Meticulously, Maggie O'Donnell studied the one grey tiny picture in the 1989 Hayden High yearbook. It had been open on the coffee table, her mom must've left it there.
She only intended to have a quick look, maybe have a little laugh at how her mom and dad had looked twenty years back. But she didn't bring out a sound, after seeing her dad's picture, her blue eyes growing wider with every detail she took in.
Except for messy, curly hair, seventeen year old Mike O'Donnell differed nothing from the seventeen year old currently playing basketball outside, with her little brother. Mark Gold.
The resemblance was striking.
Maggie shook her head. She'd never realized it was possible for two unrelated people to look so much alike. No, alike didn't even cover it. They looked… exactly the same.
She was suddenly startled by a thud. The back door falling closed, and she got up, leaving the book on the couch.
In the kitchen she found Mark, his back turned to her, pouring himself some water.
Maggie couldn't help but step closer, she was deeply confused.
Mark turned around as he heard her footsteps approaching, and smiled, wanting to greet her.
Before he could even say hi, however, two hands slammed to his face, just like happened a couple of days ago.
Wow, Maggie thought, as she pulled his cheeks a little –with the exact same pointy cheekbones she'd just seen in that picture. She traced his nose and scrunched it up a little. They couldn't be so alike!
"Whoa," Mark chuckled a little, "you act so much like your mom."
Maggie continued to study his face, it was identical, including the little birthmark next to his left cheek.
"You look so much like my dad," she murmured, eventually letting go, stunned by the alikeness. This couldn't be just a coincidence, could it?
She felt Mark go tense, and she frowned. The look on his face was nothing like the confident, cocky grin he usually sported. He looked so much like that old picture, it was suspicious. There was something that was being kept from her.
"You're uncle Ned's son?"
"Yea," the answer came a little forced, and Maggie paid more attention to it than she maybe should have. Something just didn't seem right. "You don't look like him."
Mark shrugged.
"You're seventeen."
Mark nodded, even though it wasn't a question, but a statement.
Maggie tried working things out in her head. Mark looked nothing like Ned. He was an exact copy of her dad, on the other hand, who was his best friend. Hell, Mark even looked more like her dad than she or her brother Alex did, his… children. And it was then that it all just sort of clicked.
"Oh my god," it came out in a shallow breath. She'd just made the discovery of her life, "you're my brother, aren't you?"
It was Mark's turn to frown now. "What?"
"Yes," it all made sense now for Maggie. That had to be it! Gah, her dad was even worse than she thought! Nagging –yes, lazy –yes, unhappy –yes, uncaring –yes, but cheating? "You're my half-brother!"
"No Maggie," she'd barely finished her sentence or Mark had started shaking his head firmly, "no."
He looked sincere, and for a moment Maggie felt relief, her dad had never cheated on her mom –probably. But then what? He had to be related to her dad! And she and he were the same age.
"My twin-brother?" her voice sounded a little uncertain now, and Mark sighed, losing his tensed behavior of earlier.
"You have to be family," Maggie went on, her eyes wandering over Mark's face again. And those eyes, the blue of her dad's eyes, her own eyes. How come she'd never noticed that before?
"I am family, Mags," Mark's reply came, sounding a little offended, "I'm your cousin."
"Unofficially!" Maggie's tone of voice was irritated now, obviously she couldn't figure things out, and that annoyed her. She stomped off, back into the living room. In the kitchen, Mike heaved a deep sigh.
"You have no idea."