A New Name
“The summer before I went to college Dad and I went on a fishing trip,” Drake said. “We talked man to man. I asked you what it was like when you graduated from high school. You looked up at the stars and said. ’”I don’t remember.’” And you quickly started talking about something else.”
“What are you trying to say?” Missy said.
“Yes,” Gayle said. “What do you mean.”
Charles was stoic.
“Dad,” Drake said, “you know what I mean, don’t you?”
“I think so,” Charles said.
“What?” Gayle said.
“Yes,” Missy said. “What?”
“You tell them,” Charles said.
“You are not Charles Arnold,” Drake said. “You are somebody else.”
“It that possible?” Gayle said to Charles.
“It’s possible,” Missy said.
“How long have you known?” Drake said to Charles.
“Two days ago a name popped in my head,” Charles said. “Just a name, but I knew it was my name. I can’t explain it. This is what I’ve been afraid of; the past and truth will be too hard to bear.”
“What name popped into your mind?” Drake said.
“Wilson Gentry,” Charles said. “It was very strange. I sat down to write a letter to an older lady I worked for in Indianapolis. She paid my way to Atlanta. I just wanted to tell her where I was and I was safe. I signed the letter Wilson Gentry. It was a natural as blinking.”
“Other than the letter can you think of anything that triggered you to sign that name?” Missy said.
“No,” Charles said.
“Mom,” Drake said. “Have you ever come across the name before?”
“No, never,” Gayle said.
Drake cleared his throat. Everyone looked at him. “I think this is enough for now. Perhaps some coffee would be good.”
Gayle and Missy stood.
“We’ll make some coffee,” Gayle said, “and, Missy could you serve up some peach pie.”
“I think that would be good,” Drake said.
Gayle and Missy exited the room for the kitchen.
Drake moved closer to Charles and spoke just beyond a whisper. “I’ve seen the name before. It was by accident I’m sure. It’s been three years ago, but I was in Ted Abernathy’s office and I saw a file with “Wilson Gentry” on it. As soon as I saw it Ted tried to nonchalantly pick it up. The wall safe behind his desk was open. I assumed that was were it came from. I became curious and searched our data base for that name. There was none. All client’s names are on a data base. To withhold a name is a violation of the firms procedures. Information is not shared, but anyone we deal with even if it’s a pizza delivery guy is in a data base. And here we have a file of Wilson Gentry.”
“What do you think that all means?” Charles said.
Before Drake could speak Charles said, “It means my name is Wilson Gentry.”