Fred and Alice’s wedding ceremony was about to begin when Fred’s mother, Valerie, recognized Alice’s father, Felix, as a one-night-stand from the past. The older woman told the couple that they couldn’t get married, and everyone was shocked to learn the reason.
“I can’t believe you would do this here, mother! This can’t be true!” Fred yelled at his mother, Valerie, after she revealed something terrible about her past. “How do I tell Alice about this? This is our wedding! You’ve ruined it!”
“Fred, I had to tell you before it was too late. Can you imagine if you had discovered this after or when you had children? That would have been a catastrophe!” Valerie snapped at her son, who refused to see reason. She was doing the right thing for everyone.
“What is going on? I heard you guys yelling from the bridal room,” Alice asked, appearing suddenly. The bridal room was just the basement of the church they had rented for their wedding. Valerie had pulled Fred towards a more private area to tell him the truth and avoid alerting the guests of anything amiss. But she never expected Alice to hear them arguing.
“Oh, Alice, dear. I’m so sorry to tell you this, but….” Valerie began. After hearing the terrible news, the bride broke down in tears and collapsed in a heap on the floor.
Two hours earlier…
Valerie arrived at St. John’s Roman Catholic Church in Newark, New Jersey, for her son’s wedding. It was only a few hours until the ceremony, but as the groom’s mother, she didn’t have a huge role except walking him down the aisle. Regardless, she hoped to check on her future daughter-in-law, Alice, in her wedding dress before they tied the knot.
Fred and his groomsmen were in the chapel, while some of Alice’s bridesmaids were arranging a few things around the spacious area. Everything was going well as guests started to arrive. Valerie checked on Alice in the bridal room for a few minutes then came out to greet guests with her son.
Fred and Alice met during their freshman year in college in New York City, but Alice was originally from Seattle, Washington. Meanwhile, Fred’s family was from New Jersey.
When they got engaged, they traveled to meet each other’s parents. However, Valerie and her husband, Walter, had yet to meet Alice’s father and mother. Fred promised to introduce them as soon as they arrived at the church.
Finally, Fred spotted them walking towards the church. “Mom, Dad, come here, Alice’s parents have arrived,” he said. Valerie smiled, reaching the entrance with Walter in tow. They saw Fred hugging a couple around the same age as his parents.
“Mr. and Mrs. Miller, these are my parents, Valerie and Walter,” Fred announced, and they all shook hands.
“Please call me Felix, and my wife Melinda. We are family now, after all,” Alice’s father insisted with a smile. But Valerie frowned at the man. She recognized that voice from somewhere, but she couldn’t put her finger on it. Alice’s parents continued into the church and greeted other guests while she stood there thinking.
“What’s going on, Valerie? You became quiet after meeting Felix and Melinda,” Walter asked, concerned.
“I don’t know, honey. It’s just… I feel like I’ve met Alice’s dad before, but I don’t know where,” Valerie replied.
“Well, let’s think. How about college? Although I remember Alice telling us that her entire family is from Seattle, and they all went to Washington State University,” Walter commented. “Where else could you have met him?”
As soon as her husband mentioned Washington State University, Valerie remembered everything. “Oh, Walter. This is a disaster,” she whispered painfully.
“What? What’s going on?”
“You remember years ago when we broke up and decided to see other people? I told you about the one-night-stand I had during that time,” Valerie began. “It’s him. I’m sure it’s him. His face has aged, but I’ll never forget his voice or how he said he was visiting New Jersey for a football game. He was wearing a Washington State hoodie.”
“Are you sure? That could’ve been a million other people. Valerie, this is a big deal!” Walter exclaimed as quietly as he could, although he was agitated.
“It’s him. I’m a hundred percent sure! I can’t believe this!” Valerie insisted, and tears welled up in her eyes.
“Mom, what’s going on? Are you crying? The wedding will start in a few minutes. What’s the problem?” Fred questioned.
“Son, come with me right now!” Valerie said, grabbing his arm and pulling him towards the back of the church.
“Mom, please. You’re not going to make a scene at my wedding like the crazy mothers on reality television, right?” Fred added.
“No, son. But what’s happening could certainly make for one of those shows,” Valerie started and tried to contain her emotions to keep going. “I recognized Alice’s dad as soon as I heard his voice. But I couldn’t pinpoint him until your father said something. Now I know. And I’m sorry I never told you, sweetie. But you’re not your father’s biological son.”
“We broke up for a few months before we got married, and I had a one-night-stand with another college boy. When Walter and I made up, I discovered I was pregnant. I told your father the truth immediately. But he still decided to marry me and raise you as his own,” Valerie blubbered. “I’m sorry, Fred. But you and Alice are half-siblings.”
Back to Alice’s collapse…
“Alice! Are you alright? Please, baby. I… I’m sure this is not true. We’ll find a solution,” Fred conveyed as he patted her cheeks, trying to get her to react. Luckily, Alice’s eyes opened quickly. She looked at Fred sadly and stood up slowly.
“We have to cancel this wedding. I’m sorry, honey. But this… this is not something anyone can overcome,” she said reasonably, although tears were still running down her face.
Alice called a few of her bridesmaids, told them the story, and asked them to tell the guests that the wedding was canceled. However, they were not to reveal why.
Everyone at the church was shocked and gossiped about what had happened. But Valerie helped the bridesmaids apologize to the guests and escorted everyone out.
Felix and Melinda were outraged until Valerie and Walter told them the truth, and Felix couldn’t believe it. “That can’t be true. I… I barely remember that trip. I’m sorry. But this is such a cruel coincidence. Did you ever take a DNA test?” he asked.
“No, but Fred doesn’t look like Walter at all. Besides, we never wanted to confirm. For us, it was better to be in the dark. But after seeing you and realizing who you were, I couldn’t let it go on, even knowing that I was destroying my son’s happiness,” Valerie justified.
“Nothing is for certain until you get that test. Let’s do it, just in case, and the kids can decide what to do with their lives,” Melinda proposed. “At the very least, they will have official confirmation and can move on.”
They all agreed on it, and a few days later, DNA tests confirmed that Fred was – in fact – Walter’s biological son. Everyone celebrated the news, but Valerie felt silly. “I shouldn’t have said anything. I ruined your wedding for nothing. I was sure Fred didn’t belong to Walter,” Valerie apologized.
“No, Valerie. You did the right thing!” Alice insisted. “What if it was true and we discovered that after having kids? What if it affected our children’s health? It’s better not to take that chance. And now that we have confirmation, Fred and I can move forward.”
Fred looked at Alice and smiled, relieved that she was not his sister. “Yeah, and you know what? Our next wedding is going to be small. Or we might elope,” Fred added humorously. Valerie frowned playfully at her son, and the rest of the family hugged each other.
Walter was crying because they finally had confirmation about Fred’s parentage, although the older man never treated him as anything less. “This means that you were pregnant when we broke up,” Walter whispered to Valerie secretly while everyone else celebrated the news. She smiled happily at her husband.
In the end, Fred and Alice got married, but they took their parents and a few close friends on a fantastic trip to Las Vegas instead of renting a big church again.
What can we learn from this story?
You have to tell the truth, no matter how painful it is. Valerie could’ve kept her past to herself when she finally recognized Felix, but it was better to reveal it.
Get a DNA test if you’re not sure who the father of your baby is. Valerie and Walter should’ve gotten a DNA test years ago to confirm Fred’s parentage. It would’ve prevented this drama at his wedding.
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