He couldn’t believe what she told him. Could there have been any truth to it, or was she just saying that a girl looks similar? Jaco felt anxiety rise through his chest as he rummaged through his family possessions.
He had to find it to be sure. Had his wife really lied to him all those years ago? Finally, he found the scrapbook he was looking for. But it would only hold grief for the father.
Brushing Off The Dust
The scrapbook had been tucked away for so long that thick and heavy dust covered it. Before anything else, Jaco had to brush it off. Afterward, he started looking through the photos.
That’s when he saw the baby girl in some of the photos that he had never paid much attention to. That’s when he started questioning his wife’s reasoning for it all. Was that really his niece in the photos?
A Lost Girl
Jaco clutched his chest and fell to his knees. If his suspicions were right, then there had been a dark secret in his household that had been held over his head for years.
But now the truth was out, and there was a lost girl. He nearly started crying as he understood the gravity of the situation. He knew what he had to do next. He picked up the phone.
A Phone Call
Jaco picked up his phone and called the only person that would have answers for him. He called his brother. But it wasn’t for a social call; he needed to ask some serious questions.
But once the call was over, he didn’t see many options. One of the biggest things on his mind was something he never thought he’d do before that day – he considered divorce.
He just wanted the truth before doing anything too big. He begged his wife to tell him the truth behind it all. But what she did next only solidified his suspicions.
When confronted with the truth, she did something he didn’t expect. She burst into tears and told him to forgive her. But how could he after she had done something like this to him?
Jaco May was a loving father that didn’t need a lot to be happy. He only needed two things to make it through nearly any situation.
His wife and child were the most important things in the world to him, and he would never let anything happen to them. But one day, everything would change.
Lily May was Jaco’s world. The now ten-year-old was excited about her new school. Lily had to change schools because she was being bullied at her old one.
He found a good-looking school and didn’t hesitate to put her in it. He knew she would make friends in no time, but he had no idea who she would meet there.
A New Girl
Lily was a new girl in a new school and wasn’t familiar with a lot of people or places there. But one girl decided to help her.
She gravitated to the girl for reasons that Jaco didn’t understand just yet. But when Lily told him the truth, his whole world would come crumbling down, and he’d know who to blame.
It wasn’t long before Lily started mentioning her new friend from school. Her name was Becky, and the two were getting closer by the day.
Jaco just assumed that it was because the two girls shared a lot of natural interests. But he had no idea how close the similarities would be when he found out what was really going on.
Showing Her Around
From the way Lily spoke about Becky, it really sounded like she was showing her around the school. Jaco was glad that there was someone kind enough to take his daughter under her wing.
It could be scary not knowing anyone or anything about the new school, but Lily was doing well for herself. Unfortunately, things wouldn’t last.
After a few weeks at the school, Lily was still talking about her new best friend. It was something remarkable. She had never been so obsessed with someone before.
But there were reasons that he wasn’t aware of. His daughter was about to mention something in passing that he would think was a much bigger deal than she did.
Just Like Her
At dinner one night, Lily told her father something that he could never have expected. “Dad, Becky is just like me in every way.”
He assumed that she just meant they had lots of similar interests, but he was mistaken. She was about to mention a small detail that would change everything.
Even In Looks
“We even look the same!” She added casually as she ate her dinner. “What? You mean you wear the same kind of clothing?” He asked, interested in his daughter’s life.
“No, not like that. I meant even in looks, she and I are the same. It’s kinda weird how much we look like each other.” She said with a giggle.
That’s when Jaco started to realize what his daughter was really saying. He wanted to see this girl for himself, but that wouldn’t be very far away.
His daughter didn’t have a phone since she was so young, so she had no photos of the girl. Jaco would just have to wait until he saw her organically. But he wouldn’t be ready for what he saw.
Having Her Over
During their conversation, Lily asked her father if she was allowed to have her new best friend over for a play date. He didn’t think much about it at first, but it would change his life forever.
He gladly accepted without checking with his wife, Lisa. He didn’t think it would be a big deal, but she had a secret she was trying to hide.
The Fateful Playdate
The following week, Becky came over to play with Lily. He picked her up from school along with Lily, and the resemblance was uncanny.
The girl looked just like Lily. Her eyes, hair, even her personality. It was like there was a carbon copy of his daughter. But how could that have been the case? No way was it a coincidence.
Jaco knew that this couldn’t be a coincidence, especially when a familiar car picked her up when she went home. He had seen that car before, but where?
He needed to find out the truth, but he’d have to do some careful digging before making any accusations. But his nosiness would only end in heartbreak.
A Memory Unlocked
Racking his brain about the familiar-looking little girl, he unlocked a memory that he hadn’t thought about in eight years. He remembered seeing the little girl before.
He rushed to his living room. He remembered that the bottom set of drawers would have the answers he was seeking. He started rummaging through it, desperate to prove himself wrong. But what was he looking for?
Finally Finding It
He was rummaging through the draw, pushing past dusty old photographs in the hopes that he would find it. He hadn’t looked in the draw for ages.
Finally, he found what he was looking for. It was water-damaged and covered in thick dust. He brushed it off and pulled apart the sticky pages. He had to find the photo he was looking for. It was the evidence that would either decimate or bring his family closer.
When Was The Photo Taken
Jaco couldn’t remember exactly when the photo was taken. But he knew it would lead him to the truth.
The photo was less than a decade old, a time when life had been less questionable.
Flipping through the pages, painstakingly peeling them off each other, he searched through the photo album. He was sure he’d slipped the photo here somewhere.
Finally, after looking through the old photos from nearly a decade ago, he found what he was looking for. It was the photo he had forgotten about for so long – the same one that held the needed answers.
Jaco sat on the carpet, his eyes scrutinizing the washed-out photo. His breath paused as he saw what he’d been looking for. He knew then that his life would never be the same.
The same girl that his daughter had told him about was in the photo from years back. Jaco examined the little girl and nearly broke down.
“She looks just like her!” he lamented. The energy in his body waned. His heart shattered into a million pieces as the photo confirmed his fears. His marriage was over.
No Coming Back
Jaco had never expected something like this to happen to him. How often had he read or watched such cases on the news, explaining to his wife how bad people could be?
He never stopped to think that the same thing he kept pointing out in those news pieces would be the thing to end his marriage. There was no coming back from this.
Thinking It Through
Jaco sat next to the drawer for what felt like hours. His mind walked his past, going through every memory he had of his family.
He needed to know where he’d messed up, where he’d failed to see the signs that would have told him what was happening. But what he’d uncover here would only bring more pain.
It began with right after Jaco and his wife, Lily, tied the knot, starting a life as husband and wife. They’d always wanted to have kids, and after their wedding, saw it as the perfect time to turn that dream into a reality.
But they soon learned that things were not as simple as they thought. Every plea they made to God and the universe to gift them a child fell on deaf ears. What was the problem?
Jaco and Lily visited the best medical practitioners in the state, each of these practitioners offering a different solution to their problem.
They offered their expertise, from exercise suggestions to dietary change. There wasn’t a shortage of things the newlyweds weren’t told to try. But in the end, the results were the same: heartbreaking.
It Was Challenging
Seated on the carpet, Jaco remembered how difficult it had been for him and his wife to conceive. Like many newlyweds, he and Lisa wanted nothing more than a big, beautiful family.
The initial plan had been to have three kids, one boy and two girls. The parents had hoped to have twins first, followed by a little girl a few years later. But it seems like the world had other plans for them.
A Biological Barrier
First, the hopeful young couple had spent years trying to get pregnant. But it soon became apparent that something else was baring them from their dream – something of the biological kind.
As expected, Jaco and his wife visited their doctor, who, after extensive tests, presented a humbling truth that would leave the couple devastated.
The news was simple enough to digest. Jaco had a problem with his reproductive system, sufficient to hamper his ability to sire a child.
The news came as a blow, taking away his confidence and will to live. He couldn’t even look at his wife in the eyes. He’d failed as a man and husband the way he saw it.
But his wife, Lisa, assured him that that wasn’t the case. She was thankful and proud of him for taking the needed tests to ascertain why they were having difficulty conceiving.
She also told him to take heart. She wasn’t going to leave him because of this. In fact, she predicted that they would have a child by the end of that year.
At the time, Jaco thought his wife was only trying to make him feel better about the situation. But the more she continued talking about having kids, the more he realized she wasn’t jesting.
He wondered if she was referring to adoption, which she refused when he asked her. “We’re going to have one biologically,” she smiled, ever so hopeful. Jaco thought she’d lost her mind when out of the blue, it happened.
Eight months had passed since Jaco’s diagnosis when Lisa started complaining of nausea in the morning. She’d speed to the bathroom to throw up at the crack of dawn, insisting she was pregnant.
Jaco got her a pregnancy test, although he was sure she had the flu. You can imagine his bewilderment when he discovered Lisa was pregnant. It didn’t make sense, so a curious and equally worried Jaco visited an expert.
The Same Doctor
The expert was the same doctor who had broken the bad news to him eight months prior. Jaco had been visiting him on occasion to talk about his health.
The doctor also pushed him to continue trying for a kid, saying Jaco’s case wasn’t completely hopeless. Although his chance of conceiving a child was low, it wasn’t zero. So what did he say about Lisa’s miracle pregnancy?
They’re Hiding Something
Well, he didn’t look shocked at all. If anything, he kept sharing awkward looks with Lisa as if they had been meeting in secret.
When Jaco mentioned this, he pretended to have met her at a shopping mall. “She helped me with my daughter, who needed to shop for sanitary pads,” he said sheepishly. But Jaco could tell he was hiding something.
However, Jaco didn’t fixate on this. He could see how happy Lisa was with the pregnancy and decided to put his suspicions aside.
He would love and take care of her until the baby was born. Afterward, he’d take a paternity test to ensure the child was his. But none of these measures would save him from the truth ten years later.
Jaco and Lisa lived life for nine months, nursing the pregnancy until Lisa’s water broke. Jaco stayed with her in the delivery room, immediately falling in love with Lily the moment she was born.
His love deepened when he took the paternity test and learned he was her dad. To him, Lily was a miracle, a one-in-a-million chance for him to be a dad. But he had no idea something else was happening below his nose.
A Happy Family
Jaco, Lisa, and Lily grew into a happy family. Of course, Jaco had taken more tests to make sure Lily was his. The tests weren’t because he didn’t believe Lisa’s loyalty but because he still couldn’t believe his luck.
Lily grew up with features that reminded him of his own mom. She truly was his, and he couldn’t shower her with enough love. But ten years later, she’d be the one to lead him to the truth.
What Is He Missing?
Sitting next to the drawer, with the photo album on his lap, Jaco wondered what he was missing. Who was this little girl, and how had he missed her before?
The resemblance between her and Lily was so mind-breaking that Jaco started wondering if Lisa had twins and gave one up. But that couldn’t be. He’d seen every sonogram and had been there when Lily was born. So what was happening?
What Jaco had discovered in that picture made him question his entire married life. Becky, as young as she was, had him thinking he’d been living a lie.
Yes, he’d taken tests to ensure Lily was his. She even had his eyes and nose. But what if he was wrong? What if the test results had been tampered with? What if Lisa and that doctor had planned everything from the start?
Contacting Her Teacher
Jaco needed to be certain, so he got the number of Lily’s teacher and called her. He asked her about the similarities between the girls and even asked for a photo.
She sent him a class photo that was taken a few weeks ago so he could compare it to the original he had in his possession, but he was biting off more than he could chew.
Comparing The Photos
In both photos, the two girls were sitting next to each other. In the one from eight years ago, they were sitting on the floor as two-year-olds. But the new one was different and the same.
Even though they were eight years older and in a classroom, he could tell they were the same girls. That also meant that he finally recognized who the girl was, but it would lead to his world ending.
World Crashing Down
Jaco couldn’t believe what was happening. The girl in the photo confirmed his suspicions about his wife. But this also meant that there was someone else who had hurt him so badly.
He couldn’t believe a family member could have done this to him. He knew he had to make a phone call to confront them once and for all.
Calling The Only Person He Could
Jaco didn’t want to confront his wife immediately. He knew it would only make things worse. He had to make sure that things were this bad before confronting her.
He called the only person he knew he could depend on for the truth. He called his own brother, who also happened to be a lawyer. He needed answers desperately.
Jaco asked his brother, Mark, for some advice about divorce. He told him it was all theoretical, but Mark immediately seemed concerned. But this was all part of his plan.
Jaco knew exactly what he was doing by baiting his brother into showing concern about divorce. That’s when he started explaining what he had found out about his daughter and his wife.
Must Have Cheated
Jaco explained that his wife must have cheated on him if there was a girl that looked identical to his daughter. Mark tried reassuring him that his wife was loyal, but of course, he would say that.
He knew more than he was letting on, and he was going to let his brother have it once he revealed what he had learned.
He knew The Girl
From the photos, he had learned that the girl in Lily’s class was the same girl from the scrapbook. She had been in Jaco’s home, that was because Jaco now knew who she was.
Becky was Mark’s daughter. He hadn’t seen her in years and had no idea that she had grown up looking just like his daughter. That only meant one thing.
That’s when Jaco let Mark have it. He accused his brother of sleeping with his wife, but that’s when he thought about it logically. Was she never pregnant twice? Or was it that she was a twin, and Jaco never got to see his second child?
That’s when Mark’s voice grew shaky over the phone. He started explaining everything. He told him the secret his wife had kept for ten years.
Struggling To Get Pregnant
Mark explained over the phone how his own wife had struggled to conceive for years. He never bothered Jaco with it because he didn’t want to worry him. But they did go to desperate means.
That’s when he told Jaco that he had gone to his wife, Lisa, for help. He was desperate and knew one way to make sure they could have a child.
In Vitro Fertilization
The couple opted for In Vitro Fertilization. That meant they needed an egg to fertilize before using it. That’s why they went to Lisa. She and the doctor from her visits with Jaco agreed in secret, knowing Jaco might overreact.
That meant that Becky looked a lot like Lily because of her mother’s genes. She had no genes belonging to Jaco, and he had no right to be angry. His wife was loyal, after all, and she had even helped his brother.
The Shocking Truth
Jaco was left in shock after Mark’s revelation. It was a truth he hadn’t seen coming. His wife, Lisa, hadn’t cheated on him, and there was no betrayal in their marriage.
It was a secret kept to protect his feelings, a sacrifice made for the sake of family. He wondered what he’d done if they’d told him earlier. Would he see it as an overstepping on Mark’s part or as an act of kindness from Lisa?
Mark’s voice on the other end of the line was apologetic and remorseful, realizing the immense pain this had caused Jaco. “I never meant for it to go down like this,” he said.
He explained that he’d planned to tell Jaco about what he’d done. But he couldn’t bring himself to. Over time, he learned to live with this heavy secret. But it seemed fate had other plans.
It took Jaco a few hours to let everything sink in. By the end of it, he realized he couldn’t be angry at his wife or brother.
He was only hurt that they saw it fit not to tell him. But now that his mind had calmed down, he still had other things that demanded his immediate attention. He had accused his wife of infidelity and had almost considered divorce. He felt a deep sense of guilt for doubting the woman he loved so much. It was a heavy burden to bear.
A Family Matter
First, he thanked his brother for sharing the truth with him, and they agreed to keep this secret between them. It was a family matter that didn’t need to be exposed any further.
He also apologized for calling him out and painting him in such a negative light. But Mark assured him he understood. “I would have had the same questions running through my mind,” he said.
An Awkward Reunion
The next day, Jaco faced his wife with the truth. It was an awkward and emotional reunion. He confessed his doubts and the accusations he had made, and Lisa, in tears, confessed her role in the IVF process. She had only wanted to give Mark the gift of fatherhood.
They cried together, held each other, and promised to move forward as a family, stronger than ever. Jaco realized the depth of Lisa’s love for him, and she realized the depth of his devotion to their family.
Jaco also arranged for Lily to meet Becky and learn the truth about her cousin. The two girls had no idea about the secret that had been kept from them.
They met as a family for the first time, and their similarities were striking. From their mannerisms and habits to their favorite TV shows and food, they were alike! They bonded instantly, creating a strong family connection.
A New Beginning
The truth had shaken Jaco’s world, but it had also brought his family closer together. While the past was filled with secrets and doubts, they were determined to build a future based on love and honesty.
Jaco, Lisa, Lily, Becky, and Mark moved forward as a united family, cherishing the love that bound them. They embraced the similarities between the two girls and celebrated the unique bond they shared as cousins.
A Lesson Learned
Jaco’s life had taken an unexpected turn, and he had learned a valuable lesson about trust, forgiveness, and the power of family bonds.
The familiar face that had initially filled him with anxiety had become a symbol of the enduring love that connected his family. Looking at Becky, he saw just how lucky he was to have found a wonderful wife like Lisa.
A Bright Future
As time passed, Jaco looked back on this extraordinary journey, grateful for the strength of his family and the enduring love that would guide them through life’s challenges.
Life continued for the May family, with Lily and Becky growing up side by side, creating cherished memories together. Jaco and Lisa’s love deepened as they supported each other through the trials and tribulations of parenthood.
A United Family
With a united family, open communication, and a newfound appreciation for the importance of trust, they faced the future with hope, knowing that they could overcome any obstacle as long as they had each other.
The May family had emerged from the storm stronger, more resilient, and more connected than ever before. Jaco sat on the porch watching Becky and Lily run around the lawn. He smiled, remembering how all this started.
A Few Words Can Move Mountains
It all began with a few words from Lily, words that sent the dad’s mind spiraling. Those words had him rummaging through photos he’d not seen in a while. He’d walked through his past, reliving past memories.
Those words had landed him here, on the porch, watching his daughter and niece play as the sun set over the horizon. Jaco’s smile expanded. He knew the future was full of promise.