With first-day jitters of a new job, Anthony bravely walked into his new boss’s office and introduced himself. Anthony, a recent law school graduate, was now an associate at a top Manhattan law firm, specializing in high-profile criminal cases. The partner he would be working for, Harold, was a brilliant defense attorney who never lost a case and had an admired reputation for his attention to detail and logic. Anthony felt grateful for this opportunity since he was going to be learning from one of the best; but he also felt nervous, since he knew it would be hard to impress someone like Harold. If Harold wasn’t impressed by a new associate within a few months, they no longer had a job, and Anthony needed this job.

While Harold was admired throughout the legal community, by his friends, neighbors, and clients, there was one group of people that he was not admired by, and that was his long list of ex-girlfriends and any other lady with which he may have shared an intimate encounter. Harold was 47 years old and never married, but was not lacking female “companionship.” With his lifestyle (success and money) and his intelligence and charm, it was easy to have a beautiful lady with him at every event. When asked why he never committed further to any of these women, he would just simply state, “She just wasn’t the one for me. You know I love women, and she’d really have to stand out to be ‘the one.’” Harold may have loved women, but he certainly was never in love with any woman.

Anthony was also very intelligent but was quite the opposite when it came to women. Although only 26 years old, he was a newlywed with a baby on the way. He married his college sweetheart. He was not very experienced with women but was very much in love with his wife.

Throughout the next few months, Harold and Anthony worked very well together. Anthony learned so much from Harold. Harold liked Anthony very much and told the other partners that Anthony reminded him so much of himself as a younger lawyer. Anthony made it through the unwritten three-month probation period, unlike most of his predecessors. Many people said that Harold would be difficult to work for, but Anthony did not agree with that statement. Yes, his predecessors weren’t successful in the position, but their work was just not that good, so he felt Harold’s decisions were fair.

To celebrate Anthony’s success, Harold took him out for drinks one night and gave him some good news. He told Anthony that he would be receiving a raise and moving into an office (until that point, Harold was in a small cubicle). Anthony was so happy. He felt that he bonded with Harold that night over a few beers. He told Harold how he never knew his biological father and didn’t have much growing up. He had a stepfather for a while who adopted him, but after his mom divorced him, he never had much of a relationship with Anthony anymore, but rather just with his younger brother, who was his biological son. He felt that his stepdad only adopted him to please his mom and not because he wanted to be his dad. As their night out came to an end, they took a cab together home. Harold exited the cab, which stopped in front of a very luxurious apartment building in Manhattan which Anthony was amazed by, and he told the cab driver to drop Anthony off at his home, which was a very “humble” apartment building in Brooklyn, in the neighborhood in which he grew up, which was quite far from Manhattan.

The next day at work, Anthony brought in a few things to decorate his new office, including some photos. Harold came in to see what Anthony thought of his new space and noticed something alarming in one of his photos. It was Denise, one of Anthony's former girlfriends. Within a moment, a conversation from 27 years ago, came back to him as if it happened 27 seconds ago. He remembered the eerie last conversation he ever had with her in clear detail.

Harold had what he thought was a summer fling with Denise while he was home from college. Denise had just graduated high school and met Harold one day while working at her family's pizzeria. She was set to start college in the fall and major in political science, just as Harold did. They both wanted to become lawyers. They started dating, but at the end of the summer, Harold thought it was best they go their separate ways since a long-distance relationship would be difficult; so it was the night before they were to leave for school, and they agreed to meet up since he had something to tell her. Before Harold could say anything, Denise hugged him and sensed that he was going to end the relationship, which she didn’t want to happen. She then quickly said with a smile that she was pregnant. Harold was surprised, but not in a good way. His first reaction was, “Is it mine?” Denise was deeply offended and hurt and angrily reiterated to him that he knew he was the first guy she ever slept with. At that point, Harold went on to say “Yes, that’s true, but how did I know you didn’t sleep with anybody else in the interim? Anyway, that’s beside the point because I came here to break up with you anyway. You’re a nice girl, and we had fun, but I don’t do long-distance relationships. As for your pregnancy, even if I am the father, I have no interest in being one, so you should just resolve this situation which I can give you the money if I am the father. I can take a paternity test. I have certain things I want in life and becoming a father at 21 years old is not one of them. Besides, you have goals, too. Think about it. It wouldn’t suit either one of us to keep this baby.” Denise burst into tears, told him off, and ran off. Harold never saw or heard from her again.

Anthony saw Harold look at the picture and said, “That was my mother. Wasn’t she beautiful?” He then told him that his mother passed away two years ago. Harold felt horrible when he heard this news and made some excuse so that he could leave Anthony’s office immediately.

In the weeks to follow, Harold was not himself, to say the least. He was continually thinking about the situation with Anthony. Was he his father? This became an obsession for him. He began to investigate, but this time not for a client, but for himself. This became the most important case he ever handled.

He checked Anthony’s personnel file, and his date of birth was around the time Denise could have given birth, but Denise never told him how far along she was. He also started to study Anthony and noticed a likeness in actions between Anthony and himself, but they had worked together for several months in which Harold was mentoring him, so Anthony could have picked up some habits from him. He had some physical similarities to Harold, but not enough for them to appear related.

After sleepless nights, Harold finally accepted what he knew all along: that the only way he would know for sure was through a paternity test. They worked together, so it wouldn’t be that difficult to obtain a DNA sample from Anthony’s office. The problem was that Harold did not want to know for sure. Although he was investigating the matter, if science was not involved, he could still think of possibilities of how he is not Anthony’s father. In making the decision not to take a paternity test, Harold decided to just dismiss this case.

A month later, Anthony’s daughter was born. He let Harold know and said that he decided to name her Denise after his mother. At this point, Harold knew what he needed to do.

He showed up at the hospital to see baby Denise. Anthony was a bit surprised, but even more so when Harold handed him an envelope that he said was a gift for the baby. Anthony opened the envelope and saw a check with a large sum of money. He was shocked, thanked him, but told Harold he couldn’t accept it. Harold insisted and said that he should use it toward her education and that he didn’t have any children of his own and wanted to do something nice for Anthony to thank him for his hard work. Before Harold left the room, Anthony asked him if he wanted to be his daughter’s godfather. Harold smiled and proudly accepted the honor.