A story of a man and his choice to accept their daughter as his own or choose to turn his back on everything he loved.
Thanks to Angel love for her editing skills.
I read the report from DNA Testing Centers without anger or suspense. I had anticipated the results in part but still had no idea of whom Penny's real father was. All this report told me was that it wasn't me. That much I had already figured out. But, I had all I needed now to find out.
Penny Ann Hendricks was our baby's name. Penny for my wife's mother, Ann for my mother and Hendricks, my last name. My name is Jonathan Hendricks. Her mother, and my wife of six years, is Page Williams, news reporter for the local CBS affiliate. You'd probably recognize her. She won the Phipps Award, given every year by the network to the reporter who had made an impact on the area. She was honored as the reporter who had done the best job in reporting the plane crash that happened right here in our county, and that was all over the news just a year ago. She had done a remarkable job, I admit, traveling around the area and getting interviews from people that were more inclined to remain anonymous. She had earned the award. She, her cameraman, Harry Palmer and her producer, Jim Santiago had all worked on the story, but Page was the voice.
Just after the story broke and Page had completed her award winning reporting, she took some time off. She and I spent most of it just getting reacquainted and traveling around the area. Nothing big, just some fun. Just before that, she spent some time in the city trying to organize her upcoming news show, one she had been promised once the story was finished. She had an apartment in the city that she used when she was working late and didn't want to come home, just to have to turn around and go back. The station paid for it so it was no big deal. She used it maybe once or twice a month. She used it while working on the new show.
It was just about three weeks after she had returned to work that she found out she was pregnant. She told me one night after dinner and I was so happy and so excited that I could hardly contain myself. I was acting like a kid but I didn't care. We had been trying for so long and now it had come true. We were going to have a baby. Page seemed less excited than I but she was happy that we were finally starting our family. I knew she worried about the effect on her new show and her career but I reminded her that many of the best women newscasters had taken time to have children, I mentioned Amy Robach from MSNBC and several others. She finally agreed and seemed to be more relaxed.
We went to the doctor and got the reports and all of the rules and regulations and cautions about being healthy and taking proper care of Page. It was a little early for the sonogram, but Page and the doctor worked out the timing. She was six weeks pregnant. The delivery date was figured and we were ready. We worked on the house to convert one of the spare bedrooms to the nursery, and generally doing all the things you would expect an expecting couple to do. We were both very happy and Page found being pregnant actually worked in her favor with the popular response. People loved it and she began to actually enjoy being pregnant.
On the other hand, I had been casually daydreaming about when she got pregnant. I was trying to remember what we were doing and where we were when she became pregnant. I thought a little memento of that time would be a cute gift for Page. As hard as I tried, I couldn't find a time that coincided with the time period that the doctor had given us. The best I could come up with was the time Page was in the city working on her show. Three of the four best times for her to have gotten pregnant were when she was there. Sex between her and I during that time was few and far between due to stress for her and traveling for me. I had gone to see my father during that time and that trip took me away for three days. The same three days Page was in the midst of her fertile cycle. And backtracking from what the doctor told us, that was the time she became pregnant. So the only conclusion that I could come to was that she had screwed someone in her apartment in the city while I was seeing my dad.
Maybe this is a good time to give you some background on us. Page and I had gone to college together and we began dating in our junior year. She was very popular and I was not, so much, but she seemed to like me and we began to date. We tried to keep it casual at first, dating other people but finally decided to make it an exclusive relationship. During our senior year, we became intimate and we finally knew that we were going to be together. I proposed during Christmas break that year and she accepted. We planned to be married once we graduated.
Page majored in communications and she wanted to go into reporting. With her looks and her voice, she was a natural. She interviewed with several stations and finally took the job with the local CBS affiliate. I had majored in engineering and took a job with the Ford plant there in town. We were together which was our goal. We were married in July of that summer and we moved into a small, but very nice condo. That way, we had little to worry about in maintenance and we could spend our times working or being together.
We were very happy for the first two years, she developing her career and me advancing in mine. Money was no object and we had few vices. We were able to have pretty much what we wanted. It was in the third year that things got dicey.
Page was offered a job as an on-site reporter. That meant that she would be doing a lot of traveling and she would be on location for one or two weeks with each assignment. It meant she would be gone up to 17 weeks a year, always in a different location. It meant that we would be apart almost as much as we were together. It was considered a lead in to the job that she had been working toward and I hated it, but she wanted it so much that I gave in. She took the assignment and we struggled, trying to find time to be together.
Page continued in that job for the next two years, traveling almost more than she was home. She knew her cameraman Harry better than she knew me. I wondered often how much better, for no other reason than simple jealousy. I never had reason to suspect Page was doing anything other than working. I was beginning to wonder if we could survive since we were apart more than we were together and I decided to have it out with her when she came home between assignments. I prepared for her homecoming that weekend with a wonderful meal, cooked by the local restaurant that served as my home away from home while she was traveling, to be served for the following night.
Page came in late that Friday night and we spent little time together since she was so exhausted that she took a shower, kissed me goodnight and went to bed. She was sound asleep within minutes so I sat up by myself as I did so often and watched TV until I was bored enough to fall asleep on the couch. That's where she found me the next morning.
She woke me with a kiss and a smile. I was less enthusiastic and wanted only some coffee and a shower. She had the coffee made so I grabbed a cup and went for the shower. With the water flowing over me, I began to wake up and remember who I was. I slowly came fully awake and remembered that Page was home. I brightened immediately and became even happier when I felt her slip into the shower behind me. She put her arms around me and I felt her breasts push into my back. It had been so long that it took me a minute to become aroused. She helped in that by sliding her hands down my body to my now awakened erection. We made love in the shower and then, later on we discovered each other again, this time more slowly and completely.
After I dressed and came back downstairs, I found Page in the kitchen reading the local paper and eating an egg sandwich. I watched her for a while deciding if I should go ahead with my plans to talk to her. I decided I had no choice if we were to survive as a couple and sat down across from her. Without putting down the paper, she shoved what was left of the sandwich toward me and I finished it. We sat there for another few minutes before I plunged in. I asked her to put the paper down and give me her undivided attention. She did as I asked but seemed surprised and somewhat anxious.
I began with a review of the past two years and the amount of time we had spent apart. I told her I understood her desire to get ahead in her job and I understood this was necessary as a prelude to an on-air reporting assignment, but I finally laid it on the line. Either she talks to management and changes her assignment, or she quits. The only other choice was a separation. I saved that until last. I found myself choking up as I spelled out my frustrations and laid out my conditions. It was harder to do than I had expected.
I stopped, having said all I wanted to say. I watched her face as she considered what I had said but I couldn't tell what she was thinking. Finally, she looked at me with a small smile on her face and told me that she had already talked to her bosses and told them that she was finished with working on assignment and that either they made a move to put her on camera or she was going to look elsewhere. She told me she had a meeting with them next week and that she was sure she would not have to go out on assignment again unless it was on a national story. Those were rare and not a big deal. She finally laughed and told me that she was going to tell me today but that I made the move first.
.... There is more of this story ...