Alice woke up because her dog started barking in the middle of the night. She went outside and saw an older woman, Janet, sitting on the sidewalk. After urging her to come inside, Janet revealed a shocking story about her daughter-in-law, and Alice knew she had to help.
“DAN! You can’t possibly believe what this woman is saying! That’s crazy! I would never do something like that to Janet! You know me, darling. I love her!” Christina yelled from the doorway after her husband, Dan, looked back at her with questioning eyes.
“Why would I come to this house and lie? Janet is at my house right now and has been crying herself crazy for the last four days after what your wife did. Please, come get your mother if you truly love her,” Alice snapped, crossing her arms angrily, still in disbelief at what Christina had done. She never imagined it would be possible to hate a complete stranger.
Alice woke up at night because her dog was barking at something outside. | Source: Shutterstock
However, Janet’s story had been too devastating for words, and the fact that her son had not found her yet was even more heartbreaking.
“Christina, tell me the truth,” Dan demanded, still holding the front door open and looking back and forth between both women.
“I TOLD YOU THE TRUTH ALREADY!” Christina half-whined, half-yelled at him, and then looked at Alice with disdain on her face.
Alice shook her head, uncrossed her arms, and raised them in defeat. “Fine, you people do whatever you want. You have my address now, Dan. I hope you come for your mother and hear the truth because your wife will certainly not fess up. Goodbye,” she stated and turned around.
Four days ago… 3:15 a.m.…
Alice woke up suddenly at the sound of her dog, Phineas, barking. He was usually quiet because they lived in one of the best parts of Des Moines, Iowa. However, Phineas was making too much noise outside, which meant something had probably alerted him, so Alice got up and went directly to the window.
Alice went out with an umbrella to check things out. | Source: Pexels
After opening her curtain a bit, she saw that it was raining, but a figure was sitting on the sidewalk right in front of her house. Who could be out there in this weather? Is it a burglar? Alice thought at first, but the person was hunched in such a weak position that there was no way he or she was dangerous to anyone. She thought about calling the police, but that was too extreme.
Maybe I’m stupid for going out there, she mused while putting on her robe and heading downstairs. Phineas rushed to her after she opened the front door and grabbed an umbrella. But he went right back to the fence, wagging his tail and trying to get the figure’s attention. As Alice walked closer, she noticed that the figure was a woman, and her clothes were soaked.
“Ma’am! What are you doing out here? You’re going to get sick!” she said a bit loudly so she could be heard in the rain.
“I’m so sorry, miss, I disturbed your dog. I’ll go now,” the woman answered and tried her best to stand up. That’s when Alice noticed how frail she was. After thinking about it for a second, she opened the fence, helped the woman stand, and guided her toward the house. The frail lady tried to protest, but Alice insisted.
Janet told her why she was out there. | Source: Pexels
Once they were inside, she led the woman to her bathroom and offered her a change of clothes. She made tea and encouraged the lady to sit with her in the kitchen to sip some.
“Ma’am, can you tell me your name and what you were doing out there?” she asked carefully.
“Oh, dear. I didn’t even introduce myself. Where are my manners? I’m Janet, and I was out there… because… because…,” Janet’s voice shook emotionally, but she cleared her throat and continued. “I’m sorry. It’s a long story, and I can’t even believe it happened.”
“I’m up, and you’re already in my house, wearing my clothes. You can open up to me,” Alice replied, giving the older woman a warm smile. Janet smiled back — although her eyes glistened — and began her tale.
“My daughter-in-law, Christina, is the most horrible woman I’ve ever met, but somehow, she has my son, Dan, fooled. She has wanted to kick me out of their house for a long time, and I told Dan that I would just go live with my sister, Agnes, who is two hours away from here. But he won’t let me. His father made him promise to take care of me.”
“He’s a good man, then,” Alice commented, sipping her tea.
Christina drove off, leaving Janet stranded. | Source: Pexels
“Yes, but he doesn’t see or refuses to see the way Christina treats me... Anyway, Dan went away on a business trip, and Christina asked me to go on a drive with her yesterday. I was suspicious, but I couldn’t say no. She drove around for hours, but then, she stopped right down the street, saying we had a flat tire. She got out, and then I got out to tell her that it was too late and maybe it was better to wait inside the car with our doors locked. But as soon as I was distracted, she got back in her car and drove off!” Janet explained with wide eyes.
“Yes! It’s crazy! Anyway, I tried to run after the car stupidly, but I lost my breath quickly, obviously. I sat down for a second on the sidewalk, and it started to rain. What are the odds? I felt defeated at that moment. I started crying. I think that’s when your dog started barking. I’m so sorry,” Janet finished, using her hand to cover her mouth.
“I can’t believe anyone would do that! Oh my god! What is she going to tell your son?”
“Probably that I ran off or something,” Janet answered, waving her hand.
Alice told Janet to stay as long as she needed. | Source: Pexels
The two ladies talked for several more hours until the sun came up, and Alice offered Janet a place to stay. Janet accepted reluctantly, as it was weird receiving such kindness from a stranger. She also used Alice’s phone to leave her son a voice message, telling her where she was and what happened.
“Your son will come to pick you up as soon as he hears that,” Alice reassured the older woman.
However, four days later, he had yet to show up and didn’t even call when Janet had clearly given him Alice’s home number.
It was time for Alice to go directly to his house 10 minutes away and chew him out. But Dan was entirely confused by her presence. There were no unheard voicemails in his inbox, so he thought his mother was just visiting her sister, Agnes, which meant that Christina had blatantly lied to him.
Alice drove home fuming in anger after discovering why Dan had not come to pick up his mother. She couldn’t believe people like Christina existed in the world, but there she was. Hopefully, Dan would not listen to his wife's lies for once and at least come to check if Alice had been telling the truth.
Dan couldn't believe what his wife had done. | Source: Pexels
She got home and told Janet everything. It was not surprising at all to the older woman. “I told you she was horrible,” Janet shrugged. Alice shook her head but decided to start making lunch.
Around 30 minutes later, the doorbell rang. “Janet, I think you should answer that. It has to be him. I’ll leave you two alone,” Alice began, cleaning her hands and walking towards the stairs.
“No, dear. You should stay and listen. Maybe if there’s an impartial third party, Dan will finally listen."
As suspected, Dan was standing there, and his mouth opened in shock when he saw his mother. “MOM! What are you doing here?” he asked, concerned.
“Sit down, and listen to me, boy,” Janet waved him in. Alice served them tea and cookies while they talked about that awful night.
“I don’t understand. How could she?” Dan said with his head in his hands and about to burst into tears. “I think she erased my voicemails too, so I wouldn’t learn the truth.”
Phineas was the ring bearer at their wedding. | Source: Pexels
After a few more minutes discussing the issue, Dan stood up, thanked Alice, and asked her to watch his mother for a bit longer. Alice agreed, and he left.
When he returned, he had several bags, including Janet’s things. “We’re going to Aunt Agnes’ house. I already called her. I can’t thank you enough, Alice. If you ever need anything don’t hesitate to call me. Thank you for keeping my mother safe. You’ve already done more for me than my own wife…or should I say, ex-wife?” Dan added sarcastically.
Although they left, Alice heard from Janet every week when she called. Living alone with just her dog had been hard, but Alice had not noticed her loneliness until the older woman stayed for several days.
Eventually, Dan started calling her too and several months after his divorce was finalized, he asked her out. Their relationship progressed into something serious, and this time, Janet was deliriously happy at her son’s wedding. All their guests cheered as Phineas walked down the aisle as their ring bearer.
What can we learn from this story?
Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.
If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a bride who believed her father to be dead until she heard his voice on her wedding day.
This account is inspired by our reader’s story and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone’s life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.