A man is shocked to discover that there is a lot he doesn't know about his wife's past and the terrible choices she had to make.
When Mary Stevens met her second husband, Steve Dartwood, she was a struggling single mom to twin boys. They met in a line at a supermarket. Mary was ahead of Steve, struggling to control the boys who were busy trying to throw the groceries out of the cart.
Steve watched for a while, amused, then he stepped in to distract the boys and give Mary a chance to buy the items she needed before they vanished. Then he saw Mary flush with embarrassment, her eyes filling with tears when her card was rejected.
Like a knight in shining armor, Steve had stepped in and saved the day. The sweet smile Mary gave him won his heart, and not long after, he asked her to be his wife. That had been four years ago, and he'd had no reason to regret his decision, until now.
Steve was stunned to see a snap of triplets in his wife's drawer. | Source: Shutterstock.com
Steve was a wealthy man and he'd been able to lavish the best of everything on Mary and her two boys -- Darrel and Darren. Steve had quickly grown to love the boys and to regard them as his own.
Their little family had thrived, Mary had blossomed, but sometimes Steve would catch a shadow of sadness in her eyes. Whenever he'd ask her about it, she'd just smile and say it was 'nothing.'
The bitter truth is better than the sweetest lies.
Recently, the faraway looks had become more frequent, and she started coming home from work late. Then Steve started noticing that large sums of money were being drawn from their joint accounts.
He'd never questioned Mary's spending, but she'd always discussed her purchases with him. What was she using the money for? Where was she going? A week before, Steve had dropped in to have lunch with Mary at her work, only to discover she'd taken the day off.
When Steve met Mary she was a single mom with twin boys. | Source: Pexels
A bitter suspicion started haunting Steve. Was Mary having an affair? She was definitely hiding something because when he'd questioned her about the day off she'd given vague answers.
It was becoming an obsession with Steve. He had to know where Mary went, what she did, what she was hiding. On a Saturday afternoon, while Mary took the boys to the movies, he searched their room.
He'd never imagined himself doing something as dishonest as going through his wife's belongings, but there seemed to be no other way to get to the truth. Steve looked through her wardrobe and found nothing.
Then, right at the back of her chest of drawers, he found a cardboard box. Inside was a wooden frame with a photo of three toddlers clinging to the bars of a crib -- three identical boys -- and they looked like Darrel and Darren.
Steve married Mary after a whirlwind romance. | Source: Unsplash
"Three?" he gasped. "But... Why didn't Mary tell me?" Steve wondered aloud. What had happened to the third boy? Had he died? Was that why Mary sometimes looked so sad? But why hadn't she confided in Steve?
At the bottom of the box was a note: "Mary, forgive me, I couldn't keep him. He's at 3350 M St NW. I'm so sorry."
The next day, Steve headed for the address on the note, determined to solve the mystery. To his surprise, the address led him to an orphanage, and as he arrived he saw Mary walking up the steps!
Steve quickly followed her and saw her run towards a boy who looked exactly like Darren and Darryl. She embraced the boy and caressed his hair. Steve stepped closer so he could hear her.
Steve saw that there was money missing from their bank account. | Source: Unsplash
"Hi, my love," Mary said tenderly. "I'm sorry I won't be able to stay long today, but I promise that mommy's going to do everything to make sure you're taken care of. I found you a new school, a very fine school."
"But mom," the boy said sadly. "Why can't I be with you?"
Tears were running down Mary's face. "I'm so sorry, my love," she sobbed. "Mommy made a mistake, such a big mistake...But I'm doing my best!"
Steve's heart ached at the pain in Mary's voice. Something had obviously happened that forced Mary to separate her boys, and now she didn't feel she could bring her third son home.
The address was for an orphanage. | Source: Unsplash
Steve stood watching as the tearful Mary walked away. "I promised to make you happy, Mary," he said softly. "And I'm going to -- no matter what."
When Mary arrived home from work that evening, she was in for a surprise. Steve had started the barbecue going and the boys were busy setting the table and helping around the yard.
"Darren! Darry!" she cried. "Come give mommy a kiss!" The two boys came running, and then Mary saw the third boy hanging back shyly. "DEAN!" she gasped, and her knees gave out, she had to sit down on the grass.
Steve ran to her. "Mary!" he cried. "Are you alright? I didn't mean to give you such a shock! I thought it would be a happy surprise..."
Steve saw Mary holding a little boy. | Source: Unsplash
But Mary was sobbing so hard she could hardly speak. When she finally calmed down, she sat down with Steve and put her arms around her three boys. "I need to explain," she said. "I need to tell you all...
"Six years ago, when you boys were born, I was all alone. I'd lost my job, I didn't know how I was going to cope. I was so scared...But then a friend of mine who couldn't have children came to me.
"She said she'd take one of you boys, and she'd take care of you, make sure you'd have the best of everything -- all the things I couldn't give you. It was so hard...
"For months I cried over you, Dean. It broke my heart to give you up, but I believed it was for the best. Then, six months ago, I received a letter from my friend. She told me she'd had a baby of her own.
Mary's boys were finally together again. | Source: Pexels
"She'd moved to Europe and left you behind, Dean. She said she couldn't cope with you and a new baby. So I went to the orphanage where she left you..."
Mary turned to Steve with tears in her eyes. "I was so afraid that if I told you the truth you wouldn't love me anymore, that you'd all despise me, and it's been breaking my heart..."
"Mary," Steve said gently. "I could never, ever despise you, and if you'd trusted me with the truth, we'd both have suffered a lot less. We have our three boys now, and nothing is ever going to divide us again!"
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