Ken came back home with the DNA results in hand, his face said it all. His reasons for doing the tests were kind of shallow to me, but ignoring his concerns would only put me in trouble. Jasmine looks nothing like me, her father or her older siblings. Ideally, I’d assume that she took after anyone from our extended family that’s long dead, but my husband thought otherwise. He saw this as proof of my infidelity, and grounds to file for divorce.
“She’s not mine Karla! My gut was right,” Ken said with a heavy sigh then threw the documents at me.
“Ken, you need to believe me, I’m tired of telling you I’ve not been with any other man since we got married,” I said while opening the brown envelope and looking at the paper printed in blue, everything was rather too bold.
“What?” I gasped.
“Are you surprised now? I thought you were sure!” Ken said throwing away the pillow on my side of the bed on the floor as he placed the large grey suitcase on the bed and opened it.
“This is not accurate,” I said as I sat on the edge of the bed, my eyes fixated on the papers. I flipped the envelope to confirm the name of the hospital.
“You think I’d make that up? Huh!” He asked, emptying the wardrobe and throwing his clothes in the suitcase.
“What are you doing?” I asked tears in the corner of my eyes.
“I can’t continue living with you after lying to me for five years. I’m leaving!” Ken announced.
“What about the children?” I asked, putting the papers away.
“Do you want me to tell them about your infidelity?” He asked, throwing his shoes into a sack-like bag.
“Ken, I swear to you, I have never cheated on you. You have to believe me.” I begged.
“Even with evidence in your hands, you still want to keep up with the lies, Karla?” He paused, looked into my eyes, and then proceeded to drag the suitcase towards the door.
“I only asked you of one thing, never lie to me. Just one thing Karla. One!” He pulled out the door, pushed out the suitcase and locked it behind him. I felt silence echo through the walls of our house and then my heart, I must have cried the rest of the day.
I’m confident that I’ve never cheated on my husband, never once thought about it. When Ken started having these concerns, I rested assured that everything would be fine. My heartbeat accelerated when my eyes met the negative test results, printed there, motionless. I was quiet. I have been begging Ken to believe me, but he won’t. His family had already intervened, called me names and supported him when he filed for divorce.
I look at Jasmine, this beautiful little girl that adores her dolls likes apples and watching her elder brother play soccer, messes around with my make-up and is always trying to style her sister’s hair. She has this infectious smile that she flashes at strangers that shows how vulnerable, defenceless yet so loving she is. How can such an amazing soul be at the centre of a nasty fallout? My heart breaks, when I remember her little feet, and how she’d sleep peacefully, unlike my two children who had colic.
My memories do me no good at all because nothing comes to mind when I try to remember if I’ve slept with any other person. Sometimes, I wonder if someone drugged me and had his way with me in my sleep because I’ve never cheated on Ken. What frustrates me, is how I will explain to my daughter, that I don’t know her father and that the man that raised her as a child, divorced me because he suspects I birthed her with someone else.
After troubling myself for too long, taking insults from my in-laws and divorce from my husband, I decided to run a DNA on me and Jasmine too. It took everything in me, to make this step, because of the love and bond I share with my child. I couldn’t fathom that she wasn’t my biological daughter, but I did it anyway. At first, the results felt like a scene from some Philippine soap opera, because they revealed that Jasmine was in fact, not my biological daughter.
I cried on my way home, getting hooted at severally like I was some irresponsible drunk driver because I was overrun by emotions. I love my little girl to bits, but now, I keep wondering what happened to my biological child. Are they okay? Loved and appreciated? I still want to hold onto Jasmine, even if her biological parents might want to swap the kids. I cannot imagine living without her now, not after the times, she’s brought us together with laughter as we’ve watched her blossom into the amazing little lady that tries her hand at everything and anything.
Ken came to mind after I held the results in my hands, and memories of his disgust and resentment towards me followed. Regardless of the years we’ve spent together married, he chose not to believe me and went ahead to marry a woman his family carefully picked out for him. Barely a year, and she’s already pregnant, living with him under the same roof. These results vindicate me of his cheating claims, but I don’t think I can able to forgive him for how he moved on so fast.
Our two older children, a fourteen years old boy and ten years old girl have had to deal with the impact of the divorce firsthand. It hurts me even more, that Jasmine doesn’t even understand what’s going on, even when we bring her to therapy every other time. She just continues to be a joy in the midst of all this pain. I’ve had to train my mind to understand that she’s innocent in all of this and deserves all of the love she can get.
My biological child was found after his mother, confirmed her fears that the little boy she brought home, was not hers. His mother says that when the nurses brought a boy to her, she was pretty sure that she had birthed a baby girl, but the nurses laughed at her. She had held Jasmine in her hands before the swap happened. Something that appears to have been a genuine mistake.
She decided to care for the little boy with so much love and bury the doubts she had about him. But she too did not escape the doubts of the child’s father, who thought that the boy looked nothing like him. Although they weren’t married, the man refused to offer any child support because DNA results revealed that he was not the biological father of the child. He was three when this happened, and his mother has been struggling to care for him and his older sibling with little to no resources since.
Two years later, when the court ruled that it is in the best interest of the children to stay with the parents who raised them, his mother was okay with this ruling, regardless of how painful it is to see her child raised by a different family. Kassem looks a lot like me and the older kids, I see myself in him. Jasmine is a spitting image of her mother, from the colour of her eyes to her kindness. I wish I could have both my son, Kassem and my given daughter, Jasmine but all that is not possible. Jasmine’s mother has expressed so many times how happy she is that her daughter is being raised by a happy and financially stable family, and I wish Kassem would have a home that’s financially stable too.
It’s still not clear, how Kassem and Jasmine were swapped at the hospital, but all this still seems like a movie to me. I keep wondering about things that could have been or should have been. I really wish that Jasmine never resents herself when she grows up to know that my marriage ended because of her, because it was not her mistake. Every time we go for play dates with my son, I wish that all this was just a terrible soap opera or a movie. That it will end pretty soon and I will bring my boy home, and I’ll be selfish to admit that I want Jasmine to come home with me too.
However, I’m hoping that the courts rule in our favour against the hospital so that Kassem’s family can have the financial capacity to cater for his needs adequately. Going back to the night of the incident, I wish that my husband Ken had come into the delivery room. Somehow, maybe, his presence would have prevented all of this mix-up from happening, but then again, I’m grateful that it did. It gave me the opportunity to mother Jasmine, my little wonder, whom I love with every part of my being.
This fiction story is based off of a real story that we found on Twitter.
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