There once was a girl who always felt like she had been accidentally delivered to the wrong family. She knew her parents loved her though because they never sent her back for someone more different-like-them and seemed to accept her. Only as an adult did she realise that her family was already different-from-other-families which is why she was allowed to stay.

How did she know she was different? She noticed groups of people who were the-same-as each other and she was never the-same-as anyone. As she got grown-up, these groups of people started telling her, out-loud and too-her-face that she was different. When she had to live with other-people-other-than-her-family, her differentness became more noticeable. The other-people-other-than-her-family would notice her food-things and cleaning-things and sleeping-things and clothes-things and skin-things.

In time she learnt to appear less different. She found ways of not-being-noticed but now she felt foreign-fake-different.

She had a husband and children for a while but that felt foreign-fake-different too so she left them at home one day.

She found that living by herself was easier – so she did.

When she was little, she met a boy who was different-like-her. They were so different-like-each-other they didn’t need to speak. He didn’t seem to go through the intrigued-by-the-differentness-for-five-minutes wondering like most. He didn’t see her as different so he didn’t need to wonder.

She wondered where he was now.

The Biological Soul Clock was longing. She would feel loneliness creeping up on her out of the corner of her heart. She often caught herself, when she thought she wasn’t, thinking about the different-like-her boy. She had learnt that he was married with a daughter whose name was almost hers.

Surely there must be other different-like-her people hiding somewhere. An irony. If they were different-like-her, they would be terminally-private like her and the chances of her finding any of them were as skinny as any of them finding her.

She remembered back to the different-like-her boy time. She came out of the classroom one day and he was sitting on the jungle gym waiting for her as if he had waited for her a-hundred-times-before.

This gave her hope. She knew right then that one day she would come home to find her very own different-like-her boy sitting on her doorstep. Waiting for her as if he had waited for her a-hundred-times-before…

Labrador Journal – April 2002