Episode 788: Maybe He'll Know“I don't know what you mean.” Lila feigned ignorance, it was the first thing that came to mind in the face of her son's confession about the paternity situation.
“Lila,” Bowie said, gentle, but reprimanding. “There's no point in pretending.”
“I know, I'm sorry,” she replied, “it's just gut instinct, confronted by upsetting things, my coping mechanism is lies, and the next best thing, apparently, is babbling, which is what I'm doing right now to delay this conversation that I so don't want to have with-”
“Neither do I,” Bowie said, “but obviously it needs to happen now. How are you doing with all this information, Jess?”
“How long have you been living with it, baby?” Lila asked. Every part of her ached for him. “There are so many things I wish I'd done differently in my life, especially for you and Nate, and your dad, I mean, your real dad.” She gestured to Bowie. She moved from the chair to the sofa, grateful when Jesse allowed her to squeeze in beside him, and place her hand on his shoulder. “I'm so, so sorry.”
“I overheard you guys a few years ago,” Jesse said. “I didn't care though, I don't care, that's why I never spoke up. I don't care who the guy is, I have the only dad I want.”
Bowie pulled their boy in close to him, in a one-armed hug. His eyes glistening, Bowie struggled some before he said, “if you ever want to know-”
“I won't, and Nate won't, either,” Jesse insisted, much to Lila's relief. “Nobody has to go and mess up him and everything. He doesn't need to know.”
“We were thinking the same thing,” Lila said, as reassurance for both her eldest son and herself. She just wasn't sure how reassuring it was for Bowie, lies didn't sit all that well with her husband, not that they sat all that well with her anymore either.
“It was one thing when it was your mother and I holding on to this,” Bowie said, “but now you're in it.” He shook his head.
Lila shook her head then, too, as it truly hit her what this meant for Jesse. “Living with secrets isn't easy,” she said to her son, “trust me, I know this from experience. I don't want you to have to live with that burden, to lie to your little brother day in and day out.” With a nod of agreement from Bowie, she said, “we'll find a way to live with the truth. I can't ask you to do otherwise, that's not fair, this is on me, it's my fault, and you're just a kid. I don't want you to-”
“I don't want some guy thinking he can come in and take my brother away from us just because some test says so,” Jesse said. “I vote we bury it.”