“How did you find me?” Jimmy asked Anita.
Just an hour earlier, Jimmy had been sitting on his living room couch sucking on a joint and watching a baseball game on TV when his doorbell rang. “Damn, who the fuck could that be?” he said aloud. He slowly stood up and walked to the door. When he looked through the peephole, he saw a young woman, maybe in her late teens or early twenties, someone Jimmy didn’t recognize.
He decided to just ignore the unexpected visitor, whoever she was, and to head back to his couch and finish watching the game, but as he started to back away from the door, the doorbell rang again and he heard the woman’s voice say, “I know you’re in there. I saw you look through the peephole.”
Jimmy opened the door and said, “Whatever you’re selling, whether it’s Girl Scout cookies, magazine subscriptions, or Jesus Christ, I’m not interested.” He started to shut the door when she literally stuck her foot in the doorway.
“Wait,” she said. “Are you James McMurphy?”
Surprised that she knew his name, he said, “Yeah, who the fuck are you? What do you want?”
“Do you know Rebecca Hartley?” she asked.
“No, I don’t,” Jimmy responded, although in the far reaches of his mind, the name did sound a little familiar.
“Did you go to Northgate High School?” she asked.
Jimmy was losing patience. “So what if I did? Who are you and what’s this all about?”
“May I come in?” she asked.
Jimmy sighed, stepped aside, and waived her in. Once she was inside, he shut the door and said, “Yeah, so?”
The young woman made a sniffing gesture and smiled at the familiar aroma of marijuana. “My name’s Anita,” she said, putting out a hand for Jimmy to shake. “And you’re my father.”
Jimmy started laughing. “Yeah, right,” he said. “Listen, I don’t know who you are or what your game is, but you need to get the fuck outta here.” He reopened the door.
“Rebecca Hartley!” she blurted out. “She is, or was, my mother. She died last month.”
Jimmy closed the door. “I’m sorry about your mother, but I don’t know your mother and I sure as shit ain’t your father.”
Anita reached into a backpack she was carrying, pulled out a few old photographs, handed them to Jimmy, and said “That’s you in these pictures with my mom, isn’t it?”
It had been 22 years since Jimmy had seen these pictures, but when he looked at them, his mind was flooded with memories. “Becky,” he whispered. He looked up at Anita and said, “You’re Becky’s kid?”
“No way. Becky would have told me if I’d have knocked her up.”
“She never told you because she knew you weren’t right for each other,” Anita said. “You only went out three or four times, but she said you were hot and, well, I happened. It was the summer after you graduated when she found out that she was pregnant with me. You were getting ready to leave for Ann Arbor on a football scholarship and she didn’t want to burden you.”
Jimmy was dumbfounded. He walked over to the couch, sat down, grabbed the remote, and turned off the TV. He picked up the joint and lit it, took a deep drag, looked up at Anita, who was still standing by the door, and asked, “How did you find me?”
Written for this week’s Time to Write Sentence Starter prompt from Rachel Poli.