His World Turned Upside Down
Sam arrived at Lisa's apartment promptly at 6:30. He knocked on the door and a tall thin man opened it. Sam was nervous for a moment thinking that he had gone to the wrong apartment.
"I am here to pick up Lisa," Sam said.
"Lisa," the man called. "Sam's here."
"Let him in," she called from one of the rooms.
"Come on in," the man told him.
"Hi," Sam said after an uncomfortable moment.
"Hi," the man said, "I am Stephen Marks."
"I just need to wake Tyler from his nap," Lisa called out to Sam and Stephen.
"There's the little man," Stephen cooed to the little boy that Lisa was putting into his arms.
Sam looked at the small blue-eyed child with a sense of uneasiness. Despite the fact that he liked children, he didn't have a very good track record with them.
"Say good bye to your mommy," Stephen urged the child.
"Bye Baby," Lisa kissed the boy's forehead just where his dark hair ended. "I shouldn't be out too late."
"Bye Lisa," Stephen called as the two left the apartment.
The two were rather quiet until they got seated at the restaurant. "Just ask," Lisa broke the silence. "I know you want to."
"How long have you and Stephen been together?" Sam asked.
"That wasn't the question I was expecting," Lisa told Sam. "The answer is Stephen and I aren't together."
"No?" Sam asked with resentment. "You just live with a man and have a family with him?"
"Sam," Lisa didn't like his tone. "Stephen is my roommate, my gay roommate. He works at the firm, and we share rent and he adores Tyler. But Sam, you and I haven't been together in awhile and I think I have the right to be dating if that's what I want."
"I never said you didn't have the right," Sam said. "I just thought you were lying to me."
"I wouldn't lie to you Sam," Lisa said. "I never lied to you when we were together, why would I start now?"
"I don't know. I am sorry," Sam said sincerely.
When the two had ordered and had gotten their drinks, Sam asked another question, "Tyler is your son?"
"Yes," Lisa said taking a sip out of her wineglass.
"Is his dad in the picture?" Sam asked.
"No," Lisa said somberly.
"What kind of jackass lets a little kid grow up with a father?" Sam asked Lisa with anger. "What kind of men have you been dating?"
"Sam calm down," Lisa told him. She was flattered that he still cared, but he didn't need to get so worked up. "Actually, I never told Tyler's father."
"Why not?" Sam asked.
"Things were complicated, Sam," Lisa tried to explain. "Tyler's father had big dreams and was full of potential. I didn't want to be the reason that he was tied down. I didn't want him to be resentful of his son. Tyler's father and I broke it off before I found out, anyway. I guess you could say his conception was our way of saying good-bye."
"Lisa," Sam looked into the woman's eyes and reached for her hand, which was resting on the table. "Are you trying to tell me something without saying it?"
Her eyes welled up with tears. "What I am going to tell you may change your life, but I only want it to change if that's what you want," Lisa started. "Sam, you have a son."
"How could you not tell me?" Sam looked at her, his eyes filled with anger.
"Sam you were so excited when Josh came to tell you about Jed Bartlet," Lisa explained. "There was this little beam of light that you had in your eyes, in fact you still have it. Your dream was to help run the nation, not see that contracts were written to help oil companies make more money. I didn't want to be the one to turn off that light."
"Lisa," Sam said with disappointment.
"I was hoping and praying that your dream was only a phase," Lisa said. "I hoped that Jed Bartlet would lose the election and that you would come back to me. I could tell you then, and maybe some of that light would come back into your eyes, even though you weren't running the country. Or maybe that you wouldn't like Washington and come back to New York. I hated Jed Bartlet for such a long time, and then when he got in the White House and he proved the American people he was worth their vote, I felt guilty. But he took you away Sam, and I will always hate him for that"
"I hated New York," Sam said. "I hated everything about New York. I hated my job, I hated the traffic, and I hated the smell. I hated the fact that my best friend was living my dream of working in Washington. I hated everything, except you. Then you let me go, Lisa. You were the one that let me go! You said that you weren't going to move. You job was too meaningful for you. That, I could understand. I was leaving for a more meaningful job. You said that you didn't want to do the long distance thing, because it was too much stress and too much money. I said I understood. But you had my child and didn't tell me about it, that I can not understand."
"Sam," Lisa pleaded.
If the waiter had not arrived at that moment with their meals, Sam may have very well left the restaurant right then and there. "What is he like?" Sam asked.
"What is Tyler like?"
"He's only a little over two Sam," Lisa said trying to explain there wasn't much to the little boy. "But he's smart like his father, and he has a pleasant disposition. He was a quiet baby that slept a lot. Right now he really likes farm animals, and I plan on decorating his room with them."
"When was he born?" Sam asked.
"June 27th 1998," Lisa said. "Tyler Samuel Seaborn. It took me a while to decide if I should give him my last name or not."
"What finally made you decide?" Sam asked.
"Seaborn sounds far more dignified than my last name ever could," Lisa smiled.
"I like his middle name," Sam commented.
"I am glad," Lisa said. "I wasn't going to give him your middle named."
"Hey I liked Norman until I decided to have it changed," Sam said defending his name.
"You changed your middle name?" Lisa asked with a laugh.
"Not yet," Sam said. "But I will."
"To what?" Lisa asked.
"On Time," Sam said. "Because when you give Sam Seaborn a task it will be done on time."
"That wasn't what I saw this morning, with that Toby guy reaming you out," Lisa commented.
"I was working on it, but I was interrupted," Sam explained.
"Sorry," Lisa said.
"No it wasn't you," Sam said. "My ah-, I had a phone call."
"Your what Sam?" Lisa asked.
"Forget it," Sam said.
"No," Lisa was now getting annoyed.
"My girlfriend," Sam said.
"You didn't want to tell me you have a girlfriend?" Lisa asked.
"Not really," Sam said.
"You think that I hoped you would have been so love struck you couldn't get over me?" Lisa asked.
"I am not sure," Sam told her. "We were about ready to get married and forsake all others."
"Sam," Lisa said. "It's okay. I have dated too. I want you to move on. What's she like?"
"She's a school teacher," Sam smiled at the thought of the woman he was in love with. "She's sweet and passionate about the issues that she believes in. She's great with children and she'd make a great mother someday."
Lisa watched as Sam mused about his current love. She saw his sincerity as he spoke about the woman in his life and she couldn't help but realize she had no chance of getting back with the first love of her life. She also noticed how he'd seem to light up when he mentioned children. She had a feeling that even though they may scare him, they were something he wanted to be around.
"Lisa," Sam asked. "You know how you said that knowing about Tyler would only change my life if I wanted it to? I want it to. I want to be a part of my son's life."
"Sam?" Lisa asked. "You know, I won't start a scandal if you don't want to be a part of Tyler's life."
"I know," Sam said. "I am being honest with you."
"We'll work out a joint custody, then," Lisa said and added. "If that's what you want."
"That's what I want," Sam smiled.