Chosen, a short story by Templar_uk. Date added: 2007-04-22. Times viewed: 978.
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- Intro: A chance encounter sets the wheels in motion...
- We met in a nightclub, I was on the dance floor giving off some of my best moves when I felt a tap on my shoulder and there she stood, smiling. I was young, free and single, without a care in the world, at least I was until that moment, but how was I to know what lay ahead?
We smiled; we danced, our hands and bodies touching. She was coming on strongly but I wasn't complaining, she looked fantastic and to be honest, I couldn't believe my luck. What was she doing coming onto me? Well I didn't stop to ponder the reasons; we left the dance floor, bought some drinks and headed for a dark corner. We talked, we drank and before I knew it we were kissing...hard passionate deep kisses, her hands wandering over my chest and mine sliding up her legs. The next thing I new the lights were coming up and the music was coming to an end, we'd been sitting there for over an hour, barely pausing for breath.
Outside in the cold evening air we talked some more, and she asked me if I wanted to go back to her place. We walked hand in hand until we reached the flats where she lived, laughing and giggling we made our way up the stairs; she fumbled for the key and eventually opened the door. We more or less feel into the hallway and, leaving the door swinging open she started to unbutton my shirt. I couldn't believe my luck; taking my cue from her I began to undress her. Within minutes we were writhing across the floor, I was going to say we made love, but that wouldn't be right, we had sex...raw animalistic sex three times, twice before we even made it to the bedroom.
The next morning things seemed a little strained, awkward silences filled the air between us until I made my excuses and left, leaving my mobile number on a scrap of paper. Two weeks passed and I hadn't heard a thing. I was comfortable with that, it was a night of fun and nothing more, and then one evening my phone rang and it was her. She sounded a little odd on the phone but I thought nothing of it, to be honest I hardly knew the woman. She asked me to meet her at a coffee bar the next day; she said we needed to talk.
We met on the street and went into the coffee bar, ordered our drinks and made our way to a quite table. She stirred her drink for what seemed like hours before lifting her eyes and looking at me, and then she said it, she said she was pregnant and that the baby was mine. I sat and stared at her not knowing what to say or how to react. I swallowed hard, my mouth suddenly felt very dry and I managed to ask her if she was sure. She reacted badly, angrily asking me if I thought she was some kind of tart? Did I think she slept around all the time? I wanted to say well yes, I did think that, but I bit my tongue and held back, not wanting to make a scene, at least not a worse one anyway.
Silence once more filled the air between us as we sat there, unsure of what to say. I went and got some more drinks, finally returning and felt able to talk. I asked her what she wanted to do. She made a great show of saying that she didn't agree with abortion, that it was against her religion. My initial reaction was to ask what religion it was the advocated casual sex but not abortion, but once more I bit my tongue. We sat and talked and seemed to reach an agreement. For the sake of the baby we would try and get along together.
The next few months passed and we grew to like one another more and more, slowly at first. She admitted to me that she had lied about her age when we had first met; that she was in fact four years older than me, but that didn't bother me. She had no family; at least none that she was in contact with, but my family welcomed her with open arms, all be it after a slightly difficult first meeting, but I think that was to be expected.
As her belly began to swell so did my feelings for her, the mother of my child, and so, two months before she was due to give birth I asked her to marry me. We went into town the very next day and bought a nice diamond ring from the jewelers next to the coffee shop and set a date for the wedding to be two months after the birth so that she could get her figure back.
On the 22nd of June my son Bradley was born, it was the most amazing, proudest moment of my life, standing there, watching as the nurses rushed here and there. Hearing him come screaming into the world and holding him. I cried, I'm not ashamed to admit it, I've never had a feeling quite like it and I don't think I ever will again. After two days mother and child were allowed to come home to the flat that we now shared, I'd spent most of the previous night turning the spare room into a nursery as a surprise, I think they both liked it as they both burst into tears when they saw it.
We got married at the local registry office, just a quite affair with my close family and a couple of our friends, we had known each other for less than a year and now we were married with a small child. We had a small reception at my parents house, drank a little too much before getting a cab back to the flat and starting to live like a normal everyday couple for the first time.
Two and a half years went by, seemingly quite quickly. Bradley grew up into a cheeky but lovable toddler, the apple of my eye. Since the marriage my relationship with my wife had been a little strained, we had no money, we couldn't afford a nicer flat, and to be honest, we were still only just getting to know each other. We had a few rows and at one point she moved out, but only for a couple of nights, she stayed with a friend before coming back to us, apologizing, saying that the strain of everything had gotten too much. We got over it, I agreed that she should get out a little more to see her friends while I would look after Bradley, and that worked well for both of us. That was, until Bradley became ill.
Bradley had got a nasty little chest infection one winter and while the doctor was checking him over something more serious came to light. A routine blood test had revealed an illness that wasn't easily treated. It still pains me now to mention it here. Bradley had a form of Leukemia and he needed a bone marrow transplant in order to survive, of course I volunteered myself to be the donor. I had been warned that the test to find out if I was a match was painful, and they weren't joking, the pain from the large thick needle was excruciating as they extracted a sample from me, but if it helped to save the life of my son then it was worth the discomfort a thousand times over.
When the tests came back and they told me that I wasn't a match my heart sank, only male bone marrow was good enough and as Bradley's father mine was the most likely but it wasn't to be. Can you imagine sitting by the bedside of your own son watching slowly slipping away day after day praying that a match would be found, somewhere, somehow. My father and my brothers all agreed to be tested just in case, but again we had no luck. Everyday the situation became more and more desperate, more and more urgent until three months shy of his third birthday Bradley quietly passed away. The pain of the test needle was nothing to the pain in my heart that day.
I signed a form permitting the doctors to use whatever they could of Bradley's body for other sick children, if we couldn't save him at least by his death other young kids lives could be saved. It was only when I was filling out the relevant information that I noticed that Bradley's blood type was different to mine. I couldn't believe after all we'd been through that I'd never noticed it before, maybe it was just too close for me to see before, through the grief and the pain.
In my time at the hospital I had become quite good friends with one of the doctors. I pulled him to one side one day and asked him if he'd do me a favour, I asked if he could arrange for a paternity test to be done using mine and Bradley's DNA. I suppose deep down I knew as soon as I saw the blood group on Bradley's charts, but I didn't want to think about it while my son was dying. But now that he'd gone and the pain was beginning to subside a little I looked at things a little more objectively.
When the doctor called me and asked to see me at his office, it confirmed all my suspicions. I felt I didn't need his confirmation but I went anyway, sat there in front of him as he put on his most soothing voice and confirmed my worst fears, Bradley was not my son, at least not biologically.
I walked out of the hospital in a daze, how could I tell my wife? How could I tell her that we'd been living a lie for the last three years? In my naivety and in my love for her I never guessed there was anything more to it than an innocent mistake, but I was soon to re-evaluate my feelings.
As soon as I stepped through the door she could tell that something was wrong, I walked into the living room and sat down, not even removing my coat. She came in too and sat down opposite me, looking concerned. I began to tell her what had happened, how I had first suspected something and how I had arranged for the test. Her eyes never left mine as I told her everything in detail, they didn't flicker, she didn't try to interrupt me, she didn't ask any questions, just sat there and absorbed everything I told her. When I had finished what I had to say there was silence, total silence for a couple of minutes. Then something happened that I really didn't expect, she started to laugh.
I looked at her, confused. It wasn't the reaction that I had expected but I thought maybe it was a nervous reaction to what must have been shocking news.
It was only when she started to talk that I knew something was very wrong. Her face seemed to change right there in front of me, from a loving, if a little cold, wife to someone that I really didn't know. She started calling me names, vicious nasty names spitting the words as me as she continued to laugh. I sat there in my chair not knowing what to do, or where to turn.
Then she started to tell me what really had happened three years ago. She told me how she's had a one nightstand with one of the doormen at the nightclub where we'd met. On that night she'd gone back to the club to talk to him, because she'd found out that she was pregnant by him, but when she got there she was told that he'd left, no-one knew where he'd gone and no-one knew where to contact him. She had wandered about the club in a state of confusion, and then she had hit upon an idea. She would find someone, someone like him, someone who could take his place, be a father to her child; someone she could have sex with and let him believe it was his child. And so she had picked me, for one reason and for one reason only, because I'm black.
I couldn't believe what I was hearing, anger and frustration coursed through me as she recounted her tale, all the while the smile never left her face. She continued to tell me that everything had gone just as she had planned it, the meeting after the night together, letting me believe that it was my child that she carried. The birth, the marriage everything had gone to plan. I got up from the chair and began to pace to room as she told me what a fool I'd been, of how she'd played me so easily, manipulated me however she wanted me. I was angry, yes, angrier than I'd ever been before but I controlled that anger, I was keeping calm.
She paused for a moment looked as me as I stood by the window trying to breath, trying to get some fresh air. Then she told me that she'd never loved me. That the last three years had been so difficult for her, not being able be her real self, feeling sick when I touched her but never being able to show it, that she had done it all for her son. But it was what she said next that tipped me over the edge. She looked me straight in the eyes and told me that she was glad Bradley had died, because now she could have her life back.
With that I flew across the room, she was laughing at the death of my son and that I could not have. She tried to rise from the chair as I moved at her, but I wasn't stopping. We fell to the floor struggling, she scratched at my face with her long raking nails as my hands slipped around her throat, and I squeezed. I suppose she must have been choking, but to my ears it sounded like laughter, mocking, shaming laughter.
I don't know how long it was before I released my grip, it must have been minutes, but it seemed like hours. When I stopped and pulled my hand away it was clear that she was dead. I looked down at her feeling nothing for her, the woman who I thought I knew, the woman who had been my wife for three years was dead by my own hand and I felt nothing.
It didn't take me long to decide what to do, I walked into the hallway, picked up the phone and called the Police, telling them what I had done. I left the front door on the latch and waited for the squad car to come and get me. I made some tea, and was drinking it by the door when they turned up and took charge of the situation.
The difficult thing was explaining my actions to my family, but when I told then the full story they supported me, I still don't think they understood fully, but they were by my side when I appeared in court. The judge was lenient so they tell me, I was given a seven-year sentence, so there's a possibility with good behavior I could be out in three. Until then I'll sit here, in my little cell, which is about the same size as Bradley's old room, and dream of what might have been.
I had a son, nothing can change that, nothing and no one can take that away from me. They say that a parent should never out live their children and they're right. I live with that pain every day and I always will.
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