“I don’t understand, I mean I do. Who are you?”
“Wyatt, Vinnie’s brother.”
“I got that bit.”
“Tell me the truth? Who walked away from me, who did I have sex with?”
“After the first six weeks it was always me, Vinnie was not in the picture. He never saw you again, until the night at the restaurant with your sister.”
“Okay,” I replied. It was a lot to take in, it made sense. It made perfect sense. “You walked away from me, not Vinnie.”
“Yes. It was me, it was all me.”
“Vinnie, he didn’t hurt me, didn’t break my heart in two.”
“No, I am sorry to say all that was me and I feel terrible.”
“You feel terrible,” I said.
“He knew none of what happened, he moved away when he was eighteen.”
“Okay, so he was, is innocent, but you’re not. Tell me the real reason you walked away? I deserve the truth on that don’t you think.”
“You do. I had no choice, my parents found out I was still dating you. When I told them you were pregnant, they gave me a choice. If I stayed with you, they would cut me off or they would send me away. Either way, I knew I would lose you, and I did.”
“Yeah you did, and for what? Lies you could have come clean to me at any time. I may have understood, I may have forgiven you, but now, all these years later.”
I stood and snatched my hand back.
“Please forgive me.”
“I don’t know if I can.”
“I know I…”
“I need time, time to get all this new information in my head. I need to talk to my sister, our daughter. She needs to know you are her father. But…”
“I don’t even know how to start to tell her about all this. She deserves to have a father in her life, she does, but I don’t know how I can I trust you. How am I meant to believe what you? Why would I trust that you wouldn’t hurt her like you hurt me.”
“I don’t know, but I promise I will try my best to do what I should have done. Prove to you that all I want is you two.”
“Well you fucked that up, you know that. I loved you once.”
“I hoped you still loved me, I still love you.”
“You had a funny way of showing it. You could have told me the truth that day I told you I was pregnant, you had a chance, I deserved that much.” I stood. “I need to go. I need to be as far away from you as possible.”
He handed me another piece of paper, numbers scribbled on it, his number I assumed. I thrust it deep into my pocket and turned to leave, he remained in the spot, tears in his eyes. He had no right to make me feel guilty.
I ran all the way to the car, not looking back at him, despite everything he had just told me, I would have taken him back there and then. I would have allowed those arms to engulf me, those lips to kiss me, like they had so many times before.
I needed to talk to my sister.
I arrived at the house, our mother stood in the doorway as I approached the house.
“Come to ruin her life more than you already have. Don’t tell me, you’ve got another bun in the oven with her husband to be.”
“Mum, that is not fair, besides it’s more complicated than that. Anyway, I need to talk to Amy. This has nothing to do with you.”
“The hell it has, we should have disowned you the day you come home pregnant, but…”
“I was never good enough for you was I? Even if I had not fallen pregnant anything I had done would not have been good enough.”
“That is not true.”
“It is, I love my sister I do, but the moment she was born you changed.”
“You ignored me, forgot me.”
“I never did that. What I did was divide my time, when you have more than one child, its what you have to do. It’s called being a parent,” she said, standing before me, those nostrils flaring.
“That is not exactly what you did, but okay, if that makes you feel better somehow.”
“It’s the truth, and what you did was wrong, you know that. You were too young, and it ruined your life.”
“Ruined my life, it never ruined my life. My daughter never ruined anything, but our relationship, yet I allowed you to be a part of her life, because…”
“You know what, leave, and don’t come back. You are not welcome here.”
“Mum, leave her alone,” Amy said, standing behind her. “We need to talk, if Vinnie is her daughter's father, he has a right to be in her life and I won’t stop him, besides I will be her aunty and step mum, but aunty first, so…its complicated I get that but we will make it work.”
“Walk with me?” I said. I did not want my mother hearing the conversation. Not yet.
We walked down the road towards the local shop, bought ice-cream and sat on the bench facing the river that ran through the town.
“I meant what I said.”
“I know, but I found out today that Vinnie is not the man I knew.”
“I told you he had changed.”
“Yeah, you did, that much he isn’t the man I dated,” I said.
“What do you mean?”
“He is not the father.”
“But you were sure, I mean positive he was.”
I nodded and licked the ice-cream that had now dribbled down the cone to my hand.
“I know, but you will understand when I tell you this, you will understand why I thought he was.”
“Tell me, tell me everything.”
She sat and listened, the whole story from start to finish. Her face looked as I imagined mine did when Wyatt told me.
“Twins, identical twins, it makes sense. I mean I knew he had a brother, but they didn’t get on so would not be at the meal or wedding. It all made sense now, Vinnie must have known, I think he may have.” Amy said, stuffing the last of the cone into her mouth.
“Yeah, we look alike don’t we, people always said we did, but he never knew we would fall in love and…”
“You should marry him, I am sorry I caused all this pain, I am, but I had to know the truth, I deserved that much.”
“You do, your daughter does too.”
“Thank you, thank you,” I said, hugging her tears and snot mingled together and we held each other.
“What are you going to do about Wyatt?”
“I don’t know, I really don’t. I still love him, but I don’t think I can take him back, he hurt me too much.”
“He did, but you know why he did it. You need to move on, you deserve to be happy.”
“I do, I really do.”
“Take it one day at a time, let him in. Let him be a father, and then maybe…”
“Him hurting me again.”
Amy nodded and took my hand. “Now we know the truth, we can both move on. I can marry Vinnie and you can be happy again too.”
“My daughter's happiness is all I care about.”
“Don’t lie, you want him, I saw the way you looked at Vinnie, even if we now know it was not him, but if they are identical.”
“Oh, they are.”
“That is going to be weird though, us both with identical twin brothers.”
“I know. If there is or will be an us.”
“Oh, there will be.”
I shook my head. “Mum is going to go crazy when she finds out, she wants me out of her life and if I am honest Amy I can’t deal with her crap anymore, I won’t lose you.”
“You’ll never lose me.”
It was all I needed to hear, I inhaled and leant on her shoulder, we sat there for over an hour before we made our way back. I left my sister, hugged her goodbye before collecting my daughter and making our way home.