It Was Going Well
It had been over a month since they started talking and things seemed to be going well between them. They called each other regularly and shared pictures of their daily lives.
But when he went to check on his Instagram account, he discovered that he had blocked him. He tried calling and texting, he tried everything, but it seemed he had blocked him everywhere. That was when he realized the horrible truth.
Jace always felt like there was more to the world than he knew. He grew up as a curious boy, loving the richness of the world around him.
Inclined to creating things with his hands, Jace could paint before ten. He loved what colors could do when mixed and brushed on a canvas. But although he loved his life, he knew something was missing.
A Life Of Art
Growing up in California meant Jace loved the outdoors and all it brought. He enjoyed talking to people and drawing. By eighteen, he was set on being a tattoo artist.
Jace began his career, which immediately took off. He didn’t know that his career choice would one day completely warp his outlook on life.
The Power Of Instagram
One sunny evening, Jace’s phone rang. It was a friend, informing him that he’d found something mind-blowing on Instagram.
Jace was tired from a long day at work and needed some distraction to help him relax. He heard his friend out, opening the Instagram account as instructed. What he found made his jaw drop.
This Is Fascinating
Before Jace was a gallery filled with photos of him. Jace cocked his head back, unsure of what he was seeing. He opened the pictures one by one, seeing that the man was someone else, although a near copy of him.
He grinned, fascinated. I have to talk to him, he thought and quickly sent the man a message. He wasn’t expecting the answer he got.
The Start Of A Friendship
“No way!” the man wrote, just as spooked when Jace asked him to go through his profile. The two men were identical in everything except tattoos, of which they both had plenty.
The man introduced himself as Rich, from New York. Jace thought it was awesome that they looked like each other, but something else made him love their interaction even more.
Lovers of Art
Rich was a painter and art gallery owner. He loved, more than anything, creating and celebrating art. One of the things he told Jace was that he’d fallen in love with his work as a tattoo artist.
Jace commented on his paintings, which were out of this world. What were the odds that two identical souls existed and hadn’t known about each other for this long?
The Dream Team
Jace and Rich became close friends. Their conversations graduated past Instagram into calls and texts. They would prank each other’s friends, pretending to be in two places at once.
These two were so identical even Jace’s mother didn’t know she received Rich’s pictures for Thanksgiving and Christmas. But then a problem cropped up.
On Different Coasts
Even though Jace and Rich had grown close as brothers, they’d never met in person. Since they lived on opposite coasts, commuting to see each other was a problem.
But one day, Jace got a call from a client in New York. A rush of joy and excitement flooded his body. He would finally see Rich.
Probing At Possibilities
Excited about finally meeting his friend, Jace called Rich. The New Yorker was thrilled to know Jace was coming to his city.
The premise of traveling across the country got the two joking about being long-lost brothers finally uniting. “That’s entirely possible,” Rich said. “My dad was a traveling biker who’d been all over the country.” A chill clambered up Jace’s spine.
The Truth Surfaces
Jace’s dad was also a biker who’d worked as a tattoo artist all over the country. “Hey,” Jace said. “Ask your mom if his name was McCurry, Hector McCurry. Wouldn’t it be crazy if we were brothers?”
Rich laughed and agreed. He’d reach out to Jace in the morning before Jace’s plane landed in the city.
He Blocked Me
Jace boarded his plane that night. After settling in, he took out his laptop to check his schedule for the next day. He hoped to send Rich an update on Instagram, but he couldn’t find Rich’s account. He tried Facebook and Twitter, nothing.
When he landed, Jace tried calling Rich. He couldn’t get through. His heart pounded as he realized what was happening.
I Can’t Take This
Jace and Rich must’ve shared the same father. Jace remembered the stories his mom told him when he was a kid. His dad had been a tattoo artist who traveled all over America.
A biker, artist, and bass player in a rock band back in the day, Jace’s dad had been the most remarkable person Jace knew. How could he have hidden an entire family from Jace and his mom?
Of course, the idea was far-fetched. But it was the only way Jace could explain everything. Pain fired through him as he thought about losing Rich.
Jace remembered his dad living with him and his mom before he passed away some years back. He couldn’t have ever imagined a life without him. Had Rich grown up without such an integral figure in his life?
Patching Things Up
Jace knew he had to talk to Rich one way or another. His dad had always insisted on patching things up with people, even if one was not in the wrong.
The past few weeks had meant a lot to Jace, and he knew he couldn’t let it all slip out of his fingers. He’d do everything in his power to find Jace and make things right.
The Big Apple
As Jace’s plane landed in New York, he thought about all he’d experienced with Rich. They’d been near best friends at this point, with everything coming so naturally between them.
Jace had finally felt whole because he’d found that thing missing from his life. He checked his schedule for the day, already knowing he’d have to meet Rich and try to talk it out.
Meeting The Client
Jace met his client as agreed over his contract. The client was a designer who needed a few models painted for an art show.
As a tattoo artist, Jace was well versed with the human body. He had an easy time creating all the pieces the designer had in mind. But all through the session, all he could think about was one particular thing.
Jace’s morning blurred past him as he debated whether to go to Rich’s art gallery or plan a trip back to California. There was an unquenchable fire within him telling him to find Rich.
He’d never been one to give up on family before, and he wouldn’t start now. But as he’d been working through the morning, he’d had another thought which presented a new obstacle.
A Painful Conclusion
Rich had cut all communication with Jace. The only conclusion was that he didn’t want anything to do with him. What hurt the most was that the two had shared a lot in the months of their friendship.
Why would Rich throw it all away like that? Maybe he needed time to think things through. Maybe his mom told him to cut all connections with Jace.
Respecting His Wishes
Whatever the reason was, Jace thought it would be better to respect his wishes. By evening, he chose to go home. Rich’s decision was clear enough.
Jace tried to view everything from his perspective, glimpsing at the pain Rich must’ve endured as a child. Jace cleared with his client and called the airport to book a flight home. But the answer he received from the airport made his body stiffen.
A Change Of Plans
The airline was booked throughout the evening and night. Jace tried another airline, getting the same answer. After a few minutes of checking with each airline at the airport, Jace decided to stop.
He stepped out of his client’s studio. The city’s cold air ruffled his hair and jacket, and he clenched his fist against the breeze. He would be spending the evening and night in New York.
Jace checked into a hotel in the city. After a few calls home, he tried Rich’s phone again. When his call didn’t go through, he took his laptop instead.
It wasn’t fair that he was the only one trying to save his bond with Rich, and he hated how it made him feel. As it had in the morning, the thought of not having such a close friend burned through Jace. He hissed out a hot breath and sprung to his feet. He would do the unthinkable.
The New York Night
Jace eased into the beautiful New York night. He ran his eyes up and down the block, marking landmarks to know where he was.
“Manhattan,” Jace mumbled. He recalled Rich’s art gallery being somewhere in Brooklyn. Although Jace knew the journey would take a bit of time, he’d ensure he found Rich’s gallery. He found an Uber and began his drive to see Rich.
Going To See Him
The journey to Rich’s art gallery was shorter than Jace thought. He cleared with his driver and stood at the front of a magnificent building.
Statues of lions stood before Jace. His mouth fell open. He’d only seen the figures in pictures, and although he’d found them magnificent then, he thought them beyond awing now. Would meeting Rich in person carry the same feeling?
The Wrong Thing For The Right Reason
Jace stood on the gallery’s periphery, knowing that if he stepped through the door, then there was no going back.
He knew he wasn’t doing the right thing and hated himself for pushing too far when Rich didn’t want him to. But the thought of having a brother made his foot inch forward. He fell into step.
If the gallery’s exterior had been magnificent, then the entire was an artist’s paradise. Jace quietly walked from one sculpture to the next, from one painting to another.
His eyes were wide, his footsteps pinging all over the quiet gallery. Jace mentally compared the breathtaking space with his loud shop in California, seeing parallels that Rich’s Instagram posts never revealed.
The Art Gallery
The art gallery was spacious, with tall white ceilings and white marble walls. The paintings looked expensive, and the sculptures were definitely priceless. Jace swelled with pride.
Jace was happy to see that his friend and potential brother was doing well for himself. His dad had always said he wanted to see Jace making a life for himself doing the things he loved. Would he be proud of Rich as well for all he’d achieved?
A Soft Tap
Jace was deep in thought when a soft tap brought him back into the gallery. Jace turned around, finding a blonde-haired girl smiling behind him.
The girl’s gaze lingered on him longer than needed, and she seemed to shake herself. “You look just like him,” she said. Jace recognized her as Rich’s assistant. What she’d share would make Jace’s heart stop.
“He had a busy day,” the assistant said. “But his mind wasn’t here. He left about thirty minutes ago. I think he mentioned something about the airport and a brother.”
Jace’s heart punched his chest with each word that left the assistant’s lips. He clung to everything she said and turned on his heels, but she held him back. “I called him,” she said. “He’s on his way here.”
A Dream Come True
Standing in the gallery’s reception, with clothes identical to Jace’s, was Rich. He smiled, his eyes teary. “Hey,” he said, and Jace ran to embrace him.
“I think we might be brothers,” Rich said. “I figured as much,” Jace responded, laughing amid tears. “It is a dream come true. Wait, how are you taller than me?”