Over the years you became friendly with a couple, Johnny and Maggie. They had no child of their own. You were very supportive to them throughout their years of pain and struggle. They finally decided and adopted a beautiful baby girl whom they totally adored and gave the best of the best.
Several donkey years down the line, at the age of 75, Johnny suffered divers severe health challenges and his life gradually deteriorated. Consequently, he spent his last years in the hospital. One particular evening, surrounded by his ageing wife Maggie, their adopted daughter Leah and her children, and you as well, Johnny was very happy and content with his loved ones around. As everyone waved jolly good byes, Johnny managed and told you to wait for some minutes.
When you came back, he said, “Ellie, please tell Maggie I’m sorry”.
“What do you mean by that, Johnny?”, you asked looking perplexed.
“Listen”, he began. “Leah is truly my daughter, I arranged for her to be adopted into my family. It was only a one night stand but I’ve lived with the guilt all these years and I want to go away in peace.” Ignoring your wide-eyed look he continued, “Her real mother was a model and didn’t want to keep her. Having Leah has been a source of untold joy to us and great pain for me. If only she came from Maggie but, I just couldn’t let her real mother remove the pregnancy. So…, I took care of all the expenses. Please, tell Maggie I’m sorry I betrayed and cheated on her sweet soul, tell her to forgive me,… and to continue to give Leah her best love”.
“But Johnny…” you said, not that you really had anything else to say but Johnny raised his hands and signalled you to stop. Then, he closed his eyes and said, “I need to rest, I’m tired. Make sure you tell Maggie this painful truth, please. I just couldn’t bear the look on her face if I’d told her myself “. With a sigh of relief, he closed his eyes to sleep.
You left his hospital bed, in a state of bewilderment and shock. Next morning, still trying to figure out how to tackle the gloomy task, your phone rang. It was Maggie. You hesitated but finally picked the phone. “Ellie”, she said, her voice sounding frail at the of the receiver, “Ellie, he’s gone. My dear Johnny is gone…” she sobbed softly. Tears streamed down your face as you realised how daunting your task will be.
If you were Ellie what will you do?
Will you be sincere with your best friend Maggie and tell her the truth in honour of a dead man’s last wish?
Or will you shield her from the truth by keeping quiet, hence not disturbing her sweet memories of her late husband and letting her mourn him peacefully?
Daily Prompt: Sincere
Betrayal , From Romeo to Juliette, 18th June, 1994
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