Thursday, April 19, 2012
How it has to be
Asa felt as if this might be the ugliest thing he'd ever had to do. But then again, Josie's father hadn't given him much choice.
Her father called him at work one day and wanted to talk about Derrick. The things he said made Asa hesitate. It seemed everything wasn't quite a hunky-dory TV show to her Dad, when it came to Josie's pregnancy.
When Asa initially found out what happened about Josie and Derrick, he'd been rather low-key. Positive. It would all work out. They were all there to support them. But somehow, it was different... after listening to Josie's dad talk about the teenagers, both being underage. Somebody needed to pay the price for this. Maybe having Derrick arrested for statutory rape was in order. It left Asa in a panic attack.
He kept calm. Told her father this would not help the situation. He reminded her father about the death in the family. It was still stressful. Now this was a new level of stress. Didn't her father understand? Well, he was stressed too, her father lashed out.
Of course, Derrick was all excited about his new job. How he was going to save, every paycheck for the baby. He would make this work. All the things he'd go without. It sounded like an overwhelming promise. Asa listened, wondering how to break this to him.
"You know, you're under age." Asa reminded him. "You aren't even old enough to pay child support."
"What do you mean? My dad will have to pay child support?" Derrick winced hard at the kitchen table. "God, I dunno...I don't even know where he is."
"Its OK." Asa assured him. After all, he was his guardian now. "I've been talking with Josie's dad."
"Josie's Dad?" Derrick looked at him as if that was just weird.
"Well, he has some concerns." Asa cleared his throat. He didn't want to tell Derrick, her father's phone calls were more like threats. "And, well..I think ..without, pressing any other issues...I should adopt the baby."
"What?" Derrick could have spit nails, he was so furious. "No!"
"You don't really have any rights. You're an underage parent. And..and to keep you out of jail.."
"JAIL?" Now Derrick was ballistic.
"It hasn't came to that, or anything." Asa didn't want to dare let it happen. "Its not like you won't get to see the baby. You will. It'll be right here."
"I can't believe this is happening." Derrick glared at him.
"Its going to be OK. It'll be OK." Asa reached for him, but Derrick pulled away.