SNATCHED

Written by LaQueisha Malone

For: Shar-Shey Publishing Company

A MOTHER’S DAY NIGHTMARE ANTHOLOGY

 

“Every night, I see his face. I see his little body cradled in my arms. His eyes staring into mine…” Jalissa said, with tears streaming from her eyes. It had been eighteen years since the kidnapping of her son, Robert, Jr. He was only six hours old when a female nurse walked in the hospital room and took him for a bath. She was sixteen years old the last time she saw him. “I am his mother!” she screamed. “I was supposed to protect him.” She began to sob uncontrollable, when a lady sitting beside her placed some tissue in her hand and consoled her.

 

Jalissa lived in Little Rock, AR in a pretty upscale neighborhood. She has attended the Women’s Hope for Change focus group for the past sixteen years and for sixteen years she’s told the same story. No one judged her. No one told her to be quiet or demanded she get over it. Each time she told her story she gained hope that someday her son would return to her. Group ended as it always did. With Jalissa feeling somewhat relieved to have gotten out a little bit more of her frustration, hurt, and confusion.

 

“You are so brave,” she heard a voice say from behind her, as she was headed out the door. She turned to see Shayla, a young widow woman whose husband died in active duty some years back. Even though she was young her eyes aged her. They told a story of pain and resentment. Much like the eyes that Jalissa saw in the mirror every time she looked at her reflection.

“Thank you,” she softly spoke. “Sometimes I don’t feel like it.”

“Out of all the years that I’ve been coming here, I admire you the most,” Shayla admitted. “Every day you manage to get up and start your day, never losing hope that your son will return to you. That’s a strength I only aspire to have.”

A warm smile crept over Jalissa’s face. “Believe me it’s not easy. Every day, I sit counting the days, weeks, months, birthdays, and holidays that I will never be able to get back. It is nearing the end of May, and Mother’s Day was a few weeks ago, and this holiday hurts the most. It reminds me that my motherhood was taken from me, but I have faith that I will see my son again. I have to be strong for him.”

“Well, you’re doing a great job,” Shayla reassured her.

Jalissa walked away humbled that her story had yet reached another person in a positive way. She looked at the sky as she always had after a meeting, and said, “I love you son.” She hoped that wherever he was her words would reach him. She stood there waiting, hoping she would hear him whisper it back. Like somehow their souls where connected and they could hear each other’s thoughts. Shaking herself out of her trans, she got in her car and headed down the highway.

***

“Angie,” Jalissa called through her cellphone. “I’m telling you. I can feel it in my bones. My son is alive, and we will be together again.”

“I believe you, Jay.” Angie agreed. “He will turn up. How long has it been now?”

“He just turned eighteen years old this past Saturday. I wish so badly I could have celebrated with him.”

“You remember what we did for his sixteenth birthday?” Angie asked.

“Yes. How could I forget? It was his Sweet 16. We had balloons everywhere, there were so many people who came out, and the cake was huge. Two News broadcast stations came. I just knew for sure his party would get national attention and he would show up saying, ‘Mama, it’s me, Robert.’” Jalissa said, her voice cracking. She cleared her throat and fought back tears. She had cried enough. “You remember that pregnancy scare you had back when we were in high school? I was so excited because I thought we would go through our pregnancy together. Then you had to up and leave and head for Chicago. I don’t know why you did that and left me here by myself. You didn’t come back until just before Robert, Jr was born.”

“Yeah, my mom made me go and stay with my grandma. She said if she couldn’t get the wild hair out my butt then maybe my grandma could.” Angie laughed and sarcastically said, “Old people. I had to jump through hoops just to get back here to Arkansas.”

“I think we both had a wild hair.” Jalissa laughed. “But I wouldn’t trade it for nothing in the world. I gained a beautiful baby boy that I miss terribly.”

“Awe, Jay. I’m so sorry,” Angie said. “I tell you what. Let’s go get some lunch. What do you want to eat? Whatever you want it’s on me.”

“It’s alright, Angie. I’m not that far from McDonald’s. I’ll just grab something there and meet you after. Will you be at home?”

“I have a few errands to run, but I should be home right after.”

Jalissa ended her call and pulled into McDonald’s. She went inside, ordered a number one to go and sat in a booth near the window. While she waited on her food, she contemplated her next call. Taking a deep breath, she said, “Siri call ‘My Baby Daddy’.” That’s what she had Robert, Sr’s number stored under. It was another way of making her son feel real and alive. The phone seemed to ring forever before he answered.

“Robert, please don’t hang up,” Jalissa responded quickly.

Her relationship with Robert ended a year and a half after their son’s kidnapping. It became too much for the young couple to handle. They secretly blamed each other, which only spilled over into their many arguments. With all the attention from the news and social media, it became a burden to Robert. He was ready to move on with his life as a Senior in high school. He wanted his life and his dreams back. So, he went off to college, played a little football, and settled into a job back home as a football coach at his old high school.

“What do you want, Jalissa?” Robert snarled. “I don’t have time for this today.”

“Robert, just listen.” She almost begged. “Do you think of him at all? Do you wonder what kind of life he is having? Do you…”

“STOP IT!” Robert yelled. “I can’t keep doing this with you. He. Is. Gone. And he is never coming back. Don’t you get that? It’s been eighteen years already.”

“So, you do remember?” Jalissa became excited.

“What!?” Robert said, agitated. For him, it felt like a never-ending story with Jalissa. “You need to move on. Live your life. You cannot let this consume you.”

Jalissa quickly tuned him out when she looked up at the door. In walked a tall, caramel-skin young man. He sported a fade and was dressed in a navy-blue suit with a white button down and navy-blue tie with white stripes. His walk. His almond shaped, brown eyes. His beautiful wide grin.

“It’s him,” she said above a whisper. “Robert, it’s Robert, Jr. I’m looking right at him.”

“My God! There is nothing I can say to you, is it?” Robert said in frustration. “Every year around this time you do this.”

“No seriously. I will take a picture,” Jalissa said. “Hold on.”

Just as she took her phone away from her ear, Robert ended the call. She opened her camera app on her phone and began taking pictures. She couldn’t stop staring. Something on the inside of her was drawn to him. Pulling her towards him like a magnet. As she listened, he was there to apply for a job. She sat and stared, trying not to be obvious. Should she say something or say nothing at all?

The more she stared at him, she so saw Robert, Sr. It was in the way he moved, his laugh, his smile, and the way he would run his thumb across his fingers when he looked to be thinking. It was like watching young Robert, Sr all over. Her body froze as she watched him head for the door. She knocked over her purse, as she stumbled to her feet. Just as she kneeled to pick up her things, the young came to her aid.

“Are you okay?” He asked.

When she stared into his eyes, she knew. She opened her mouth to speak, but the server interrupted that her food was ready. After picking up her purse, she grabbed her food from the server then turned back towards the young man, but he was gone. She was so numb; she hadn’t heard the Cash App notification sound that went off on her phone.

Jalissa hurried out the door searching to see which way the young man went. Her eyes scanned over the parking lot until she saw him getting in a black Altima. Her mind was racing with what to say. Should she introduce herself? But how? As who?

“Hey!” She yelled out. “Excuse me. Excuse me.”

“Yes, ma’am,” he said, shutting the car door.

“I heard you were looking for a job,” she said, nervously.

“I am.”

“My name is Jalissa, and I would like to help you,” she smiled.

“Thank you, ma’am,” he grinned. “My name is Chris.”

Jalissa fumbled through her purse and pulled out a receipt and wrote her name and number on the back. “Here’s my cell,” she said, ripping the receipt and handing him both pieces. “Write your number on the back of this receipt and as soon as I hear something, I’ll let you know.”

Chris wrote his number down and handed it to Jalissa, said goodbye and drove off. There was so much more she wanted to say. She watched until his car turned the corner. Standing there with her food in her hand and a mixture of joy and sadness in her heart, she began to cry. Visions of all the birthday parties, holidays, and school events that she missed flooded her mind. Her heart broke and her chest became tight. The horn from a car brought her out of her trans of emotions. She apologized barely above a whisper and ran to her car.

***

 

Once Jalissa made it to Angie’s house, she sat in the driveway trembling. What had just happened? Was it real? Had she found her son? She grabbed her cellphone from her purse and called Robert, Sr. The phone rang twice and was forwarded to voicemail. She ended the call and redialed his number. Again, the phone rang twice and was forwarded. “Robert,” she yelled through the phone as soon the voicemail picked up. “I found him. I found our son.” She began crying again as she continued. “I can’t believe it. I found Robert, Jr. Well, he goes by the name Chris, now, but it’s him. I looked in his eyes, and it’s him, Robert. He looks just like…” Before she could finish her voicemail, the recording was interrupted, because the message was too long. “Ugh!” she grunted and hung up.

She got out the car and rushed to Angie’s door. She rang the doorbell uncontrollably. Her adrenaline was high, and she felt she was going to pass out.

“What’s wrong?” Angie asked, opening the door. “I saw your car from the window. Are you okay?”

Jalissa rushed in and leaned against the wall. She was in a panic and had a hard time controlling her breathing. “I…I…” Every word that came out her mouth were harder and harder to say. “I think…”

“Slow down, girl, and breathe,” Angie said. “Let me get you some water.”

Jalissa followed Angie to her kitchen and sat at the table. Angie placed a cup of water in front of her and she gulped it down. Panting, she began taking slow deep breaths.

“I don’t know what’s going on with you, but you’re scaring me,” Angie said, grabbing Jalissa’s cup and refilling it. “The last time I talked to you, you were on your way to McDonald’s. Now, between McDonald’s and here, what happen? You look terrible. And…”

“I found him,” she interrupted Angie.

“Found who?”

“My son…I found my son,” Jalissa said, fanning herself.

The room was silent. Angie contemplated if Jalissa had finally broke. Had she finally lost her marbles. It was one thing to talk about finding Robert, Jr and another to actually talk about the fact he was found. Secretly, Angie never thought he would be found, but she kept the faith to make Jalissa feel good. But here they are eighteen years later.

“Did you hear me? I. Found. My. Son.”

“Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I heard you,” Angie sat down across from Jalissa. “Are you sure it was him?”

“It was him,” Jalissa said, then began going through the photos on her phone.”

“I mean,” Angie began trying to gather her thoughts. “How? Wh-”

“Look.” Jalissa held up her phone with the photo she had taken earlier.

“Oh my god, Jay,” Angie grabbed the phone. “He looks just like Rob. You remember that time he wore that suit for Senior prom?” Angie ran to her living room and grab her photo collage Jalissa had made for her a few Christmas’ ago. She pulled out the photo of Robert, Sr, Jalissa, and her at prom. She put the photos side by side. There was an uncanny resemblance. “I think you may have found him.”

“I got his number too.”

“Call him.”

“What do I say?” Jalissa asked. “Hi, I’m your mom…”

“Yes. Say that,” Angie said, excitedly. “You have been waiting for this day for so long. We have rehearsed over and over what you would say if you ever found him. Or he found you. Call him,” Angie saw anxiety all over her friends face. She held her hand. “You know I am right here with you every step of the way. As I have been for the past eighteen years. You can do this.”

Jalissa smiled. “I can.” She pulled the receipt out of her purse, dialed Chris’ number, and placed it in on speaker.

After the third ring, Chris answered, “Hello.”

“Hi, Chris. It’s Jalissa. We met earlier at McDonald’s. I was calling about a job opportunity. I think I may have found something for you.”

“Wow. What is it?”

“I have a friend, and she works at Dillard’s at the Mall. She’s a manager there. They are hiring if you’re interested.”

Angie, wide-eyed and waving her arms around, shock her head no. Jalissa knew she was lying, but she had to see him one more time. She had to talk to him and tell him who she was. Ignoring Angie, Jalissa set up a meeting with Chris at the McDonald’s where they first met. “Great. I’ll meet you in 30 minutes,” she said, hanging up the phone.

“Girl!” Angie shouted. “What’s wrong with you? You know I don’t work at Dillard’s. Don’t disrespect my Degree. I worked too long and hard to get my RN. I am registered.”

“I know. I know,” Jalissa said, grabbing her keys. “I didn’t know what else to say. I didn’t think he would want to be a nurse. I figured if he would apply for fast food, he may like retail also. I just want to see him. That’s all.”

“And what is he going to say, when he finds out that you don’t have a job for him. He’s probably going to think you’re crazy and call the cops.”

Jalissa was checking herself in the mirror ignoring Angie’s rant. Angie don’t understand, she thought. But then again, how could she? She’s never had children. She’s still waiting for Mr. Right to show up. Whatever that means in this day in time. She looked at Angie, and said, “You coming or not.”

“Not!” Angie blurted out. “I refuse to be apart of your escapade. Like I said, he’s calling the cops and you…you’re going to jail. Don’t call me to bail you out. I don’t have no bond money. Matter of fact when it gets to that point…I don’t know you.”

“Calm down with your scary self. Ain’t nobody going to jail,” Jalissa said. “We’ll just slip out the back. Like Bonnie and…um…Claudine or something like that. If you don’t come on.” She grabbed Angie by the arm and pulled towards the door.

“WAIT!” Angie snatched back, breaking Jalissa’s grip. Her mind was racing, and her thoughts were jumbled. Everything was happening so fast she needed a moment. “Give me a minute.”

Jalissa eyes swelled with tears she fought to hold back. “Angie,” she said, as one tear dropped from her eye onto her warm cheek. Her watery eyes were piercing. Slowly through clenched teeth, she said, “I found. My son. And I’m going with. Or without you.”

Seeing that she wasn’t going to be able to change Jalissa’s mind, Angie gave in, “Who’s car we taking? Yours? Or mine?”

Ecstatic, Jalissa hugged her friend, “Thank you. Thank you.”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah. What would you do without me,” Angie said, sarcastically.

***

Driving down the highway, Angie looked in the backseat noticing that Jalissa hadn’t eaten her food. “So, you haven’t eaten. Just wasting money, I see.”

“What are you talking about?” Jalissa asked, glancing in the backseat. “Oh, I guess not. I forget I had even bought anything.”

“Never mind the money I sent through Cash App.”

“You sent me some money?” Jalissa hadn’t remembered to check her phone. She was occupied not that Angie would understand. “I’m sorry. You can have it if you want it.”

“Girl, you know I don’t eat McDonald’s,” Angie said, shriveling up her nose as if smelled something foul. “They don’t use real meat.”

 

“Not you too,” Jalissa laughed. “You can’t beat a number one, Big Mac with large fries and a coke.”

 

“Those large fries are probably cold. You know McDonald’s fries are not good when they are cold.”

 

Both women laughed.

 

Jalissa exhaled with a wide smile on her face, “MY SON IS HOME!!” she yelled to the top of her lungs. “Can you believe it, Angie?”

 

“Yeah, I’m starting to believe it alright,” Angie said, looking at Jalissa with concern. “I believe you may have lost your mind.”

 

“You going to see. All of y’all going to see,” Jalissa said with confidence.

 

Jalissa waited over eighteen years for a day like today. The day she finally gets to meet her son. Yet, no one believed her. She tried not to let their ignorance become hers. Besides, she had a plan to shut them all up for good. She pulled into Walgreen’s and shut off the engine.

 

“What are we doing here? I thought we were meeting him at McDonald’s?” Angie asked.

 

“We are. I just have to run in here right quick.” Jalissa hurried out of the car rushed inside.

 

After five minutes, she ran back to the car and got in. “Put this in my purse,” she said handing Angie a plastic bag.

 

“What’s this?”

 

“Nothing,” Jalissa lied. “Can you put it in my purse for me?”

 

She turned the key in the ignition, put her car in reverse, and speed out of the parking lot. Her heart was pounding as she tried rationalizing her thoughts. She hadn’t noticed that Angie had begun fumbling through the bag.

 

“No. No. No,” Angie said in disbelief. “I think you have truly gone crazy. A home DNA kit.” Angie held the package swinging it around in the air.

 

“Come on,” Jalissa said with a raised voice. “I gotta know. I just got to know, and I refuse to wait any longer. I will not wait for the courts to push me to this side on this again. You see no one is doing anything. It’s been eighteen years, and where are we, huh? This is the closest I’ve come to finding my son. Please.”

 

“How are you going to get him to agree to give you his DNA?” Angie asked.

Jalissa was desperate. For years, the police and the courts begged her to let it go. They had more pressing matters to tend to. She had to take it upon herself to do this. The lifting of her eyebrows caused Angie to go into a state of panic.

“Uh-uh,” Angie began shaking her head no. “I’m not doing this for you. These aren’t even 100% accurate.”

“What DNA test is?” Jalissa argued. “There is 99.99% chance that this is my son, and I’m going to find out today. Going through the courts can takes months or years. I can’t, Angie.”

“You know what I mean,” Angie said, reading the package. “Besides, you have to wait two business days after they receive the kit for the results.”

“That’s ok,” Jalissa said, pulling into McDonald’s parking lot. She grabbed her iPad from the floor of the backseat, and stuff it into her purse along with the DNA test kit.

“Seriously, you brought your iPad,” Angie mocked.

“Yes, I have it with me at every meeting to take notes.”

They entered McDonald’s and scanned the tables. She found him sitting in the same booth she sat in earlier.

“There he is,” she elbowed Angie. “Now don’t forget you’re here to talk about a job at Dillard’s.”

“I know. I know. Let’s get this over with.”

They walked up to the booth and sat down.

 

“Hello, Chris,” Jalissa said greeting him. “This is my friend I was telling you about, Ang…”

 

“Claudine,” Angie blurted out, staring directly into Jalissa’s face making reference to the Bonnie and Claudine joke from earlier. She then turned back to Chris and extended her hand.

 

“Nice to meet you, Ms. Claudine,” Chris said, shaking her hand.

 

She slid in the booth next to Jalissa as she began her series of questions.

 

“So, tell me son,” she began. “What’s your name?”

 

“Christopher Perry, but everyone calls me Chris for short.”

 

“OK, Christopher,” she said, nonchalant. “Who are your parents and where do you live?”

 

Jalissa quickly kneed Angie in her thigh causing her to jump.

 

“I’m sorry, son. I was just trying to see if I knew your parents is all. Being that I work at Dillard’s I may have seen them come through the store a time or two,” Angie smiled.

 

“Well,” Chris said, hesitantly. “I spent a lot of my teenage years in foster care until recently when I turned eighteen. I’ve pretty much lived in North Little Rock all my life.”

 

“Foster care? How did you end up in foster care?” Jalissa spoke out loud before thinking.

 

Chris adjusted himself and cleared his throat. “My apologies ma’am, but I don’t think it’s appropriate during an interview that I share that information.”

 

“It’s fine,” Angie said, trying to spin the questions. “This isn’t the actual interview. But before I go to my boss, I need to make sure I can vouch for you. At the end of the day, it’s my name that’ll look bad if you turn out to be just another troubled young man who can’t get his act together.”

 

Jalissa text Angie under the table.

Jalissa: Good save.

Angie: We going to JAIL!!!!!

 

“Ok,” Chris said, a little more hesitant. “Both my parents are actually incarcerated for drugs. I don’t know much about my immediate family because we hardly ever visited them. When they went to jail, I bounced around from one family member to another until they put me in foster care. I really hope this doesn’t hurt my chances of getting the job.”

 

Jalissa eyes grew wide from shock. She turned her head to the window hoping Chris couldn’t see her face. For eighteen years, he had been right under her nose. Needing her help and she wasn’t there. She questioned herself had they ever crossed paths.

A couple of minutes went by and a few more questions were asked. Jalissa notice that every time Chris would think hard about a question, he would rub his thumb across his fingers. Just as Robert, Sr does. She couldn’t take it. She didn’t know how. I am your mother, chanted in her head over and over until she heard the words escape her mouth before she could stop them.

 

“I think I’m your mother.” The words came out, but it didn’t feel like she said them. She sucked in air and held it.

 

“Wait, What?!” Chris said confused.

 

Both women remained silent. Neither knowing what to say next.

 

“Is this some kind of joke?” He laughed.

 

Jalissa’s heart melted, but even his laugh echoed in her ear like Robert’s. Say something, she told herself, but nothing came out.

 

“Chris…” before Angie could say anything else, Chris jumped up from the booth and was on his way out the door.

 

Angie ran behind him and stopped him in the parking lot.

“Chris, wait!”

He kept walking.

“Chris, stop!” She yelled.

Immediately, he stopped. Angie caught up to him. Anger was written on his face. She felt sad for him. She hurt for him. She could only imagine his confusion and frustration, but she also had lived with her best friends’ turmoil for far longer than the mere minutes of knowing him. And if there was a slight chance of easing her friends’ pain. She was going to do whatever it took.

“Ms. Claudine, what are you guys trying to do?” he asked, with his voice cracking.

“First, my name is not Claudine. It’s Angela, but everyone calls my Angie for short.”

“Really!” he yelled. “And who is she? Is her real name Jalissa or is it…Bonnie or something like that?”

Angie was taken aback by his statement. Oh, yeah. This is her son, alright, she laughed to herself. She didn’t think she would meet anyone else who was corny at jokes other than her friend.

“What? No, her name is Jalissa, and Chris,” she said with a softer tone. “My friend has giving up her life and dedicated it to searching for her son who was kidnapped eighteen years ago. This is the first time I’ve ever seen her so sure of anything. Just talk to her, and if you are not her son then maybe she can move on from this?”

Chris stood there shifting from one foot to the other, rubbing his thumb over his fingers. Angie could tell he was thinking and for the first time, she could see Robert in him. Could Jalissa be right? She questioned.

“Alright,” Chris said. “I’ll talk to her.”

They went back inside where Jalissa sat in the booth wiping her eyes with the hard napkins that sat at the table. When she looked up and turned towards the entrance, she became overwhelmed. They sat in the booth. This time Angie sat with Chris. There was an awkward silence that lasted for several second before Jalissa spoke.

“Chris, I’m so sorry for misleading you, but I just wanted to see you again. I had to know if what I felt was truly what I felt.”

“And what did you feel?” He asked.

“I’m not sure exactly. I can’t describe it, but something was pulling me to you. They say a mother knows her child. I never knew what that meant until now. It’s a gut-wrenching feeling that you know something’s there. You can’t put your finger on it, but the feeling has been there before, and you just know. And I believe,” she continued. “No, I know you’re my son. I feel it. You don’t feel anything right now?”

“I don’t know what I feel,” he shrugged. “Or how I feel.”

“It’s ok,” Angie said, rubbing his shoulder.

“You know what,” he said. “Ms. Angie said that you have been searching for your son for eighteen years and that he was kidnapped from the hospital? Well, I’m eighteen, and I’ve never seen a copy of my birth certificate. My parents moved around a lot, so I’ve lived in many states. I can’t say for sure when my birthday actually is. We never really celebrated it, but I believe it to be in April so that’s what I’ve told people. Growing up, my parent has always mixed up my birthday when asked about it. I just learned to go with the flow.”

Both women burst into tears. Was it true? Had she found Robert Jamal Johnson, Jr after all these years? There was only one way to find out. After Jalissa composed herself, she pulled out her DNA kit and sat it on the table.

“There’s only one way to find out when your birthday is,” she asked between sniffles. “Will you take this test with me?”

Chris stared for a long while and then shook his head, yes. Jalissa opened the test and they followed the directions and placed everything in the sealed pouches. She used her iPad to login to the website and they each input their information. They stood and hugged each other for what seemed like forever.

“Now it will take a few days to get these results back, but the moment they are ready I will view them with you, together. Okay?” Jalissa assured him. “Thank you so much for doing this. And I am so sorry for everything that you have been through. But I want you to know that I never stopped searching for you. Never.”

Chris shock his head yes as he bit down on his back teeth trying to contain his emotions. It was one more thing Jalissa noticed about him that reminded her of Robert. She wrapped her arms around him again and said her goodbyes as it was getting late. Just as they walked out the door, he stopped her.

“What about my dad? Did he stop looking?”

“No, son he didn’t,” Jalissa lied. “It’s just a lot for anyone to handle for so many years and he’s doing the best he can. Matter of fact, you have a brother and sister. Everyone will be so happy to meet you.” Jalissa wiped her face. “I tell you what. Let’s take a picture.”

Chris agreed. Angie took their picture and they stood side by side with their arms around each other. Angie’s heart was full of joy seeing how happy her friend was. She looked like a proud mother. They said their final goodbyes and left. Both women were silent on the way home, but it wasn’t an awkward silence. It was joy and happiness in the midst of the silence as both women processed what had just happened in their own way.

“I’m so proud of you for not giving up,” Angie said, once they made it to her house. “You keep me informed, ok?”

 

Jalissa shock her head and hugged her friend, then drove home. On her way she text Robert, Sr the photo they had taken.

 

Jalissa: We found him. Robert Jamal Johnson, Jr

           

After much convincing, Jalissa was able to get Robert, Sr to participate in swabbing his mouth for the DNA kit she had. She wasn’t sure if it was the picture, she had sent him or what, but he called her immediately after getting the photo. He met up with her at her house and swab his mouth. They chatted briefly and called it a night. Jalissa drove to the nearest post office and dropped her package in the drop box. There was nothing left for her to do but wait.

***

 

Days went by far too fast for Jalissa. Every day since they met up at McDonald’s, Jalissa and Chris had been meeting up everywhere they could. The park. Various restaurants. Even at a few events around town. Robert, Sr had joined them on a few occasions, but unlike Jalissa he was still having a hard time adjusting to the fact that Chris, who was a total stranger to him, could be his son.

 

A week had passed when Jalissa got the email that the results were finally in. She called Angie, Chris, and Robert, Sr. They all met up at the same McDonald’s to view the results. She brought a box of eighteen cupcakes to celebrate. There was no doubt in her mind; this was her son. Everyone met with hugs and lots of laughter. They celebrated by ordering food and eating cupcakes. After several minutes of laughter, Jalissa made her announcement.

 

“The moment of truth,” Jalissa said, grabbing Chris by the hand. Her excitement illuminated her. “Thank you for making this the best Mother’s Day ever.”

 

She logged into the site and everyone gathered around to see the results. Within minutes the results popped up in the screen.

 

The screen read that Jalissa was excluded from being the biological parent to Christopher Perry, the test did not exclude Robert, Sr. It showed that he was 99.99% the biological father.

After reading the results, Chris stormed out of the restaurant and Robert, Sr was not far behind him. Jalissa wailed out with a loud cry.

 

“No! No! No!” she screamed falling out of her booth to the floor. She felt like her son had been snatch from her all over again. “Please, dear God. Nooo!” she continued to scream.

Angie tried consoling her friend and attempted to help her up to get her outside into the parking lot before the manager came over. Once they made it outside, Angie could tell Robert, Sr was furious. He marched over to them.

“Don’t EVER call me again!” He snarled.

“What just happened?!” Jalissa screamed through tears, as she watched Chris get in his car and speed off. She screamed out for him to come back, but the car was soon out of sight.

“You brought me into this for the last time. I told you he wasn’t our son.” Robert, Sr spat.

Hearing those words caused something to snap in Jalissa. At that moment, she remembered the part that read Robert was the father.

“Wait…one minute,” she said wiping her eyes. “It read that he is not my son, but how in God’s name could he be yours.”

“What are you talking about?” Robert frowned and questioned.

“The results read that I was excluded, but you were 99.99% Chris’ father,” Jalissa angrily walked up to Robert and pushed him. “He’s about the same age as our son. Were you cheating on me? Who was it?!” she yelled.

Just as the words rolled off her tongue, she caught his quick glance at Angie. Everything came back to her. The pregnancy scare wasn’t a scare at all. Angie left to have the baby.

“YOU!” she turned and grawled at Angie.

Jalissa ran towards Angie with her fist swinging left and right. Robert grabbed her before she was able to make contact. She pushed herself out of Robert’s grip.

“My best friend!?” she yelled at the both of them.

“I’m sorry,” is all she could hear Angie say, but it was too late. “I’m so sorry.”

Angie and Robert tried to approach her, but Jalissa arms went flying again. “Get away from me! Both of you!”

Holding her stomach, Jalissa fell to the ground shaking uncontrollably crying.

Alas, her search continued.

© 2008-2020 LAQUEISHA MALONE. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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