After a short breakup, Emily and Matthew rekindled their relationship and discovered they were pregnant. The couple got married, had the baby, and were happy until people started questioning why their child looked nothing like his father. Matthew demanded a test, and Emily had no other choice. But then, he revealed the shocking reason why he needed it.
Emily’s hands shook as she held the envelope in her hands. It contained the DNA test results they had just taken for their son, Alexander. Tears gathered in her eyes, and she didn’t want to open it. Matthew was beside her, trying to offer some comfort, but he worried too, his teeth gnawing into his bottom lip.
“Let’s just get it over with, Emily. We took the test. We have to know,” he finally spoke up.
“You wanted to take the test. I already told you there’s a big chance you’re not Alexander’s father. Why do we need to know for sure?” she asked, her voice trembling with emotion.
“I… I don’t know,” Matthew whispered, looking down.
“Would it matter? You’ve been raising him for five years. He’s OUR son,” Emily insisted, looking at her husband with her sad eyes.
“I… yes, he’s our son. But I need those results.”
“WHY?” she yelled and sobbed into her hand.
Matthew shushed her, worried they would wake up Alexander in the next room. “Just because!”
“That’s not an answer!”
Six years ago, Emily and Matthew had just moved into their brand-new apartment in Cincinnati, Ohio, and were starting over after a break-up. They had a disagreement and ended things, but after dating a few people, they realized they still loved each other dearly.
Luckily, they rekindled their relationship and worked through their issues, fully committed and planning a future together. But Emily stumbled upon a problem. She had been puking uncontrollably for several days.
Matthew left for work early, so he had no idea, and her puking spells stopped at around 10 a.m. But she was worried. Everyone knows what that kind of vomiting could mean. She took a pregnancy test after puking all morning, and it was positive.
She was pregnant, which wouldn’t normally be bad news. Her boyfriend had already expressed a desire to start a family. This would only speed their plans. The issue was that Emily had dated another man during their short breakup. There was a chance the baby didn’t belong to Matthew, and he had to know it.
Regardless, Emily told Matthew the news that night, and he was ecstatic. He jumped and hugged her. They celebrated like nothing that night and made plans to get married quickly before the baby came. She didn’t have the heart to mention the slight possibility that plagued her mind.
Soon, they got married and had their son, Alexander. Matthew didn’t once question his parentage until a few weeks ago. His family gathered for Thanksgiving, and one of his uncles mentioned that Alexander looked nothing like Matthew.
At first, her husband dismissed those concerns. But Emily caught him staring pensively at him the rest of the evening. He brought the subject up the next day when they were alone, and Emily broke down in tears.
Although Matthew knew she had dated and he had done the same, the idea of Alexander not being his biological son was worrisome. Finally, after a few weeks of debating and fretting, he asked her for a DNA test. It was hard to say yes, but there was no other option.
Now, they were sitting in their bed while Alexander slept in his bedroom. They were trying to find the courage to open the test results, and Emily needed to know why it was so important.
“Please, tell me why it’s so important to find out the truth! You had to know this was a possibility when we got back together. Sometimes, accidents happen. It’s not that big a deal—”
“IT IS A BIG DEAL!” Matthew yelled, not worrying about waking his son anymore. But he took a deep breath after seeing Emily flinch. “It is a big deal, Emily. My uncle’s words at Thanksgiving did not come out of the blue.”
“What do you mean?”
“My whole family has been gossiping about it for five years,” Matthew revealed. Emily’s eyes widened. “There’s tons of gossip among my cousins. I’ve done my best to protect you from their mongering, and I mostly succeeded. But they were not afraid to come to me and fill my head with their fake concern about paternity. The truth is, I don’t care. Alexander is my son no matter what.”
“Then why did we take a test if you don’t care?”
“Because I heard my cousin’s kid making fun of Alexander on Thanksgiving,” Matthew declared, revealing another shocking bit of news.
“Yes, my family has been gossiping about this so much that a ten-year-old feels like she can bully a much younger kid. It was one thing when it didn’t affect him. But now, Alex is suffering for it,” he continued and started to cry. “He asked me if I was his real dad the other day, Emily. We need those results to shut people up once and for all.”
“Oh my god,” Emily breathed. “I can’t believe you’ve been going through this alone. I wish you had told me. But… what if the results say otherwise? What will we do?”
“We’ll start spending the holidays with your side. I will NOT have my son bullied by anyone. I AM HIS FATHER!”
Suddenly, Emily tore the envelope open, and Matthew rushed to her side to read along. Her mouth dropped open at the same time as Matthew’s. They turned and looked at each other with huge eyes. The test showed that Alexander was Matthew’s biological son.
y exclaimed and jumped into her husband’s arms. They twirled around the room in delight.
Afterward, they sent the results to the entire family, and no one ever brought up the subject again.
What can we learn from this story?
Kids listen to what adults say. Matthew’s cousin had gossiped about the issue around her child, and that’s why Alexander got bullied. Be careful what you say around kids.
The truth will set you free. It’s a cliché for a reason. It’s better to find out the truth, and then you can shut down any misunderstandings.
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