Blood, Sweat And Tears
Gemma noticed the doctor’s shaking hands as his grip tightened around the test results. The deep frown between his eyebrows immediately indicated that something was terribly wrong.
She felt sick to her stomach upon realizing that the worst-case scenario wasn’t as unlikely as she had hoped. She had poured her blood, sweat, and tears into their relationship for years. She didn’t want to believe that the love of her life could betray her like this.
Calm And Consistent
She sat motionless in front of the doctor, concentrating on keeping her breathing calm and consistent. After weeks of waiting for some answers, the results were finally in.
She felt helpless and afraid as she sat by herself, wondering how it had all gone so wrong. A month ago she was at her happiest, but now, she was a paranoid mess. She had thought of every possible scenario, and she feared the worst.
It Changed Everything
When she first spotted the familiar pattern on the girl’s wrist, she didn’t think much of it. It wasn’t until she pointed it out to her husband that everything changed.
She noticed the change in his demeanor. He insisted that it was some kind of crazy coincidence, but the shakiness in his voice did not go unnoticed by her. As the weeks passed, she began noticing more strange “coincidences”.
She never doubted her husband’s loyalty until she noticed that the girl’s deep blue eyes and dark hair bore a striking resemblance to her husband.
She was careful not to accuse him of anything, she trusted him, but she was disturbed by his behavior. Why was he acting so strange if it was all just a coincidence? He was hiding something, and she could tell.
It Wouldn’t Disappear
She kept reminding herself that she trusted her husband, but her gut was telling her that something was wrong. She tried to shut it out for weeks, but she knew that the feeling of dread wouldn’t disappear until she got some answers.
She had to take matters into her own hands, even if that meant betraying the trust she and her husband had built over the years. Little did she know that she was about to discover her husband’s darkest secret.
Her Greatest Fear
Her mind went blank when the doctor sighed deeply. He rubbed a hand across his forehead and placed the papers on the desk before her.
Her stomach twisted into a tight knot as she nodded up at him, “I’m ready.” But when he finally shared the results, she felt her heart sink into her stomach. Just like that, he confirmed her greatest fear.
Gemma and Adrian Marsh had always dreamed of raising a family in their gorgeous home in Otsego, Minnesota. But Gemma’s entire world came crashing down when she discovered that she was the problem. After months of trying, she was unable to give her husband the child they had dreamed of.
But they never lost hope. Although the news shook Adrian to his core, he knew that there were other alternatives out there.
They Could Make It Work
He was the one to suggest adoption. He was determined to start a family with the love of his life. As long as she was by his side, he knew that they could make anything work.
They pondered on the idea for months, carefully evaluating the pros and cons, but ultimately, they decided that adoption was their best option. Adrian didn’t know it at the time, but this decision would have dire consequences.
A Special Day
After months, the special day presented itself, and Gemma and Adrian finally got to welcome their daughter into their home.
For years it felt like something was missing, but that all changed when they met Ava. As soon as Gemma spotted the five-year-old girl at the orphanage, she felt a deep connection. But it wasn’t long until she started noticing something very strange.
The first two weeks with their daughter were a blast. Gemma always knew that she was destined to be a mother. Although she shared no blood relation with the little girl, she still loved her like she was her own.
As far as Gemma was concerned, her life was finally perfect. She had the best husband in the world, and now she finally had a child. But everything changed when she spotted the familiar pattern on the little girl’s wrist.
She was painting Ava’s tiny nails when she noticed the light brown mark on her wrist. Lifting her arm gently, she took a closer look, a frown slowly finding its way between her eyebrows.
It was the strangest thing she had ever seen. How was it possible that Ava had the exact same birthmark in the same spot as Adrian? She called his name, eager to show him her strange discovery.
A Crazy Coincidence
When Adrian looked down at the girl’s wrist, his face twisted in confusion. He went quiet for a minute as he stared at it with wide eyes. Gemma laughed at his reaction.
“Hey, are you okay? It’s weird, right?” She smiled, laughing at her husband’s shocked expression. He peeled his eyes from the girl’s wrist and glanced at his wife, cracking a small smile. “Yeah,” he chuckled nervously, “What a crazy coincidence.” But this was anything but a coincidence.
An Odd Change
Gemma noticed the flash of an unfamiliar expression on Adrian’s face. She assumed that he was creeped out by the mark on the girl’s arm. After all, she had never seen two people with the same birthmark either.
But as the days passed, she started noticing a change in his behavior. Suddenly, he had become quiet, excluding himself from her and Ava. It all started after she showed him the birthmark.
Gemma began feeling uncertain about her husband’s sudden change in behavior. As weeks went by, he hardly spent any time with her and Ava. He began locking himself in his office, stating that he had a lot of work to do for some new client.
But what really bothered Gemma was the fact that he had grown attached to his cell phone. He had never been a big texter, but suddenly, he spent every waking hour texting a number she didn’t recognize.
Whenever she would ask him about it, he would brush it off, mumbling that it was his new client’s number. She tried to respect his privacy, but she was growing more concerned with every passing day.
Before long, he no longer had any free time to spend with her or Ava. In fact, he hardly acknowledged their daughter’s existence. Something about his behavior felt rather suspicious. But one night, the situation became even stranger.
A Striking Resemblance
That night, Gemma was preparing dinner while Ava sat by the dining room table. She was caught up in her coloring book while Adrian sat in front of the television, the light from his phone illuminating his face.
Gemma’s eyes trailed from Ava’s face over to Adrian’s. That’s when she noticed it. Not only did Ava’s deep blue eyes and dark hair bear a striking resemblance to Adrian, but they shared a very similar facial structure.
A Strange Interaction
When she casually mentioned this to Adrian, he frowned. His eyes trailed to Ava and then back to Gemma. He denied her observation, stating that they looked nothing alike before getting up from the couch.
“Where are you going?” Gemma frowned, caught off guard by his sudden grumpiness. “To my office, I have work to do,” he grumbled and walked off. Gemma had always trusted her husband, but this interaction stirred up a strange feeling in the pit of her stomach.
It Didn’t Sit Right With Her
As the days went by, Gemma couldn’t stop thinking about her husband’s sudden change in behavior. His reaction that evening didn’t sit right with her. The man she had fallen in love with would never act like that.
But what bothered her the most was his absence from Ava’s life. He was no longer reading her bedtime stories or playing with her in the garden.
He was now spending every hour of every day in his office. Gemma wasn’t stupid. She knew he was hiding something, and she suspected that it had something to do with Ava.
Everything changed when she started pointing out the similarities between Ava and Adrian. She didn’t want to assume anything, but Adrian looked like he could be the girl’s biological father.
She knew better than to mention her suspicions to Adrian, but she was desperate for some answers. She could only think of one way to get the answers without letting anyone know that she was after them.
With gloves covering her shaking hands, Gemma slowly and carefully pulled the few strands of hair from Adrian’s hairbrush. She carefully stuffed them into a plastic baggie.
She was overcome by guilt, but it was necessary. She knew herself. She knew that she wouldn’t be able to rest until she had answers. Next, she did the same with one of Ava’s brushes. Gemma was on the verge of discovering one of Adrian’s darkest secrets.
When she handed the samples over to the nurse, she let out a deep breath. Although she felt immense guilt, she knew that the DNA tests were necessary. Adrian was keeping something from her, and she had begun fearing the worst.
She was no stranger to crazy coincidences, but she had never seen anything like this before. Was there a possibility that Adrian and Ava were related in some way?
The Phone Call
Weeks passed before she finally received the dreaded call from her doctor. But he didn’t want to share the results over the phone, instead, he asked her to come in to see him.
Gemma’s heart sank. She knew that if it had been good news, he would’ve told her over the phone. With trembling hands, she grabbed her keys and headed for the door. In just a few hours, she would learn the disturbing truth.
Before she knew it, she was sitting in his office. By this point, her entire body was trembling in anticipation and fear. The doctor rubbed a hand across his forehead and placed the results on the desk before her.
The deep frown between his eyebrows immediately indicated that something was terribly wrong. She couldn’t wait any longer. “I’m ready,” She breathed. He was about to confirm her greatest fear.
They Were A Match
“Ma’am, the test results were a match. I regret to inform you that your husband is the biological father of your adopted daughter,” He breathed.
Gemma cupped a hand over her mouth as tears began pouring down her face. How was this possible? Suddenly, his suspicious behavior made sense to her.
The Wrong Man
With a heavy heart, she slammed her car door shut behind her. She hadn’t stopped sobbing for what felt like hours. What was she supposed to do next?
She couldn’t help but wonder who Adrian had been texting. In the five years that she’d known him, she never once doubted his loyalty. She always believed that he would be true to her, but she put her faith in the wrong man.
When she finally made her way home, she’d thought of the perfect plan. She was going to pack her things and leave. She didn’t have the strength to explain herself. She wanted to escape.
But as soon as she stepped through the front door, she spotted Adrian sitting at their dining room table. He was waiting patiently for her to return. When she stepped closer, she met his worried eyes, “Honey, there’s something I need to tell you.”
She hesitantly took a seat across from him, her stomach filling with butterflies. His eyes didn’t quite meet hers as he took a deep breath, “I have been lying to you,” He admitted, but she already knew that.
“I haven’t been speaking to any new clients. I have been speaking to another woman,” He revealed, tears welling up behind his eyes. Gemma didn’t know if she could take this anymore.
A Perfect Match
“Her name is Sarah,” He spoke shakily, “And I was engaged to her before we met. After you showed me the mark on Ava’s wrist, I reached out to her. Her age perfectly matched the time when Sarah and I were still together.”
Gemma was a mess as she watched her soulmate finally reveal the truth. It wasn’t exactly what she was expecting. But what was he getting at?
His Greatest Fear
“When I reached out to her, she confirmed my biggest fear. She found out that she was pregnant a few weeks after we broke things off, and she never told me,” He cried. Gemma had never seen him cry before, and her heart was aching for her husband.
“She gave the baby up for adoption. Ava is my biological daughter.” Gemma could tell how hard this was for him. He had always feared losing the love of his life. Was this enough to make her leave?
“I know she is,” Gemma’s voice cracked as a fresh set of tears streamed down her face. She reached over the table and took Adrian’s hand in her own, “And I am so grateful that I get to raise her with you.”
Gemma made a promise to stick with Adrian and Ava through thick and thin, and she was going to keep her promise. But would she be able to raise her husband’s child, knowing that she wasn’t her own?
Disclaimer: To protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.