Our Son by Alanna J. Rubin

For Sean

With clothes and blankets wrapped around him like a protective nest, he strained to hear the muted conversation his parents were having about him.

They had been arguing for the past week, ever since his tenth birthday and he couldn’t understand why. What had happened? Xavier felt brave enough to ease out of the blankets and put his ear to the wall and suddenly he could hear his parents as if they were standing right next to him. “Simon,” his mother chastised his father, “it’s time. He needs to know.”

“I disagree. He’s too young,” his father replied while pacing nervously.

“He’s going to start asking questions, and what will you say then?” His mother asked.

“I don’t know, but that’s not the point. When he asks, that’s when we tell him.”

“We can’t hide the truth forever.”

“I’m not suggesting forever. All I’m saying is not now.” Xavier couldn’t make heads or tails from this conversation. What did they mean? What didn’t they want to tell him?

Xavier found himself leaning harder into the wall when it suddenly gave way under the pressure. Xavier fell back onto his bed in surprise as the drywall dust exploded onto his face. But that was nothing compared to the surprised look on his parents’ faces as they stared at the gaping hole in the wall with awe. “I…I’m sorry,” Xavier stammered. “I didn’t mean to,” he blurted out.

“We know sweetie,” she spoke soothingly. She quickly approached him and wrapped Xavier in her arms. Instantly, Xavier felt safe. “Simon,” she called out snapping him out if his stupor. He looked at her, shock still visible on his face. “You were saying?” She spoke, her voice thick with concern and sarcasm.

Simon swallowed hard as Xavier looked at him expectantly. “Son,” he started without taking his eyes off him, “you see you’re not like your mother and me,” Simon hesitated, struggling to find the right words, “you’re special.” Xavier pulled away from his mom, giving his father his full attention. Simon sighed, “What I’m trying to say is that you’re not from…Earth.” Simon paused to let his last statement sink in.

Xavier’s eyes went large, “So, I’m an alien?” He asked confused. Simon nodded.  “Is that why you’ve both been so upset?”

“No baby,” his mother chimed in. “We’ve been arguing because this past week you started exhibiting abilities and we’ve been hiding it from you. We weren’t sure if you were ready to find out the truth, but clearly there’s no avoiding it.” She gestured toward the demolished wall.

Xavier swallowed hard; it made sense. He’d been dreaming of another world starting this last week, but now he knew it was more than a mere dream. Something was awakening inside him. “Do you know where I’m from?” he asked cautiously.

“We don’t,” Simon replied. Xavier’s face fell as a wave of fear and loneliness came crashing down, but Simon immediately noticed the shift in his son’s demeanor. He bent down and firmly gripped Xavier by his shoulders, “But no matter what, you belong here with us. You will always be our son.”

Xavier smiled feeling relieved by his father’s assurance and gave his dad a hug, but pulled back abruptly feeling a rush of excitement, “So what else can I do?” he asked.

Simon looked at his son with a glint in his eye, “We don’t know, but your mother and I will do everything we can to help you find out.” Xavier knew his world had changed forever, but he never felt more at home.

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