Orphan Boy Visits Unfinished House Father Was Building 10 Years Ago, Finds Locked Hatch Inside – Story of the Day
A boy who was sure his dad had died long ago is startled when he gets a letter stating his dad passed away recently. In addition to this shocking news, the boy inherits an unfinished house, and as he explores it one day, he finds a locked hatch holding an incredible secret about his father.
"OMG! That scared the hell out of me!" 13-year-old Tom gasped as he clutched his heart. He was so fixated on memorizing math formulas for his upcoming test when the doorbell rang out loud and startled him. As he answered the door, he saw Mr. Kenny, the local postman, on the threshold with a letter in his hand.
As Tom collected the mail and slammed the door shut behind him, he was curious to know what was inside when he saw his name printed on the beige envelope. As he tore it open and pulled out a letter, another wave of shock washed over him.
"What...My dad passed two weeks ago, and he bequeathed his house to me? How is this possible? Grandpa told me that my father died when I was little," Tom was stunned as he read the letter posted from a lawyer who had requested his presence to settle all the legal formalities of the inheritance...
As Tom sat alone in his room, he could not shake the thought of his recent inheritance and newfound knowledge of his father's supposed death. His mind wandered back, and for as long as he could remember, his grandpa Sebastian, a wealthy banker in the county, was all he had.
Tom's mom had died during childbirth, and his only memories of her were the pictures of her with his grandpa in an old family album.
When Tom was five, his grandpa told him his father had abandoned his mother when he learned she was pregnant and fled the town. That same year, he was also told that his father had died from an overdose.
"I thought my father was dead...Where was he if he was alive all these years? Why didn't he come to see me?"
As Tom grew older, his father's betrayal weighed heavily on him. His hatred for the man had taken deep root in his heart, and he never wished to talk about his dad or know anything about him. But the sudden receipt of the letter with the news of his father's recent death just two weeks ago shook Tom.
Several questions haunted his mind. And at that moment, Tom suddenly remembered a man who had approached him outside his school gate a few months ago, claiming to be his estranged father.
That evening, Tom was walking home from school when the vagabond suddenly stopped his way and introduced him as his father. The man looked sick and run-down, so Tom thought he was a drunkard deceiving him for money.
"Son, I'm your FATHER!" the man called out to Tom again, but the boy ignored him and angrily walked away.
"My father was a dirty rogue who abandoned my mother and me. That man is already dead. Do you hear me, you ugly scammer? You should've made up a different tale, you fool. Don't you dare trick me...Just get lost before I call the cops!" Tom threatened the man and stormed away.
He never saw the guy again nor attached any importance to his words. But now, he was so confused as he read the letter again and again. Seeing the words 'father' and 'son' on the paper hit him like a ton of bricks. Moreover, Tom was not quite sure if this was some scam, so he decided to talk to his grandpa and dig deeper.
"Granmpa, I wanted to ask you something...I got this letter today evening from a lawyer in Chicago. It says my dad has bequeathed me his house," said Tom as he showed his grandpa the letter.
Sebastian was shaken as he dropped the fork and began coughing at seeing the words 'Richard Larence' on the letter.
"How is it possible, grampa? You told me my father died when I was little. But the letter says he died just two weeks ago...What's going on, and who is this guy who left me his house? Is he really my dad? Was he alive?" Tom added.
To his surprise, his grandpa did not attach any importance to the revelation and acted normal as he tucked the letter back into the envelope and sat back.
"Your father was a JERK! He lived such a miserable life...He was on drugs...had multiple affairs with women. Gosh! The things he did were just disgusting, and I don't even want to talk about them! And you know what? I was just trying to protect you from his bad influence. Trust me, sonny...your dad was a terrible man. I didn't want you to know anything about that drunkard so I lied he was dead."
"Grandpa, how could you do this?" Tom was furious.
"Tom, I did what was good for you," Sebastian tried to reason with his grandson. But the boy was so heartbroken and felt betrayed by his own grandfather.
"For my good? Do you even know what you've done? You told me my father was such a bad man who'd abandoned my mother. I hated him for that, okay? I still do... You made me promise I would never ask anything about him... And I agreed. But that doesn't mean you had the right to lie to me about his death. How could you deceive me, grampa?"
"Tommy, calm down. You are too young to understand why I lied to you. But all I can say is I did it for your own good...and you'll understand I was right when you grow older," said Sebastian.
"How on earth was this for my own good, granmpa? You told me my father was dead while he was still alive. I wonder what other secrets you've kept from me. I don't think I'll ever be able to trust you again...Please tell me now itself if there is anything else you've hidden from me before I find it out myself."
In the heated moment, the boy exploded in anger, frustrated by his grandpa's harsh rules and expectations and now the lie about his dad's death.
"Right from what color pants I should wear to my hairstyle, and even who I should be friends with and what I should eat...you always decide everything for me. I'm not a robot, grandpa...I am thirteen and big enough to make my own decisions. I want you to take me to Chicago...and I want to meet the lawyer and see that house my father left me," Tom argued.
His grandson's sudden outburst stunned Sebastian, and his blood started to boil.
"You have everything a child could only dream of...isn't that enough? I raised you all by myself. I've given you the best birthday gifts...have taken you on expensive vacations, and you go to such a prestigious school. I did everything your parents were supposed to be doing for you…What more do you want? Stop raising your voice, young man. Remember who you are talking to. And you better be sorry for what you said."
"Everything was going great until this goddamn letter came. You should be thankful to me coz you have a bright future ahead of you. Let me tell you one thing clearly, Tom...Just forget about this stupid letter and your father…Both are useless."
"You're not going to Chicago, and that's final! If you still wish to go there, you'll have to forget about my money and all forms of support in the future," Sebastian added sternly as he stormed to his room.
As Tom frustratingly sat back in his chair, he decided to run away from his grandpa's care to meet the lawyer on his own. He knew it was a risky decision and that his grandpa would be mad at him, but he was not ready to let his only chance of knowing more about his deceased father slip away.
So the following day, Tom stole some money from his grandpa's locker and took a bus to Chicago.
As he entered the attorney's office, he saw a woman sitting across the table from the lawyer. She suddenly turned around and smiled at him, but Tom couldn't recognize her.
"Your grandpa didn't come with you?" the lawyer asked Tom.
"No, he didn't." Tom was taken aback as he never knew of such a requirement. He started to panic as he'd come a long way for this, and for a moment, he doubted if it was some trap.
"I'm afraid we cannot settle the formalities without adult supervision, Tom," said the lawyer. "But don't worry...Your aunt Hilda is here, and you both are inheriting your dad's house together! So she'll be able to help you."
"My aunt?" gasped Tom as the woman rose from her chair and hugged him.
"Yes, sweetie!" said Hilda. "I'm your aunt...your dad's sister. Did you get the letter? I knew you would come, but I thought your grandpa would come with you...Didn't he tell you about me? Never mind! Let's finish the paperwork quickly and talk."
Tom was shaken to discover he had an aunt he never knew existed, and his grandpa had never told him anything about her. Hilda and Tom completed the formalities together before leaving for a nearby café. As he sipped a frothy cup of cappuccino, Tom broke his aunt's silence, urging her to reveal everything about his father.
"Aunt Hilda, my grandpa told me that my dad never wanted kids and abandoned my mom when she was pregnant. But everything is so confusing now. Why did my dad leave his house to me if he never wanted me? I thought my father was dead...My grandpa told me my dad died when I was little. But my father passed just two weeks ago. Where was he if he was alive all these years? Why didn't he come to see me? What's going on, Aunt Hilda?"
"Your father was a street artist who made a living by drawing beautiful portraits of people," began Hilda. "And that's how he met your mother Alice one day when she'd approached him to draw a portrait of her. My brother always told me she was the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen."
"And they fell in love? Like in movies? He flirted with mom as long as he wanted and dumped her when she was pregnant, right?" Tom angrily interrupted.
"Not exactly! When your father met your mother, he was already in a relationship with another woman. Her name was Emily."
"What? My dad was already in love with someone, and he ended up falling for my mother?"
"You'd be surprised to know that your dad successfully maintained a smooth relationship with both women for quite some time without getting caught," chuckled Hilda. "But one day, he decided to choose only one of them."
"Who did he choose? I bet my dad would have dumped my mother and chosen Emily," fumed Tom.
"No! He chose your mother!" revealed Hilda as Tom gasped in shock.
As it turned out, Richard and Emily's relationship was already on the rocks, and he'd decided to break up with her. He wanted to move on with Alice, and just as he was about to end his relationship with Emily, she told him she was pregnant with their child.
This was a big blow to Richard's heart but nothing compared to the shock when he found out Alice was also pregnant with his child around the same time.
"He was in deep trouble," Hilda laughed. "He didn't know what to do and kept asking me for ideas. I still remember how we spent the whole night discussing what was best for him and his two pregnant girlfriends."
After spending several sleepless nights, Richard made the most difficult decision of his life. He met with Emily one day and bravely ended their relationship. Even she agreed, telling him there was little prospect for a bright future with him. Richard parted ways with Emily while promising to take care of her and their baby until she moved on with someone better.
"So he just walked out on his pregnant ex-girlfriend for my mother?" Tom interrupted. "That was still cheap."
"Their relationship was complicated, sweetie...You won't understand now! Your dad and mom moved in together after that, against your grandpa's wishes. They were very happy together and were preparing for their baby's arrival. They were even planning to get married after that!"
"It was the happiest time in my brother's life, but one day, everything was destroyed," said Hilda, tears glistening in her eyes as she recalled that fateful tragedy.
One afternoon, Richard and Alice were returning to their rented apartment in downtown Chicago after an appointment with their doctor. Alice was heavily pregnant and was supposed to be admitted to the hospital the following week as her due date was almost there.
Richard and Alice were so excited, and just as they crossed the gas station, his ex-girlfriend spotted them kissing in the car as they drove past her.
Emily was furious and jealous. She felt neglected, and despite willingly parting ways with Richard, she could not bear the sight of him laughing and cuddling with another woman. Seeing Richard and Alice happy together fueled her anger, especially since she was still single.
In a fit of rage, Emily decided to kill Richard and Alice by crashing their car. She stepped on the gas and sped up, and in a wink, everything came to a tragic end.
When Richard slowly opened his eyes several hours later, a stabbing pain shot through his body as he tried to sit up on the hospital bed. He was struggling to remember what had happened, and the last thing he could recall was the screeching roar of brakes and the deadly crunch of metal.
As he tried to piece the events together leading up to the fatal car crash, reality hit him like a ton of bricks when he realized he had survived. Richard's heart started racing when the doctor told him the two pregnant women were in critical condition.
"Your mom had to undergo a complicated surgery, Tom," revealed Hilda, snapping her tears.
"The doctors were able to save only you and not your mother."
Tears streamed down Tom's face, and his heart began sinking.
"What about dad's ex-girlfriend and her baby?" he asked.
"Due to the crash's impact, Emily's condition was critical. She needed expensive surgery. Your father was furious with her for causing all this, but he decided to save her and their unborn child. Unfortunately, he didn't have money, so he approached your grandpa for help."
"Your grandpa hated your father even before this awful tragedy happened," added Hilda. "He considered your father a loser who tricked your mother into falling in love with him. The accident and your mother's death only worsened things, and his hatred for your father swelled in his heart. So your grandpa decided to avenge his daughter's death."
"He agreed to help save Emily and her baby only if your father gave up his custody of you and promised never to see you again."
"Richard was torn between saving his ex-girlfriend and their unborn child and you," wept Hilda. "With a heavy heart, he agreed to move away from your life after your grandpa gave him the money he needed for Emily's treatment. Unfortunately, Emily and the baby died a few weeks later, and my brother's life was completely ruined."
Richard lost everything in a wink, and he even visited Sebastian several times, begging him to return his baby. But Sebastian refused and moved out of Chicago with his grandson.
"My brother's life turned into shambles when he saw your grandpa boarding the flight with you cradled in his arms. He knew your future would be bright and promising if you lived with your grandpa. So he never bothered you or your grandpa again. And ten years ago, your father told me he was building a house in honor of his late beloved...."
"A house for mom? Is that the house he bequeathed to me in my inheritance?"
"Yes! It was the house of your mother's dreams, and my brother was excited about building it. It took him ten years to raise that building...But several months ago, he was diagnosed with cancer and had to stop working. He realized he didn't have much time left, so he decided to break his promise to your grandpa. But when he returned, he was heartbroken and refused to tell me why. My brother started drinking heavily and one day, just a few days before he died, he cried to me, saying he wanted to die sooner," Hilda recounted.
"Where is that house? I want to see it," said Tom, tears welling up in his eyes.
Later that afternoon, Tom arrived in front of what looked like an unfinished marvel facing the sea on the outskirts of town. He felt nothing extraordinary about the house until his aunt showed him a hatch secured by a rusty lock on the floor.
"Here's the key...open it!" she said, getting a key down from the holder on the wall. Curious, Tom unlocked the hatch and stepped down the creaky stairs that led to a small chamber. The boy's eyes refused to blink, and his mouth split wide open in shock as Hilda turned the lights on.
The whole room, which was the late Richard's little art gallery, was filled with Tom's portraits from different timelines. There were paintings of Tom lifting his first trophy in school, of him crying as he rose after falling off his bike, and even one with street dogs chasing him in the backdrop!
"Oh, my God! How...how did dad know all this?" Tom gasped, staring at the treasure trove of portraits.
Tom burst into tears when he learned his dad Richard had been secretly watching him grow up from afar all these years.
"And this was his last painting of you! It's the only portrait of you two together!" said Hilda as Tom's gaze shifted to a portrait of an angry schoolboy yelling at a beggarly man outside his school gate.
Tom's heart pounded in his chest as he recognized the poor man on the painting. He was so guilty for not giving his dad one chance to talk to him, and was so furious with his grandpa for depriving him of his father's love.
Later that day, Tom called his grandpa and told him he would never return. And he never returned to his grandpa again and lived with his aunt.
As years passed, Tom let go of his anger and turned his grief into something beautiful. He decided to follow in his dad's footsteps and keep his love for art alive.
On his 18th birthday, he sold his late dad's unfinished house to a hotel owner and enrolled in the Academy of Arts with the money from the sale.
What can we learn from this story?
- No amount of darkness can put out a tiny sliver of light. No amount of lies can conceal the truth. Tom's grandpa Sebastian had kept him in a web of lies about his father all his life. However, the truth unraveled itself most unexpectedly when Tom learned about his father and his struggles after fleeing to Chicago to claim his inheritance.
- There is more to a person than their appearance. So never judge someone by how they look. When Tom ran into a stranger who claimed to be his father, he misunderstood that the guy was a wayfarer deceiving him for money. However, Tom later regretted it when he discovered that the stranger was indeed his father who had come to see him.
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A poor man buys an old abandoned house, knowing little about the incredible love story hidden within its walls. One day, he discovers stunning details when he finds a secret room behind a false wall. Click here to read the full story.
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