A businessman comes home from a three-month business trip to find a strange woman living in his house, and his wife and family vanished without a trace.
John Carson had been in Germany for three months supervising the opening of a new branch of the company he worked for. As his plane touched down, he was already unbuckling his seat belt.
He couldn't wait to see his wife and children! Sandra had been a little strange the last few times they'd talked and he promised her he would not be away from her this long again.
John thought Sandra and the children would be at the airport to pick him up, but there was no one there. Maybe they were late? John called her cell phone. There was no answer. What was going on?
John couldn't wait to see his family again. | Source: Unsplash
John caught a cab and gave the driver his home address. An hour later, he was running up the stairs and putting his keys in the lock. To his surprise, his keys didn't work.
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He rang the doorbell. "Sandra!" he called. "Kids! Daddy's home!"
Someone opened the door but it wasn't Sandra or one of his children. It was a tall, slender woman in her fifties with elegant silver hair. "Yes?" she asked coolly.
"Where's Sandra?" asked John, bewildered. "Where's my wife?"
"Sandra?" the woman frowned. "I'm sorry, but there's no one by that name here."
John called Sandra but there was no answer. | Source: Unsplash
"But this is MY HOUSE!" John shouted. "Who are you?"
"Certainly not! It's MY house!" the woman said firmly.
At the sound of John's shouts, an older man appeared. "What's going on Holly?" he asked.
"This man keeps insisting his wife Sandra lives here," she explained. "I've been trying to tell him we bought the house three months ago."
"You bought this house?" John asked. "Who sold it to you?"
John gave the taxi driver his address. | Source: Unsplash
"We bought it through a realtor," the man said. "We never met the previous owner."
John was left standing on the sidewalk with his suitcase feeling as if his world had tipped over. He tried Sandra's number again, then he called his in-laws.
"Please, Dana!" John said to his mother-in-law. "I just want to know that Sandra and the kids are OK!"
"No thanks to you!" Dana cried. "How could you!"
"But I didn't do anything!" John gasped. "I love Sandra, I worship the ground she walks on!"
John had quite a surprise when he got home. | Source: Unsplash
"You have a strange way of showing it!" Dana said.
John started weeping. "Dana," he said. "Do you remember the night Robbie was born? You know how much I love Sandra. How could you think I'd do anything to hurt her? Please, there's been some mistake!"
Dana was silent for a while. "Look, I can't promise you anything," she said. "But I will talk to Sandra tomorrow."
"My house is gone, Dana," John said. "There are strangers living there. I have nowhere to go."
"Come over, John," Dana said. "You can sleep in the spare room."
The woman who opened the door wasn't his wife. | Source: Pexels
Sandra's parents weren't very friendly, but they did welcome John. They set him up in the spare room, and immediately he knew that Sandra and the kids had been there. Sandra's perfume still lingered, and on top of the desk was his old laptop.
John sat down and fired up the computer to check his email and was surprised to see an old account was active. There were dozens of emails sent and received, between his old address and a woman called Linda Dean. The emails were VERY personal, and steamy, and John couldn't believe what he was reading.
He had never had an affair with anyone, let alone Linda Dean who had been his secretary for over five years. In one email Linda spoke about 'our baby' and John nearly exploded.
No wonder Sandra had left him! Linda had obviously gone out of her way to make her believe he'd cheated on her and fathered an illegitimate child.
John's in-laws took him in. | Source: Unsplash
It must be Linda's revenge for being fired after John caught her padding the expense account. He printed out the emails and ran to Dana. "This," he said, waving the emails. "These are all lies! And I can prove it!"
Dana looked at him suspiciously. "You can?" she asked.
"Yes," John said. "All I need is a chance to talk to Sandra!"
Minutes later, Dana was on the phone, and soon Sandra was walking in the door. She looked thin and unhappy. "Sandra!" John cried, and he ran towards her, but she held up her hand.
"Stop," she said. "Mom said you could prove it was all lies..."
John realized his email had been hacked. | Source: Unsplash
John nodded. "Yes!" he cried. "Look here, the emails look like they came from my email, but if you look you will see that the IP address is the same as Linda's. She hacked my account!"
"And also, look here! On several of the dates she talks about her and I being together, you and I were at the cabin! It's all lies!"
Sandra looked at the emails and she gasped. "It's true! But why would she..."
"Because," John said, "she wanted to destroy what I hold most precious in my life: my family."
"Oh, John!" Sandra sobbed. "And she nearly succeeded!"
John won his family back. | Source: Unsplash
The next day, John and Sandra went looking for a lovely new house for their family, and she promised to never doubt him again.
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