Paternal Name Calling

The letter said I was the baby’s father. I sat there with my mouth wide open, in shock and having a very difficult time comprehending what I was reading over and over.

I had come in early to the station so I could complete my production assignment prior to my shift.

“What’s the matter?” my co-worker asked.

He was standing next to me as I re-read the letter.

“Some chick is accusing me of being her kids father,” I stated flatly.

“What?” he replied, ”Let me see that.”

I handed him the letter so he could read it.

“You best go talk to the P.D.,” he said.

I agreed.

The Program Director’s door was open as normal, but I knocked any way.

He looked up from his paper work and said, “Come in”.

I felt my hand shaking as I handed the letter to him.

He knew something was wrong as I was also pale as a ghost. He read the letter.

“Is it true?” he asked.

At first I was insulted that he would ask such a thing but I remembered the P.D. never one was never one to assume anything.

“Its not” I answered,”I don’t even know who she is.”

He read the letter again. Then he said, “Lets go talk to the General Manager.”

The G.M. was in a meeting with some station lawyers as luck would have it. The P.D. picked up his telephone and buzzed the G.M.’s office.

The P.D. gave the G.M. the run down on the letter and hung up the phone. A moment later the G.M. was standing in the P.D.’s office and he had the station’s attorney with him.

They both read the letter over. “Tom, you didn’t have sex with her did you?” the General Manager asked.

“No, I didn’t,“ I replied.

Then the lawyer piped in, “Okay, here’s what I suggest we do. Since she sent the letter here, the station is involved and I can help out. Of course that is if you don’t mind?”

He was looking at me.

“I appreciate any help I can get,” I answered.

“Alright,” he said as he clapped and rubbed his hands together, “Lets get a hold of her attorney and arrange a meeting as soon as possible.”

With that he picked up the telephone and dialed the number of the lawyer she had written down in the letter to me.

The following day, I got up and put on a suit and a tie. I had not slept much that night and I had a terrible show from the evening before.

I was under a lot of stress knowing that this woman thought I was the father of her baby.

The worst of it yet was that I had no knowledge of who this woman was. And it made matters worse to know that she had gone as far as to name her son after me.

I felt bad because she truly believed I had given her a baby. But I also knew that I didn’t want to be held responsible for something I hadn’t done.

The meeting was scheduled for ten that morning. I arrived early along with the Program Director and we sat quietly in the conference room waiting for the G.M. to arrive along with the lawyer.

Soon everyone was there including a young woman of about twenty years old. She had in her arms a baby. She was sitting next to her attorney and she had her mother with her for obvious morale support.

I sat jus’ behind the station’s attorney and the P.D. The G.M. sat next to me.

Introductions were made around the room. The young lady and her mother went first out of politeness. I introduced myself last as instructed by the station’s attorney.

The young lady’s eyes flashed open wide and she gasped, “No your not!”

Her attorney looked sharply at her then back at me.

“What’s going on here?” he asked brusquely, “Are you trying to put one over on us?”

”No,” responded the station’s attorney.

“Then where’s Tom?” the young woman asked.

It was a struggle for me to remain quiet. I wanted to jump up and shout “I’m right here.”

But I was told to keep my mouth shut until I was told to do other wise.

“Is that him?” her lawyer asked her.

“No,” she said as she started crying.

Her mother called me a few choice names as well as a liar. But I held his tongue as instructed.

The room was full of tension. The General Manager pulled out his handkerchief and offered it to the young woman, so she could wipe her eyes.

Then she started, “Tom is short with dark brown hair and that’s not him!”

She started crying again. I glanced at the P.D. as he looked over at me.

We were thinking the same thing; each of them had recognized the general description of a former employee. This employee had been fired by him about five months previously.

The Program Director leaned over and whispered in the ear of the station’s attorney. He nodded his head.

The station’s lawyer then said, “Tom, please provide them with you driver’s license.”

I stood up removing my wallet from my hip pocket, pulled out my license and walked around the conference room table, handing it to the other attorney.

I stood there as the woman’s attorney examined it. He handed it to the young lady and she looked it over and burst out in tears again.

“Guess that settles that,” her attorney said as he handed my license back to me.

I felt a wave of relief rush through my body as I walked back to his seat. My knees were shaking and if I had to walk a few steps more I might have fallen over.

“It’s obvious that you are who you say you are and since my client doesn’t know you, you’re not the father of her child,” her attorney continued.

With that the meeting was over.

Later that evening I was on the air when I answered the request line. It was the young lady.

My first impulse was to hang up on her, however I didn’t. Instead I listened to what she had to say.

First she apologized, then she told me how stupid she felt for having been duped into believing that the jerk she was romantically involved with and had got her pregnant had lead her to believe he was someone else.

Then she said,”I don’t even know his real name!”

I was all but too happy to oblige her with the name of that person. I also gave her all the information the Program Director had supplied me with, reading it straight from the guy’s employment file.

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