Everyone gathered around Fang, trying to get a look at their families.
I let myself be pushed onto the edge of the tiny group, and found myself standing next to Max.
"Do you not want to see your family?" She asked, not looking at me. "I remember a few years ago when you were very excited at the idea."
"Yeah, I know. I was. I still am, a little bit. But, and, yeah, I know, this is gonna sound cheesy, but, I already have a family." Max nodded, watching the Flock as they crowded around Fang, even the blind Iggy.
"I know exactly what you mean, Nudge. It's your decision, but, if I was you, I'd at least give it a a shot."
Angel came over to us then, and pulled us right up behind Fang to get a good look at the screen.
"Look, Max," the going-on-thirteen Gazzy said excitedly, "we hit the jackpot!"
Max smiled and ruffled his blonde hair and I thought about how hard it must be for her to potentially let go of everyone of us, her first family.
Max smiled at me as if she could read my mind, but when I glanced at Angel, she was too absorbed in Fang's laptop screen to have sent my thoughts to Max. I smiled back at her, realizing something.
Even if, like Max, I met my parents and they accepted my winged self, the Flock would always be my first family.
Angel pulled me back again into the real world and pointed at the laptop.
"You look exactly like your mom, except taller!" When I looked at the screen, I realized I did. My mom was a short little lady, but I definitely took after her in skin-coloring; a warm mocha color. And I had the same unruly, curly black hair as her, too.
My dad, though, who was standing next to her, arm around her, was almost as pale as Iggy. He had brown hair that looked like it was pushed away from his face before the picture was taken. Since his eyes were revealed, I could see where I got my brown eyes from; him.
Fang scrolled down past a bunch of words and other information that I would read later that night, and suddenly we were looking at the Gasman and Angel's parents.
They looked friendly enough, for people who sold their children.
Gazzy took Angel's hand and held it tightly as the looked over Fang's shoulder.
They took heavily after their father, though they were more tan from all their outdoor time. He had curly blonde hair just like the two of them, and they definitely had his bright blue eyes. He looked like a laid-back surfer kind of guy, and their mom was the complete opposite.
As soon as I looked at her, I could believe her giving up her kids for money. She was tall and had very tan skin that was probably the result of several hours in a tanning booth. Her brown hair was framed around her face in a professional-like way. From what I could see of her collar, it seemed like she was wearing a woman's business suit, and she looked very uptight.
Eek. I hoped their dad was as cool as he looked, if only to make up for their mom.
As Fang printed all the information we needed, Gazzy and Angel ran upstairs to Dr. Martinez's study to get it. Fang was tapping the table patiently and Max was talking with Iggy and Dr. Martinez quietly.
Ella walked over to me, smile lighting up her brown eyes, and I noticed that I was about two inches taller than her, even though she was about a year older than me.
"Are you excited, Nudge?"
"I don't know, Ella. I would have been a few years ago, but, well, you guys are my family now."
Ella nodded. "Yeah, I know what you mean. I was presented with the chance to meet my father about a year before I met Max. I didn't know how to react." Ella's facial expression changed to a distant one, and I realized that in the two and-something year we lived with the Martinez's, I had never heard Ella or Dr. Martinez speak of Ella's father.
"So," I prompted, "what'd you do?"
"Guys, guys!" Angel yelled, running back into the dining room with her brother behind her. "We got the papers!"
"Angel," Dr. Martinez said sternly. "No yelling in the house."
"Oops, sorry. Forgot," Angel replied, flipping through a stack of papers she was carrying.
Angel handed some papers to Fang, and Gazzy handed me mine.
On top was the picture of my parents that I had seen on Fang's laptop, but I didn't feel like looking at that. I put it on the bottom and went into the kitchen to sit on the counter to read the words I had once so desperately wanted.
Alexander and Nicole Cavalier. Those were the names of my parents. They had lived in Arizona like I'd originally thought, but they'd moved a few years ago to a small town in southern North Carolina about a twenty minute drive from the Atlantic Coast.
From what I could tell, they were both pretty successful. Alexander, my father, was a doctor at a nearby town and my mother was principal at the local high school.
I had two little siblings, too. Their names were Matthew and Makayla. When I read their names, I smiled. Monique, Matthew and Makayla. Notice a pattern?
"How's your family?" Ella asked casually, coming into the kitchen for a glass of milk.
"They sound great. They live in North Carolina, only about twenty minutes from the coast. And I have two little siblings; Matthew and Makayla.
"That's cool. How old are they?"
"Matthew's thirteen. Makayla is ten. Guess what?"
"I give up." I smiled; Ella never was good at guessing.
"My name is Monique."
"Hey! Three M's! How cute!"
"Yup. Hey, can I ask you a question?"
"Go for it," Ella replied easily, leaning against the fridge.
"What did you do? About your dad, I mean?"
"Oh, I went and met him. But, it turned out to be-"
"Hey, Nudge," Max said, poking her head into the kitchen from the dining room. "We need you in here." I glanced back at Ella, but she was already moving into the dining room.
I jumped off the counter with my papers and a sigh. At this rate I was never going to get to hear her story.
"We're leaving a week from tomorrow," Max said as soon as I walked into the room. "It'll give you guys plenty of time to take care of things, and make your decisions. I need you to let me know if you're going or not, though." Max said, looking at all of us who still had parents to find.
"Oh!" Dr. Martinez said, remembering something. "I'll be buying you all cell phones, so we can all stay in touch!"
That made it final. Max's mom was awesome.
"And, if any of you don't want to meet your parents, you're more than welcome to stay with me." Dr. Martinez smiled at all of us before sending us to get ready for bed.
I wasn't so sure I wanted to meet my biological family. But then I thought of Ella, and what she did when given the chance to meet her father. At least she could say she tried, no matter the results.
And I decided that I was going to be able to say that, too.