Madge eagerly tore open the envelope, her fingers trembling as she removed the letter and unfolded it. Going over to the window, she read it in the light streaming in. Her face fell when she read the salutation. The letter wasn’t from Dalton.
Dear Ms. Harris,
I trust that is letter finds you well and that what I have to say will hopefully dispel any notion you have of a future with my son, Dalton.
He has acknowledged that for the past year he has been in an illicit relationship with you. This revelation grieved his father and me to no end. We have raised him in a strict Catholic home and have taught him that sex before marriage is a sin. We have taught him good morals which we expected him to follow in his adult life. He is greatly sorry for what he has done and has gone to confession. His sins have been forgiven by God and his father and me.
My purpose in writing you this letter, Ms. Harris, to inform you that Dalton is engaged. His intended is a Catholic young woman whom he has known since childhood. It had always been her parents and our wish that they should marry. I hope that in telling you this that you will not entertain any notion that Dalton will continue his relationship with you. It is over and I expect that you will accept that and get on with your life.
I hope that you will, in time, meet and marry a young man more suited to you.
Mrs. Florence Hastings
Madge stood there, trembling. She reread the letter several times, especially the part where Mrs. Hastings mentioned that Dalton was engaged. She staggered over to the nearest chair and sank heavily down in it. Shock, distress, hurt, anger and all sorts of emotions ran rampantly through her shaking body. Her face was white as a sheet. Tears sprang to her eyes. How could he do this, she kept asking herself over and over. How could he tell her that he loved her, promise that they would spend the rest of their lives together and then turn around and marry someone else? How could he do something so horrible, so unforgivable?
Why hadn’t he write or come to see her and tell her himself that he was getting married? Why did his mother have to write? Rage consumed her and she tore the letter into pieces and threw them on the floor. You’re a bloody coward, Dalton Hastings, she yelled. You didn’t even have the guts to come and see me. Instead, you had your mother write to me. I hate you, you miserable coward. I hate you.”
The week later, she went to an abortion clinic to have the procedure done but she couldn’t’ go through with it. She was going to keep the baby. And as far as Dalton was concerned, she was going to make sure that he never found out that he was the father.