After his wife passed away, an old man realized he had been living a lie when he found out that the three sons he raised alongside her were not his — he had been infertile since birth.
“Hello Mr. Adams, one question. How is it that you managed to father three boys even though you have been infertile since birth?”
The question sounded offensive to John Adams, a 69-year-old man who had been getting treated for mild flu at the hospital. But he was also a patient man — he had to be; after all, he raised three boys all by himself.
“What do you mean doctor?” he asked, even as his mind raced to piece together what the doctor was implying.
“Well, your file says you are the biological father of three adult male but after conducting a full-body test on you, we discovered that you have cystic fibrosis.”
“Cystic what?” John croaked, his heart thundering.
“It is a disease which prevents men who have it from having kids. From the test results, it is clear that you have had this disease since birth which means there is no way you could have fathered those boys.”
John had had enough. “I don’t know what rubbish you think your license gives you the authority to spout but I advise you to watch what you say or you could get punched. The boys are mine!” he exclaimed.
Later that day, he called his sons and asked them to come over for dinner because he had missed them and was feeling lonely. They all obliged since they didn’t live too far – a decision they made after their mom passed. They made it down to their dad’s house at about 6 pm.
It can’t be true! John thought even as logic fought to trump emotion – he had taken a thorough look at the boys, and they looked nothing like him.
John wanted them to have dinner indoors because he needed a chance to get hair and saliva samples from them in order to run DNA tests.
If they ate at a restaurant, he knew he wouldn’t be able to bring the utensils home and he also feared the three boys would disperse to their various homes after the meal which would deny him a chance to get the samples.
They ordered pizza that evening, and John got out one of his prized vintage wine and glassware. They ate and drank merrily and when night fell, they all returned to their homes.
When they left, John carefully picked up all three wine tumblers and bagged them in transparent polythene bags he took with him the next day to a medical laboratory to get them tested.
“We can have the results mailed to your address if you would just leave it here,” a representative told him, and he agreed.
The results came on the same day he clocked 70, and sure enough, his DNA did not match that of his alleged sons. John was shocked by his discovery, and it rattled his very core.
“Why would she do this?” he asked himself. John went through a variety of emotions as he thought about the implications of his discovery.
She lied, everything was a lie, all those years were lies, John cried.
The more he thought about it, the clearer it became. His whole life was basically one big lie. His wife had cheated on him and had taken her secret to her grave even though he had been nothing but faithful.
“Dad?” Ethan’s voice at his door startled him out of his reverie.
“Dad, you left the party after you got that mail, is everything okay?” Jude asked.
“Dad?” Jared called. “We’re all here dad, what’s wrong?”
John made a decision right then and invited all three men into his room. There he told them everything he found out without leaving anything out, and they listened raptly, stunned and angered in equal measure.
“You’ll always be our father,” they told him.
After that, John visited his wife’s grave to make peace with her.
“I don’t know why you did what you did Penelope,” he said after laying down a bouquet of roses for her. “I don’t know how I feel about what you did either, but I know that I will not abandon our sons. I will continue to be their father,” he told her.
Shortly after the discovery, a lawyer who worked for a rich man who had just passed away reached out to the brothers. He had documents that were to be passed on to them in the event of the rich man’s demise, so he had hunted them down.
They learned that their true biological father was the rich man, but they would never get to know him because he was now gone.
“We did not know this man,” Jude said, speaking for all of them. “We will not take his money.”
The lawyer was shocked. He quickly tried to clarify what they would be missing out on.
“Your real father owned a very successful company and even though he wanted nothing to do with you all, he left proof of your legitimacy as his heirs,” he said.
“If he wanted nothing to do with us, then we also want nothing to do with his money or anything that concerns him. That he left that proof means nothing to us when he abandoned us.”
“It was your mother’s doing,” the lawyer sighed softly.
“Your mother made your biological father promise not to claim you as his because she knew how much her husband loved you. In truth, my boss was her close friend and she made him do it because she wanted her husband to have kids.”
“I don’t believe this,” John said.
“What she didn’t know was that he was secretly in love with her as well.” The lawyer finished. “Please don’t throw away his life’s work. At the very least, consider putting someone else in charge until you are ready to take the reins.”
The brothers and their father deliberated on it and accepted the deal, maintaining their sovereign rights as the owners of the company while delegating the actual work to those who knew about it.
In the meantime, they prepared to enter the business world by taking professional courses in that field and when they were ready, they got involved and became a respected trio in the world of enterprise. John witnessed it all and died at the old age of 102.
What did we gain from this story?
Sometimes water is just as thick as blood. The three boys were raised by John, and after they discovered he was not their true father, they chose to remain by his side which proves that blood alone is not what binds people as a family.
You decide what affects you. Even after John realized that his sons were not really his, he could not leave them. What his wife did was a terrible thing that could have poisoned his mind towards the boys if he had let it. He didn’t, and they stuck together through the rough patch.