Excerpt for The Blossoming by , available in its entirety at Smashwords


Women Blossoming


By: Maria Cooper



Copyright 2017 Maria Cooper


Smashwords Edition License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your enjoyment only, then please return to Smashwords.com or your favorite retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.


This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.



Table of Contents:


Chapter 1: Me and Mom

Chapter 2: Claire

Chapter 3: The Real Story of Rachel & Alex

Chapter 4: The Past

Chapter 5: Claire & Adam

Chapter 6: The Visit

Chapter 7: Claire Running

Chapter 8: The Talk

Chapter 9: Meanwhile in Texas

Chapter 10: Claire's New Life

Chapter 11: DNA

Chapter 12: The Meeting



Chapter 1- Me and Mom


“Wake up, time for school,” Mom called from the door! "Ugh, not again!" she thought, I just want a normal life its senior skip day and I still have to go to school!

Rebekah opened her eyes and saw the sun peering into her pink colored room leaving a yellow hue. Rebekah always loved the mornings because she felt every day was new. She reached under her bed to check her iPhone and see the news feed on Facebook and twitter since last night. All her classmates made posts about what they were going to do for the day. Her friends, Claire and Adam were going out together which meant she could not hang out with them. They were glued to each other every moment and it seemed like they were getting pretty serious, after a year of dating. “What should I wear today?” she thought, looking into her full length closet and picked out skinny jeans and a black top. While looking in her bathroom mirror she wondered about her other half, her brown hair, hazel eyes, was a different characteristic than her mother’s features. “Did you hear me?” She knocked again to make sure she was awake. She wished she didn't let twenty minutes go by on Facebook and would have gotten dressed instead. “We’re leaving in ten minutes, come get some breakfast.” She said. Rebekah hurried to brushed her teeth and washed her face.

The ice crushed beneath her feet as they walked to the black jeep and got in. “I am so proud of you!" said Rachel. "Graduating this year and going to college. I'm not sure why you guys' skip day is in the beginning of the year, but I suppose it’s cool too."


“Thanks,” she replied. Rachel was not very expressive; in fact, she was usually quiet, not letting her thoughts out. The closest family member to her mother was grandma Mabel. Rebekah had found much comfort in her grandmother because she was so open and talked a great deal more than her mother. In fact, Mabel answered any and all questions and talked about her entire life. Today it was peculiar her mom was at least talking to her, rather than the normal boring and dry conversation to school.

“Bye, see you at 3:30pm", kissing her mother on the cheek and stepping outside the jeep. “Hey” Claire and Brittany said as they walked over. She was surprised to see Brittany and Claire had not bailed on her. “You want to leave at 12 to go to lunch with us... Adams driving?” Claire asked. “Yea sounds good.” she replied. The students all stood outside in various circles talking before the first class started. Everyone was happy to be seniors and reunite from the day before. The school bell rang loudly and every one scrambled for the door. For Rebekah it was biology, math, english and art. Rebekah was a B+ sort of student and had to keep up her grades to be on the varsity cheerleading team. She enjoyed cheerleading because it was a time to be with her two best friends. Since she was an only child it was very important to have friends to relate to her. Her teachers, Mrs. Akin and Mrs. Davi really believed and mentored her by encouraging her to take honors biology and english. “How was the homework?” Mrs. Akins said. “Actually quite good, not so hard anymore.” She smiled. The new biology class was difficult because of her first couple of failing test grades. She tried to bail the course by talking to a counselor. She rushed to his office during lunch time to explain her demise, but instead he told her she needed the class to graduate. At first she was disheartened by the new information, but since she was forced to stay she chose to succeed getting A’s and B’s on her lab reports!

After math class the girls went to taco bell. They left the school in a small group, the sun finally out, and it warmed up. They all squished into Adams' back seat. He had an old red car; it took about ten minutes for the heat to finally be full blast. Rebekah sat next to Brittany laughing because of the excitement she felt. She was finally able to be rebellious for once, and it tickled her inside. She was beside herself and felt at peace and at home. They exchanged the latest gossip about the basketball team and shared posts on instagram and facebook. When they arrived at taco bell a couple blocks over, they ate and talked about their plans of the future. Rebekah wanted to go to Eastern State for the biology program to apply for medical school. Claire and Adam were going to go to a community college near home and Brittany was going to go to her parent’s school that they graduated from… Michigan State.



Chapter 2 - Claire


Claire always seemed to be an interesting friend to Rebekah. Her life seemed completely different. Claire had two half siblings and her mother always had different boyfriends coming and going. It seemed like things were getting serious with her and Adam especially since they were dated for a year and she wanted to go to the nearby community college with him. Rebekah hoped Claire was making the right decision, even though in comparison Claire’s grades were not as good because she also worked part time to help provide for herself. She sometimes came to school unhappy from arguing with her mother and Rebekah saw this only made Claire and Adams' bond stronger.

Brittany was Rebekah’s cheerleading partner for all of the cheer stunts since they were of the same build and height. Brittany was sure of herself, smart and attentive. Not too talkative but not too quiet as she was always observing and being a perfectionist. "Is everyone ready," Brittany said in a matter of fact tone, looking down at her Dior watch, "it’s already 1:10pm, we’re late."

Rebekah was happy to have some fun with her school friends but she felt a slight conviction that she snuck off school campus to do so. Rachel always held her to such a high standard. Rachel never said she regretted having her but she wanted her to have an easier life. “One thing is for sure”, Rachel said when Rebekah asked about her father "the best thing that came out of my relationship with your father was you.” This was about all her mother said of the relationship as if she did not want to relive it. Rebekah did not question further since she did not feel it was the right time.



Chapter 3-The Real Story of Rachel and Alex


When Rachel thought of Rebekah's questions, her mind always wondered back to almost 18 years ago. She and Alex had met in college when he saw her studying in the library. He was immediately enthralled because she looked so serious and beautiful at the same time. The diagrams she stared at also intrigued him because he studied an entirely different subject. They were opposites. He was tall dark and handsome with dark brown hair, hazel eyes, and a perfect smile, while Rachel was short, and petite, with shoulder length jet black hair and brown eyes.

After he said his first words to her something like "can you teach me?" they instantly clicked. He was the perfect distraction from school and such a serious life. They eventually started sharing every waking moment together. The more they spent time together the more they fell in love and planned on being together forever. They even took the same classes though they were in different programs. However, the relationship took a turn when Rachel found out she was pregnant. After she told Alex their relationship dwindled drastically, he could not provide for her neither did he want this responsibility since he knew his parents would not approve. Alex was graduating college while she was just beginning so he insisted on an abortion and gave her the money to do so. He left, insisting that was the best option for the both of them. Rachel had never experienced such pain in her life. The first and only person she loved no longer loved her back nor wanted a relationship with her. What about all the promises they had made... were all lies?


She remembered the phone call to her mother and how she a girl of 22 still needed her. Rachel did not have any one to turn to, and did not want to tell her mother anything but as the semester ended she started to show. There was no way she could stay on a college campus. She called her mother to hear her voice but really to ask to come home. She was afraid of being let down again and that her mothers’ ways had not changed.


Ring, Ring.

“Mom” her heart pounded, she gripped the phone tight to her face.

“Rachel…. is it you, ” Mabel said

“Mom can you come get me” she said between cries?

Mabel heard the urgency in Rachel’s voice and a sound of pain she had never heard. Alarmed, Mabel left the church service and drove three hours away to the University. Her mind raced as she passed from city to city wondering what it could be. There was so much fear in her heart and she hoped she could stomach whatever it was. When Mabel arrived, Rachel had her belongings with her and got into the car. They immediately left the area and spent hours talking, Rachel told her she was pregnant and she had to move out because of it. Mabel could not explain how disappointed she was in her daughter. She was also angry that he had no knowledge of her daughters' life. Mabel asked about the boy that had done this, but she would not speak of it. Though Mabel wanted to contact the boys’ parents for now she decided to just take her daughter home.

There was a lot of unspoken animosity between the Rachel and Mabel. It seemed the healing process began when Mabel took her in and stopped drinking. They both knew they made mistakes in their relationship and moved forward in spite of the five-year silence. Rachel forgave Mabel for her mistakes, and started fresh when she moved back in. She resented her mother for not being there and thought if her mother was around she would have been more prepared when she met a boy. Rachel knew that her father died when he was relatively young but that did not give Mabel permission to stop being a mother. She was still needed, but instead she turned to alcohol for several years, leaving her to fend for herself. Somehow she managed to stay away from boys in high school but college was different, she fell deep in love.

As the months went by Rachel’s stomach expanded little by little. She felt out of control in her eating, her life, and she had no idea of what the future would hold. Her clothes did not fit, and her breasts and feet were swollen with pain. The worst thing of all was that she had to take a break from nursing school which was supposed to be a full time program. Now she would have to reapply in a couple of years. She felt awkward being away from college and the friends she had made. Oh, how life had changed from her independent college days, instead her days were spent tending to her beloved daughter. Since grandma Mabel was retired she was able to help much more when Rachel went back to school. Rachel delighted in her daughter, her chubby small figure, curly brown hair and hazel eyes. She saw so much of Alex in her face and personality. It had been a crazy ride with the dirty dishes, cleaning up messes, and teaching her daughter nearly everything but through their relationship she learned the true meaning of loving and being loved.


Back in School

"Ms. Johnson! Your late!" said Ms. Akin. Ugh, I can't believe this, she thought frustrated at herself and her life, as she sat down at her desk. She hated being the center of attention and in confrontations with people. The rest of the day was lecture after lecture so she completed some of her homework in class so she could be free the rest of the day to scroll through her phone.


Home

"How was your day?" Rachel said as she got into the black jeep while trying not to slip from the fresh snow.

"Good." she answered sheepishly not making eye contact.

"Well my day was stressful. Two call offs and many patients were admitted overnight."

"Wow!" she said sarcastically.

Sometimes Rachel literally did not know how to deal with this teenage attitude. Most of the time she ignored it thinking it was to get under her skin anyway. They rode in silence on the way home. Rebekah went into her room as soon as she they got into the house and immediately pulled out her phone. She saw what all the other more popular students did for the day. Many went to the movies and out to fancy restaurants and all she did was go to Taco Bell with a couple of friends. She decided to work on her final senior project that she could work on all year long. It made her review her plans of her future such as career choice, education, and the reality of what it could provide her in life.



Chapter 4-The Past


Rebekah had no knowledge of her mother’s previous life. Rachel was like a safe that had yet to be unlocked. When you found one key there were still many other doors and compartments. This is how Rachel kept herself safe now. The problem was that in any relationship you may experience hurt so Rachel inevitably kept herself from love. Rachel wanted to protect her daughter from feeling unloved and unwanted as well. She hoped to provide her with a staple home filled with love and she never wanted her to doubt that. Instead it had the opposite effect. The secrecy was one big reason for the negative relationship they had, Rebekah didn’t understand why as old as she was, her mother wanted to remain in hiding. It was frustrating, dealing with her teenage feelings and not knowing things about herself. Who was she, what was her father’s name and what did he look like she asked herself curiously looking in her bedroom mirror pushing back her large voluminous brown curls?

This was also the reason for the growth in her and her grandmothers' relationship. She texted her grandmother to pick her up for church that night and she picked her up a couple hours later.

"Thanks for picking me up Gram.” she said, slamming the van door with a bright smile on her face.

“No problem sweetie, how’s your mom doing” Mabel said.

“Same as always."

They rode twenty minutes out to church and Rebekah turned into a different person, talking about her dreams and aspirations. She had so much hope for the future and what she could become. She exclaimed about being a doctor or a nurse and going to the best college in the country.



Chapter 5-Claire & Adam


After school, Claire and Adam came to into the gymnasium as the cheerleaders were warming up. Claire had missed nearly two weeks of practice and was avoiding her and Brittany. Rebekah noticed they took the coach aside and how serious the coach looked after the talk.

"What's going on?" Brittany asked. The team grew quiet while they were finishing up their stretch routine.

"I don't know." she replied looking confused.

"I wonder did something happen with her and her mother again?"

Rebekah noticed Claire had been wearing loose fitting clothing but did not mention it to Brittany since she didn't want to start a rumor. She told herself she would talk to her tomorrow at her locker before Biology started.


Next Day

Rebekah arrived to school ten minutes early by lying to her mother that she had a pop quiz and needed to get there earlier than usual to study. Walking to Claire's locker was dreadful, Claire had not responded to any texts. Her heart beat faster with every step. She saw Claire getting books out of her locker and she stood behind her. Claire's eyes bulged with fear when she closed the locker and saw Rebekah standing there.

"Claire are you okay?" she asked.

Claire tensed "Yes, I'm fine. Why are you sneaking up on me?"

"Then why haven't you been coming to practice or answering my texts."

"Leave me alone, you wouldn't understand."

"Try me."

"You have the perfect life, and I don't want to talk about it."

"I have perfect life, I don't know who my father is and my mother barely speaks. "Please just talk to me." The bell rang.

"It's time for class," Claire felt happy she had avoided this talk.

Rebekah felt like she had failed.

While in the third class Rebekah got a text from Claire saying they could talk at lunch. Claire did not know how to tell her friend and she felt like her life was over. At times she like thes she wished she was an adult and had her own stuff. She knew she couldn't tell her mother and she didn't know what to do or what was the right choice. The lunch room was bustling with students talking and laughing. Claire motioned to Rebekah from the back table. She sat down nervously not knowing what Claire would say.

"So the reason I have missed practice lately" Claire said" is because I found something out."

"What?"

"I'm pregnant."

"Have you told anyone else, what about your mom? When did you find out?"

"Yes only three people; you, Adam and the coach, I found out last week."

"Is that what you and Adam were doing at cheerleading practice?"

"Yes, we were telling the coach that I won't be on the team anymore. And no, I did not tell my mother yet. You know she will freak!"

"What if the coach tells?"

"She won't! I told her my mother already knew," she said with a smirk.

"What are you going to do?"

"I have no clue, me and Adam will raise the baby together."

Rebekah decided to keep her thoughts to herself, though she promised not to tell anyone, she knew she would tell her grandmother. She didn't know what to do, and this information was

Rebekah now wondered how she would tell her mother of her friends' demise even though she felt it was the absolute betrayal. She figured the best time would be at dinner when they sat down to eat. When she was picked up from school she dreaded the conversation and was sweating even in the winter cold.

"Mom do you remember Claire from school" she said as she set the table for the tacos they were about to have.

"I think I do" she replied as she recalled at a parent teacher conference. She noticed her mother came in late and smelled of alcohol. Rachel was extremely saddened by this, and let Claire know she could come over whenever she wanted. She did not understand how her mother could be uninterested in her daughters' life.

"Well Claire is pregnant ....but coach already knows about it" Rebekah blurted out.

"What? What about her mother?"

Rebekah shook her head.

All of a sudden there was a mixture of emotions and she didn't know what to do next. Rachel was also relieved that this was about Rebekah's friend and not her own daughter. Sometimes she didn't know what her daughter was thinking. She thought about contacting Claire's mother or the school but she reasoned it would be better to contact her mother Ruth. She figured she would go to Ruth's home where she dropped Claire off one day after practice. She was pretty sure she would be there since she always was. Her disability that enabled her to stay home and get drunk day after day. Wednesday was her day off so she reckoned that would be the best time to pay her a visit.



Chapter 6-The Visit


Claire's plan backfired, after Ruth heard the news from the coach. She could not drink but sat in disbelief wondering how and when all this happened. This time, she was not going to check out of life, she had to get to the bottom of it, so she texted "COME HOME RIGHT AFTER SCHOOL.”

"Ugh oh," Claire thought, she knew something was wrong, and most likely what it concerned she didn't know how to handle. She drove home after meeting with Rebekah in the hall and saying bye.

The drive home seemed longer than usual and she hesitated before she got out of her Saturn and turned off the engine. She looked into the back mirror, at her curly long hair, and big brown eyes. She was mixed, a mixture of black and white, and many people envied her beauty. She wore a large cream sweater to hide the baby and blue jeans with her snow boots.

Claire walked up to the little red house and opened the entrance door. She seen her mother approach from the sofa, where she always sat. Tears ran down her face when her mother confronted her "can you explain why you have missed cheer practice" Ruth said. Claire wondered how she even knew this information as she could usually come and go freely and did not have to answer to anyone.

A lump was caught in her throat when her mother got up and moved closer. She stood there nervously.

"Can you explain why you have missed cheer practice?" Ruth asked.

"Umm, I haven't wanted to go" she replied.

"What do you mean, I'm paying for it, you continually complain that you need a life outside of this house, so what do you mean?"

Tears ran down her face, "I'm pregnant" she wasn't prepared for what happened next. Her mother reached out slapped her clear across her face. Claire felt the sting and let the tears fall freely. She felt the worse since she knew it wouldn't turn out good, and she had no one. In her mother’s eyes was hatred, rage and anger, she knew she could not stay. She ran out the house, her face bright red. And texted Rebekah, "WHERE ARE YOU? MY MOM KNOWS?"



Chapter 7-Claire Running


Rebekah was reading on her purple bed when she got the text. She looked at the text in disbelief, afraid for Claire and wondered what her own mother would think. She immediately got up, and walked to her mother's room. She felt she had to help. Rebekah had a big heart and a bigger conscience. Rachel was watching tv in her big brown recliner, when Rebekah knocked on her door. "Mom, can Claire come over tonight, her and her mom got into a fight" Rachel knew what this was about and felt the blame for it.

When Claire arrived, Rachel allowed her to stay since she had a pretty good idea what had happened from the hand print on her face. She told Claire she could stay the night and that they would figure it out the next day, as the day was already almost over. Though Rebekah was sad for what her friend was experiencing, it was exciting to have a friend over for the night. Rachel treated Claire like family, giving her clothing to wear for the night, and fresh towels and face clothes. Rachel made dinner and they all ate together, her famous chili with beans and various spices. For a moment Claire forgot about all of her problems. She took a hot shower and ate until she was full.

Despite all the hardship, Claire was happy to have someone she related to. She loved Rebekah like a sister and wished her mother was like hers. She felt she really needed to be away from the house. She wanted to be with Adam even more since she felt like her life was truly over. She hadn't decided on what she was going to do with the baby, there were still a couple of options including adoption or keeping the baby to raise. She thought of the regrets she might have and if her and Adam stayed together, if the adoption would put a stop or deterioration on their relationship down the line. She felt scared of what would happen after graduation and she weighed the pros and cons. They stayed up late talking of their hopes and dreams forgetting about the current problems that night. Before they went to bed Claire checked her metro-pcs phone shocked that her mother had not called or even tried to make amends as the night was approaching.

Rachel however could not sleep, but wondered how to handle this new situation, and knew the only option was to try and contact Ruth to work something out. She searched Ruth's name in her phone and heard the phone ring.

"Hello, Ruth said.

"Hi Ruth its Rachel I wanted to let you know Claire is spending the night with us and I wanted to ask if it was okay?"

"I would appreciate it if you stayed out of our business, and did not try to be her parent!"

"I never meant to get in the way, she is very scared right now"....

"She should be," she said cutting her off "got what she deserved, and now she's ruining her life with some boy!"

She seriously didn't know what to say after that, she felt like a girl again, felt that this is the time Claire needed her mother the most. As when she herself was pregnant in college. She didn't even understand how Ruth could be this cold.

"You know I have held off as long as I could but you’re a horrible mother. You drink all day and have multiple boyfriends coming and going, and you are some hypocrite to even speak a word against your own flesh and blood. You didn't even notice your daughter was not at cheerleading practice, or that she had gained some weight, and now you want to act like you care". She was immediately angry, and got off the phone abruptly with Ruth.

Ruth was in shock, no one ever talked to her this way. She was angrier at herself than at Rachel or even her daughter because she knew Rachel was right but she would never let her know.



Chapter 8-The Talk


"Mom I'm eighteen years old!" Rebekah said "I would like to know who my father is. I am going to college soon, and I need to know about the other part of me."

Rachel grew quiet, she knew this day would come.

"Why have you refused to tell me anything"

"It’s complicated, your father,” her voice trailed off...thinking of how could she tell Rebekah her father did not want her, and she would have been looked upon as a burden?

Instead she went to her room and brought out the pictures she had of him. The fireplace was lit and they sat in the living room. The room was decorated with brown and velvet colored walls and furniture. It was a spacious room, with plush carpet, and large windows covered by dark curtains, it was warm from the fire, and the burning of fresh wood filled the room. Rachel set the photos on the glass coffee table and watched her open the blue book, her hair was bright orange in the fire light. She saw her mother with a Caucasian man; he was tall and thin with hazel eyes and dark hair. The picture struck her since she too had the same hazel eyes, and dark hair. They were both at a University and there was a residence hall behind them. They both wore sweats with a university logo on them. They were hugging and smiling together, she noticed her mother looked the happiest she had ever been. Her mother’s black hair clung around her face, and her brown eyes were bright and big.

"Let me explain. His name is Alex Wild. We met in college. I was going to school for nursing and he for engineering. We fell in love but he was three years older than I was. He was finishing college while I was just beginning. He told me he was from Texas and that his father would disown him if they found out I was pregnant. His parents were very affluent in the southern region. He broke up with me when I told him I was pregnant, and left. I felt abandoned and I couldn't live on the campus while I was pregnant. There was no family housing in those days, so I went back home to raise you and finish my education. Me and Mabel didn't get along for a long time, but we have gotten closer.

"Why is that?"

"Before your grandmother got into church she used to drink a lot. She wasn't fully present while I was a teenager and we argued a lot. But she changed when she got into her religion.

Rebekah was surprised with all the knowledge she heard and overwhelmed. She was also relieved her mother finally let her guard down. She had secretly resented her mother for not knowing her father but the pieces started to fall in line. She felt her mother’s pain and how awful it must have been. She now understood the distance between her mother and grandmother and this made her both angry and sad. Rachel looked bewildered she was sweating, and tears welled in her eyes. She was afraid of how Rebekah might respond. She didn't know if she was strong enough to hear this next part…

Rachel opened the laptop that was beside her and showed Rebekah what she found. Alex Wild's profile picture and his Facebook account. Rachel thought Alex looked older but still very handsome, his hair was receding, and he was smiling and with a petite blond on his arm which she assumed was now his wife. In his other photos there were pictures of the them with two children as well.

"I've already messaged him and I'm waiting for a response" she said watching Rebekah.

That night, as Rebekah lied on her king sized bed that night she pulled up the pictures on her phone and held them close to her heart. She studied his name Alex Wild, and looked through all the photos until she drifted to sleep.



Chapter 9...Meanwhile in Texas


Alex woke up to Facebook notifications from various people. He wasn't surprised since he was a business man, he had offers from many companies contact him for engineering projects. It was a lucrative business since people were always offering contracts and he had to decide what was worth his time. The computer science and technology field was definitely trending. Alex glanced at the notifications briefly before the dog Pete jumped into the bed and greeted him. He smiled rubbing Pete and heard his wife Carol in the kitchen cooking and singing to the local radio station. The three French windows adjacent to the bed brought in the Texas sunshine. Alex sat up the in the bed and put on his house shoes, the dog following him into the master bathroom. He turned on the shower and let the water heat up while getting his clothing ready for the day. One name seemed almost familiar to him, out of all of the messages, was it "Rachel J." he thought. For some reason he could not get the name out of his head, and it bugged him. He went back to check his phone after the shower and was surprised at what he read and the picture attached. Alex left the house immediately not wanting to start a conversation with his wife Carol.

Carol had never experienced Alex leave without saying goodbye. She was beyond worried. Alex went to work in his office, drinking his coffee and not being sociable with anyone. He was ashamed of the situation and himself. He tried to create a life for himself and he figured that Rachel had done the same. He thought that the child was not his or perhaps Rachel had aborted the child all those years ago like she promised. Alex was perplexed from the message on Facebook, and wondered how he would tell Carol that he, possibly had another child. He wanted to hide, how could he look into her eyes and tell her this. He could not imagine what this would do to her and his two daughters, Ashley and Brittany. He was sure that they wouldn't understand and this would dramatically change everyone’s' life. He didn't know what to do, but avoid and deny it for now. Every time he went to start writing the message back, he took each letter back because he was afraid of saying the wrong thing. Carol called multiple times and left messages, but he texted her that they would talk when he was home. Carol was anxious the entire day wondering what this could be about, and if it was something the kids had done. The day at the office passed slowly and he dreaded the minute he was off work. After work Alex sped through traffic thinking about his college years with Rachel and realizing it could be indeed. When he finally came in the house, Carol noticed the stress lines in his face, his suit was disheveled and his hair was standing up on all sides from his wreck less driving.

Alex sent the girls to their rooms to do their homework while he and Carol went down into the kitchen and sat at the white marble island. "Carol I need to tell you something.... now I have never told you this because I thought it was behind me. I'm quite ashamed, that's why I left the way I did this morning...I had a girlfriend in college. Rachel, was her name. We were really in love in college, but it was over 18 years ago so I forgot all about her. We broke up before my graduation. She told me she was pregnant. I wasn't ready to be a father and she was so much younger than me. I knew my family wouldn't approve. I left her and gave her money for an abortion, she said she would get one but this morning before work I got a message on Facebook from her. She's claiming that we have a daughter together, her name is Rebekah and there was a picture included. She looks just like me and I didn't know all this time. "

"Let me see the picture." she said.

"Are you sure?"

"Oh my God, she does look like you! How could you have not known about this all this time?"

"I made a new life and built my career; we were just kids at the time... I'm so sorry" he started to cry.

He felt so shamed, as if he was reduced to a small creature, though he tried to make so much of himself in life, in this instance he had no control. Carol hugged and reassured him but inside she was afraid, she had created her life around making a home and being a proper housewife and mother. The fact that this was in her husband's past made her feel rejected and hurt, she immediately felt insecure of the future. There was no way that she could fix this, inside she wanted to ignore it and pretend that everything was fine and go back to normal but she couldn't.

To be sure they decided to mail a DNA kit to Michigan and Alex would also turn in his to see if there was a match. "We should send a message back," she said, but he could do nothing that night. Instead he and Carol laid on the bed holding each other and looking at the night sky from the French windows. The next day Alex woke up his two girls and took them to school as he mentally prepared for what to reply to the message. He rehearsed while was driving to his office and thought about it between interviewing clients. While on his office lunch he contacted Rachel from the number attached to her Facebook account.

Rachel received a phone call from an unknown area code. The iPhone confirmed the call was from a Texas area code. She answered on the second ring.

"Hi this is Alex Wild; I'm calling for Rachel".

"This is Rachel" she said. All of a sudden her palms were hot and her heart pounded, she could swear he heard it through the phone. She tried to regain composure, and took control of the situation.

"Hello, I contacted you because my daughter needs to know who her father is".

" Wait a minute! I though you got an abortion? How old is she?"

"Eighteen."

"I can't believe you never told me about her. Or even told her about me. How could you do this? You said you would abort her?"

" How could I do this? You made it clear how you did not want her or me. I didn't want to get rid of her. That would have hurt me more, I couldn't" Just then she realized the extent of her hurt. Every time someone from work or anyone asked her out she refused. She felt she should just be a mother and raise her child. She wondered if she put her life on hold because of all the hurt she experienced all those years ago. That because she loved once she got hurt and stopped trying. Was this why she was alone, she asked herself.

“I'm sending a DNA kit to make sure she is mine. I mean it's almost 20 years later!"

“You are unbelievable; she is yours you can tell. Just look at her photo!”

“What's your address?"

“123 Hewitt St.” she said holding back tears. She burned with anger and she would not give him the joy hurting her again.

“Okay so you should receive the kit within the next week, I will be in touch."


Since Rebekah now knew where she came from she all of a sudden had a need to be loved from her father. She held his pictures close to her heart and compared her appearance to his. Emotionally she was scared of being hurt, she felt her self-esteem diminish when she compared her to her father. The Facebook pictures of Alex's family looked like the presidential family with pictures of their nice home, cars, and pets. While she and her mother lived in a three-bedroom home, with one car, and there was no father or male presence. She didn't think she would be accepted because of her dark hair and blended skin while the Wilds were all blond haired. She tried to concentrate on graduating with honors and on cheerleading practice. She dreamed that her father would come to her graduation, though she knew it was unlikely. The car rides to school became more intense and quiet. Rebekah did not know how to express all the crazy emotions she felt, and she did not know what they meant. She internalized every feeling searching for the answers. Rachel felt that she was the blame of it all, and that she should have told Rebekah much sooner. She wondered if there was ever a perfect time to say such things. Claire was really the only person Rebekah could talk to, they became like sisters going through difficult situations together. They listened to each other though they did not know the answer or outcome.


Rachel called Rebekah into the bedroom when she was finally ready to tell her.

“I spoke to Alex he's sending a DNA kit to us and it will come in the mail within the next week."

“What, when did you talk to him?” she screamed.

“Yesterday. ...he wants to be sure, since its been so many years. I should have told you about him much earlier but there was never a right time. He didn't want anything to do with us and I wanted to keep you from this hurt.”

“You can’t keep me from everything. You're right you should have! I hate this!”

“I'm sorry, I never wanted you to feel unloved, I wanting to be everything” she said.

Rebekah left balling in her bedroom and felt her heart was going to explode, all the emotions coming out at once in many droplets of tears. In the week to come she felt the sadness come and go.

In class when people made jokes she would laugh but then remembered the pain again. This is what it felt like to be brokenhearted she thought. Rachel hated to see her daughter this way, her normal confidence and easy going personality was shattered.



Chapter 10-Claires New Life


Ruth wondered about Claire every day after she left the house. She was sorry for pushing her daughter away. She now wanted to be included though she hated to admit it. She felt that Claire had grown up too fast and there was not enough time to make it right. She never even talked to Claire about the birds and the bees. Since Claire had left she thought long and hard about her life up to this point. She knew she wanted to stop drinking and she took small steps to get better. She started at home. She started cleaning the house instead of letting it get out of control. She washed the dishes, cleaned after the dog, and started doing the yard work. She even made a schedule to keep her on track and get her other children Liberty and Cynthia to school each day. She liked her new life and how productive she was being without the drinking. It seemed through the loss of Claire that a light bulb came on.

Claire had gained nearly thirty pounds and was not the most secure about the changing seasons. Her and Adam had broken up, and decided that adoption was the best option. Though Claire and her mother was on speaking terms Claire continued to stay with Rebekah’s mom until after graduation. Rebekah and Claire became even closer through the break up and Rebekah urged Claire to come to Eastern University with her. Instead Claire wanted to save up for her own place and go to a local community college. She needed to think about her life after graduation and she knew going away to college would be too much after the loss of the baby. Her life had changed so much over the last 8 months. She felt relieved in some ways that life was coming together but also very emotional about it all. It was the beginning of a brand new life.

Life at the Johnsons was going great when it all happened. On a Sunday morning while Claire was lying in her the bedroom Rachel had made up for her. She was looking at the ceiling while rubbing her stomach gently. She loved to feel the movement and kick of the baby, indicating a strong and healthy child. She didn't ask the doctor about the sex since she figured the less she knew the better since she would be giving the baby up. A family that was very well off was already picked out and there was no turning back. Lying on the bed she felt something leak and her sheets got soaked. She called for Rebekah and Rachel who ran into the room and began helping her sit up. Claire was in shock; it was all happening too fast. It was becoming a reality; she was going to have a baby. Rachel reassured Claire and patted her back, while Rebekah ran to get the premade bags of clothing for Claire.

The birth of the baby was easy, but painful. Claire squeezed Rachel's' hand while Rebekah comforted in any way possible, fetching water and sitting beside her. They had a nice outside view of the pond filled with ducks and a few trees. Rachel was a friend of the doctor and got the best care for her. The room was filled with love for Claire and the baby, Claire gave birth to a baby boy naming him Arthur.

After the birth, Claire decided she did indeed want her mother to be there. She knew it was the first and last time her mother would see baby Arthur. Claire came in with her moussed hair and painted face. She waited in the waiting room until the Rachel went out to get her. Claire knew she would need to make things right with Rachel since their last conversation. "Rachel can I talk to you? I just want to tell you I'm sorry and thankful for what you're doing for my daughter. I haven't been the best.... I've stopped drinking "(Ruth said). Rachel forgave Ruth since she understood that being a mother was difficult but she was still very disappointed in her. She hurt for Claire more than she herself was hurt from their last conversation. Just then the baby was being wheeled into the room by the nurse and Rachel and Ruth followed.

As soon as Ruth walked into the delivery room she ran to her daughter.

They hugged and cried "I'm sorry mom I disappointed you."

"No I'm so sorry for the way I treated you .".

The baby was placed on Claire’s chest and everyone oohed and awed fully enveloped in the child.

"Do you want to hold him?" Claire asked.

"Yes," she cried "What's his name?"

"Arthur."

The legal parents were overjoyed to hear that their baby boy Michael L Fox was finally born. The mother could not bear children, her and her husband tried for many years. Claire was satisfied that at least she had control over the child's outcome and she knew she was doing what was best for him. With the baby in the home of a loving family, Claire tried to refocus on graduating, she was behind in all of her subjects but her teachers gave extra help. They let her stay after school to make up assignments and offered extra credit when possible. Claire missed two weeks of school and there was only a month left of school to catch up. The school spoke rumors about Claire and Adam, when he completely stopped talking to her. Some claimed she was not even pregnant but wanted attention. Everyone was in shock that they had broken up. The coach offered Claire her spot back on the team but she decided to get a part time job instead to keep her mind off of the baby. All of the rumors led her more into depression but Rachel continued to treat Claire like family and she gave her space and time to heal.



Chapter 11- DNA


Package Arrives

When the delivery came Rachel told her as soon as she picked her up from school and they dropped it off at the post office that same night. Rebekah was both happy but sad that it may not make a difference to Alex but she too wanted to know for sure. Alex completed the kit and sent in his sample as well. The process took a week, and in that same time it would be her graduation. On Friday night they both received the official company letter for the test results. Alex and Carol brought a letter the letter into bedroom and opened the seal.

It read…

"The attached protocol contains the results of the genetic marker testing obtained in the laboratory. From the testing show, it can be established that the alleged father is a biological parent of the child in question. Based on the DNA results of Alex Wilde and Rebekah Johnson there is a 99.9% match, and is a 0.001% chance that the DNA is not a match. Due to this information it is confirmed that Alex and Rebekah are related" (Ancestor History Lab). Alex and Carol were in shock that this was the evidence and he called Rachel immediately. He needed to speak to Rebekah and felt that he should meet with her as soon as possible.

Later that night Rachel and Alex had a long talk and he expressed his desire to be at Rebekah’s graduation. Though Rachel was afraid of seeing him in person and she didn’t know if it was the most appropriate time she also knew Alex had missed out on the most important life events. She put her own feelings aside her for her daughter’s sake and gave him the time and place of the graduation.



Chapter 12-The Meeting


Alex left for Michigan that very next day landing at in Detroit Metropolitan Airport. He bought a rental for the day and went to Fitz high. He wanted to meet his daughter for the first time in person and did not want another day to go by. How many birthdays he had missed made him feel much regret. He felt it was his duty to be there for whatever she may need and wanted to build this relationship.

The day of graduation was like no other, seeing Rebekah and Claire put on their cap and gown was the proudest day of Rachel’s life. They looked like such young ladies and took what it felt like was a million pictures. By the time they finished photos they were exhausted. Rachel invited Ruth over as well and they left as a small family. Rebekah was excited that all of her hard work paid off and she had reached highest honor. She was also relieved to know who her father was as it had been a very dreadful and expectant week. Claire was happy that she was graduating and that all the years’ problems started to decrease.

Alex arrived too late for the graduation but waited outside for all the graduates and families to exit the auditorium. Rachel was nervous the entire ceremony and got the text that Alex was outside as the ceremony was ending. When they all went outside the sun was shining bright and the parking lot was filled with students and families hugging, crying and smiling. Alex waited by his Mercedes rental. Rachel answered the phone and gave it to Rebekah who received directions on where to meet her father. They instantly seen each other and Alex could not believe his eyes. Rebekah was so confused that he was there and that her dream was coming true. They shook hands and stood there dumbfounded. Alex asked to take them all to lunch to spend more time with Rebekah and to talk about everything. Rachel couldn’t help but be in shock as well that it was really real. Though he said he would be there she definitely had her doubts. Rachel kept her composure though she was screaming inside and very protective of Rebekah. There was so much to learn about each other and this was the beginning of a new relationship. They agreed to lunch and consequently to a new life, instead of running they both embraced the future. Being open to both love and pain.



Information About the Author: Biography


I have wanted to be a writer since high school when I read a story about Johnny Boy and heard the author was very young. Though I made several attempts I never felt they were good enough. So now I am restarting.

I was born in Detroit, MI in the 1990s and had an interesting childhood. When my mother remarried, we moved from Detroit MI to Warren MI. I had never been to a mixed school until middle school. The races and ethnicities were endless and I had finally found my niche. In elementary school to be popular meant to not take school seriously. If there were smart students striving for excellence they were called the “teacher’s pet”. I purposely failed an oral exam in which I had to recite English vocabulary definitions because I did not want to be classified as a teacher’s pet. I was smart but I still passed with a C even though I could have easily received an A. At my new middle school intelligence was accepted and rewarded. It is a wonder how the culture in a school can differ so greatly. I pretty much excelled middle school and high school was a challenge but I still did amazing. My dreams at the time were to become a nurse or a doctor, because I just wanted to help people. I loved biology, and english the most. Teachers really invested in me and encouraged me. From the way they treated me I know they saw something in me. I received my Bachelors of Science degree in 2015 and in 2016 an Associates of Health.



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