Xavier told us to give some explanation of how we came into this contact with psychopaths. I was born into it. My mother is a psychopath. I’m not sure when I realized this, but I was an adult. As a child she was just my mom. As a teen, I thought she was crazy and possibly the most manipulative person I’d ever met. My early teen years were spent suffocating in guilt that my mom heaped upon me at every chance she got. She would accuse me of plotting against her with my aunt Melina, I was like twelve, certainly not old or mature enough to be plotting against her.
When I was sixteen my mom was arrested in a raid. Did I know my mom was into shady stuff? Uh, yeah, she ran a strip club and some of the men in her life had very Russian names. Now, having a Russian name doesn’t automatically make you a criminal but they were the kind of Russian names I never heard at church or saw listed as business owners. They were names like Boris Yevrey which translated means Boris the Jew. Lots of her friends had the types of names you don’t put on a job application, unless you’re applying to be a thug. It was hard to draw any other conclusion except that most of mom’s friends were thugs, probably involved with the Russian Mafia. Her arrest was for promoting prostitution, prostitution, and other things. I don’t remember it all now. Somehow, a lawyer got her released on bond, and the first person she goes and sees when she’s out is Dedka Maxim Popov. I will clarify that Dedka was just the guy’s nickname, he was of no relation to me as far as I know. Eventually, after my mom was deported he’d be arrested on racketeering and conspiring to commit murder.
My mother’s deportation was the scariest thing to ever happen to me. I had a full academic scholarship to attend college at the University of Tennessee. I was technically a minor. Somehow, Melina and Dedka Leon stopped me from being deported with her. I was expected to live with Dedka Leon and for the most part, I did, but I spent nearly as much time at Aunt Melina’s as at Dedka’s. But her husband was a cruel bastard.
Speaking of men, let’s discuss my own father. I don’t know who he is. My mother would never give me a name, she called him The Gypsy. Melina isn’t sure if it was his gangster nickname or if he was just someone my mom didn’t like. I’ve never met him, I know nothing about him except that he’s male and my mom called him The Gypsy, but my mom calls everyone she doesn’t like or that pisses her off, a Gypsy. So it’s a very unhelpful moniker and Dedka who is dialed in to the Russian underworld here and in Russia says none of the men my mom worked with had it as a nickname. Dedka suspects my father was an American and that he might have been blond. He said he met a man once having lunch with my mom who was a blond and mom seemed to be happy with him and he definitely wasn’t of Russian ancestry. But Dedka didn’t get an introduction and doesn’t know anything beyond that man was blond and he suspects he was my father.
I talk to my mom once a month and even now that she’s close to seventy she still won’t tell me anything about my father. It used to frustrate me, but I’ve gotten past that and all my powers of investigation have not given me any clues about him. I think this might be why I became a private investigator. I have a hard time saying no to clients who are looking for lost relatives and missing persons are my Achilles Heel. My degree is in criminal justice and at one point, I wanted to join the FBI. Freud would have field day with me. I help abused women and children, I can’t turn down missing persons cases, and I wanted to help dismantle the mob at one point as an FBI agent. I would definitely say my past shaped me.
And until two years ago, I didn’t know I had any siblings. My mother never once mentioned my half sister Tatyana or the half brother Maxim that Tatyanna told me existed in Russia. I have spoken to him once, he seems a nice enough kid, but he is a kid, he’s barely nineteen, making him more than thirty years younger than me. Tatyana and Maxim are also only half-siblings. Mom was forty-nine when she had Maxim.
Having met some other psychopaths, I realize my mom is not one of the higher functioning ones. Quite the opposite. She suffers from severe paranoia and she has trouble controlling her self, unlike most of the psychopaths I’ve encountered in the last decade and a half. I kind of knew Liam was one, I mean, him and I are close in age. I had fewer indicators with Vladik and Kenzie, possibly because they are so much younger than me or possibly because they just hide and control theirs better. I’ve gotten glimpses of it over the years, but never enough to say for certain that they were.