This is the chapter with Patrick's background. I hope this Chapter answers some our your questions.
Chapter 6: A History Lesson
(5 years ago)
I was 15 years old when I first heard my mom yell at my dad, I remember it was after she answered my dad's phone that was sitting on top of the countertop. I was sitting at the table studying for my last final when I heard a male voice on the other line of the phone. When I looked up at my mom she looked as pale as a sheet, but I could still hear the other voice over the phone when my dad came in. She hung up the phone and as my dad walked in, the smile on his face slowly faded as he saw the petrified look on my mother's face. My mother had ordered him to go into the study because they needed to talk. I sat at the table pretending I was listening to my iPod but of course I had paused the music to hear the phone call. The door to the study was cracked open and all the yelling and screaming from my mother had echoed across the house, they might as well have fought right in front of me because I could hear the whole conversation. My mother was the one who was doing the yelling which was odd because my mother was tiny and had never raised her voice ever, nor to me or my father. Well until this moment.
After awhile, I was in shock for hearing the entire fight but it took me a while to process what the fight was about. First I processed that my father had cheated on my mother when they were dating and second, what took me the longest to process was that I had a brother…
(A week later)
After my mom stopped yelling at my dad and crying over his infidelity, she made the decision to have this brother of mine move in with us. I wasn't too thrilled about the idea but I was curious about who this boy was. I made the decision to go with my father to the airport to pick up my brother, and the car ride there was silent. I don't think they were aware of me listening to their conversation that day because a couple of days later they informed me of what was happening. After they told me that he was going to live with us, I never asked any questions because I knew that both of my parents were uncomfortable with the subject of the illegitimate child.
We park at the San Diego Airport and walk towards baggage claim, again with silence filling the air until we get to the doors and there's chaos. There are people running everywhere, tripping over luggage and rushing outside towards their loved ones. We get to the baggage claim that specifies that it's from Philly and we look around as people and luggage flood the baggage claim. It's about 20 minutes since the boys' flight landed and there was no sign of him then again I didn't know what he looked liked or even his name. I look at my dad and ask what my brother's name was.
"My names Patrick, and I'm not your brother." I look up and see a very tall boy and I look at him, and I see that we do look like each other the only difference was our hair color. We both had chocolate-brown eyes with a slight pale complexion, we looked like twins. I stare at the boy as I go over my thought, and as we are walking to the car I turn to look at Patrick.
"How old are you?" Maybe I was wrong and he was older than me and it's just my mind over thinking things like it always did.
"I'm fifteen." I think I turned as pale as my mom did that day when she had first found out about Patrick. "And my birthday is April 8th." My eyes glaze over to him, how'd he know I was going to ask that? But as he answered my question I realize that my fear was confirmed, the reason that me looked like we could be twins was because they were close in age.
"You're a month older than me? " I'm looking at my dad but the question was directed to Patrick, my half-brother. I could feel him staring at me, and then I feel when his stare is pulled away because he's in the car and I'm left outside the car processing what was just said.
I get into the car and put my ear buds in even though I can hear my dad trying to make conversation with both me and Patrick. I remember my parents said my father cheated when they were engaged. If I'm doing my math right, Patrick would have been conceived in August, the same month my parents got married, and then in September that's when I was conceived. I keep doing the math, and it ends up at the same conclusion. My dad cheated on my mom right before they got married.
We get back to the house, I storm out and I can't look at my dad. Now I know why my mom was as pale as a ghost, and why she was furious with him when she found out. I head upstairs to my room and I begin to cry, I can't be in this house anymore. I change into a tank top and some shorts and grab my iPod and head to my own front yard, the beach. I run along the beach without slowing down, tears still streaming down my face and I'm forced to stop after an hour of running. I fall to the sand like a broken doll. I loved my dad and had always told him the truth, and I guess I expected the same in return. I lie in the sand until I remembered something; I didn't bring water and my body was craving it.
I decided to walk home, and I finally get there at nine o'clock, the thing I loved about summer was that it didn't get darker until later. But I got home and saw that both cars were gone. I walk in through the side door, and grab some water. When I turn, I see Patrick on the front porch crying. I drink the rest of my water, and I walk towards the front porch and he hears me walking up. I see him wiping his eyes and sitting up straight. "What do you want McCullers?" he doesn't turn to look at me; he just keeps staring at the ocean.
"You know you're a McCullers too right?" I say as I sit next to him on the swing, and I see a tear escape his left eye. "Look, I've been thinking a lot, and we're brother and sister. We might be half, but we are still siblings." I look at the ocean with him, and it's amazing because tonight it's breezy but it's warm; and the ocean air is perfect.
"The only reason I'm here is because my mom died, so don't think it means anything more. And I'm not a McCullers." I see more tears stream down his face and I can't help but want to cry too because it was painful to see him sad, even though I barely knew him. He bent forward and placed his elbows on his legs. He covers his face trying to stop the sobs from breaking through. I move closer to him and place my arm over him, while my face rests on the side of his arm. I feel him shake violently and continue to cry next to me and there is nothing I could do. "I miss her so much…she was the only family I had."
"I know you miss your mom but I'm your family now too Patrick. How'd your mom die? " I see him wipe his tears and stare at the ocean again and there's a silence between us again. I hear him sigh loudly and wipe more tears off of his cheek before he gets up and walks towards the door.
"Look, I get that we're half siblings. But don't pretend like you're surprised when I don't talk to you. I didn't ask for this Paige, and you sure as hell didn't either." He starts to walk to the door again and opens the door.
"Whether you like it or not Patrick, we're in each other's lives now, thanks to our dad." I wait a few seconds before I turn and see that he's staring at me, as if trying to see if I mean everything that I have said thus far. After he gets his assessment on me, he turns and walks into the house. I stare back at the beach and the waves soothe my thoughts like they have done since I was a child, and I walk back inside.
(A month later)
I'm listening to music when I hear a knock on my door, and I walk over to see Patrick standing there. I let him in and we sit on my bed, I haven't really talked to him much since the day he got here; and he never made an effort so I just left it alone.
"When I first came here you asked me how my mom died, remember?" I see him looking up and fidgeting with the drawstring of some board shorts we bought him last week.
"Yeah I remember. What about it?" I keep my eyes on him and he signs and begins to talk.
"She was a nurse and she was on her way to work the graveyard shift, when a drunk teenager hit her car and she died on impact." I can tell that this is making him choke up and I move closer like I did that night, and give him a side hug as he continues. "I was going to family court, because they were deciding where to put me when my mom's Will was brought up and it had stated that when she died custody would go to Nick McCullers, my father. Before that I didn't know who my dad was, I never asked because I thought it would bring my mom bad memories. Later I found out my mom was diagnosed with kidney cancer and she was going to treatment when she said she working late. She wrote me a letter and left it with her lawyer, and the Will; that's how I found out about the cancer. At the end of the letter, it said that I shouldn't waste more time." I see that he's calmer now then how he was that night a month ago. "I now get what she meant when she wrote that. I don't want to hate you Paige and I don't want to waste more time."
I know what he means when he says that, and it makes me smile because I wanted to get to know him. I mean we already lost fifteen years, and we didn't grow up together. If we couldn't be like siblings that grew up together that was fine. As long as we were at least friends, I could deal with that instead of him hating me. Even though we weren't fully related, it was scary how similar we were and how easily we got along with each other. When school started back up, and Patrick was enrolled we were by each other's side so much that people just assumed we were best friends. We never corrected them, because his last name wasn't McCullers yet so no one thought we were siblings. It wasn't until he was 18 when he changed his last name to McCullers. But since we were fifteen we have been inseparable and I wouldn't change it for anything.