“Shut up!” I scream, as silence fills the restaurant.
“Don't you dare talk to us that way, young lady,” my mother screams back at me.
“This is not my fault or Amy's, it’s his...” I point to Vinnie, my ex. Neither of us were aware before tonight that we had fallen in love with the same man.
I was no longer in love with him, I had fallen for his charms many years before, we had not reached the marriage part, at least he had not, I thought it he was going to propose. I waited for him to tell me he loved me, I had told him many times, but he never said it back, I knew in my heart he loved me, but could not express those feelings the way I could.
He was sweet and kind until I discovered I was pregnant, and things changed quickly, he wanted no part of being with me if I kept it, he was not ready to be a dad and did not even want to talk about it, instead, he walked, ran. At nineteen he left me alone to raise our child, he never even wanted to know what we were having, or any part of her life. From the day I told him, to now. For me it was the easiest decision of my life.
Now here we stood, opposite one another, his eyes on me, not knowing what I had decided. He did not dare ask the question. Did I have it? I knew he would refer to our daughter to an it, after all he had no idea what I had. I recalled his last words before he walked out of my life.
“I don't want it!”
I frowned, angry at the thought of it, but he never changed his mind, not once looking back, leaving me broken hearted. His eyes were still on me. I would make him ask.
“Go on,” I encouraged him. “Ask me!”
Amy had now moved and stood beside me, watching the confrontation.
“Ask you what?” she sniffed.
“I don't know what you are talking about,” he said, trying to deny it.
“Mummy,” Annie whimpered from behind me, clinging onto my dress. Aged just four she looked scared of the man who stood before her, her father.
“Is she, is...” he mumbled, fumbling on his words.
Amy looked at me to Vinnie, and then to Annie our daughter.
“No, no fucking way. She can't be,” she turned to face him. “Vinnie tell me this isn't true, you never,” she paused as the words stuck in her throat. I knew how she felt, but the truth was out.
“Amy, you have to understand...”
“...understand that you dumped me the moment you discovered I was pregnant and ran for the hills.” I said.
“I was just a boy, only nineteen years old.”
“Me too, Vinnie, me too.”
“He's the guy who abandoned you?” Amy whispered.
I nodded. “Yes.”
“Amy, honey” he began. “It wasn't like that,” he said, placing a hand on her arm. She shrugged it off.
“Don't touch me,” Amy screeched. “The weddings off.”
“No, please, don't say that.”
“How can I marry you? My niece is your daughter and...and you…you…”
She did not have to say anything else, he left with his head down and scurried away, Annie asked later that evening, who was that man.
I instantly felt guilty for sending her father away, she had a right to know him, but was I ready? Would Amy understand, would my feelings that threatened to surface come to light if I met with him? Right now I felt anger, mixed with old feelings I had for him.