Both women were pleased with the way the meeting had gone. Barbara because she had now eased her conscience somewhat. She knew she had to thank Sandy for her kindness and understanding and decided she would take a bunch of flowers with her the next time they met. A small gesture but it all helped with her conscience.
And Sandy? She was pleased because she had found that this was a decent young woman who had made a ghastly error of judgment and while Barbara would have to live with the outcome of that, Sandy decided that she could forgive her. And besides, she had learned much about her daughter that afternoon.
As soon as she arrived home she called both Greg and Cathy and invited them to come round. Of course they were both eager to hear how the meeting had gone. So, tea served , Sandy told them about the meeting. How they had discussed her daughter and how she was convinced that Barbara was a young, somewhat confused young woman who had acted first and thought about the consequences later. She told them that she planned to see Barbara again, and that even if they would never be friends, she would like to get to know her more.
“Oh I’m so glad that it worked out well, and so happy you found out some things about your daughter” said Cathy. “Yes, it’s a good idea to keep in touch with her.”
But Greg wasn’t so sure. “You cleared the air with her today but does she really understand how much she has hurt you with her little scheme. Although how she ever thought she could pull it off is beyond me. Did she really expect to be able to live this charade for ever?” he wondered. “And what are you going to do about Ian. He’s pretty angry about the whole thing. He feels totally left out and thinks he should have been told about the half sister.”
“Well I totally disagree” Sandy hotly rejoined. “It all happened before he was born and in no way impacted on him or his life. I propose to tell him that a mistake was made and that Barbara is not his half sister after all. And as for his being angry, well he’ll just have to get over it. He has his life now in Vancouver and I have mine here.”
And sharply she added “I hope you wont tell him about the deceit Greg. I should be very disappointed in you if you did.”
That left Greg speechless. He could see that his ex-wife had made up her mind. He didn’t agree with her but it was after all her decision. She was the only one who had been affected by the charade. He was only an onlooker.
Cathy had sat quietly sipping her tea while this exchange took place. She could tell that Greg didn’t agree with Sandy’s decisions either about forgiving and continuing to see Barbara or about her decision regarding Ian. Ian was his son too. He felt he should be told the whole truth. About how this woman and tried to put herself in Sandy’s daughter’s place. But he accepted that they had to be Sandy’s decisions and he would abide by them.
And Cathy finishing her tea, placed the cup and saucer on the coffee table and said “I’m glad you feel able to forgive, Sandy, even if you will never completely forget. I think the young woman has been rudderless all her life and if she has an older woman as a friend it will help her. And you can continue to learn more about your child. But a word of warning, please don’t become too close to her. You may well get hurt again.
“And now, if you’ll both excuse me, I have to get going. There is a young woman at the Centre that I’m helping to find accommodation for. I promised to meet her and take her to a place I know. It’s a bit like your situation Sandy. Nowhere to turn and nobody to go to.
“And by the way, don’t forget that you are to come down to the Centre to discuss the volunteer role you could take up. So, bye. I’ll see you on Monday then.” With which she got up and with a brief hug to Sandy,left.
Greg felt he had said all he could. He knew that he couldn’t change his ex-wife’s mind. Once she set her mind to something she was very determined. So he too left after a brief hug promising to be in touch in the next day or so.
So that left Sandy alone with her thoughts. She decided the first thing to do was to call her son and placate him. It would be early in the morning in Vancouver but she didn’t want to leave it any longer.
As expected, Ian proved more difficult. He repeated that he thought he should have been told about the adopted girl. He felt left out of the family. When did his father find out – was it before or after they were married? And on and on.
Sandy let him vent for a time and then stopped him with “But Ian, it’s all a mistake. This girl was not my daughter. They had the same names and the same birth dates but that was all.
“And why would I ever tell you about it? It had nothing to do with you or our family. It happened before I met your father and yes, he did know when we agreed to get married. There were never any secrets between us.
“So though you now know about the existence of a half-sister, you can get on with your life exactly as before. I don’t like it when you are angry with me when you’re so far away. So let’s kiss and make up please darling”
After a few more grumbles, Ian reluctantly agreed to “kiss and make up”. Although he wasn’t sure that he could forgive his mother for keeping such a secret from him.
The telephone call ended on a happier note and Sandy went off to prepare dinner.
Meanwhile, Barbara had gone home. She phoned James and they planned to meet later that evening. She had plenty of time to think about the chaos she had caused in Sandy’s life and felt genuine remorse. She didn’t quite know how she was going to live with this knowledge but she felt better for having faced Sandy with the truth.
And now she had to meet James and tell him what happened. But more importantly she had to think about the bombshell he had thrown her at their last meeting. Did she want him to be more than a friend she asked herself. She liked him, she enjoyed his company, he was witty and charming but was that enough?
Where was the joy in thinking about him, where the excitement of being in his company. And why didn’t her heart flip flop at this voice? She had read about all these things happening to girls in the novels she had read. But perhaps, after all, things were different in real life.
She thought that if he brought it up tonight she would agree to be his girlfriend. That committed her to no long term relationship and if it didn’t work out they could always separate and remain friends, well couldn’t they?