“Ed, we have a problem.” His mother told him. “I received a phone call from a woman named Joan and she said that her daughter, Becky was pregnant with your brother’s child. She wanted to know if we could help with the medical bills.”
“What does Byron say about it?”
“He said it wasn’t his baby and the girl was just trying to trap him into marriage. I just don’t know if I can handle this and I don’t know what to do about it.”
“Well we can’t just ignore it. I’ll call the girl’s dad. What is the number?” Ed hung up the phone and asked his wife, Jessica to sit down. She was experiencing a difficult pregnancy and had required some extra care. “That was my mom on the phone. She said that some girl is claiming she is pregnant with Byron’s baby. Byron is denying it and my mom doesn’t know what to do about it. They both would like to ignore the whole situation, but I don’t think that’s wise. I think it would be better to address it.”
“What do you mean? We can’t help with the medical bills. We have a baby on the way and I have to be hospitalized again, my medical bills are going to be a strain for us.”
“I know. I’m not talking about helping with the medical bills. I just think we need to meet the family and be a support for them. My mom said the girl is still in high school. We need to let them know that we do care. I’m going to call her dad and see if we can do anything for them. ”
“Still in high school?”
“That’s what she said. I don’t know what her dad’s going to say. He has the right to file charges against my brother. That’s one of the reasons I want to talk to him. Maybe if someone in the family is friendly, her dad refrain from legal alternatives.”
One week later after much prayer, Ed dialed the phone number and to his surprise discovered that John was a down-to-earth guy. Ed asked to meet the family and was invited to their house the following Saturday.
Jessica was not happy about the meeting. She wasn’t fond of meeting new people anyway and certainly not under these circumstances. Her fears were eased when the family welcomed them to their home. Becky was as nice as her parents. The entire family appreciated Ed and Jessica’s efforts to get acquainted, but understood that the baby was not their responsibility. They learned that Becky’s baby was due about six weeks before Jessica’s.
It didn’t take long for the two mothers-to-be to become friends. They talked several times a week on the phone. The conversations were usually about the babies or Byron. More than once, Jessica talked to Becky about getting Byron involved in raising the baby.
At the same time, Ed did his best to talk to Byron. Byron refused to meet Becky at any place or any time. No amount of reasoning would appeal to his sense of reasoning. He made it very clear that he wanted nothing to do with her.
Becky, on the other hand, still held out hope that he would realize they belonged together. She was convinced she loved him and only him. She lived with the anticipation of Byron asking for forgiveness and explaining that he was ready to begin their life together. He had promised they would marry and she was sure that once he became accustomed to the idea, he would follow through with his promise.
Then came the phone call to Ed and Jessica. Becky was in labor. They rushed to the hospital to be with the family. The labor was long and trying, but Becky was rewarded with a 7 lb., 7 oz. baby boy. Ed and Jessica noticed immediately that the baby had blue eyes, the same as Byron. The following week, they all learned that Byron had been to the hospital to see the baby, but hadn’t gone to Becky’s room.
Six weeks later, Jessica went into labor. After arriving home from the hospital, Becky and her mother were among the first visitors to see her baby girl.
The friendship between Ed, Jessica and Becky’s family continued to grow. When others were around, Becky introduced Ed and Jessica as her friends. They were secretly grateful for the tact. Ed felt like everyone was judging his brother and there was nothing he could do about it. It didn’t matter that they were adults; Byron was still his younger brother.
One day as Jessica and Becky were visiting, the conversation quite naturally turned to Byron.
“I don’t understand why you don’t confront him about the baby.” Jessica said.
“Well, I don’t know what to do.” Becky complained.
“Why don’t you go over to his house and talk to him?”
“Because his mother is there. I would be embarrassed.”
“You would be embarrassed to see the father of your child?”
“I wouldn’t want to upset his mother.”
“Are you sure he is the father?”
Surprisingly Becky didn’t mind questions like this from Jessica. “He has to be. He is the only one I’ve slept with.”
“Why not force him to take a paternity test?”
“That might make him mad.” Becky reasoned.
“What difference does that make?” Jessica asked completely bumfuzzled.
“I just don’t want to make him mad.”
“Well he hasn’t seemed to mind making you mad.” Jessica countered.
“Why are you asking me all this? Are you mad at him?”
“No. We just think he should accept his responsibility.”
“Oh, he will. Someday he will figure it out and I’ll be waiting for him.”
“Are you that much in love with him?”
“I think you’re crazy.”
“You might be right, but I have confidence that one day we will be together.” Becky laughed.
Rebecca remembered that conversation now. She marveled at that naive little girl who thought she was in love with a man who had used and disposed of her. How many people had tried to tell her that at the time? She wouldn’t listen. All she wanted was for the two of them to be together and raise their son.
No one correctly answered the question last week, so let’s try again. What was the secret that Rebecca kept from her family for thirty-two years?