My parents are perfectionists. For as long as I can remember they’ve both been obsessed with having everything just right. They’re not shy about it either.
They’ll tell you right away when you’re doing something less than perfect. They expect nothing less.
That’s why I exist.
You see, my mother’s job and educational background have provided her with the tools and knowledge to make sure that any child she has is absolutely perfect.
She’s had to do some of her own research, of course, but our basement laboratory makes that more attainable than for most.
There have been many failed attempts at perfection. My mother has never hidden that from me. I mean, it’s right there in my name: Forty-Seven. The forty-seventh attempt at perfection.
The “mes” before me each had a flaw, be it physical, emotional, mental, or behavioral. Sometimes they went for years without revealing them. Sometimes it was apparent from the beginning.
But in every case, they had to be redone.
My mother isn’t a monster, though. Each child is recycled, their parts (at least the ones without defect) reused so that the child may live on in some small way.
Myself, I was “born” at age eight, created from the remnants of Forty-Six, who talked back and threw a tantrum at the mall. Forty-Six was created from Forty-Five, who developed a stutter.
It goes all the way back like that. All the way to One, who was stillborn at twenty-eight weeks.
You might think it strange that my parents would tell me all of this, but I think it’s generous. If I know where my predecessors have failed, I can be watchful of those same flaws in myself.
I’ve made it almost to adulthood through my vigilance.
There’s something that worries me, however. Lately I’ve been getting migraines.
They start out with an aura of color, shifting through my vision and blinding me, and they follow with incapacitating pain.
The first one happened at school, and I had to beg the nurse not to send me home sick. The second one happened at a sleepover party, and I spent the night hiding under the blankets.
I can’t hide it forever, though. One day soon my parents will find out. On that day, Forty-Eight will be waiting.