After Chris's death, Margaret learns that her husband was married to a woman named Erica for 17 years. She decides to track down the woman and learn the whole truth, but what she discovers along the way astounds her.
Margret was heartbroken after Chris died. They had been through a lot together, including the agony of being childless, but despite this, the couple had been married happily for 35 years until Chris died unexpectedly at the age of 60 from a heart attack.
Chris used to work as a scientist at Florida International University, and Margaret used to be a teacher. They both threw themselves into work as soon as they realized they'd only have each other for the rest of their lives, and they eventually got over the sadness of not having a baby.
Chris died in a heart attack | Photo: Shutterstock
However, when Chris died, life put them to the test once more. Margaret struggled to get back on her feet after losing him. And for days, she just hugged his luggage and cried for hours, remembering all the times they'd shared. She hardly ever ate or slept and isolated herself from everyone.
Concerned, Mrs. Duncan, her neighbor and close friend, paid her a visit one day. "Don't do this to yourself, Margaret," she said. "I know it's difficult, but think about yourself as well. You can't afford to ignore your health in this manner!"
"I don't want to think about anything, Claire," Margaret said. "With Chris gone, I feel like I don't have the zeal to live anymore. I believe we should have considered adoption; at the very least, a child would have alleviated my sadness."
"Then why don't you do that now?" Mrs. Duncan suggested. "You're still earning money, and I don't think there'll be any problems. If you want, my sister can recommend a good orphanage close to her home. We can all go there!"
Mrs. Duncan consoled Margaret and asked her to move on | Photo: Pexels
"I'll think about it, Claire," Margaret said as she wiped her tears away. "Thank you for coming. I feel a lot better now that I've talked to you."
"Don't be stupid, Margaret," Mrs. Duncan said as she stood up to leave. "We've known each other for nearly 15 years. Please let me know if you ever feel down again. I am always here for you."
After Mrs. Duncan left that day, Margaret wondered if she should adopt a child. After all, she was alone, and that kid would most likely fill the void in her life.
So she decided to give it a shot and began searching for her ID and other documents. However, she couldn't find her bank statements anywhere. Maybe I kept it in Chris's study room. She thought as she finished checking the last drawer.
She went into the study and searched through the cabinet where Chris frequently kept his work documents. But while she was busy exploring the shelves, a file suddenly fell to the ground, revealing two passports.
Margaret was stunned to find different passports in the file | Photo: Unsplash
Margaret snatched it up and began poring over its contents. To her amazement, she also found an ID inside the file. It had Chris's picture on it, but the name was registered as George Black. She quickly checked the passports, and while one bore his original name, the other indicated the name George Black again.
What is even happening? Why do you have a weird ID and different passports, Chris? Is that what you were doing when you were away from home for weeks? Margaret was stunned.
She rechecked the ID for an address and discovered it was listed somewhere in New Jersey. Thankfully, the address wasn't a fake one. She was determined to find out what was going on, so she hopped on a plane the next week and went straight to the mentioned address upon arrival.
A middle-aged woman greeted her at the door. Her name was Erica. She was tall and had hazelnut eyes. She was dressed in a loose pink dress, but Margaret could tell she was pregnant by the way she kept her hand on her stomach.
"Hello, how may I assist you?" she asked softly.
Erica was pregnant | Photo: Unsplash
"Hi, my name is Margaret," Margaret introduced herself. "Do you know anyone named George Black?"
"Yes! He's my husband. He's away on a research trip. What happened? Is he okay? There's nothing wrong, right?" she asked, worried.
Looking at Erica's condition, Margaret decided it was better not to break the whole news to her at her doorstep. So she asked Erica if she could come inside, and as she took a seat, she revealed the entire story to her. But Erica refused to believe it.
"I don't believe you!" she exclaimed when Margaret finished. "We've been married for 17 years! What proof do you have that George was your husband? Perhaps you made these passports rather than him. Get out now before I call the cops!"
Erica ordered Margaret to leave | Photo: Unspalsh
"I'm not lying, Erica," Margaret clarified. "You've seen these images. These are photos from our wedding anniversary. He frequently disappeared for weeks or months, telling me it was a research trip; now I know exactly what he was up to."
"Well, that's a great story, lady," Erica snarled. "Now get out of here, or I'll have to evict you!"
"Fine, if you don't believe me, it's okay, but tell me one last thing..."
Margaret asked Erica when George would leave home for the research trips. And it turned out it was the same duration during which he stayed at his home in Florida. "And if you don't believe me still, I know that he has a birthmark on his left shoulder. Do you trust me now?" Margaret continued.
When Erica heard that, she clutched her stomach and started crying. Margaret dashed over to catch her before she fell. But the pregnant woman quickly succumbed to the pain and passed out.
Margaret called the ambulance and rushed her to the hospital where Erica delivered a beautiful baby girl named Charlotte via surgery.
Erica delivered a beautiful baby girl | Photo: Unsplash
When Margaret checked on her at her ward post-delivery, Erica couldn't stop crying.
"Thanks for saving me and my child, Margaret," she sobbed. "I can never thank you enough. And I'm sorry for being rude to you. I was also suspicious that Goerge was lying, but I never gave it much thought because I was afraid of losing our family. I'm so sorry..."
"It's okay, Erica," Margaret consoled her then hugged her. "You need to stay strong for your baby girl, and if you need any help, I will always be by your side. After all, it's not your fault Chris did what he did. The best we can do is become each other's support now. What do you think?"
Erica smiled and nodded. And in the end, Margaret became Charlotte's godmother.
What can we learn from this story?
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