***A big thank you to Lani & Darius’s creator, who gave me permission to use her Simmies & helped with dialogue. We both have Sim roleplay accounts on Instagram, so I am plugging hers here: Lanicake88
**This blog contains mild profanity
March 18, 2022 – Burbank, CA
Superfecundation, specifically heteropaternal superfecundation, is when two ova are fertilized by two separate fathers, resulting in half-siblings.
I stare blankly at Google’s search engine result.
“Well?” Hera says, the impatience in her voice jars me from my thoughts.
“I’m sorry, what was the question?”
“David,” Hera says exasperated. “You mentioned some guy named David when I sat down. I asked if he is my dad.”
I hand my phone to her with the Google definition still open. Hera’s eyes dart side-to-side, and her face scrunches in confusion.
“David’s not your father, but he fathered Athena. Your dad…”
“OH!” Hera says excitedly, tapping my phone’s screen with her fingernail. “This-this shit is super rare. I am super rare. Oh, dang. I gotta TikTok this.”
“NO! You can’t. Not yet. Not until I tell him. He-he doesn’t know about you. I don’t want something you post on social media to go viral. I don’t want him finding out about you that way. Let me text him.”
“You’re gonna tell him through text?” She looks at me as though I’m committing a social gaffe.
“I don’t know how I’m gonna tell him, Hera.” I say, shaking my head in uncertainty.
“So you keep in touch with him still, hmmm?” She shoots me a sly look.
“Yeah. His sister Lani, who is your aunt….Whoa, that’s crazy to say out loud!” I space out momentarily, trying to wrap my brain around the fact that Lani and I are now tied by blood through Hera. “Lani is my best friend. We’ve known each other since we were kids.” I smile sheepishly. “She’s gonna kick my ass”
Hera arches an eyebrow, intrigued, “Why is she gonna kick your ass?”
I slowly smile. “She doesn’t know about him and I. She thinks the most we did was kiss one time. I mean… she thinks that because that’s what I told her.”
“Mmm, mmm, mmm. You are drama, Mama.” Hera pulls out her phone. Her fingernails click loudly against the screen. She holds it out at a distance, smiles, and begins talking louder than previously, “Hey what up! Your girl Hera, coming live from Portos! What’s good, 818?! Shout out to Ponyboy805, how you doin’, Bae?” Hera gives a flirtatious pout.
Blood drains from my face, “Hera! Are you making a Tickety-Tok!”
Hera positions the phone and now my image appears alongside hers on the screen. “Don’t worry, it ain’t really live. I’m just recording it now and I’ll upload it when you give me the go-ahead.” She winks at the camera.
I relax slightly and give the camera a half-smile, which has the unfortunate appearance of what I would probably look like as a feral cat being introduced to a cold bath for the first time.
Hera clears her voice and continues. “As y’all can see I’m not alone. That’s my mama. My real mama. Oof, baby, Drama-Mama. She’s just mad cuz I ain’t keepin’ this low-key. She gotta tell…uhhh…Hey, Drama-Mama, what’s my daddy’s name?”
I stare at the camera and my image. “Uhhh, Darius.”
“Darius? Just Darius, or does he have a last name?
I sigh. “Johnson. His last name is Johnson. Darius Johnson.”
“Oh, Darius Johnson! Like the Olympic Gold Medalist!”
“Uh, no, not like him, it is him. Same Darius Johnson.”
Hera’s eyes grow big, “Shut-tha-fukkup!” She looks from me back to her phone’s camera, “Y’all! Did you hear that! I am Darius-muthafukin-Gold-Medal-Winnin-Johnson’s child! The youngest black man to win a gold medal, at the Olympics, for running!”
“For sprinting,” I correct, which gets me an eye-roll from Hera. That’s oddly specific I think, wondering how Hera knows about an Olympic feat that happened before she was born. I’ll have to remember to ask her.
I feel overheated and sweaty. “Hey, Hera. It’s a bit stuffy in here. I’ll be right back. I need some fresh air.”
I stand up, feeling slightly dizzy, and head outside. I lean against the stucco building, relieved to be outside. I take a deep breath and cough until my eyes water. The outside air is not something that should be described as fresh…not in L.A. county. I take this opportunity to text Darius.
Hey, Dar, I hope this isn’t bad timing, but I really need to talk to you
Thankfully, only seconds pass before I see dots flicker inside a speech bubble, indicating that Darius is replying to my text.
Hey! I was hoping we could talk. Is it cool if I call you?
I wait a few minutes before I head back inside, hoping that Hera’s finished making her social media video-documentary. Thankfully, I find her scrolling and swiping her phone screen.
I take a deep breath, and flash Hera a smile. “Hey! I’m gonna give Darius a call. I-I need to ask him something…in private…so, I’m gonna step out again. I’ll be back in just a bit.”
“Take your time.” Hera says without looking up. “Tell him I say wassup.”
I smirk. “I will. Hey, before I call, do you think it would be okay if we take a picture together?”
Hera perks up, “Ohfosho!”
I lean next to her. We both smile and she takes a few photos of us in various poses.
“Can you send those to me?”
“Sure hold on….Annnnnd….There you go!”
Four beeps suddenly sound, one-after-another, as Hera airdrops them to my phone. “Thanks! I’ll be back,” I say as I head outside and walk a few blocks towards a residential street. I casually walk by the midsize, Spanish-style houses, take a breath, and make the call. He answers nearly right away.
“Hey what’s good?”
“God, this is going to be random-as-fuck. I have a question for you, Dar.”
“Uh…When we were together. Ummmm…”
“When we were together. When we were together-together, Dar. You remember when we?…Uhhh…That is, you and me…You know?…..Mostly in the treehouse? Please tell me that you remember?”
The silence is almost unbearable. I can hear my heart beating through my ears until he finally speaks up. “Yeah. Yeah, of course I remember that, Dee. I guess I just don’t understand why you bringin it up outta nowhere.”
“I know. I know this is just crazy, and I’m sorry. Fuck, Dar, there’s so much shit that has gone unsaid for years. I mean….You left for the Olympics…and I was heading back home to Cali…And….And I got pregnant…Then my parents died, and everything just went to shit.” By now the tears are flowing and I am trying my best to pull myself together, but can’t, so I hang up on him and cry.
My phone vibrates. I know he’s calling me. I know I have him worried. I need to pull myself together fast before he gets his sister, Lani, involved. I know I’ll have to tell her about this situation, and how I lied to her so long ago.
“Hey, Dar….Sorry I hung up on you.”
“Dee, you gotta tell me what’s going on. I know we haven’t been tight since … well back then…when we were together and all, and I am so sorry if it seems like I blew you off or-or whatever gotchu thinkin about our past, but I just want you to know that I’m here and–”
“Dar, just stop.” I say, cutting him off. “I have a question for you. Did you wear a condom every time?”
“Yeah, of course. I used a condom every time. Why?”
I shake my head in confusion. I don’t understand. I know condoms are not 100-percent effective, but they’re pretty damn-near-it unless there’s a defect or they break… I gasp, “Oh shit! Did a condom break?”
Darius is silent for seconds and then, “Ohhhhh. Oh, wait – hol’ up. Okay, yeah. I think during our first time the condom broke.” I hear his laughter. “Ah man I almost forgot about that, but uh, why’re you askin? I ain’t got STDs and you got your period…so…?”
“Funny story: I thought I had gotten my period. I did bleed, but found out later….months later in fact…that spotting is normal when a fertilized egg plants itself against your uterine lining.”
“Uhhh….What are you saying, Dee?”
“David got me pregnant with Athena. But you….You got me pregnant too.”
Silence. “I did what now?”
“This is all just too insane, even for me, but somehow David’s uhhhh…God…his..” my voice lowers to a whisper as I search for the word, “sperm…fertilized one of my eggs, and another egg was released and your… uh….you know…sperm… fertilized that egg. So I was pregnant with twins that were fathered by him and by you, Dar.”
“What the fuck?!…” I can hear his phone crash to the ground and his muffled voice say, “Aw shit.” He scrambles for his phone and his voice, once again, is clear, “Sorry ‘bout that. Okay, so you’re saying I’m a dad? Aight…so…twins? Athena has a twin…what? Sister? Brother?… So that would make them…uh…15? Uh…Wait. How’re you finding out all this? I am so confused.”
“She’s a daughter. I mean, you have a daughter. Her name is Hera. I just met her like…uhhh…an hour ago? She lives in SoCal. Fuck…Here!..Hold on….I have a picture of her. We took a selfie.”
“What the fuck?! Cali?! You in Cali right now?! So you knew about her?!”
“Not entirely. Yesterday she messaged me outta nowhere because she found me and Athena off of Ancestry.com. Thankfully, she only messaged me, but oh my God, Dar, she sent me a message with the subject, Fuck You, Bitch, ranting that I was some kinda racist bitch because I didn’t want her, and only kept her very white twin sister.” I pause, feeling a bit winded.
“I had no idea what she was talking about. I had never seen her before; she didn’t send me a photo of her or anything. Her display photo is a car for fuck-sake. So I send her a message and we do this whole back-and-forth messaging-thing, and I tell her how I had twins but was told that one had been stillborn. I never saw either baby after they were born, since I had planned to give the babies up for adoption. I have no idea what happened. All I know is that, thankfully, Hera believed me and agreed to meet me if I was interested. I told Cato, and we all hopped on a plane and here we are! And, oh my gosh, Dar, you should see her. She looks so much like you; she’s gorgeous! Wait, hold on. Let me send you the pic.”
I open up Messages, click on Darius’s name, and send him a selfie of Hera and I. He says nothing.
“Say something,” I coax.
“Dee my mind is fucking shot. I’m lookin at this-this young woman. I can’t get over how much she look like us. Like you.”
“Me?” I say, dumbfounded.
“Yeah. Shit takes me back to when we was in high school.”
He falls silent again, except for intermittent sniffling, a sure sign that he’s crying. “Can I meet her?” he asks.
“I-I don’t see why not. She asked about you.” I laugh, “She wanted to post some TikTok or whatever the moment she found out her dad was different from Athena’s. Oh fuck, that reminds me! Athena. She doesn’t know anything about this. What a fucking mess.” I shake my head. “Sorry, I trailed off again. When can you get here?”
“I’ll look into flights, and see if I can book the first flight out there. I’ll keep you posted.”
“Okay. Sounds good. Text me as soon as you get a flight. We’re in Glendale. Flew into Burbank, but your best bet might be LA-X. If you need a ride let me know.”
“Yeah, I’ll keep you posted, Dee.”
“Shit, Dar. Are you gonna tell Lani or your mom? I mean, you know I never told Lani about us and what we got up to that summer.”
“Not right now, no, but you know they gonna find out. You wanna be the one to tell Lani or should I?”
“Let me. I lied to her all those years ago. I need to make things right.”
“Aight. I’ll see you soon Dee.”
I sigh. “Looking forward to it, Dar.”
“Can’t nobody else even handle you,” he breaks out singing, “I just wanna put my hands on you. There she go, lookin’ like my future baby mama. Can’t nobody do your body like my body…” Darius chuckles, “I’m sorry,” he manages to say, in-between laughter.
His laugh is charming; contagious. “Stupid,” I say as I laugh along.
Our laughter tapers off, and he clears his voice. “Nah, for real though, I’ve been with a lot of females, and I’ve only loved a few. Of those few, if I had to pick one of y’all to be my baby’s mama…I woulda chose you.”
I smirk, but don’t know what to say in response, so I say the only thing I can think of, “Have a safe flight, Dar. Text me.”
I open Google Photos on my phone, and scroll down, down, down through tons of photos until I hit June 2004. There aren’t many photos during that summer, but I do have a few of Darius and I. I scroll slowly past each photo: photos I had once stared at, until I had memorized every detail of him, shortly after they had been taken.
I come across a photo from July 4th: We had bought sparklers, and I had convinced Lani to pose as if we were wizards casting magic spells. Darius had to show off. Darius leaped into the air, threw his sparkler as though he were channeling Goku from Dragonball-Z, shooting an energy blast from his hands. In the process, he nearly fell on Lani. She was livid, and blamed Darius for ruining our photo. Darius had no desire to stick around and get told off by Lani, so he took off. Since he had been training to compete as an U.S. sprinter at the Olympics that summer, she didn’t bother chasing after him.
A devilish smile slowly forms on my face as I recall that night…