Chapter 13 – A Time to Decide

The sinking feeling in the pit of Brian’s stomach was enough to cause the Titanic to go down again.  He knew that time was now playing against him.  When Christy had asked Emily to promise to help her find her birth mother Brian had to leave.  He knew that if he stayed he would break the Attorney-Client privilege rule.

There were things that Brian had to do first.  He had to ensure that his relationship with Emily would not become jeopardized when everything he knew was revealed.  First he had to talk to Jeremy again to find out if he had any updates for him.  Then he had to meet with Emily’s father to find out exactly what had happened all those years ago.  He also wanted to find out why in all this time despite knowing where Emily was her parents had never contacted her.

Brian knew that he was putting his relationship in danger by not telling Emily what he knew about Jack.  There wasn’t any type of Attorney-Client privilege to that information, but he just could not bring himself to tell her that she had been used by a no good playboy and all with the help of her father. So once again Brian went to Washington under the guise of a meeting.  He met Jeremy at the same restaurant they had used before.

“Hello Jeremy, how have you been?”

“Good, it’s been what two years since we’ve seen each other?”

“Something like that.  Okay, this is how it goes.  I want to marry your sister, but we need to find a way to bring some closure to her past.”

“I thought that it would come down to something like that.”

As he watched Jeremy throughout the lunch Brian realized that Emily’s brother loved her.  He also came to the conclusion that Jeremy was proud of what she had become.  He couldn’t understand how a family could be torn apart for so long simply because of one little conflict, it was disturbing.  Brian knew that if there was one thing that he intended to try to accomplish while he was in Washington it was bringing Emily and Jeremy back together again.

After a while upon looking a little closer at Jeremy, Brian realized that he had been smiling all along.  Then he began to wonder what was up.  Brian knew that he was there to try to find a solution to his problems and he did not see any of it as being part of a happy situation.  So he simply stared hard at Jeremy daring him to reveal what was making him so happy.

“Well, old friend.  I knew when I met you that you were in love with my sister.  What I can’t figure out is why it took you so long to get this far?”  Jeremy said suddenly.

“It sure wasn’t because of me, I’ll tell you that.  I’ve been trying to come up with ways to get through to Emily and convince her how much I care.  But Emily has so many barriers blocking her heart that it has taken me this long to break through them.”

“Okay, I’ll give you that.  But you still have not answered my question.  What took you so long to make this decision?”

“Do you know that I still have not asked Emily to marry me?  I couldn’t because I still have not told her about Jack.  I wanted to talk to you one more time to find out if you had found out anything more.”

As he spoke Brian watched Jeremy’s face begin to close and knew that there was more to the story.  He began to wonder just why Jeremy had not told Emily the story either.  Once again there was something more that Brian did not know.

“Tell me something Jeremy, why exactly have you not told Emily about Jack.”

“I should have told Emily sooner than this but I did not know how she would take it.”

“Okay, let’s hear it.  What have you found out?”

“This is something that I learned recently.  After I learned about this situation I was glad that I had not told Emily what I knew…”

“Come on what is this deep dark secret that you want to reveal now?”

Slowly Jeremy held out a newspaper clipping.  As Brian quickly glanced at it he noticed that it was an obituary dated November 12, 1998.  Then he began to read the article.

            The popular soap hunk Jack McCann who disappeared from sight around 12 years ago was found dead in his Rome, Italy apartment three days ago.  Jack was extremely popular on the daytime soap “Romance in New York” when after an unforeseen accident he disappeared from the scene.  Jack was alone at the time of his death from an apparent heart attack.  The actor had never married and he had no known living relatives.  His last will and testament was found in his apartment.  The mystery in the will was that he named a child, name and location unknown, as the sole recipient of his estate.  The will states that the child would have been born sometime in the spring or early summer of 1986.  The details released by authorities place the value of Mr. McCann’s estate between 20 and 40 million dollars.  The will also states that if his child is not located by the time he or she is 21 years of age the estate would then be turned over to the child’s mother Emily Richardson, location also unknown.  At this time no known relatives of Mr. McCann have come forward to contest the will.  It seems that Mr. McCann was an extremely resourceful person.  Knowing that there would be people “coming out of the woodwork” so to speak to claim his estate he deposited samples of his blood at a well known DNA testing lab so that DNA matches could be made.  So it looks like the hunt is on.  It is this reporter’s guess that the child will be found soon.  Further updates in this unusual story will be reported when more is known.

When Brian finished reading the obituary he looked up shocked.  The date was just days before and he knew that Emily read the New York Times on occasion.  He began to wonder if Emily had read that particular issue.  He was torn.  If she had read the article then everything would be okay, she would know about Jack and he would not have to tell her.  If she didn’t read the article then he had one more secret that he had to keep.

“This is incredible.  What can we do?  How do we find out if she read it without actually telling her about it?  If we tell Emily that Jack was alive this whole time she will be devastated.  Not only did she give up her child, but she lost him too.  She has been mourning both of those losses for as long as I have known her.  There is something strange about that you know.  This whole time that I have known her she has never once mentioned Jack to me.  She has never talked about that time in her life and why she made the decisions that she made.”

“I wish I knew what to say to you Brian.  I know that I am her brother, but you have to admit that she has kept her distance these last couple of years.  You are the closest person to her.  I think that you should be the one to tell her if she does not already know.  There’s no rule that says you have to tell her tomorrow either.  You could always wait and see how things pan out between Emily and our parents.  Maybe if they get together one of them will inadvertently tell Emily about Jack.  If not I still think that you should be the one to tell her.”

“What am I supposed to tell her?  That I have known for two years that Jack was not dead and did not tell her?  Am I just supposed to say to her ‘Oh by the way Emily, you know that miserable snake of a man that you almost married, Jack something or other, well he was alive this whole time but now he really is dead’.”

“I suppose you could say something like that.”

“Thanks a lot man.  What do we do about the fact that I know where Jack’s child is?  How do I explain that?  If I tell now then I will be breaking the Attorney-Client privilege.  I could be disbarred for that.”

“What do you mean you know where the child is?  How could you know?” Jeremy demanded.

“Christy! There I said it.  Christy, and if we don’t tell then Christy stands a chance to lose her inheritance.  Granted it would be to Emily, and she would be getting it back.  But you tell me what are we supposed to do now?”

“Oh man, I don’t know Brian.  I say we leave things as they are for the time being.  Christy is only 11 years old now.  We have ten years to come up with some type of plan.  In the meantime why don’t you go and marry my sister.  Take care of life in the present and we will deal with the other when the time is right.”

With nothing left to say Brian picked up the newspaper article, got up and left the restaurant.  He walked for hours before he came to the decision that before he even so much as said one word to Emily about Jack he had to follow through with his plans to talk to her father.  He was the one person that could put everything together.

So after walking around for a while he stopped by Jeremy’s house to give him and his wife the care package Emily had sent with him.  Brian had to urge Jeremy one more time to get back in touch with Emily even if it was only to say hi.  He then went to the airport and hopped on the first available plane to Greensboro North Carolina.   The time had come for a few questions to be answered.

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