Daniela Estévez

The White Envelope

Joshua was waiting for a DNA test result, sitting in a cold, uncomfortable seat at Walton DNA Center’s waiting room, with no shoulder to cry on, just him and his thoughts. With his face buried in his hands, he wondered why he had to go through such a dreadful situation. After his ex wife confessed having cheated on him, he was left with the heart-rending possibility of his six-year-old daughter not being his. Even though he loved his little girl dearly, a growing, persistent doubt had taken hold of his mind… he needed to know the truth.

Haley had come into this world to make him a better person; he was sure of that. He enjoyed spending time with her, listening to her princess and fairy stories, and cuddling her on stormy nights until she fell asleep. He knew that being a dad was not just fathering a baby; it meant having Haley’s best interests at heart and being involved in her life, every day. It was not only reading her bedtime stories, blowing runny noses, tending to scratches or attending fancy tea parties in the living room (along with a strange variety of stuffed animals and Barbie dolls), but also teaching her respect, forgiveness, love and patience, by being a good example of those values.

Cutting into his thoughts, the door to the doctor’s office opened with a creak; he felt his stomach flutter when they called his name, “Mr. Lockwood… Joshua Lockwood.” He stood up clumsily; everyone’s eyes set on him. Taking a deep breath, he straightened up the creases on his shirt. A white envelope held the truth, just a few yards away from him. However, he was not interested in it any more. Haley would always be his baby girl, regardless of the test result. “A piece of paper won’t turn me into either a real father or a complete stranger to her. No matter what that piece of paper says, I’ll always be her dad,” he thought to himself.

Shrugging, he pointed his finger at the exit door and replied, “I think the man you are calling left a minute ago.” Josh headed for the exit with a beaming smile on his face and a strong feeling of relief.

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