Suddenly she realized that no matter where she went, the street vendor followed her. She put it down as a happy coincidence but she had no idea that it wasn’t a coincidence at all. It was intentional.
Her father warned her to stay away from that man but she didn’t listen. Instead, she wanted to make her own judgment of him. She had no idea that he kept a devastating secret.
34-year-old Kelly Miao was an only child. Her mom passed away when she was only 6 years old so she was raised almost solely by her father. They had a very close relationship.
Kelly couldn’t have wished for a better father. He was kind, patient, and generous. To her, he could do no wrong. Little did she know, her father was hiding a terrible secret.
The Street Vendor
Kelly was 5 years old when she first noticed the street vendor near the entrance of her elementary school. The smell of freshly cooked pancakes wafted through the air with a tantalizing lure that was impossible to resist.
She followed the smell, looked up, and smiled at the man who made them. Completely unaware that he was there for her.
Throughout all of Kelly’s elementary school years, the street vendor worked there. Selling savory and sweet pancakes and crepes for all the kids and parents that passed.
But Kelly wasn’t allowed to eat them. She had begged her Dad numerous times before but he adamantly refused. He told her that food from the street was dirty and made her promise not to eat one.
An Odd Coincidence
Kelly was a studious student who worked hard so it was no surprise that she went on to graduate from high school with straight A’s. As she grew and continued to venture into college, she faced a lot of changes. But funnily enough, one thing remained the same.
It seemed like no matter what institution she went to, the street vendor was there. The very same man who she smiled at when she was 5 years old.
A Stark Warning
As Kelly grew older, she would talk to the man every now and again. His face would lit up whenever he saw her coming towards him. They started to form a strange sort of friendship but when her father spotted her talking to him one day, he was full of rage.
“I don’t like you talking to that man”, he would say, asking her to stay away from him. “Why?”, she would ask.
He wouldn’t give her any details. All he would say is that he heard he was a bad man. His vagueness made her even more curious. It soon became obvious that there was some kind of mysterious animosity between her dad and that street vendor.
Kelly knew better than to press him. Instead, she continued to secretly befriend the street vendor and make her own judgment of him. But tragedy was soon to strike.
Ignoring His Advice
Kelly ignored her dad’s advice and continued to have a friendly relationship with the man. She found him to be one of the kindest and most humble people she knew. She even invited him to her wedding to which he bashfully and gently refused.
However, on her wedding day, she saw him at the entrance, dressed in a suit, watching from afar. She wasn’t sure but it looked like he was crying. Two weeks later, she got devastating news.
Her father passed away peacefully in his sleep. He was 94 when he passed so he lived a good and full life. But that didn’t mean Kelly was any less heartbroken.
Kelly returned to his house to clear up his things when she found a note addressed to her. It was written the night before he passed. She had no idea what was coming.
Kelly’s heart pounded as she opened the note. She braced herself as she prepared herself to read a tearful goodbye letter. She was completely unaware that it wasn’t a goodbye letter at all.
It was a letter of confession and contained information about a life-long family secret that shattered Kelly’s image of her angelic father. She was shell-shocked to find what was contained inside.
Tears started to fall down her cheeks as she read her father’s handwriting. She could almost hear him talking next to her. “To my everything, my sweet Kelly”, it read.
“I am so sorry you had to find out this way, I regret not telling you this sooner but I thought you would not forgive me if you found out. The truth is, I am not your real father. I could not have children of my own but I found you by the street and thought your parents had abandoned you so I took you in and cared for you as my own.” The letter continued…
“I did not expect your real father to find you. I was not going to let him take you away from me so I told him to leave. I told him you would end up poor like him if he took you back, I can provide a better life for you.”
“He left without a word and when I look back on this memory, I realize how cruel I had been. I made him promise me he’d keep your relationship a secret and he agreed. He’s been looking after you all this time though, he owns a pancake cart and you should recognize him”. Kelly’s heart dropped.
Life Turned upside down
“I loved you as any parent loved their child but he is your real father. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me for keeping this a secret for so long.” Kelly finished reading the letter and started to weep.
She couldn’t believe what had just happened. It felt like her whole life had been a lie but she couldn’t bring herself to be angry at her father. She knew he just wanted the best for her. She just wished she could talk to him and reassure him that she still loved him.
Now everything made sense. This is why the street vendor seemed to have followed her around all her life and why he kept a distance at her wedding while looking super emotional.
Kelly burst into tears. She felt an overwhelming sadness for both her biological father and her real father. He must have wanted to tell her and was so fearful of what she would do. She grabbed the letter and left.
Immediately she looked for him. She found him exactly where she knew he would be. On the street not too far from her home. She ran up to him and gave him a hug before handing him the letter her father left her.
Kelly watched his confusion slowly unravel as he read the letter. Tears started to fall down his cheek, mirroring Kelly’s. He crumbled into sobs as he looked at Kelly and gave her a long-awaited hug. Reunited at last.