This is Emily, and recently her life has started to resemble a TV series. Let’s start from the very beginning.
Throughout the 16 years of her life, Emily felt pretty different from both of her parents. She was never like anyone in their family, in fact; not in the way she looked, or even in the way she behaved. For example, both of her parents were really good at sports. Her mom used to be a cheerleader in college, so she’s very muscular and skinny, while her dad has always been good at all kinds of ball games, especially basketball and tennis. But you could hardly call Emily an athlete. She’s not even good at running, and she usually ends up trying to skip her PE classes all the time. At first her parents were worried about this, and even took her to the doctor, but he said that she was completely healthy and normal; she just wasn’t made to become an athlete. As for Emily herself, she hates everything connected with physical activity. She would rather read books or draw something. And she’s really good at natural sciences. This is actually what calms her down and helps her relax.
“That’s hardly anything serious,” you’d probably say, but she had always felt pretty uncomfortable when the whole family gathered together and played, let's say, football. She’d just sit somewhere under the trees and sketch another family portrait. This made her feel different from everybody else. And she didn’t look like anyone in her family either. They've all got brown hair, and have blue eyes and dark skin. When her mom gets a tan, she looks like a real goddess. Whereas Emily is a chubby blonde with grey eyes, and any extra sun makes her pasty white skin as red as a tomato. She does love her family though, and she knows that they love her just as much, but there are some times when she feels like she’s in the wrong place. Although the chances are that many of you have felt the same way at least a few times in your life.
She found out what was wrong with her through a letter they once got in the mail. That day, she was home alone when the mailman came and brought a letter from the local hospital addressed to her mom. Emily wouldn’t normally have read anyone else’s correspondence, but this letter for some reason made her feel nervous. She thought “What if mom has a serious illness and they just don't want me to find out about it?” That’s why she decided to carefully open up the envelope, so that no one would notice she’d actually done it. The information inside sent her into shock. The letter said that 16 years ago, on the night she was born, the fire alarm went off suddenly at the hospital and that incident made the nurse on duty panic and switch two babies – her and another girl. At first she was scared to confess this because she thought she might lose her job. But now this woman was terminally ill and was going to pass away soon, so she decided to confess her mistake.
Reading all that made her almost physically ill. It turned out that Emily’s parents were actually not her parents, and this fact explained why she had always been the black sheep in the family. She just sat there reading and re-reading the letter over and over again and didn’t even notice that her parents had come home. When she saw them she couldn’t do anything except burst into tears and run to her room. She didn’t know how to react or what to say, and was just lying on her bed when her parents knocked at her door. They looked totally dispirited and were clearly worried about her. Her dad kept silent just like her, while her mom tried to find the right words to say. She said that this horrible mistake wouldn’t change anything in their relationship; that she always was and forever would be their beloved daughter, and that she would be the only one to decide whether she wanted to meet the other family or not. She felt frightened and depressed about that letter, but when her parents hugged her Emily realized that she loved them more than anything in the world.
That night was torturous for everyone. Emily couldn’t sleep at all. A few times she heard her mom crying in the bathroom and noticed that her dad went outside to smoke, when he had been a non-smoker for as long as she could remember. Recently, she made her decision – she wanted to contact her biological parents. Their address was also included in the letter and her dad called them. It turned out that they had also received the same letter and were about to contact Emily’s family. They decided to meet at a café. You know, she immediately recognized the other “Emily” right from the moment she first saw her. She looked just like her mom...