“What..what do you mean you are Sterile Gerald” Adam chokes out the words, Marybeth can’t believe what she is hearing
“Yes.. I didn’t know at the time. After the incident I wanted to forget, it like a bad dream, like it never happen. To hear her tell me all she had to endure for me… instead of thanking her I lashed at her, blamed her for my misfortune, told her she seduced him, hated her for saving me, giving her body to save me. No matter how many times she cried for forgiveness or begged I didn’t listen. I began to drink, quit my job, spent time outside and I couldn’t wait for her to give birth to my son so I could take him and leave…I thought you were mine Adam..I did. I couldn’t touch her anymore, couldn’t stand her and I resorted to hit her whenever she came close..I just didn’t know how to handle it all.. then the accident , I was drunk and drove that night, and woke up to find her, a girl not more than 15 years old in the car, I was arrested that night. She was raped and was dumped in the car I had passed out in. so they had to do a check up on her, and they thought because I was found with her, I was the one.. so they tested my..sperm and ran tests on me..and that’s when the doctor gives me the news, I was free to go..it didn’t match..
The police wanted to know why.., and he told them it was not my sperm he found in her body, I was sterile. And I have been sterile and would never be able to get a woman pregnant.”
Adam shakes his head “I don’t understand what you are saying..does that mean ..that I am not your son truly?’’
Gerald nods his head ..
Adam’s throat closed , Gerald wasn’t lying.. he truly was a bastard ..A Jackson Onel Bastard, then..that meant…
Gerald was talking , tears following
…”I went home, and falling to my knees I cried , wishing that just maybe God would be merciful, but aside making me go through this..this pain, he had to make me impotent..I was useless as a man, but I would be dead to have another’s man child as mine.. a man like Jackson Onel. But Thelma did’t see reason with me, she..she didn’t want to get rid of it when I told her I couldn’t have children and the only way I could forgive her ..was if she aborted you, because she being pregnant reminded me of things I wanted to forget and being pregnant was a constant shame and disgrace and worthlessness in my face so I wanted her to get rid of you but she didn’t..she refused, saying she couldn’t kill a child and I felt, maybe she loved him, maybe she enjoyed those times with him so…my hate and anger grew..but nothing I did to her made her do it and when you were born, I wanted to rip you off her breast and feed you to the dogs, I left you out in the cold and locked her inside but she broke the glass and covered you up..I didn’t want you, never wanted to accept a seed that wasn’t mine and the pain of realizing that I could never father a child was too much..anytime you looked at me and called me father I wanted to rip your tongue out, I wanted you to die..I would have killed you myself since I couldn’t kill the man who fathered you, but nature was kind to him, he met his end a month later but that wasn’t enough for me..not until you left too.” Gerald cries..
“I know …I know I was wrong but…I could never love you.. accept you. You were never mine, you reminded me so much of my inability of not being a man..and your mother bared the burnt of it all.. but she loved you, she loved you even more than me and I hated it so I lashed out some more …I did. “
Adam closes his eyes..”You were never my father, you always told me that”
Gerald shakes his head “I wasn’t but, you were innocent of it all but I didn’t care I didn’t. I hated you…with a passion…Thelma, started falling sick, depressed, pained, the agony and misery took a toil on her health but I didn’t care…I stayed away from her because of you..because of the stigma and what you reminded me off..’’
“then..that means Damien, Damien isn’t yours too” Adam looks at him
Gerald laughs in his tears “Damien, Damien was my miracle baby, my flesh, my blood..my light ..my all” he cries
“How, you..you are impotent you said, how?”
“it was that couple’s retreat, you remember, we went away for a month. By then, Thelma had reconciled with her family and they had helped us to move outer state and her mother had come, she stayed with you while we left, the church had come and interceded when they found us, fighting. They were counseling, doctors appointments, everything …the world was advancing, technology ..it was a miracle . therapy, drugs, treatments..Artificial insemination..after three weeks of trying, Thelma was pregnant with my own child..my own child. I never thought I would ever hold my own child in my arms and love him until I found out that I was going to be a father, and I had only one chance of that happening…Damien was my miracle baby..he was my boy..my sweet boy” he breaks down remembering him..
“I was happy, I forgot all about it all, we had a second chance at happiness, at love, at a family..a child I could call my own…DAMIEN POPE, my son” he touches himself as tears continuous to fall
Marybeth can’t hold her tears.., Adam is shaking with emotion
“And when he died I blamed you for it because you were the reason for my pain from the beginning and I felt you were sent from hell to continue..what was I supposed to do, to feel. The only chance I had of being a father gone, all in one night..my son, my doctor..died in your company while you were driving. I know Thelma was truamatized and it caused her to become paralyzed due to the shock but I didn’t care as much for her as I suffered in my pain and seeing you alive and well and going about your life was like a twisted knife in me…hating you was real enough, despising you even more was easy…and now I know, now I know I shouldn’t have and I am sorry, so sorry..it wasn’t your fault, it wasn’t your fault when I was arrested, wasn’t your fault when your mother thought it was her right to save me even, even if she was selling her body and I hated her for it but in actual fact I shouldn’t have and I am sorry Thelma …for holding it against you for so long and not loving you or thanking you enough for your sacrifices…for giving me Damien..for your youthful years and …for having a son like Adam who loves you.. I am sorry forgive me Thelma, forgive me..just don’t leave me too, I ..I cant be alone, it would shatter me “ he held onto Thelma’s hands and cries
Adam is speechless “I am so sorry….I am so sorry for taking Damien away Gerald…”
“’it wasn’t your fault, I know that now..I was too blinded by rage and anger to see, for everything, for you, for Thelma and if I had loved her enough she wouldn’t have been here..I did this …I did this, I destroyed my home, her life..I did this” he cries
Adam gets up, walking to the otherside of the bed, for the first time, he understood Gerald’s pain, his anger, his hatred..his reason and his mother’s silence
She never wanted him to know about this.. she didn’t want him to find out that his real father was a Mine Construction Manager who practically forced her, or to let him see himself as a bastard. She had given him all the love and happiness she could, she had also given him Damien..
He reaches out and touches Gerald’s shoulders “Forgive me Adam” Gerald says, calling his name differently..softer.. for the first time in years, “Forgive me, I know I am not your father but if you would forgive me, I would love to be one to you now. I hope you give me a chance to be…SON”
Adam breaks down, grabbing Gerald and pulls him up, Gerald is crying “it was my fault, all of it. And I want to make it up to you. I lost my son, I may lose my wife tonight, and I don’t want to lose another family just because of something that happened years ago..I am tired. I am done…I need you to forgive me Adam, forgive me son..please..lets start all over” Gerald says
Adam is crying “Forgive me Father, forgive me “ they hug, crying
Adam felt like his heart would burst, for years he had waited and longed for Gerald to call him son, to hug him like this and it doesn’t matter what the truth is, it doesn’t, all that matters is that here and now, the only man he knows as Father has hugged him and called him Son..that was all that he needed…he hugs him tighter as Gerald is crying and asking him to forgive him, both of them are…
Marybeth is laughing and crying..
The monitor beeps…beeps again and then a flat straight line is shown..
The doctor and some nurses rush in,
“What’s happening. What’s happening..mother..MOTHER!!!”
Adam reaches for his mother but the Doctor is telling them to take them out
“THELMA!!!’’ Gerald is screaming, the male nurses pull them out, they see as they use the Defibrillator to charge her up, her chest going high and low as they charge her up again, the door closes in their faces
The straight line on the monitor screams louder..and then it stops
“Stop nurse…call it. Call it” the doctor tells Marybeth who can’t stop charging Thelma’s chest,
“No, she can’t die, she can’t die..not yet please “ she pumps her again
“Nurse Stowe..she is gone” The doctor says..he touches her arms, but she hits him off, tears blurring her vision, shaking her head she charges her again and drops it on her chest, Thelma’s chest rises and drops
“No Thelma…no please..she can’t die..not now…Gerald and Adam..she has to see them..see them “ she orders them to increase the voltage, no one moves, she screams “Increase it NOW!!!”
“she is gone Marybeth..nothing can be done”
Shaking her head and crying
“INCREASE IT, “ the doctor nods,
“Charge!!wake up please wake up” she pumps her again.
“Call it Nurse. Stop it, Call it” the doctor stops her .
“Time of death,11:08” she chokes out the words, crying she runs out of the room
Never get attached, she was told, she should have listened
Adam saw her coming out, towards them, crying, understanding immediately he falls to his knees and wails like a wounded animal, Gerald grabs him and they cry together in each other’s arms..
Richard holds onto Meredith, emotion raw..pain and agony…
Marybeth goes to them, on her knees she gathers them into her arms and rocked them..as they cried..