My dear friend U has asked me to surprise him, I'm using this as an opportunity to get some feedback on a very difficult issue that plagues me and will for a while, it's my skeleton in my closet:
In 1998 I had left Christchurch, aged 22 years and headed to Massey University in Palmerston North to study to become a Veterinarian. I was already a qualified veterinary nurse but knew I could achieve more and was quite desperate to get away from Christchurch and a bad triangular relationship. I looked at studying Naturopathy in Auckland or studying Veterinary Science at Massey. I chose the Veterinary because I didn't think I could comply with the wishes of the Wellpark College in Auckland that asked you to not consume alcohol in your spare time, I was a bit of a drinker at that time.
I headed to summer school at Massey early January to catch up on some Physics, Maths and Chemistry because I'd been out of the studying game for a few years.
I jumped into it feet first and absolutely loved the brain extension I was getting from the study. A couple of weeks into my Veterinary, February 22nd to be exact, I had a brief liaison with a lovely young man after an Orientation Comedy night at the Uni. Headed into town and proceeded to have my wallet stolen. I was alone and in a club in the middle of a small city where I knew no one other than the younger teens that had been living at my hostel during summer school. I had just moved into a flat the week before and was considering my options to getting home when this lovely young guy came up and started yarning away. He knew the bar staff and got them to do a check and one of them ended up finding my wallet in the alley out the back. All the money was gone but the cards were there so I was sussed. I thanked the guy by buying him a drink. We got to talking about life and study and old flames, we'd both been burnt. We decided to share a taxi as he lived in my direction. Funnily, he never got out of the taxi until my place. At that point I knew he had more in mind than sharing a cab. I thought he was really nice, not my type but a pleasant guy, into his rugby etc and I went with the flow rather than say no. I have since found through counselling that this is the classic response of a rape victim, say yes first before you get the option taken from you. He came in, we bonked at least four times over the night. In the morning he left, all I knew was his nickname, as he walked out I asked why people called him this particular nickname, he pulled out his driver's license and showed me his name and said "because my mother was cruel". His first two names were extremely uncool. I didn't even see the last one, I laughed and agreed that the nickname was better. All I knew about him, from out conversations during the night, was that he was from a certain wee town way up north, he was in his final year of a double degree at Massey and he was a year younger than me.
5 weeks later I discovered I was pregnant. This had been my only liaison with anyone (other than a pash up session with Blair a week before I left for Palmerston North, he was still a friend at this stage remember??) for months so I knew who the father was. I just didn't know who the father was!!!
I did a bit of searching, went through the graduation lists, searched through the rugby clubs via a mate, kept my eyes out at Uni, just never found him.
I then moved back to Christchurch.
In my last trimester of pregnancy I searched again, I went through the microfiche records at the public library of all the children born in 1976. My friend helped me and we got to I and gave up.
I had Peta on the 21st November, 1998. She changed my life for the better. I was independent, living on my own, doing my thing and being a great Mum.
Then when Peta was 5 months old Blair and I got together and never parted. We were old friends with a history of lust for each other and it just developed into more. He immediately became Peta's Dad and always will be. At four or five years old Peta started realising that she was a bit different in colouring to Dad and her little brother Ben. She started drawing pictures of the family at school and her and I were pink and Ben was light brown and Dad was dark brown. We knew it was time to tell her that she had a different biological father. Being the typical woman, I had a big event planned, get Ben babysat, take Peta for a special picnic and tell her. Blair was more nervous than I, the fear of rejection from her was forefront in his mind. That evening, after we'd first discussed that we needed to tell her, Blair went upstairs to say goodnight and came back down about 20 minutes later and said "It's done". What's done?? "I told her", "you fucken what???". I was gutted, this was something I had planned and had much angst over for years and here he had just waltzed up there and told her without me even being involved. He said good night to her and then asked her if she loved Daddy, she said yes. He then said, you do know you have another Dad, one that made you, Mummy was with him and they made you but he wasn't around anymore so me and Mum got together and I am your Dad now. She just smiled and said "Don't worry Dad, you're my Dad and I love you". He had the response he wanted.
She was brilliant about it, asked a few questions, does every now and then but is, all and all, quite grounded about it all. If we had done it my way it could have gone wrong with all the hype that I would have had going on. Blair did it in a subtle, without drama, sort of way and it worked brilliantly, bugger that he is.
Back to the guy.
Every now and then I would search his first two names in Old Friends of FindaFriend or one of those things and then go to the high school in the wee town he went to and try and find photos of the rugby team etc. Just to have the details for her. But was never to any avail. Then came the advent of Facebook. Last January a mate was here staying and she queried me about whether I'd ever looked into it any more. I said no, she wondered if I'd looked on Facebook, I admitted I hadn't even thought of it.
That night I, when Blair and everyone else was asleep I searched his first two names.
And there he was, my god, he was so like Peta. I txt my mate immediately, "Holy hell, what have I done??". She went on, searched him too and found out that an ex boyfriend of his was on the guy's friends list. She emailed him and said "hey, see ........... on your friend's list, i think I know him, where is he from, what's he do with himself?" Almost immediately she found out that he was living in Hong Kong and a banker and holy crap!! I knew his last name, I could contact him right there and then if I wanted to.
I told Blair about it that night, he was less than impressed that I'd gone behind his back, he felt threatened, which is fair enough, then he over reacted and said if I didn't contact the guy he would and just went all emotional and crap about it. My parents also reacted the same, "Why bother at this point, what was I hoping to achieve, Peta was quite happy, wait until she's 18 and then has the option of finding out for herself, what if this guy couldn't have kids, what if he wanted nothing to do with her but his parents were friends of a QC, and being a Hong Kong banker he would have all the money at his disposal to contest custody, it would be okay if you could be a fly on the wall watching his life for 3 months and find out what sort of person he was and then make the decision......" and on it went. I ended up letting it die a natural death and didn't mention it again. I have printed out his picture and written his details down, and details of that night, it's all in an envelope in our files marked "for Peta", should anything happen to me.
I feel justified in my decision but I also feel terrible that the guy has a child he doesn't know about. I think I am doing the right thing, I will never know, we can only but make out decisions based on the information we have at hand on any particular day..... I just hope that my skeleton in my closet doesn't come out to haunt me down the track. I definitely think he needs to know and so does Peta, New Zealand is way too small a place, she could hook up with his son at university and never know she's dating her own brother, it so easily could happen. It's a cross I bear.