Cursing softly as the doorbell rang, Christopher sent a quick prayer upwards that it wasn’t yet another charity organisation. Ever since he’d won those fifty millions, so much had changed. One of the changes that he could have been without was people asking for money.
It wasn’t like he was against the idea of giving back. He’d actually started his own charity organisation since he’d won, but by now he was just sick and tired of people telling him that he was a bad person if he didn’t also give to their organisation. Like he was some sort of horrible human being just because he didn’t give to everyone who asked. Like distant relatives and old classmates.
Speaking of which then it truly was miraculous how many of his former classmates who had suddenly decided to rekindle their old friendship. Especially considered that Christopher himself had had no idea that there had ever been any friendship between them to begin with.
However then the person on the other side of the door was no old classmate, nor did she seem to be collecting anything for charity. Instead then Christopher came eye to eye with a rather pretty young girl, some twenty years his junior.
“May I help you?” he asked.
The girl fidgeted. “I was just… I mean, I was hoping… No, never mind. I never should have come.”
“Alright then.” He made a move to close the door.
Christopher sighed. So close.
“I… May I come in? Please?”
He hesitated. The girl’s brown eyes looked somewhat desperate, and he gave in. Stepping back, he allowed her to move past him.
“Please have a seat.”
She sat on the very edge of his couch, clearly uncomfortable.
Silence stretched between them.
“Can I get you something to drink?”
“No, thank you.”
Finally the girl spoke.
“I saw your picture in the newspaper,” she said. “After you’d won, I mean. They had that article, and there was a picture of you.”
“I know,” he said gruffly. How he wished that picture had never been printed to begin with! Or the article for that matter.
“I… Well, I recognized the picture. Or, I mean not that particular picture, but I recognized you. From another picture. I’m not explaining myself very well, am I?”
“You’d seen another picture of me before the article was printed?”
“Yes. Exactly. It was my mother’s. She gave it to me when I turned thirteen. I’d asked if I could see my dad, and she told me it was all she had.”
Christopher looked at the girl. He supposed that there might be something vaguely familiar about her. The set of the jaw. Something around the eyes. A lot of people shared similar features without ever being related though.
“You believe I’m your father?”
The girl blushed. “I don’t see why mother would lie. Perhaps you remember her? Clarissa Mason?”
Christopher shook his head. But he would be lying if he were to say he remembered the name of every girl he’d slept with.
“And now you want to… what exactly?”
The girl looked honestly confused. “What do you mean?”
“Why track me down after seeing the picture?”
The girl looked shocked. “How can you even ask that?! You’re my dad! Of course I want to get to know you! You’re the only father I’ll ever have, and though I do realise that we don’t know each other at all, I’d like to change that. Is that so wrong?”
“No, it’s quite understandable.”
“So you’re okay with this? I’m not asking for much. Just for us to get something to eat together or something. We could talk. I want to tell you about my life. I want to know about yours.”
“Of course I’ll have dinner with you,” he said. “What kind of person would I be if I denied my own flesh and blood the right to know where they’re from? In fact then I have time tomorrow if that works for you. Of course I’m going to need a sample for a DNA test first though.”
The girl froze. “What? What for?”
“To check if we’re really related of course. Imagine going through all the trouble of creating a father-daughter bond just to discover that we were never actually… well, anything really. Your mother could be wrong. Of course then I’ll pay for the test. You don’t mind, do you?”
“I’m afraid of needles.”
“Never mind that. All they need is a little sample of your saliva. No needle will be necessary.”
The girl looked at him with tears in her eyes. “I can’t believe you don’t trust me.”
Christopher lost his patience.
“Do you really think that you’re the first?”
“Do you really think that you’re the first illegitimate child that has miraculously found me after I won those money? You’d be amazed. Though at least it’s something that you at least have the correct age. The last one couldn’t have been more than a decade younger than me. Ridiculous.”
“You think I’m lying!”
“I do. Of course, then if you actually are my daughter then I apologize profusely. Luckily then a simple little test is enough to determine that. It’s a wonderful time we live in, isn’t it?”
The girl seemed speechless.
Christopher stood up. “I’m going into the kitchen now to make myself a fresh pot of coffee. When I get back, then you either won’t be here any longer, or you’ll be willing to do the test.”
With these words he left her.
In the kitchen he took his time, thinking about the previous illegitimate children he’d discovered since he won those money. The last one had been almost impossible to get rid off.
When he came back into the living room the girl was gone.
Christopher took a deep breath. Go figure.
Slowly he sat down once again, thanking God that he’d had friends before this great big mess had first started. Not that it hadn’t made his life easier in other areas.
Forty-five minutes later the doorbell rang once again.
None of his friends had made him know they would be coming over.
He decided to let it ring.