Do Bastard Stand a Chance?
“You bastard! You’ve just ruined my marriage!” My ever slightly narcissistic mother was at it again. Her sleeping around was suddenly my fault. I should not have been born. I should have kept her secret intact. My father (always a hard man) is doing his usual vicious routine. From when we were little kids, we always knew that our father believed in the values of family but only HIS family. He always used to say that he could not look after another man’s spawn. Apparently this was the equivalent of taking food out of the mouths of his own children.
I will not fault my father on the score or working hard. I have never seen someone as obsessed as him about making the customers happy. He run a rather dreary laundry mat that he had gradually and painstakingly built into a thriving empire. The money that the customers paid was very little but my father ensured that he gave them a good time whenever they came. That mean that many of them gave him the equivalent of two dollars. It all mounted up to an income that I think reached $2 million a year as more and more people came in.
Dad had saved and invested wisely. We were three children. Two boys and our sister. He always told us that we would not want for anything but he wanted to toughen us up so that we would not fritter the money away when he died. Therefore, he insisted that we go to school and then work with him at the laundry mat. There was plenty to do but Cindy and Logan just rebelled because he would only give them an allowance. Logan was a mechanic at a local garage shop and Cindy became a caregiver in a nursing home. He said that all the money was going into the family trust which they would all eventually get. Therefore; he saw no need to pay them an “extravagant wage”.
The Son that Stays Home
I was the only one that seemed to like the business. To be honest, I found the premises dreary and my dad tedious. However, I liked meeting people. They told you all sorts of stories when they dropped in and picked up their laundry. I can write wonderful stories about cheating husbands, loose women and even slightly violent executives who have relied on us to clean up their messes literary and figuratively. My dad was grateful and said that he would give me 40% of the trust fund because I had put in so much. My mum would get 10% and the other two would get 25% each. He told me that even if my mum decided to give Cindy and Logan her share in her will, I would still have the lion’s share and would be able to control the company.
For 10 years, I have been the apprentice and companion. My dad said that I was so good at running the business, he was confident that I would be the new manager. He also regularly gave me updates on the fund. The last time of checking he had it at $20 million. We lived a rather ordinary existence but with lots of money to back us up. I learnt to live within my means but I have to admit that the idea of getting a fortune of $8 million or so had its attraction. I was set for life…or so I thought.
The Accident that Revealed It All
I was returning from a night out. A motorcycle knocked me over and the driver run away. I gathered all this from the police report because I pretty much became unconscious the moment that I felt this huge weight coming down on my shoulders. From then on, it was misery after misery. I did not even know that they had to have a blood transfusion and that my dad had offered to help. We were incompatible and he developed this fantastic idea that all the children might not be his after all. He threatened to throw everybody out, including mum. Logan and Cindy quickly did their tests to dad’s satisfaction. I was found not to be a match.
When I woke up there was nobody. I asked to call home and my mum picked up the phone shouting in a rather hysterical way. I asked why she was shouting and she said that I had ruined her marriage. I was puzzled. I was in an accident…how could that ruin her marriage. But again…mum had what some people call vulnerable narcissism. She absolutely loved the idea of being a victim and played it up to the hilt with all her stunts. I thought this time she just wanted to take the attention from me because I was in an accident. It was not beyond her to do something like that.
I decided to speak to my father. He would know what to do. Dad answered and was very cold… just like he was with all the staff. But with us his family, he had a very different tone from the one I was hearing. He told me that I was no longer his responsibility since I was a bastard. He had wasted all his money on me when his children were being left on the outside. Father told me that he would not bill me for all the money that he had spent on me since it was not my fault that I was a bastard. However, he advised me to look for my own family that should look after me. He was not going to pay the hospital bill but I could have my job back when I got better.
A Bastard’s Life in Turmoil
The strange thing is that father thought he was doing me a favor telling me all this when I was in hospital. Luckily my car was in my name and I had some savings from the meagre allowances he gave me when I was working. So, I sold the car and paid the hospital bill. It came to $50,000 out-of-pocket expenses. The rest, the insurance company paid for. The upshot is that I do not have a penny to my name. I am homeless since my father says that I can no longer come back to the house. However, he said that he would stick to his promise of giving me back my job as an employee (not a family member) once I was physically fit.
I know that he pays peanuts so it is unlikely that I will be able to live on that. I have my degree in agriculture but I do not think I have the energy or inclination to go into family. For the first time in my life, I am on welfare. This has to be one of the most humiliating consequences of this debacle. Meanwhile my mother refuses to tell me who my father is. She still insists that it is all a mistake and that the doctors have to be wrong. I have nobody to turn to. The most surprising thing is that Cindy and Logan have turned all cold on me. All those years as kids apparently meant nothing in the end. They said that I had been poisoning their own father against them so that I could steal their inheritance. They no longer wanted anything to do with me and they too advised me to look for my own family.
I have nowhere to start. I do not know any man that my mother had an affair with. I am 23, unemployed and still recovering from a major accident. The family that I have known all my life has turned their back on me for something that I did not do. My mother refuses to be of any help and always break down into hysterical tears the moment I ask her about my father. She says that she cannot send me any money because my father watches her like a hawk. In any case she says that I spoilt everything by starting the rumors about my paternity. She even blamed me for the accident, saying that I must not have been paying attention in order to cause the accident.
Now that things have turned so bad, I am even thinking of throwing myself at the mercy of my father and becoming his slave once more. There will be no more fortune but at least I will have a job that can feed me. The welfare office has indicated that they will increase their support if I can show that I am working at least part time and making an effort to get fulltime work. I told them that I still feel pain in my leg but do not want to be put on the long term disability list.
My life has turned from fairly mundane to a real nightmare. I will probably never know who my real father is unless my mother has a change of heart. Meanwhile I am about to go back to a very exploitative and egotistical man to get some relief. A man that was once my father but says that he has no responsibility for me anymore. I am too proud to go to court. In any case, I don’t think I would ever have a solid case. It is a tough life being a bastard.