. She always braided her hair when she lied, wrapping up it up in half truths and maybes and laters.
It wasn't until I was twenty-five when I learned the truth, there in the black and white photograph. He held me, awkward and sad, as if he knew he wouldn't be a part of my life. I couldn't see the color of his eyes, but I knew they were blue. He looked so young, the beginning of his beginning.
We laugh about it now. In a way, he did raise me. Interview with a Vampire and Thelma and Louise and Ocean's Eleven and all the others play in my mind still.
I wonder if he thinks about me, if his family knows the truth. If he holds a black and white picture in his hands and braids his daughter's hair and thinks about the father he could have been.