Leo sat behind his desk watching the clock like a teenager waiting for the last day of school to end. What could Amy possibly want to talk to me about that she can't go to her parents or best friends with? Are her parents having money troubles? Leo didn't get to take that train of thought any farther because Camille told him over the intercom that Amy had arrived. He looked at his watch and saw that it was 10:20. She's early. He told Camille to go ahead and send her in. Amy walked in and sat down with an unusual expression on her face but Leo knew exactly what it was. It was the kind of expression a person has when they're trying hard not to show any emotion but hasn't learned how to have a poker face yet.
"Hello, Amy. What brings you here today?"
"Mr. Boykewich, I need to ask you several very personal questions and I would appreciate complete honesty, even if you think or know I'm not going to like the answers." This can't be good, but she came to me for a reason and I have no reason to lie to her.
"Very well, Amy. I will do my best to answer every question as completely and honestly as I can. Will that suffice?" She nodded and then asked her first question.
"Why did you allow your son to propose to me after learning I was pregnant with another guy's child?" Leo wasn't entirely sure where this was going, but he had a hunch. This does not bode well for Amy and Ben's relationship he thought, but answered her question.
"I could tell he was completely smitten with you and he wanted nothing more than to love and take care of you and your baby."
"Why did you allow your son to date me again after we broke up the first time?"
"Amy, I know you didn't see it but Ben was overwhelmed. When he proposed he honestly believed he would be able to handle being in a relationship with you and help you raise John, even though Ricky intended to be a part of John's life as well. He just needed some time to get his head around the responsibility of such a huge commitment and once he took some time to think things over and decided he wanted to continue his relationship with you, I saw no reason to discourage him."
"Were you aware that there was tension between your son and my son's father because of the latter coming over to my house to spend time with his son?" Uh oh.
"Yes, Amy. I knew there was some tension between the two of them over the visitation arrangements you and Ricky had at the time."
"Did you speak to your son about ways he could resolve or ease this tension?"
"Why did you send him to Bolgna?" Bologna? Was this about Maria? Does Amy blame me for that?
"I felt that he needed a break."
"Why?" Her question stopped him. How do I explain this without hurting Amy's feelings? Leo wondered. I'm not sure I can do that, but I promised to be honest so…
"Once John was born and Ben was faced with the reality of being one of three parental figures in John's life, his jealousy of Ricky started to get the better of him. He loved you and was jealous that you and Ricky shared a unique bond that was going to last for a lifetime, even though he thought of and loved John as his own son. Once I realized he hadn't fully dealt with the reality of his relationship with you, I thought that some distance from the situation might help him gain a little perspective about life and himself."
"When your son returned, did you suspect that he had done something during the summer that he regretted?" And we're back to Maria.
"Yes, Amy. I suspected he had done something, but I didn't know any specifics."
"Did you confront him about your suspicions?"
"Yes," Leo answered hesitantly, knowing that question was leading somewhere he wasn't sure he wanted to go.
"And what was the result of this confrontation?" Guilt washed over him momentarily as her remembered exactly what had happened during this little 'confrontation.' Amy was a nice girl. She deserved the truth.
"Ben began hinting he might have done something that he regretted and before he confessed I told him not to tell me anything I really didn't want to know and not to say anything to you if it might hurt your feelings."
"Why did you give your son permission to lie to someone he claimed to love instead of telling them the truth?" Leo knew that everyone lies from time to time to spare the feelings of friends or loved ones and he honestly believed that telling the truth was always the best option when it came to wrongdoings. So why did I basically tell my son to lie to his girlfriend?
"So you wouldn't be hurt any more than you already had."
"Were you aware that Maria was coming to visit him?"
"No, she surprised us both."
"After learning that your son had in fact cheated on his girlfriend, did you reprimand him in any way, shape or form?"
"We had a long, heated, discussion about it," Leo replied, thinking about how disappointed he had been that Ben could behave so disgracefully towards his girlfriend.
"Why did you bring your son to visit my in New York?"
"Because you deserved to hear him tell you he had gotten Arian pregnant face to face." Realization sudden hit him in the face like a freight train. He knew Ben had gotten another girl pregnant and forced him to tell Amy the truth face to face because it was the right thing to do. But when he merely suspected that Ben had cheated on her, he more or less ordered Ben to do her a disservice and outright lie to her. Why was this time different from the first? Why did I let my son hurt Amy once but not twice?
"Why didn't you stop your son from getting back together with me after we broke up the second time?" Leo had to think about her question for a moment. Yes, he could tell Ben was head over heels for Amy. Yes, he knew Ben was in over his head and needed time to make sure he was ready for everything parenthood brought with it. Yes, he knew Ben had a new perspective about life and love from his time in Bologna. Yes, he knew his son had hurt Amy in the past. Why did I let them get back together?
"I guess because I could see that Ben was doing his best to learn from his mistakes and trying to be a better man. Even with the mistakes and bad decisions he had made, I could see that Ben still loved you, Amy."
"I see." Amy sat there quietly for a few moments thinking about what she had learned. Finally she stood up and adjusted her purse and gave Leo a small smile.
"Thank you for your time and honesty, Mr. Boykewich. I'll see myself out." Out of habit he walked to her the elevator doors anyway. As they waited for the elevator Leo couldn't help himself from asking her a question. That 'meeting' just seemed so odd.
"Is that truly all you wanted to discuss, Amy? Is there anything else I can help you with? Our conversation feels a little unfinished."
"No thank you, Mr. Boykewich. I needed answers to some questions before I could decide what course to take next and you've given me some of those answers today so thank you." The elevator arrived and Amy stepped into it. She pushed the ground floor button and in seconds the doors closed and she was gone.