"Daddy! Daddy!" a small boy in an oversized black jacket screamed as he attempted to climb onto my father's coffin in the church. A lady who was dressed in a very tight black dress with matching high heel shoes grabbed his hand and pulled him down. She looked like a movie star who didn't remember which role she was supposed to play and her heavy make-up was smeared as she sobbed in her handkerchief. The boy was about 6, thin and short with dark brown skin and big, bright eyes that constantly filled up with tears and ran over like the water fountain in my grandmother's front yard. His hair was black and silky. It was neatly brushed back and caught into a ponytail at the back of his small head leaving his high forehead bare. His nose was small and pointed and it was running as he cried. His mouth was large in his small face with thick lips that opened wide to release his deafening screams. It was August 21, 2019. We were at the funeral service for my late father, Zac Adams Snr. who had died two months before after a brief battle with prostate cancer. At the time I was 10. The death of my father affected me so badly that my grades plummeted at school. Dad had been my hero and my best friend. He was the best father a child my age could ever have. The ache in my heart for him had grown bigger with each passing day since his death. The day of his funeral, Mom and I had arrived very early at the church. When we arrived we were greeted by many relatives and friends who gave us their condolences and words of comfort. Aunt Payne who knew everybody's business seated us in the front row of the benches that were reserved for the family of the deceased. She sat between Mom and I with her arms around each of us. "They are bringing in the coffin now," she announced and my heart melted into my stomach. Mom began to cry uncontrollably. Aunt Payne held her up as we went to view my father's body. We were first in line and we spent some time talking to him and crying. I placed a letter that I had written to him on his chest after I had read it aloud to him expressing my love for him and how he would miss my graduations, my first date and my wedding. Then I began to cry. "I miss you Dad," I wailed. "You promised me a little brother but now you are gone. You always said that a promise made must always be kept." As I continued to cry, Aunt Payne held my arm and gently guided me back to my seat. Soon after I heard the screams. Sitting at attention in my seat, my crying instantly stopped and the church became as silent as the grave my father was about to be buried in. You could hear a pin drop as everyone turned to stare at the boy. "Daddy!" he screamed as a lady in black gripped his hand. "Did I hear right?" I asked myself as I recalled that I was the only child for my parents. "Daddy!" the boy continued to screamed as he was pulled away from the coffin and dragged to his seat. "He must be confused," I thought as I continued to stare at him. As if to reassure me, Aunt Payne rubbed my head and said, "Oney", a pet-name that my parents had given me when I was a baby as I was their only child. " Mommy," I called as I stretched over Aunt Payne and tugged at my mother's sleeve. "Who is that boy and why is he calling my father Daddy?" Aunt Payne muttered, "Whatever is in the darkness must come out in the light. This funeral is getting too hot for me. I need some fresh air." As I got up and stood before my mother waiting for an answer, she hugged me and placed me in her lap to sit. Then she said, "Zac, I am going to tell you a story about your dad. When you were three years old he was unfaithful to me and got involved with another woman. He got her pregnant and they had a son. I did not know about the child until when he was on his death bed he confessed and told me about him. I told him to tell you about your half-brother but he refused. He said that he didn't want to break your heart. Now I have to tell you. My mother was crying. " Oh, Zac, I am so sorry," she sobbed as she he held me close. "That little boy is your half-brother." I was as pale as death that had taken my father from me. "Dad had another son!" I exclaimed in disbelief. I could not believe what my mother had just told me. "Are you sure Mommy?" I asked. "Yes, Zac. Your father showed me the DNA results." I was angry, too angry to cry. I wanted to hate my father for deceiving us all those years but I couldn't. I loved him too much. I wanted to go and shake the boy's mother for having a child with my father and most of all I wanted to tell the boy that he was not related to me or my father but I was too weak to move. After a long period of silence, I lifted my head and looked into my mother's face. She was very sad and it looked like she had aged overnight. "Mommy," I said. "Dad always promised me that he was going to give me a little brother but he kept his promise in a very strange way." "A very strange way indeed," Aunt Payne interjected. "What are we going to do?" I asked. "I don't know, Zac," my mother who always had an answer for everything replied. "Well, let's bury that old deceiver first," Aunt Payne snorted. "Then we will decide what we will do after." "Yes," Mommy agreed as the pastor started the ceremony with the song, 'Amazing Grace'.

May 30, 2020 03:18

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.


Bring your short stories to life

Fuse character, story, and conflict with tools in the Reedsy Book Editor. 100% free.