“What! What do you mean?” Mrs. Pete asked.

“Okay. Okay,” Earney said, “I’ll start from the beginning, but let’s take it to the living room.”

He got up, and Mrs. Pete led them into the living room. Upon entering the light blue and white decorated living room, which was brightened by the soft touch of the sunlight through the drawn curtain, Mrs. Pete let out a slow breath, and her shoulders dipped. She sat in the longest upholstery chair in the room; wearing long light grey and white loungewear, Earney sat beside her.

“You’re the love of my life, Ruthy,” Earney said, facing her as he reached for her hand on the chair, “when you told me you were pregnant, it was one of the happiest and scariest days of my life.”

Mrs. Pete wore a black and silver floral skirt and a long-sleeved black top.

Her hand trembled under his.

“Then, when you were eight months pregnant, one day you were at home with your parents, and the next day you were gone, and so was our child.”

Her hand trembled more, and Earney slowly massaged it until it stopped shaking.

“For the two months you were gone, I was beside myself. I was lost. I didn’t know where you were, and I didn’t know even if you would return.”

“I know,” Mrs. Pete said, nodding, “I know.”

“Do you know too that from the time you returned, even now, I live with the fear that one day you would disappear again and this time you would not return?”

Earney’s voice broke as he spoke.

She shook her head while mouthing the word no.

“Even this morning, when I got up, and you weren’t here for a few seconds, I thought you left me again.”

“I’m sorry,” she exclaimed.

“I know, and that’s at me, not you because you have never given me a reason to think you would leave again.”

“Good,” Mrs. Pete said, “because it’s you and me all the way.”

He smiled, revealing teeth which proved that the inexpensive whitening toothpaste was doing what it boasted.

“When you got pregnant, we were just two sixteen-year-old kids doing things we weren’t ready to handle.”

“I was so scared, and when my parents suggested adoption, I thought it was the best thing for both of us,” Mrs. Pete interjected, lifting her free hand to touch his cheeks.

Tears were rolling down her cheeks.

“Don’t cry, don’t cry,” Earney said, drying the tears, “unless it’s tears of joy because today is a happy day.”

“You said you found her? You found our baby?” Mrs. Pete asked, sniffling.

“Yes, and she is even more beautiful than I could imagine.”

“She? So our baby is a girl?”

“Yes, she is, and she is as beautiful as you are,” he said, smiling at her.

Mrs. Pete smiled, “Where is she? How did you find her?”

Earney took a deep breath and leaned back in the soft chair.

A huge smile engulfed his face.

“Do you remember my aunty Melly, who passed away about two years ago?” he asked, turning to face her again.

“Of course, she was one of the sweetest persons I’ve ever met, and with her whistling, I haven’t come across someone who could whistle like her.”

He laughs, “That will change.”

“Never,” she teased.

“All the songs she knew, she could whistle, but for some reason, she loved to whistle I Shot the Sherrif by Bob Marley the most.”

“Yes, and if I remember correctly when she died, she was the reigning whistling champion here in South Fork with I Shot the Sherrif.”

“Yes, you’re right, no one came close to her with that song.”

“Yeah,” Mrs. Pete said, smiling.

“Well, last week, when I went down to pick up the mail, a young lady was doing the same thing, and after exchanging pleasantries, she started whistling. She was whistling. I shot the Sherrif, and she sounded exactly like Aunty Melly.”

Mrs. Pete opened her mouth, but nothing came out.

“The keys and the mail dropped from my hands, and when she turned to face me, and I looked her full in the face, in just a few seconds, I saw Aunty Melly, you, me, and my parents in that single face.”

Mrs. Pete covered her mouth with her right hand, which had started to tremble again.

“Are you talking about our neighbour a few doors down, Thomas’ wife?” she asked.

“Yes!” Earney replied, “How did you know?”

“It doesn’t matter right now, but do you know for sure she is our baby? That she is the baby I gave up for adoption?”

“I was so overcome by what I heard and saw that before I could stop myself, I asked her if she was adopted,” Earney continued, gritting his teeth.


“I tried to take it back the moment I asked it, but she just smiled and said yes and asked me why I asked.”


“So we started talking, and everything about the adoption lines up, so yesterday she agreed to us doing a paternity test, but she would not do it until I talked with you.”

Fresh tears began rolling down her cheeks, and she started crying loudly.

Earney hugged her.

“She is ours,” he whispered, “we have her back, we have our baby back.”

The End

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