The Charms waited… and waited… and waited for what seemed like days on end while the doctors did all they could for one of their own. When Morgan was informed that Miraj’s chances weren’t good but that he was awake and talking so she should say her goodbyes while she still could, she couldn’t go in alone. She brought Savannah with her for support, feeling like she was trapped in some horrible nightmare she couldn’t wake up from. It had to be a nightmare because she couldn’t really lose her dad, could she?
“Hey Dad…” Morgan whispered when she stepped in the room and sat down. She felt her wife squeeze her hand. Morgan reached her free hand up to her ear to switch her hearing aid on. If her dad really wasn’t going to be in her life for much longer, she wanted to hear his voice one last time.
“Morgan…” Miraj murmured weakly from his bed. “I’m a doctor so I know I probably won’t live through the night…” he started but Morgan shook her head, tears slipping down her face.
“Don’t talk like that, you don’t know that–” she started.
“Listen to me, Morgan. I do know that,” Miraj insisted. Morgan wondered how he could sound so firm while barely hanging onto life by a thread. “Which is why I can’t waste time. I need to tell you something important. Something I’ve been sitting on since I helped you and Savannah conceive Avery and Madeline. I shouldn’t have kept it from you and I’m sorry, but you should know now or you might never know.” Something about his tone made Morgan shiver.
“Dad, what are you talking about?” she asked. “You’re scaring me.”
“It’s about your father. Your biological father,” he told her. Morgan pulled back, stunned and a little alarmed. Morgan had never known who her biological father was. Her mother never even knew, herself. She remembered wishing she knew who he was when she was a little kid because if she knew, maybe then the other kids at school would stop calling her mother a whore, but as Morgan got older, the less she cared, especially after Miraj came into the picture. Why look for the dad who didn’t care that she existed when she had another dad who loved her and took care of her?
“Miraj? You know who Morgan’s biological father is?” Savannah prodded him to explain.
“I always thought it was strange how Morgan and I looked so much alike,” Miraj whispered. “She has my nose, my jaw structure, my ears… but how could that be? I wasn’t her biological father. I knew that for certain. Her mother and I were never romantically involved until years after Morgan was born,” he began. “I’d always had my suspicions but it wasn’t until I helped you two conceive your children that I was prompted to find out for certain. I noticed that Morgan’s DNA had too many similarities to mine to be a coincidence but not enough similarities to make me her father, so… I tested your DNA against my closest living male relative, Morgan. I tested it against my brother’s DNA.”
Morgan squeezed her eyes shut and put her head in her hands as her stomach sank through the floor. She knew where this was going. “VJ,” she muttered dismally. “VJ’s my father, isn’t he?” Miraj nodded.
“I might not be your father, Morgan… but I am your uncle.” Morgan shook her head and looked up again.
“No. You’re my father. I don’t care who my sperm donor was. VJ’s just some abusive jerk who hurt my mom and my cousin and the son he had with her,” she told him. “He didn’t help me get my hearing aid. He didn’t help me fight my eating disorder when I was in high school. He didn’t take me to my prom when I had no one to go with. You did. You’re my dad and I love you and I’m not ready to say goodbye to you yet……. Dad? Dad?!”
Miraj had quietly slipped into a coma and by the morning, he was gone.