I have a brother. I didn't know that and it's confusing and he's grown-up, too. I didn't know my mom and dad had another baby when I was a baby. Or maybe they had me when he was a baby but like…Why didn't I know that I have a brother? Did he know all this time that he had a sister? Was he looking for me since forever? Did he know what I looked like? Did he know that we look almost the same? Did he know that my hair was the same color as his hair? And even though our eyes are different colors and his mouth is kind of big, I think we look like brother and sister. I like that.
"Oh, you can call me Sam," he says to Rachel and takes off his jacket and puts it on the back of his chair. He smiles really big without even trying and I can tell he's nice. "Everyone calls me Sam, except my dad…And my mom when like she's mad at me or something. So yeah, I'm just Sam."
She nods and looks really nervous, but the good kind of nervous, like she knows that this is a really good thing – Finding my brother. I'm just excited that I have a brother and that he's nice and I just want to do something exciting with him – Like play tag or go play dodge ball and I'll tell him to get that weird hair guy that hit me in the head. Not just sit here in Rachel's office. I bounce my legs in my seat and Rachel puts her hand on them and looks at me until I stop bouncing them.
"Okay, so…Sam," she says and he smiles waiting for her to finish. "How did you find us?"
He looks around and taps his foot, "Well, I kept hearing all these messages on the answering machine and I know you were the same person who called my mom and got her all upset, so I deleted all the messages before my mom could hear them." His eyes move around some more and he looks at Rachel. "I was just ignoring them until you said something about "answers" and that's when I picked up and I wanted to ask who you were even though I kind of knew already, but I was scared so I hung up." He looks around, again.
"You were the one that kept calling me and hanging up?" Rachel asks him.
He looks like he did something bad and makes a sad face. "Sorry?"
"No, it's okay, I completely unders-"
"Hey! I talked to you on the phone!" I tell him because I remember when I yelled at the person that wouldn't leave Rachel alone. This is exciting!
He laughs and nods and rubs his head and his cheeks turn pink. "Yeah, you really laid it on me, too!"
"Did I scare you?" I ask him because I was trying to be scary when I did it, but I didn't know it was him - my brother. Now, I just feel bad.
He nods his head, again. "Heck yeah, but hey, don't worry; I was happy, too. I mean, when you said that you were Quinn Fabray, I knew that you were real, you know?" He looks at me and smiles, but not as big as before. "I knew that it was true…That I had a sister. So, I packed my bags, told my mom that I was going to catch a flight and that she couldn't stop me; and…Here I am."
Rachel is too slow to stop me and Sam didn't even see me coming until I'm hugging him really tight. He starts laughing and hugs me back.
"You're already the best brother, ever!" I tell him and when I move away he has that big smile on his face, again.
"You're pretty great yourself, Quinn," he says and I sit down back in my chair and smile at him and Rachel. She looks like she wants to cry she's so happy; but then she looks worried.
"That's a very brave thing to do, Sam. Judging from how your mother reacted to my first phone call, I can only imagine how she feels about you coming all this way."
"Oh, she doesn't know where I am, exactly…"
And then I finally get it…Sam doesn't have the same mom as me. That's weird…Wait, he said his dad calls him Samuel, so-
"You know Dad?!" I ask really loud because know I understand. "You know Dad! You know what he looks like and, and, and you know him!"
"Quinn, honey, calm down," Rachel tells me, but she sounds far away.
Sam looks scared but he nods anyway. "Yeah, I know him; but uh…He's not really around all that much." He makes one of those breathy noises that Rachel makes when she's tired or mad. "And when he is around, I kind of rather he not be, you know?"
What? No, I don't know. I sometimes wanted my Dad around. He was never around. My mom told me that he was gone and wasn't coming back, but she said it was better that way. But I wanted him around, at least one time, just to see what he looked like. "He was with you and your mom."
"Quinn…" Rachel starts talking, but Sam butts in.
"Yeah, but trust me, he isn't the best dad and I'm kind of glad that he left me and mom, too." He looks at me and makes a sad face. "I'm sorry about what happened to your mom, Quinn."
No. I don't want to talk about it.
"I mean, I didn't know or understand back then because I was young like you and I didn't even know who Dad and my mom were arguing about, but when I grew up I started putting the pieces together…I just wish I could've helped you somehow. It must've been really difficult for you to lose her and to have to be out here all by yourself. I mean, Dad was just so stubborn and I can't believe he'd just leave you here and act like nothing happened. I'm so sorr-"
"I don't want to talk about it, please…" I tell him and feel my cheeks get wet. I take a deep breath and when I breathe out Rachel is wrapping her hand around mine and scooting her chair closer until she's wrapping me in a hug. Sam looks more sad and I wipe my cheeks and try to smile a true smile. "I'm okay, I think. It was really bad and scary sometimes, but I've been okay since I came here." Rachel squeezes me one more time and pulls her face out of my hair and I kiss her nose before she lets me go. "I mean, I like being with Rachel, but I don't like being here." I tell him because it is true. "I can't be the most happy I can be if I have to be stuck in here all the time. It makes me feel bad and not good enough to be something better than a crazy person." Rachel takes a fast breath like she's going to say something, but I look at her and keep talking. "And I know I'm not a crazy person. I can behave and be smart and be good enough. I can make Shelby understand that I'm not a mistake for you, Rachel. I'm learning lots of things everyday and I'm going to be ready for New York and for you and us."
"Whoa, wait!" Sam says with the big smile, again. "You guys are moving to New York? That's awesome! We can go back together and-"
"Sam!" Rachel says loud so he can't get too excited because he doesn't know the whole plan, yet. "What Quinn means to say is that moving to New York is not going to be as easy as it may seem."
His smile turns into a frown and he moves his eyes away from Rachel and looks at me like he doesn't know what that means.
I look at him, too, and I tap my fingers on my legs. "Rachel called your mom because we thought that she was my family or something. We didn't know that she was a mom that had my brother – that's you - with my dad, too. This is a surprise for us especially me, a really, really good surprise because we didn't know what would happen if I didn't have any family. And I need family because we want to go to New York and be happy together without her mom being mean all the time; but I can't go anywhere if I don't have family to go with…Right?" I ask Rachel because I don't know if I said that the right way. It sounds really confusing.
I smile when she smiles at me and says, "Exactly, baby." Then she turns to look at Sam and she gives him a nervous smile, like she doesn't know if he's going to like what she says next…"That's where you come in."
It's a long shot. I won't blame him if he says that he won't help us; after all this is a really big, huge, gigantic favor to ask for. Sure, Quinn is his sister and all, but she is his long-lost half sister; it was only about an hour ago when he met her for the first time and now I'm going to ask him to be that family that Quinn needs. Not to mention, even if he does agree to be part of the "Get Faberry to New York" plan, how will he convince his mother?
"So, why exactly does Quinn need someone-"
"Family! I need family, like a brother, like you!" Quinn corrects Sam with a shout and a smile.
The boy grins back and slowly nods along, "Got it. So, why exactly is that necessary just to go to New York? I mean, it's not like she has to stay here forever, like she's being held against her will or something…" he jokes, then sees Quinn's wide eyes and my sad face. "Right?" He asks, with a worried brow and a concerned tone. "What kind of place is this?!"
"No, no! Relax, Sam," I tell him, before he gets angry. His reaction is a good sign. He already seems protective of Quinn and he barely met her. Maybe getting him to help us will be easier than I thought. Plus, I have a really good feeling about him. He seems really accepting, especially since it's pretty obvious that Quinn and I are a couple…a lesbian couple…and he's totally cool with it. He didn't even look uncomfortable when Quinn and I held hands or when I touched her leg or even when she kissed my nose. Actually, he looked like he was happy and maybe a little envious of our relationship, but not in a weird way like he was interested in me or god forbid his own sister, but like we reminded him of a relationship he has/had/or wants. Anyway, "I promise it's not that…Well, not really. You see…" I start to explain, but remember that Quinn isn't really sure why she needs some kind of family, in order to leave this place. These are details that I've kept from her and it's actually been easy because she hasn't asked me. She just seems to trust me; and to be honest, I don't believe that she has really thought about the seriousness of her situation. "...Being that the law, based on some psychiatric evaluations, has deemed Quinn "unfit" for society, unless-"
"Wait, what?!" Sam shouts in disbelief. "That's ridiculous! She's perfectly fine to me!" He continues, with a scowl on his face.
Quinn mewls and squirms uncomfortably in her chair at the sudden outburst and most likely the confusion as to what "unfit" means and why it's upsetting her brother this way.
I reach for her twitchy hand and she immediately threads her fingers with mine and I notice Sam's edgy face soften upon seeing the contact. "Sam, it's more complicated than it sounds. These evaluations are questionable and I strongly believe that the state that Quinn was in when the evaluations were happening probably did not help her, at all. Even so, regardless of the validity of that whole issue…She was also homeless and everyone – the authorities and the doctors – thought it best to send her here…" I clarify for Sam, while he and Quinn process what I'm saying. They both look a little hopeless, upon hearing the entirety of the situation and it does seem that way…
"Unless…" Quinn breathes out, tapping my knuckles with her restless fingertips. I turn to look at her and her eyes are slightly bigger than usual, glazed over, as if she's near tears or wildly awed by something beautiful. Her mouth turns into a pout when I fail to say or do anything, but stare back into her gorgeous eyes. "Rachel?"
"Huh? Oh right!" I say, blinking a few times. "As I was saying, Quinn really has no choice but to stay here, unless she has some family that is willing and qualified to…take her in…"
I let the words hang in the air, as I watch Sam's mouth twitch before stretching into a straight horizontal line.
"You mean…like me? I mean, like family like me?" The blonde boy asks with a nervous expression that I can't honestly blame him for. Quinn squeaks beside me as she takes in her brother's reaction and before any of us can say anything else, she gets up from her chair and makes a move to bolt out of my office. Luckily, swiftness seems to run in the Fabray family genes because just as quickly as Quinn sprang forward, Sam did too and he gently holds on to her forearm. Quinn's eyes widen in surprise at the fact that someone was fast enough to stop her, but when she looks at Sam, her eyes refocus, and she stares wildly uneasy at him. I wait, equally tense, as I watch the two stare at one another for what seems like an eternity. I slowly get up from my own seat and am just about to move closer to the siblings just in case…I don't know…Just in case one of them self-destructs; but thankfully, Sam opens his large mouth and without blinking says, "What do I have to do?"
"Quinn, you shouldn't be so close to the camera," I point out, just as the live chat window pops up and shows Quinn's big green eye in the little box in the corner of a much larger box, which is currently black. The goofy blonde snorts as she backs away from the camera and sticks her tongue out at the little version of herself and on my laptop screen. She smiles wildly and turns to look at me and see if I find it as amusing as she does. I do. I even lean over and make my own funny face at the camera and I smile just as crazily when Quinn laughs. She tugs on Sam's sleeve to get his attention, as he paces behind us, noticeably nervous. Not wanting him to get any second thoughts, I clear my throat and say, "Okay, Sam…It's set up, you just need to log-in and get a hold of her."
He looks up from the floor and twists his large mouth in a way that looks like he wants to say something, but he just nods and sits down at my desk and in front of the laptop. He clicks the log-in button and quickly types in his username and we all wait while his account gets pulled up.
"This is really cool," Quinns says breaking the silence with a happy tone, all the while she's putting bunny ears behind Sam's head and grinning at the little box. I swat her hand and shake my head, disapprovingly, despite the fact that I'm smiling. I refocus on Sam when he's finally signed in and is simply staring at the screen.
"Sam, if you don't feel comfortable doing this, then you certainly don't have to. We don't want to pressure you into anything." I say, trying extremely hard not to sound disappointed at his reluctance.
He quickly looks at Quinn then to me, "No. I mean, I want to help." He turns back to Quinn, "I want you in my life." His half-sister smiles and bounces excitedly on her toes. The blonde boy looks back to me and sighs, "I just don't know how she'll react. I don't know how she'll feel about things, you know?"
I nod in understanding. "Well, how about we just stand over to the side and you can talk to her about everything and then depending on how she responds, maybe you can introduce Quinn and me?"
He's quiet for a moment as he thinks the idea over and before Quinn can get too antsy he nods, "Yeah, yeah; that sounds good."
I give him a sincerely thankful smile, as I lead Quinn and myself out the camera's view and onto the couch against the left side of the room. After a few seconds, he turns to look at us, "Okay, it's making the connection." I tap Quinn's impatient, bouncing knee and lift my finger to my lips, in a shushing gesture. She blinks and nods once, but it's not until she wraps her hand around mine does she finally settle down.
"Samuel?! Samuel, where on God's green Earth, are you?!" shouts a slightly familiar voice. I remember hearing it when I spoke with her on the phone. "Do you have any idea how worried I am?! How can you just up and leave like that?! And with no explanation?!" I see her son shrink into his shoulders and even from the side I can tell that his cheeks are turning pink from embarrassment. He glances over at us and quickly turns away when he sees us staring just as uncomfortably. He leans into the camera a little and replies to his frantic mother.
"Mom, I'm sorry. I'm sorry for leaving home and not telling you where I was going, but as you can see…I'm alright."
"Good! Now, come back home so I can kick your butt for worrying me to death! I was so worried that I even called your father!"
"What? You called Dad?"
Quinn immediately jumps up and makes a move to get closer, but I grab her wrist and shake my head at her. She looks upset and moves, again, but I pull her back and shake my head, again, with much more authority. She finally sits with a huff.
"Yes, I called him! What was I supposed to do? Our little boy was missing and the police didn't care enough because you're technically not a child, anymore; but you sure do act like one!"
"You didn't have to call him, Mom!" Sam replies. "He probably didn't even care, right?" There's silence on her end and I see Sam's exasperated face fall.
"You know you're father's a very busy man, Samuel. He doesn't have time to be dealing with your shenanigans; and neither do I for that matt-"
"Always making excuses for him…" Sam mutters under his breath.
"You know what, Samuel? We may not be the perfect family, but we're all you have, so it'd be nice if you acted like you wanted to be a part of it; if not for your father then at least for me. I still love you…No matter what."
Sam's cheeks turn pink, again, as he tries to hide his face. I'm not sure what his mother meant by "no matter what" but I'm sure it's what has Sam feeling so ashamed, right now. I can also tell that whatever that "no matter what" is, it's why Quinn's father also has somewhat abandoned Sam.
"You're wrong…" he says, lifting his head from hiding.
"Samuel…Sammy, you know I love you. I'd do anything for you; you know that," Vivian quickly responds.
"No, not about that…You're wrong about you and Dad…about you guys being my only family."
Quinn's hand finds mine, as she stares at her half-brother. She looks ready to burst, hanging on his every word.
"What are you talking about?" his mother asks, although she sounds like she knows exactly what he's talking about.
"You know, Mom…You know, so stop acting like you don't."
"Samuel, I'm not-"
"No! You kept this secret from me and I still somehow knew along that you were lying. I'm not a little kid, anymore. You can't hide this…You can't hide her."
"She's not mine to tell of!"
"But you knew and you didn't tell me!"
"What difference does it make, Sam?!"
"A big difference! She might not matter to you or to Dad, but she matters to me!"
"You don't even know her! She's not well, Samuel!"
"You're wrong about that, too, Mom; because she's right here and she's better than well!"
"What are you talking-"
"I came to Ohio," he cuts off. "I'm in Lima and I met my sister, Quinn Lucy Fabray…And she's sweet and nice and funny and more importantly, she's my family."
I wish I could see his mother's face, but I at least know that she seems to be rendered speechless; and after a few moments he turns and gestures for us to come over. Quinn doesn't have to be told twice, as she nearly drags me along. Once she's within his reach, he places his hand on her shoulder and pulls her in until she is in the little box in the corner. I can see both Quinn's and Vivian's eyes nearly bulge out of their respective heads.
She's pretty like my mom, but my mom looked happier. She looks tired and the way she looks at me, well I think she thinks I look like someone she knows, too. I wonder if my dad will look at me the same way if I ever meet him. I can feel Rachel next to me and I can feel Sam, too, but I can mostly feel the questions I want to ask bouncing around in my really dry mouth.
"Sam…Wha-…What is all this about?" his mom asks him even though she's still looking at me. I want to stop looking at her, but I can't. She reminds me of my mom.
"I want to help her, Mom. They put her, here, in this institution and it's not fair. She's perfectly normal, but they're so strict that they won't let her leave, unless some kind of blood relative steps in and I-"
"Are you insane?! You just met her, Samuel! You don't know her history or her medical conditions. You think you can just waltz in there and save her?"
"Excuse me, Ma'am!" Rachel butts in. I can already tell that she's mad, so I move out of her way, so she can be in the box, too. "You don't know Quinn's history or her medical conditions, either, so why don't you calm down and stop passing judgment."
"And who are you?"
"I'm Rachel Berry. The one you hung up on when I called you and tried to talk to you about all this. I work here at the hospital and I've read Quinn's file and studied her behavior and I know that she's not a threat to society or herself. She's perfectly healthy, physically; and aside from some post-traumatic stress and being a little eccentric, her mind is perfectly healthy, too. She's been through so much; and luckily she's been able to survive and she's already showing very promising signs of recovery from all of it, so please don't jump to conclusions when it comes to her." She finishes talking and I'm not staring at his mom, anymore. I'm staring at Rachel because I like how she talks about me. It's like when she talks about the Big Apple that's sometimes called New York!
"Yeah, Mom; I know that if you get to know her, you'll see for yourself."
"All I see is two people speaking for someone, who can't speak for herself."
All of them look at me and I think they want me to say something but I'm kind of scared. Actually, I'm a lot scared. I don't want to say the wrong thing or say something dumb. Then Sam's mom is going to think the same as Rachel's mom…That I'm not good enough. Rachel puts both her hands around one of mine and Sam does the same thing, but to my other hand. I look at them and they make me feel like the next thing I say is the most important thing ever. I feel my mouth get even more dry when I look at his mom and I really don't know what I'm supposed to say. She looks like she's tired of waiting and maybe she wants to hear a story or something? Maybe a story about me?
"I love apples!" I say loud even though I don't mean to. "I mean…I love apples. Me and my mom used to pick them from the big tree in the backyard and we used to make different foods with them. Like apple sauce and candy apples and apple casserole and fresh apple juice, but my favorite was making apple pie. We made the best apple pie because we won all the apple pie contests at the fairs. My mom was the best and I know she thought I was the best because she told me every day. I didn't know that I was different until I went to school and the other kids were mean. I didn't know because my mom didn't make me feel like I was different. She made me feel special. And I didn't know I was supposed to have a dad until some other kids came to school with their dads. I remember I asked my mom where my dad was and she told me that he was gone and he wasn't coming back, but she said it was better that way. I was okay with that because I had my mom and that's all I needed. I still wonder what he looks like, though and I wonder if he's nice or mean and why he left. I wanted to know about the other part of my family and I think that if Sam can know the other part of his family then he should. Having family is important and even though my mom was the best ever and even though I'll always love her, she's still gone. I don't have any more family to make me feel special, anymore. I have Rachel, but her mom doesn't like me and if I can't get to New York then I'll lose her, too." When I'm done, Rachel's hands hold mine even tighter and I can feel her staring at my head. Sam's mom doesn't look like she wants to hear any more stories from me because she makes one of those tired noises and shakes her head then she looks at Sam and says "Sam, you're rushing into this. You're all rushing into this and shame on you Ms. Berry for taking advantage of my son's vulnerability and clearly taking advantage of this poor disabled girl."
"Mom!" Sam says.
"Excuse me?!" Rachel says really mad.
"I can't excuse you for your actions, young lady, but Samuel…I'm done with all of this insanity and you need to come home…Now."
"Samuel, I'm tired of this! You're lucky you even have a home considering everything that you put our family through!"
"Oh, what I put our family through?! We're hardly a family! Maybe you are right. Maybe I'm rushing into this; maybe it's because I'm so desperate to have a family that might actually accept me and not make me feel like everything is my fault just because I'm trying to be who I am!"
I don't like how sad Sam is getting and I don't like how I feel like me and Rachel are hearing things that we're not supposed to.
"Sammy, you know I accept you! How can you even say that I don't!"
"Because you always make it seem like it's my entire fault that Dad left! What about the fact that he's just a giant asshole that likes to have affairs and uses any excuse to abandon his families! I'm tired of it, too, Mom! I'm tired of trying to be someone I'm not just to please him!" Sam is so loud that he doesn't hear when someone knocks on Rachel's office door and he's waving his hands around so much that he doesn't see when Rachel opens the door to tell the person who knocked to come back later when everyone is done yelling. "And if I never see his stupid, arrogant, lying face, again, I'll be absolutely fine!"
He doesn't hear or see…But I do. I see when Rachel opens the door and I see when a man with a really important-looking face is standing there. He looks at Rachel like he doesn't care about her then he sees Sam sitting in Rachel's chair, yelling at his mom in the box and he looks like how Rachel's mom looks at me when I talk too much. Then he moves his eyes to me and they change. His eyes change and he looks like he knows me and it's a weird and funny and kind of scary feeling because I feel like I know him, too. He keeps staring at me when he walks into the office and he's still staring at me when he says, "Samuel…You found Quinn?"