Publish Novellas 9 February 2022
EPISODE 2 – CONFRONTATION
A mother learns that her husband of 25 years has a dark past that may jeopardize their family life.
Pam is the wife…
Strong emotions of anger and compassion clash as Pam lies on her bed. Trying to absorb the research, the age of some of Aaron’s siblings suggests they were children when Marcus was an adult.
She cannot think of a feasible explanation and her husband is too drunk for an intelligent conversation. So, while he passes out in his recliner, she just lies on her bed, staring at the ceiling until morning.
Knowing that Marcus begins drinking early, Pam is trying to decide whether to have this talk before or after breakfast. Perceiving that the extended conversation may get heated, she cooks only enough oatmeal, bacon, and pickle for Aaron. Then she prepares a picnic basket with leftover chicken, watermelon, olives, and biscuits.
Marcus asks, “Where’s my breakfast?”
“It seems like a good day for the two of us to have a picnic.”
“In the backyard?”
“No, at the park,” says Pam.
“I prefer the backyard.”
“Well, I prefer the park!” Pam says with determination. “Get in the car.”
“Okay, okay. Let me grab a few beers,” suggests Marcus.
“No, I have already packed the basket.”
“Cool. Let’s go.”
At the park, Marcus asks for a beer.
Pam, wanting to keep him sober, says, “Eat some chicken first.”
“I need something to wash it down.”
“No, we need to talk.”
“Uh-oh. What I do now? Whatever it is, I’m sorry.”
“I don’t think you have been entirely honest with me about your past relationships.”
“Crap! Has Aaron been talking to you too?”
“What did you discuss with him?”
“He found out about Kensi and then started freaking out.”
“Is that all?” Pam inquires.
“Pretty much. I told him that her mother has some mental issues.”
“What about other children?” Pam inquires.
“I don’t know what you mean.”
Pam pulls out a piece of paper and begins reading off the names of women. “Do any of these sound familiar?”
“They are just names. I don’t understand.”
“These are all females you may have met when you were between 17 and 23, before your first marriage.”
“Maybe. I don’t remember. But you know I had girlfriends and was married before you.”
“But these women all have something else in common. They all have children with DNA that suggests you are the father.”
“Wait. No way. This is the first I heard. Where did you get that from?”
“Never mind where I got it from. Did you sleep with these women?”
“Maybe. I don’t know. That was nearly forty years ago.”
“Well, try to remember!”
“It doesn’t matter. I love you and that was in the past. Those girls were crazy back then.”
“Marcus, it does matter! And how come whenever someone asks about your relationships you say they are crazy? Are you only attracted to crazy people?”
“Maybe,” Marcus says with a grin.
“It’s not funny. These are people related to our son whom they have never met.”
“Wait. I don’t want to see those people now!”
“Is that why you stay in the house drinking?”
“This conversation is getting uncomfortable. I thought we were going to have a nice picnic. Where’s the beer?” Marcus asks while rummaging through the basket.
“We need to have a sober conversation. Eat a piece of watermelon. Some of these women were underage when they became pregnant. Do you realize what that means?”
“I don’t want to think about it.”
“Well, if you don’t want to talk about it with me, then talk to a therapist.”
“You mean a shrink? They’re for crazy people.”
“Marcus, you are a serial child molester living in obscurity, trying to forget by drinking your days away. You are imprisoning yourself.”
“Wow. This is uncalled for. This picnic is done!”
“No it isn’t! Not until you admit that you have some issues to resolve.”
After a long pause, Marcus asks, “How did you get those names?”
“A DNA website revealed their relationship.”
“Maybe. I guess. Oh, Marcus. Do you think they would bring legal action after all these years?”
“I don’t know. But suddenly, my identity is on the web. For all I know, the house is surrounded by police cars—if not now, any day.” Marcus then turns his back to his wife.
“I don’t want you to get depressed and go into a drunken binge. We need to think rationally. First, you should begin seeing a therapist. These memories were apparently repressed and you admit you did not know about the pregnancies. Second, we need to find an attorney so that if the police do come, he will be up to speed.”
“It’s over, unless we move somewhere with no technology.”
“I am not trying to frighten you and I am sorry about the DNA test,” shielding her son’s role. “There is a chance that these women will not notice the connection.”
“Then why are all of them on the same website? Think about it,” reasons Marcus, “They must be looking for me.”
“That emphasizes the reason to stick to the plan. You need to visit a therapist as soon as possible. I will schedule an appointment this week. Okay?”
“You still care about me even after what I did?”
“Yes, you were young. I can see why you want to forget about it. But drinking is not the way to cope.”
“I am sorry I did it,” Marcus responds with sincerity.
“I know. But promise me you will see the therapist if I schedule the appointment.”
“Okay,” Marcus relents.
“Let’s just lay here on the blanket together under the shade tree for a while before going home.”
Later that evening, paranoid Marcus is on pins and needles. Pam is exhausted and falls asleep. Between midnight and 3 o’clock is when Marcus binges on alcohol. He phones relatives to engage them in meaningless arguments with profanity. In the morning, Pam picks up the bottles and washes out the glasses.