Love Still Isn’t Easy: Chapter 5
I was adjusting to the news that I had a son, but knew that it was impossible that I had two. I explained to my attorney that the second DNA test had to be wrong and he filed a motion for a new test, but told me not to get my hopes up. There was really no reason for a judge to grant us a new test without some sort of new evidence. How do you prove that you didn’t sleep with someone? It was just her word against mine. I seethed with anger towards Arlene but knew that I needed to check that in order to try and have some sort of relationship with Eric.
I called Sookie every day, but she rarely took my calls. I was determined to get my life back and to somehow convince her that I had never been unfaithful to her. The only person who seemed to believe me was Pam. And while Pam was a great comfort to me, she also had the misfortune of breaking the news to me that Bill Compton was back in Sookie’s life. I found it hard to believe that Sookie would turn to him, but then again everything about my world now seemed foreign to me, and so her being with him was just another piece to my nightmarish puzzle of a life.
I decided that I needed to try and get to know Eric in spite of my bitterness towards his mother. He was an innocent in all of this and deserved a father that did more than just write big fat checks. So I finally called Arlene and arranged to spend a day with him. When I picked him up I was civil to Arlene for the boy’s sake, but cringed when she asked if I wanted to see the baby. I feigned interest in front of Eric, but seethed inside at this woman who used her children as pawns.
Eric was painfully shy with me and I tried my best to be patient, but I had never spent time with a five-year-old and was terrified when he started to cry in the car. I pulled over and asked what was wrong and finally got out of him that he missed his daddy and didn’t want a new one. I panicked and called Arlene. I handed the phone to Eric and watched him calm down as his mother spoke to him. Then I took the phone back and asked what I should do. She explained that she had lived with a boyfriend when Eric was little and he often cried for him but not to worry about it. I hung up and told Eric that he could just call me Eric and not daddy if that would help and he seemed to be a little less miserable.
By the time we got to Pam’s house, Eric was feeling better. The three of us had lunch and then we decided to walk to the beach. At the last minute Pam changed her mind and sent us out alone saying it would be good for me and that she would see us later when we got back. I took Eric by the hand and we walked to the boardwalk. He seemed to relax a little as we approached the crowds and street vendors. There was so much to see and he was distracted by all the people and activity and seemed to forget his earlier misery. I was relieved that he was having a better time and began to relax myself until I saw Sookie standing in front of me. I felt a jolt to my heart as I watched her smiling and watching a street performer. Then I felt a little sick when I saw that she was holding hands with Bill Compton. Her face lit up with laughter but then it quickly faded when her head turned to me and our eyes met. I was momentarily frozen as I looked at her, but then I snapped out of it as Eric tore from my hand and started to run towards her.
Just as I saw the boy holding hands with Eric, he jerked away and began to run towards me. I was puzzled, but then that turned immediately to concern as he wiped out on the sidewalk and came up crying. I stood still and watched Eric take the few steps towards the boy and try to comfort him. Eric got the boy on his feet, but he was crying loudly and calling, “daddy,” over and over. The more Eric tried to console him, the more hysterical the boy became. He held his arms up as if to be picked up, but every time Eric tried to take him, little Eric would push him away angrily and cry louder. People were starting to take notice and I could see the panic in Eric’s eyes as the boy’s cries grew more frantic.
I dropped Bill’s hand and started walking towards the two. I had no idea what I could do, but instinctively I wanted to help Eric. I crouched down to see to little Eric but didn’t know what he wanted. Then suddenly he was being picked up by someone beside me and the volume of his cries immediately lowered. I stood and turned in shock as I watched Bill holding him and soothing him with, “Daddy’s here. It’s okay.” My mouth fell open and I looked to Eric who was also in shock. Bill gave us both a look that warned us to keep our mouths shut in front of the boy. We all stood there in silence waiting for little Eric to calm down while the crowds walked around us. When the crying finally stopped, Eric said, “Let’s all go back to Pam’s. We need to have a talk.”