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Widow Sees Her Young Daughter with a Stranger after School, Hurries to Find Out Why – Story of the Day

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Jul 10, 2022
01:30 P.M.
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After losing her husband, Nicole became everything to her daughter. When Nicole saw a stranger walking behind her eight-year-old Sophia, she wouldn't rest until she found out why. And the truth was far from what she expected.

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'Any minute now,' Nicole said to herself, stealing another look at the clock.

Before anyone could catch her checking the time, she pretended to take a sip of her coffee, then threw a friendly glance at all the women sitting around the dining table. The attention was on her. They were still talking about how 'brave' and 'strong' she had been. And how sad it was that Kenny had passed.

Kenny. There was a time she couldn't say this name in her head without bursting into tears. Now, there was only a slight stumble of the heartbeat.

Losing Kenny was a pain that Nicole would carry for the rest of her life. | Source: Getty Images

Losing Kenny was a pain that Nicole would carry for the rest of her life. | Source: Getty Images

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Kenny was the love of Nicole's life. And now, all that love had turned to grief and filled her heart.

Kenny had been the center of her universe. He was the source of love and the voice of courage in her heart. If it weren't for Kenny, Nicole would've still worked at the same company, typing out memos and planning employee birthday parties, instead of transforming lives as a yoga teacher.

Nicole remembered the day when she first met Kenny. It was almost 6 a.m., and the sun was just minutes away from the horizon. Nicole was there, barefoot on a mat, performing a Sun Salutation.

She knew that her life was otherwise imperfect. Her then-boyfriend had cheated on her, her father had loaned money from her for another 'business idea,' and her job drained her of any creativity or enthusiasm she had within her.

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But in her imperfect life, that one hour she spent at the park was a delightful contrast. She loved and lived each second of her daily yoga practice. She loved the solitude, serenity, fresh air, and warmth in her limbs. She knew that no matter what, this hour would always be perfect.

Yoga was food for Nicole's soul in an otherwise chaotic life. | Source: Getty Images

Yoga was food for Nicole's soul in an otherwise chaotic life. | Source: Getty Images

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What she didn't know was that the future love of her life was observing her from a distance, and he had already fallen in love with her.

Over the next few months, Nicole and Kenny met every morning at the crack of dawn and opened their hearts to each other. And on one such dewy morning, Kenny asked her to marry him.

Kenny pushed Nicole to quit her dull corporate career and teach yoga full-time. And she did. Nicole quickly became one of the city's most loved and respected yoga teachers. People would come from all over to join her on that same spot in the park at sunrise. She would teach them with the same balance and grace that Kenny admired.

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And when the couple was blessed with a daughter, the center of their universe shifted. They named her Sophia after Kenny's mother.

And in many ways, little Sophie turned out to be more of an adorably nagging mother to him than a daughter.

"Daddy, why do you drink so much coffee?"

"Daddy, you left your wet towel on the bed again."

"Daddy, can you please not bring your phone to the table?"

Sophia was a sweet, caring daughter to her beloved papa. | Source: Getty Images

Sophia was a sweet, caring daughter to her beloved papa. | Source: Getty Images

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It had been four years since Sophia got to ask her daddy a question or squeeze him after he came home from work.

Kenny had met with a terrible accident while driving on an ice-laden road. The memory of that winter night haunted Nicole for years. And while she tried to protect her 4-year-old angel from the grief, Nicole knew that something in her had broken, too.

Seasons went by, and the pain had changed and morphed. Nicole derived great strength from her work, and the mother-daughter relationship had become impenetrable in the absence of Kenny.

Sophia was now eight years old, but she was an old soul who knew how to care for herself and treat pain with kindness. Even so, she did not have many friends and mostly kept to herself.

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'She should be home by now,' Nicole thought. Nicole's friends had all gone home. While doing the dishes, she spotted little Sophia approaching the driveway. But there was something different about her today.

Sophia returned home in an unusual mood that day. | Source: Getty Images

Sophia returned home in an unusual mood that day. | Source: Getty Images

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She was smiling instead of being lost in thought. And there was a spring in her step as she spun her water bottle around. 'Is someone with her?' Nicole leaned in to look farther. And to her shock, a man was following her. He was chatting with Sophia but was walking about five steps behind her.

Nicole almost stormed into the driveway to confront the stranger when she noticed him waving goodbye to Sophia. He then quietly turned around and walked away.

Who was this man? And why was he talking to Sophia? As soon as she finds out, she would call the police, Nicole decided.

When Nicole asked her who he was, Sophia replied: "Oh, it's Josh. I met him today, somewhere on my way back home. He and I became friends over ice cream. He offered me two, but I only took one."

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"Why were you talking to a stranger, Soph? Hasn't Mamma told you not to speak with strangers?" Nicole tried to contain her voice.

"But Ma," Sophia said, looking into Nicole's eyes, "he didn't feel like a stranger."

Sophia explained that the man did not feel like a total stranger at all. | Source: Getty Images

Sophia explained that the man did not feel like a total stranger at all. | Source: Getty Images

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"What do you mean?" Nicole asked.

"He felt like a friend. We talked about all sorts of things. We like the same movies, he loves Harry Potter, too, and he can't stand the smell of broccoli either. Can I ask you a funny riddle he asked me?"

Nicole had tuned out of the conversation by then. She didn't know what to make of this situation. One on hand, it was deeply worrying. But on the other hand, there was something about the sincerity in Sophia's description which made her more curious than worried.

What was this man's intention? Nicole decided to find out for herself.

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The following day, Nicole decided to cancel her classes for the day. She chose to drive Sophia to school instead. She waited outside throughout the school hours and looked around for any sign of the man. He was nowhere to be found. They didn't spot him on their drive back home, either.

Nicole was on the lookout for the stranger throughout the neighborhood. | Source: Getty Images

Nicole was on the lookout for the stranger throughout the neighborhood. | Source: Getty Images

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That evening, Nicole decided to take Sophia for a walk in the park. She thought Sophia might have felt that friendliness towards the stranger because she was missing her father. A casual walk in the fresh air and a heart-to-heart conversation may be just what she needs, she thought.

Just as they entered the park, Sophia screamed, "There he is, Ma! Do you see him?"

She pulled Nicole and ran towards a crowd, waving her hand and calling out, "Josh! Hey, Josh!"

As the crowd parted, Nicole saw a cozy stall lit up with bright string lights and paper lanterns. There were patio chairs and tables laid out in front of the shack, and there wasn't an empty seat.

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Sophia had led Nicole to a vibrant little ice cream place in the park. | Source: Getty Images

Sophia had led Nicole to a vibrant little ice cream place in the park. | Source: Getty Images

And right next to a sign that read "Josh's Ice Cream," a young man was excitedly waving back at Sophia.

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It was time to find out the truth. "Why were you following my daughter yesterday?" Nicole charged at the stranger with the question.

Josh was taken aback by the sharpness in her voice. Without making eye contact with her, he nervously asked, "May I interest you in a sundae first? Two scoops of chocolate, one scoop of coffee, and a sprinkling of chocolate chips, almonds, and hazelnut on top, am I right?"

Nicole was shocked that the man knew exactly what she liked. Puzzled, she looked at Josh and then over to Sophia.

"What?" Sophia rolled her eyes. "He asked me what you liked, Ma. As I was trying to tell you yesterday, I think he likes you. I only told him your favorite ice cream. You can tell him the rest yourself."

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Sophia had told Josh just the kind of ice cream her Ma liked. | Source: Getty Images

Sophia had told Josh just the kind of ice cream her Ma liked. | Source: Getty Images

Turning to Josh, Sophia continued in a matter-of-fact tone, "Josh, you can ask Ma whatever you want to know. You can also tell her how you think she's sweet and beautiful. I think she'll like you, too. Maybe not today; this uniform makes you look a bit shabby... And oh! Before you start talking, I'll have the sundae, too, please. Thank you."

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Nicole and Josh were both embarrassed by Sophia's innocent, unfiltered rampage. They looked at each other and couldn't help but burst into laughter. And in that endless laughter, something had begun.

"Alright, Josh," Nicole finally said. "Just so you know, you were exactly right about my sundae preferences. And I would love to come by and take you up on the offer. But right now, someone needs to get home and has some explaining to do," she said, pointing at Sophia.

Nicole didn't expect what naughty little Sophie had done. | Source: Getty Images

Nicole didn't expect what naughty little Sophie had done. | Source: Getty Images

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Josh chuckled and mustered the courage to ask Nicole, "So, tomorrow?"

"Tomorrow." Nicole smiled and turned around.

She knew from Josh's eyes that he had already fallen for her. And she was doing her best to hide it from Sophia, but after years of feeling nothing but grief, a little bit of love was beaming up inside her heart again.

What can we learn from this story?

  • Don't judge a book by its cover. Nicole's fear could've easily urged her to call the cops on Josh after he followed Sophia home. But she did not make any decision in haste. She was careful yet open-minded and trusted her daughter's instincts about the stranger she met.
  • Love finds you when you least expect it. Even when you've been through the most profound grief, love has a way of finding you if you only allow it. After all that sorrow, Nicole did not rush through her healing; in time, love came knocking again.
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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 widow who discovered a suitcase that her husband had hidden from her for 50 years.

This piece is inspired by stories from the everyday lives of our readers 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 info@amomama.com.

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