Adam froze. “I know my mother.”
“Adam… things aren’t always what we think…”
“I KNOW who my mother is!”
“The woman who raised you was the only mother…”
“STOP! I don’t want to know anymore!”
“… you needed to know about, back then. And she didn’t tell you the whole story because…”
“Adam! It’s too late to stop now. Let her finish.”” Angelica didn’t want to get in the middle of this, but he had to calm down.
“ I don’t want to know anymore.” Now the tears were on his cheeks. “It’s bad enough not knowing who my father is. Was.”
“Adam, your father is dead,” said Marydell softly.
He clenched his jaw and swallowed hard.
“Who was he?”
Adam whirled to look at Marydell. “Billy’s dad?!”
“Yes. It’s a long, involved story, and… maybe that’s enough for now. You know who your father is now.”
Adam pondered this new information at arm’s length.
“How do you know?”
“I was there.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Just that. I was there the night you were conceived.”
Angela went white. Marydell squeezed her hand for silence.
‘That’s weird.” Adam turned away. “That’s just weird.”
Marydell didn’t answer.
“That makes me and Billy half brothers. No wonder we fight. We were always trying to prove who was better.” Adam paused. “Does he know?”
“I don’t know. I left right after you were born. Has he ever mentioned it to you?”
“Hell no! I wouldn’t believe him if he did!” He paused again. “This is weird. Go get your ladies things, whatever it was we came here for. I’ll wait in the car—I want to think.”
* * *
“Billy Williams, I have some things to tell you.” Esther Morgan sat in her rocking chair in her room, the door shut. Billy Williams was standing, uncomfortably, just inside the door, fumbling with his hands. He was scared, of course. She was scared herself, almost as scared this afternoon as she was the night she found out what her husband had done.
She was not one to lie or withhold the truth, not normally, but that time, back then, she had no choice but to keep quiet or die. She wasn’t afraid to die now, but even if doing it killed her she would tell. It was the right thing to do, and the time was right
She had almost told him this morning when he walked her up to the house and up the stairs to her room. But when she saw what the graveyard was doing, she decided she needed to gather her strength first. She had laid down to nap but sleep had not come.
It had to be done today, the truth had to be told before anything else happened. She wasn’t afraid for her safety, unlike thirty year ago when she first found out. But she was worried how much harm would come to Billy, when he heard the truth.
Esther took a deep breath.
“I have withheld information from you. And I think this afternoon, right now, is the time for me to set things straight. Sit down on that chair. This is going to take a minute.”