We got home from picnic, I myself not uttering any word, as I made for my bedroom, still shocked over Patrick’s words. His conversation with mum wasn’t just a coincidence, I thought. Could it be -I shrugged the thoughts off immediately, not wanting to think about it. “Dad’s my father, and no one can replace him!” I said to myself, looking at a picture of us from when I was nine. That day we had gone fishing for a father-daugter’s day adventure. I remembered how he and mum had fought that day. I didn’t know what they were arguing about but my little self could tell that they were at it again. Dad had wanted to take a break from her constant nagging, and had brought me along so I could keep him company; one memory I’ll never forget. I was starting to ask myself if I truly resembled him. My character… everything. Why do I have these feelings that what Patrick said is really true? I paced back and forth, not wanting to answer the door.
“Trish, it’s nanny.” I heard nanny’s voice, and I quickly wiped my tears off.
The door came open as I rushed into her arms, surprising the old lady. “Nanny, thank God you’re here. Thank God.” I kept on saying in her arms, my breath unsteady.
All I needed at that moment was to be wrapped up in my mother’s arms, but I couldn’t bring myself to trust her… not now things were being like this. I had always believed everything she said to me. But now, I couldn’t tell who was saying the truth — whether Patrick… or mum! I had to hear from them. Mum shouldn’t be hiding things from me. What does she take me for?
“Oh, dear, dear. What’s wrong?” Nanny’s voice brought me back to reality again.
And I sniffed and pulled away from her arms. “It’s nothing, nanny. It’s just -” My lips remained shut.
“Just what, my dear?”
“Boy problems.” I smiled faintly, realizing that I had just lied to her.
“You do know how your father is about those things?” She crossed her arms and looked at me.
“Yeah.” I replied coyly. “I need a glass of milk, nanny. I think I’m getting sick — like I’m coming down with the flu.” I faked a sneeze, hoping she bought it.
Okay. That last part must have come out wrong because I knew nanny was going to go telling mummy about it, which I didn’t want. I wasn’t ready to face my mum just yet. I might end up saying the wrong thing again.
“Sick?” Nanny gasped, reminding me of her presence once again.
“Does your mum know about this, my dear?”
I only gave a nod, not wanting to say anything that’d get things complicated.
“Then you ought to be in the hospital by now.”
I looked up at her in panic. “You’re not going to tell her, are you?”
She threw a really odd look at me. “I thought you said you told her?”
“I did.” I bit my lower lip so hard. “Nanny, please don’t tell her. It would get her worried, you know. It’s just stress.” I told her hoping my last sentence sounded convincing.
“The more reasons that we should tell her.”
“What’s going on here?” My mum interrupted as she walked into my room.
“Nothing, mom. I’m fine!” I gave her a cold shrug, and walked back to my bed, not in the mood to talk.
“Come on, baby. I know you.” She placed her right hand on her waist as she said.
“I said I’m fine.”
“Are you sure, baby? Do you..?”
“Mum, please just go. I’m not in the mood.” I cut her short. I knew the response I gave had gotten her hurt, but I couldn’t care less. I just wanted her to explain things to me, and not to go about keeping me in the dark, like I wasn’t her daughter. Is that too much to ask? I wanted explanations; things that would prove that I’m daddy’s biological daughter.
“She’s been like this ever since.” Nanny Pearl spoke.
“I just hope she’s okay.” She sighed. “I wonder why she’s so mad at me.”
I didn’t bother looking as I heard the door get closed.
I had to see Patrick again. I needed answers from him, and was going to get them no matter what!
I shut mum out for a day, avoiding her and trying not to let her talk to me. She was the one keeping secrets from me, even though I am yet to believe.
I snuck into her room one day, and got her diary out. I flipped it open, hoping that I had gotten the right one where all her friends’ numbers were, as I scanned the pages, praying Patrick’s would be there. I came upon the fifth page, almost giving up – as the name just right below some ‘Oliver Johnson popped up, bringing my search to a stop. There! I pointed and smiled. I copied it right away, and made to drop the diary back as a piece of paper fell out. “What’s this?” I squinted at the sight and bent to pick it up. I was about placing it back in the dairy as my mother’s handwriting made me want to read. My hands was starting to feel really itchy, and I slipped it open slowly, not expecting to find anything attractive, as the words flashed before my eyes.
When we’re a hundred miles apart, I can’t stop thinking about you; that charming smile I wish to see; that fair skin I wish to feel. You’ve always got a way to make me miss you, and I think it’s happening again. I miss you, Patrick. I miss everything about you. I know what happened many years ago was a mistake, but I can’t back out now. Please understand. I still love you… and I always will.
Mum and Patrick were lovers? Does dad know about this? My heart raced faster than I could count. Did mum end up pregnant for him? No, that’s not possible. Mom will never do that to Dad. Right? She loves him. Mum will never hurt him. No –
I turned at the recognition of the voice.
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