“There must be a mistake, I don’t know this person.”
Looking at the corpse on the table after the post mortem, with the neat seams across the chest, it was just flesh, white lifeless flesh. The face resembled a marble carving: it could have been a Michelangelo copy for all I knew. I had absolute no recognition of the features.
I was not on my own. There was a lawyer and a doctor, both looking at me in disbelief.
“Your name has been given as the next of kin, this man is your father.”
“My father? I did not think I had a father. My mother knew so many men, I could have taken my pick, but they never stayed. Why is this person my father?”
The lawyer spoke.
“This person is J. Marvin Porter, owner of the Porter Beer Brewery. He deposited a document in my chancellery, informing that in the case of his death, his son James Porter is to be informed.”
“That is correct, my name is James Porter, but Porter was my mother’s name, I never realised she was married. I have no memory of having a father.”
The lawyer almost smiled. I did not know whether he was laughing at me or at the fact that there was a corpse on the table that apparently was my conceiver but unrecognizable to me. A shape of which I had no memory. I realised that I was not born of Immaculate Conception, but never spent a lot of time thinking about a father.
“There is just one thing Mr. Porter” continue the lawyer “to be legally sure we will have to take a DNA sample.”
“No problem” I answered.
“Please open your mouth” said the doctor. Now I knew why he was there. He took a large swab in his hand and wiped over my mouth.
“That will suffice” he said and put the swab into a plastic tube. “The results will be ready tomorrow. Your lawyer will be informed.”
“Just a moment, I do not have a lawyer.”
“You do now” answered the lawyer and he gave me his visiting card.
“Just give me a call tomorrow morning to arrange further details.”
I must admit I was a little overwhelmed, but perhaps not completely. My life had been full of bad memories, an alcoholic mother, a sort of stepfather that was no real father, that just threw me out on the street to fend for myself when my mother died and a school class where I was the victim of their laughs, jokes and beatings. Life had never been good to me.
By the end of the week I was a new man. I had inherited the brewery, I had inherited a mansion, an island somewhere in the Pacific, and a fortune, making me a millionaire. Above all I was now MR. James Porter. The DNA samples proved that I really was the son of a wealthy brewer.
Of course it was not an easy job. When mother died I had to deal with a few legal items to get her buried in a pauper’s grave. Prove who she was and that I was her son. I found a few letters and documents and followed them up, which lead me to the Porter Brewery. I kept track of Mr. Porter quite closely. I soon had his routine, knew where and when he went and at what time.
I forgot to add that I am diabetic, since I was a kid. I grew up with insulin injections. Probably mum’s addiction to alcohol did not help during the pregnancy. I found out that it ran in the family. My father was also more or less born diabetic. Funny for a brewer I suppose, but it might have been his revenge on the alcoholic world. I am sure he loved my mother, after all he is my father. One day he just left when I was a baby.
I managed to substitute his insulin injection with a common salt solution: just a matter of dating his private nurse. She really needed a boyfriend. Was not the best looking, but who cares, she served her purpose.
It seems the lawyer and the doctor were pleased to have their problem solved. There were no other heirs to the brewery and the fools really believed that I had no memory of having a father or found out who he was.
And now it is mine, all mine.