Wednesday, April 24, 2024

I CONFESS: Don’t know which one is the father


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THIRTY-THREE YEARS ago I met a pleasant young man who was to go on to tickle my fancy. We had reason to catch the bus at the same location even though going to different places from Monday to Friday. 

The situation really took a turn for the better when the rain started to fall rather suddenly one Tuesday morning. I had been to the hairdresser the Saturday before and my hair was still bouncy and looking rather nice. I did not want my hair to get wet and neither did I want to miss the bus. I desperately looked for my umbrella, only to realise I did not have it in the larger of my two bags.

Suddenly, Mr Charming came over and gave me his umbrella. He ran out of the rain over the other side of the road to shelter by a shop. When my bus arrived, he simply beckoned to me to go along.

I felt somewhat guilty that I would have his umbrella while he had to shelter from the rain, and would certainly get wet crossing the road if his bus came before the shower had stopped. Nonetheless, I went on to work thankful that my hair was not ruined and my clothes and shoes were not wet and uncomfortable. The rain fell intermittently until I got to work and on disembarking the bus the umbrella came in very handy.

I put it to dry once inside my workplace and decided I would return it the following day.

That evening I got home early as a colleague gave me a lift almost to my doorstep.  After doing a few chores and getting a bath, my boyfriend collected me and we went to the cinema. That other guy who had been to my rescue earlier that day was not in my mind at this time. As fate would have it, my boyfriend had a relative’s car for a two-week period beginning that Tuesday as the relative had gone to United States to visit relatives and friends.

So, for the period my boyfriend had the car I did not have to catch the bus to go to work. This meant I could leave home later than usual and we took a different route than when I used public transportation.

The umbrella remained tucked away at home.

When I did return to catching the bus I took the umbrella but did not see the guy for about two weeks. Eventually, I saw him one morning, and it so happened that the rain was falling. He readily accepted his umbrella. We spoke briefly while awaiting our different transportation. He told me his name and I told him mine. We subsequently spoke almost every morning as we awaited transportation.

I am one to celebrate my birthday in a big way. My celebrations start the day before and go a day or two afterwards. My mother always used to say you should give God thanks and praise for being here, be proud and celebrate your birthday. I followed her instructions.

When my birthday did come around, I dressed a little extra special the day before. This young man noticed the difference and complimented me on my looks.

That evening my boyfriend collected me from work and said nothing. I don’t think the shine had worn off. The next day I went to the bus stop and the young man again praised how I looked. He immediately asked if there was a special occasion. I told him what it was and he wished me well.

That evening I went out with my boyfriend, but it was a spoilt occasion. We simply quarrelled and argued about almost everything – from the place we went to dinner to the taste and quality of the meal to the poor choice of gift. The following day “my friend at the bus stop” gave me a little gift bag and again wished me all the best. He said it was just a token of friendship and how I had reached out to him. Honestly, it was he who had reached out to me.

During my lunchtime at work I decided to see what the gift was. I was careful to open it privately away from my colleagues. It was an expensive brand-name pen set. It was appropriate in that it was nothing personal nor something which may have offended me. The following day I thanked him for his gift and he extended an offer to have a celebratory drink, but I declined. I did not tell him about my boyfriend. But this man was smooth and determined. He subsequently brought me an expensive bottle of wine.

About two weeks later he offered to take me for a drink. I accepted on that occasion as my boyfriend and I were again quarrelling. I made a mistake. I did not tell A about B. What started out as a friendly chat soon developed into a sexual encounter.

Indeed, for a three-month period I saw them both and had intimate relations with each of them. I was foolish. I got pregnant and was unsure who impregnated me. I told my boyfriend he was the daddy. He readily accepted responsibility. I broke off relations with the friend from the bus stop. My boyfriend and I got married and we subsequently had two other children. The three children are now adults. Unfortunately, my marriage ended after 18 years.

 Last year my friend from the bus stop returned to Barbados from the United States, where he has  been living for many years. He saw my son in the newspapers and on television and said he looked everything like his father and had to track us down.

He wanted to have a DNA paternity test done to determine whether he is the daddy. I am against it as it would disrupt my son’s life. My son knows one man as his father and is very close to his dad, who is equally as adoring of his only son. I must confess anything is possible as it relates to the true paternity, but sometimes the past is best left alone and forgotten.

Thankfully,  when I explained the situation to my brother, he spoke forcefully to my former friend from the bus stop, and  he agreed to leave things alone. The moral of this story is to be careful what you do today as it could destroy your tomorrow.


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