Imprudence – an Open Speech
John and Jack were identical twins. When they were born, they were so like each other that even their mother could not tell them apart.
When they grew up, they were therefore the butt of everyone’s jokes. People wondered whether they thought alike, or went to the bathroom at the same time. The brothers were sometimes perturbed and irritated by these jokes but overall, they took it in their stride.
Beyond the physical side, however, the resemblance ended. As they grew older, both began to differ more in character. Jack was always the extrovert one. He liked sports and was known as a ladies’ man.
On one fine day, Jack approached John for a favor. He had been in a relationship with a pretty college belle, Jessica, for some time. However, now, he wanted out of the relationship but despite the ample hints, Jessica did not seem to understand what he had been driving at. Jack asked John to stand in for him whenever Jessica wanted to go out with him. Jack and John were studying in different private colleges, so Jessica was not aware of a twin brother.
The first meeting between John and Jessica was a success. Jessica was pleasantly surprised by John’s attentiveness. She felt that Jack behaved like a gentleman on that date. Of course, she was puzzled at some point; he had coffee instead of tea and he was not swearing like he usually did. John found Jessica interesting. He was attracted to her beauty, intelligence, and honesty.
Meanwhile, Jack was getting enamored with another popular college girl, Merry. Merry, however, hinted to Jack that she would welcome his attention only if he gave up his relationship with Jessica. Although John was the one going on dates with Jessica, Jack still had to hang out with Jessica on campus.
Jack asked John to end his relationship with Jessica. However, a shocked Jessica could not believe that Jack wanted to end the relationship. She also refused to believe that it was John who had been going out with her.
Jack now knew that things were going too far now. He scheduled a meeting with his twin brother to try to reason with Jessica. Jessica brought along her brother, Thomas. At the meeting, Jack apologized for misleading Jessica. Jessica, however, refused to believe that John had been posing as Jack, even though the twin brothers stood before her. She had fallen in love with Jack and she believed that he was the one who was courting her all the while. Even though John gave her certain details of their dates which would conclusively prove that he was with her, she refused to listen and practically shut her ears.
“I have been dating Jack and it is Jack I want to marry. If he is trying to get out now because he wants to go out with Merry, I will pursue him to his death,” she asserted angrily.
Thomas then dropped the bombshell to the shocked twins. Jessica was pregnant. She believed she was carrying Jack’s child as he had been intimate with her. If Jack persisted in denying his responsibility, the matter would be handled by their parents and the school authorities.
Jack pleaded and argued with Jessica and Thomas but to no avail. Jessica insisted that Jack bore the responsibility for her pregnancy. She wanted to be married as soon as possible.
Desperate, Jack turned to his brother, John, for help. John tried to persuade Jessica to change her mind. He argued that even if they were to be married to each other, Jack was no longer in love with her. It would be meaningless. John also reminded Jessica how they got along so well together. Jessica, however, refused to listen. It was Jack all along, she insisted vehemently, who had been dating her.
By now, Thomas was feeling rather annoyed. He argued that Jack had to bear the responsibility as the baby was his – Jack was the one she had been intimate with. Moreover, everyone had thought that Jessica and Jack were a couple. He also stated that his parents were old and could not take the blow if Jack did not marry her. As for Jack getting John to pose as him, he was uncertain about the truth. All he was certain was that Jack must face up to the fact that he was responsible for. When Jack protested again, Thomas silenced him with these angry words, “A man must be responsible for his actions. You do not have a choice.”
The impact of these words sank into Jack. He was stricken with guilt. A week later, he finally apologized and asked for Jessica’s forgiveness. Then he held his future wife’s hands as they went to their respective parents to explain the situation to them. He was determined to make things right, for Jessica, for their child.