"I'm so sorry." Cindy went to her daughter and tried to embrace her, but Lindsay pushed her away.
"You're lying!" she shouted, but Cindy and Gary both just looked at her with sorrowful eyes.
"So it's true, then?" They both nodded.
"Please don't think this makes any difference in how much I love you," said Gary, but Lindsay turned her face away from him.
"Just go away, both of you!" she cried. "I want to be alone!"
When they'd gone, she lay back on the bed, staring up at the ceiling. I'm not really a Greenberg, she thought to herself. Bubbe and Zayde aren't my grandparents, and Carly and Jake aren't my brother and sister.
Her eyes filled with tears, and she felt them trickle down the sides of her face to moisten the pillow.
Who am I, really? she asked herself. I'm a stranger!
She fell asleep curled up in a ball on her side, still wearing her school clothes.
The following morning, she awoke at the usual time. The events of the previous night swept over her, and she went to the restroom and threw up.
"Are you OK in there, hon?" asked Cindy.
Lindsay rinsed out her mouth, washed her face, and left the bathroom without saying a word. She went to the kitchen and fixed herself breakfast but only ate a few bites before deciding she wasn't hungry.
Gary and Rebecca both said 'Good morning' to her, but she ignored them. At school, Caitlin greeted her, but she only glowered in return.
"What's wrong with you?" asked Caitlin.
"Everything!" Lindsay spluttered.
"I don't want to talk about it!" Lindsay stalked away.
At lunchtime, Abner said hello to her.
"I can't go to a movie with you this weekend," she told him.
He frowned. "Why not?"
"Because I just found out you're my brother!"
"What?" Abner shrieked. "But that's impossible! I don't even have any brothers or sisters!"
"We have the same father," Lindsay told him. "His name was Abner Steinberg. He was killed in a car crash before we were born. My Mom and Dad - stepdad, I mean - told me last night after dinner. I just wanted to die."
"My Mom did tell me my Dad's name was Abner, and he was killed in a car crash before I was born," said Abner. "I had no idea he was your Dad, too."
"Neither did I," Lindsay replied. "I always thought my Dad was Gary Greenberg. I know I was born before they were married, but I'd always just assumed she got pregnant by accident and that was why he married her. She never even told me about this Abner guy. Now I feel like I don't even know who I am anymore!"
"At least you have a nice stepdad," said Abner.
"Didn't your Mom ever marry?" asked Lindsay.
"Yeah, but it didn't last," Abner replied. "He was a mean bastard. He drank really heavy and abused both of us. Mom kicked him out two or three years ago."
"I'm sorry," said Lindsay, suddenly feeling guilty about the way she'd acted the previous night.
"It's all right," said Abner. "We could still go to a movie as just friends, if you want."
Lindsay thought for a moment. "Sure, that sounds like fun. I always thought Jake was my brother, and now I know he isn't, but you are."
Abner chuckled. "I always thought I was an only child. I thought you were cute and wanted to take you out, but now that I know you're my sister, it's even better, in a way, because we'll always be part of each other's lives."
Lindsay smiled. "I hadn't thought of it like that before."
When Lindsay walked into the house after school, Cindy was baking cookies.
"Hi, Mom," said Lindsay. "I'm sorry about copping an attitude last night and this morning."
"Oh, that's all right!" replied Cindy. "It's understandable that you would be upset. It's our fault, really. We should have told you long ago, but somehow, the subject never came up."
"Do you remember your real Dad?" asked Lindsay.
"No," replied Cindy. "I was too young when he died, but I remember my mother and my adoptive father's wedding, just barely. He was all the 'Daddy' I ever needed from then on."
"Do you have any pictures of my real Dad?" asked Lindsay.
"Yes," said Cindy. "They're in this album."
The two of them were still looking through the photographs when Rebecca came home from school.
"What are you looking at?" she asked.
"Pictures of my read Dad," Lindsay told her. "He looks a lot like your Dad, Becky."
"But Daddy is your Dad!" cried Rebecca.
"He is now," said Lindsay. "But a long time ago, before I was born, I had another Daddy. His name was Abner."
"But how can you have a Daddy before you're even born?"
"You'll understand when you're a teenager, like me," said Lindsay.
"Can I look at the pictures too?" asked Rebecca.
"Sure!" Her older sister made room for her on the bed.