In The Bathroom
She sat with her phone in the bathroom, her heart punching in her chest as she mastered the courage to press play. For the past month, her daughter had been avoiding touching her dad.
The mom had laughed it off at first, thinking it was just her kid being sassy. But now here she was, driven to the edge with no other way out.
What the heartbreaking footage would reveal would have her storming out of the bathroom
She’s To Blame
But how could this happen, especially under her nose? Everyone in her life would put the blame on her for letting it go this far. Didn’t they warn her against going back to him?
Didn’t her own mother counsel her not to marry him, stating all the things he’d done? But she was in love, blinded.
The forbidden is usually delicious, and the mom developed a sweet tooth. This was her comeuppance.
But for Jessica Noelle, things weren’t supposed to be this drastic.
Life was supposed to let up now. She’d suffered enough, both by her own doing and by the winds of fate and destiny, those forces none of us have control over.
Marrying the man of her dreams had been a gamble on her part, and she was sure it was the right choice. But that night, sprinting to her daughter’s room, she knew she’d made a terrible mistake.
That night, Jessica tiptoed through the dimly lit hallway of her home, her heart starting its customary pounding. She had just put her five-year-old daughter, Kenzie, to bed.
Clint, her husband, entered the room to wish their little one goodnight.
But something gnawed at Jessica, the itch of knowing her plan was underway. She hastily retreated to the bathroom with her phone.
In the privacy of the bathroom, Jessica accessed the hidden nanny cam she discreetly placed in Kenzie’s room. The small screen flickered to life, revealing a sight that sent shivers down her spine.
Jessica burst out of the bathroom, knowing she needed to reach her daughter. She couldn’t run fast enough. She felt like she was running in water.
“Mommy’s coming, Kenzie,” she whispered.
Echoes of the Past
But how could this happen to Jessica? Didn’t she suffer enough? With Clint, Jessica endured a long and equally toxic relationship marked by heartbreak after heartbreak and painful separations.
Clint, a recurring force since high school, came in and out of her life, professing love only to vanish unexpectedly.
Each departure left Jessica broken, yet she couldn’t resist the magnetic pull that drew her back to him.
Jessica’s friends and family warned her against Clint, recognizing the cycle of heartbreak that always followed him. They had always been the ones to pick up the pieces after each of Clint’s emotional assaults.
But despite the warnings, Jessica hesitated to cut the connection.
Clint was her first love, and his charm and persistence lured her into the illusion of what could be, making her believe in the possibility of a stable, loving relationship.
Breaking the Cycle
But in a surprising turn, Jessica decided to break the cycle at last. Fueled by newfound strength, she ended the relationship with Clint, hoping to liberate herself from the emotional roller coaster.
Fear lingered within her, knowing Clint’s vengeful tendencies. But she chose self-preservation over the allure of a toxic past.
As she rebuilt her life without him, hope emerged, and Jessica found peace in her independence. She should have known Clint wasn’t done with her.
Return of the Temptation
True to the pattern, Clint returned, desperate to rekindle their romance. But there was something different about him this time.
Despite the warnings echoing in her mind, Jessica wavered. The tug of her first love, combined with Clint’s promises of change, clouded her judgment.
Jessica had also recently given birth and needed someone to help with the baby. The prospect of a stable family tempted her to give love another chance. And, of course, Jessica gave in.
Marriage and Motherhood
Jessica succumbed to the allure, marrying Clint and embracing the role of motherhood. She was glad Clint loved Kenzie as if she were his daughter.
For a while, life seemed blissful, and the scars of their past faded into the background. Kenzie’s presence brought joy, overshadowing the doubts that had plagued Jessica.
Once vigilant, even her friends and family cautiously embraced this harmony. They all hoped it signaled a genuine change in Clint.
A Happy Family
Life continued, and the Noelle family was happy. Not once did Clint refer to Kenzie as his stepdaughter, and he did not treat her like a child fathered by another man.
For four years, he treated both mother and daughter as the best things in his life. Jessica had known him for more than a decade, and this was the first time she truly felt like he loved her.
But she should have known the scheme he was cooking behind the scenes.
The Fractured Façade
Jessica was convinced that everything was alright until they weren’t. It started with the subtle cracks that veined the portrait that was their picture-perfect family.
Jessica noticed Kenzie’s reluctance to embrace her father’s touch one day at dinner.
Her daughter was just as sassy as she was, and she thought this was just that, Kenzie being like her mom. But it was something else.
Jessica didn’t think much of the occurrence when she first saw it. The second and third times didn’t ring a bell in her mind either. Neither did the fourth and fifth.
Only when it started happening frequently did she conclude that something was terribly wrong.
A worried mom, she decided to investigate. If only she knew what she was about to uncover.
The Vengeful Type
For the longest while, Clint had been the vengeful type. He’d never been one to let things go so easily. From arson to vandalism, there were a few things he hadn’t dipped his toes into to get even with those he believed wronged him. When he last came back to Jessica’s life and found her pregnant, there had been hurt in his eyes.
Jessica could hear it in his words and see it in how he talked and carried himself. She could tell he felt betrayed, as if he had some claim to her mind, body, and soul.
But with how good things had been going lately, Jessica had all but forgotten how vengeful her husband was.
Watching her daughter’s behavior, Jessica knew something was off. Her mind walked her and Clint’s past, and suddenly, she recalled how bad of a person he could be when wronged.
But she couldn’t simply conclude that her husband was doing something terrible that would warrant this behavior from Kenzie. She even went so far as to consider that the issue might be with her daughter and not her husband.
Jessica’s mind ran with questions. Knowing she needed more information on the matter, she started observing her daughter and Clint closely.
She realized that whenever she was not in the room, the two would give each other weird side-eye looks as if they were hiding something. But it would get worse whenever Clint would come close to Kenzie.
It would only be a matter of time before Clint’s dark secret came to light.
For a week, Jessica studied the phenomenon unveiled before her. But with each passing minute came an ever-consuming worry that made her feel helpless and alone.
Slowly and gradually, the bad feelings she’d once harbored toward Clint slithered back into her mind.
She found herself watching him like a hawk, wondering why her daughter was so afraid of him. These feelings are what pushed her to install that nanny cam in Kenzie’s bedroom.
The Nanny Cam
Installing the camera was easy enough. Jessica stuffed it behind a few of her daughter’s dolls and teddies, ensuring it was well hidden from anyone not smart enough to check.
Afterward, she connected the feed to her phone. All she needed to do now was take Kenzie to sleep and wait for things to play out. The plan was simple on paper. Would it be just as simple in execution?
Only time will tell.
Jessica braced herself. She had no idea what the nanny cam would reveal, but she hoped and prayed that it was not what she was thinking it would be.
If it was, she wouldn’t be able to forgive herself for putting her precious daughter in harm’s way all because she loved Clint.
She would only have herself to blame if he was up to something unimaginable.
Feeling Of Disgust
She winced when Clint climbed into bed next to her. He had obviously come back from saying goodnight to Kenzie. Jessica couldn’t help the feeling of disgust that washed over her.
All kinds of terrible things ran through her mind. What on earth had Clint been doing to make Kenzie so afraid to touch him? She had never acted that way around him before.
Something had definitely changed between them.
When Clint rolled over to give her a goodnight kiss, Jessica couldn’t help but squirm. “What’s the matter? Did I do something wrong?” Clint asked. Jessica only looked at him, wishing she could tell him that she thought he had done something wrong.
“No, I’m sorry. I’m just really tired,” she replied instead.
She didn’t know what to think about Clint anymore, and it was driving her up the walls.
The Hours Go By Slowly
The hours couldn’t tick by slowly enough. Jessica wanted to check the footage on her phone to see if there was anything that could finally give he the answers to her daughter’s unsettling behavior.
Strangely enough, she didn’t receive any notifications. Was something wrong with the camera?
She could have sworn that she set everything up according to the instruction leaflet in the box. Something wasn’t right.
Did He Find It?
Now she wondered if Clint had perhaps found the nanny cam and switched it off. That made her worry even more. If he did that, then he was definitely trying to hide something from her.
However, when Jessica got up to check the camera in Kenzie’s room, it was in perfect working order.
She couldn’t understand why it didn’t pick up anything. Or did it? She was about to find out.
Well, it turned out that for the first night, nothing happened. Jessica took her daughter to bed and waited for Clint to go in. Anxious and equally curious, she rushed to the bathroom and turned on the camera.
But Clint only walked to the door and wished little Kenzie goodnight.
He didn’t step in, nor did he spend more than a minute on the door. Was he onto Jessica?
Jessica wasn’t sure. But she knew she’d have to be patient, which was difficult, given that this was her daughter – her only reason for living.
She even considered outright asking Kenzie what was wrong. But she feared this would lead to more issues, signaling Clint that his ruse was broken.
All Jessica could do now was wait. And for days, she did.
It took a good four days before anything substantial happened. But within this time, things in the Noelle house had deteriorated beyond measure.
Kenzie and Clint’s relationship seemed to be struggling. The girl would squirm whenever Clint came close to her. She’d even screamed once.
Of course, when Jessica came running, asking what was wrong, she held her tongue.
All The Signs
The signs were all there. Kenzie was scared out of her wits for Clint. Jessica had seen too many TV shows about this kind of behavior in children, and now her own child was displaying them.
Why hadn’t she listened to her friends and family when they warned her about him?
But yet, she ignored all of them because love was blind.
Our Little Secret
And it wouldn’t be long before Jessica would hear something even more disturbing. As she was cooking dinner, Kenzie was watching her cartoons when Clint stepped in through the front door.
Jessica’s instincts told her to discretely watch the two of them. It was then that she heard it.
“You can’t tell Mommy about this, okay? It’s our little secret,” Clint said as he put a finger to his mouth for Kenzie to be quiet.
Was This Enough?
At that point, Jessica nearly lost it. Her heart was beating loudly in her chest, and she couldn’t stop the tears from falling down her face. Was this enough evidence for her to confront him with?
However, she realized that it was just words and it was something that he could quickly turn around to his advantage.
She needed something more concrete.
A Chilling Observation
She observed both of them again at the dinner table, and Kenzie made sure that she sat far away from Clint.
Clint kept offering to dish some food onto Kenzie’s plate, and she kept objecting.
It was evident that something was going on between them. Jessica tried to keep her breaths shallow, but something in her gut told her to intervene.
Is Everything Alright?
“Is everything alright between the two of you? Kenzie, are you okay? You seem very scared about something, honey. Do you want to talk to Mommy?” Jessica asked, hoping Kenze would open up to her.
But to her dismay, Kenzie looked directly at Clint and replied, “No, Mommy. Everything is fine. I’m just not very hungry. Can I go to my bedroom now, please?”
Fear In Her Eyes
It was as if Clint had signaled Kenzie to be quiet. Jessica could see the fear in her eyes when she looked at Clint. It was like she knew that something would happen to her if she talked.
What Clint didn’t know was that Jessica was secretly gathering all the evidence and information she needed against him.
Soon, everything would come crumbling down before him.
The Breaking Point
As the days passed, Jessica’s anxiety reached its breaking point. She couldn’t bear to see her daughter living in fear, and the words Clint whispered to Kenzie haunted her every waking moment.
The weight of the truth bore down on her, demanding action.
But she still didn’t have the perfect physical evidence from the nanny cam. Clearly, Clint was being very smart about his every move.
A Step Ahead
Jessica always hoped to be one step ahead of him. However, as the weeks passed by, Jessica noticed a significant change in the dynamics between Clint and her daughter.
Although she noticed that Kenzie still wasn’t allowing Clint to touch her, she was a lot more polite to him.
She even let him dish food onto her plate at meal times.
Jessica was very skeptical, however. Something was up, and she was going to get to the bottom of it. The two of them were acting really strangely for some reason.
Then, one night, as she was tidying up the living room, she received a notification on her phone.
It was from the nanny cam. She hadn’t even realized that Clint and Kenzie had sneaked off to her bedroom.
Her Plan Of Action
Before she clicked on the notification, Jessica held her breath. She didn’t know what was about to be revealed to her. If it was what she thought it was, she had a plan.
She wouldn’t confront Clint right away. She would first call the cops to make sure that he wouldn’t get away.
Then, she would have all the necessary evidence to hand over to the police. Clint would be going away for a long time.
She eventually clicked on the notification. She wished she hadn’t. It wasn’t so much what she saw but what she heard.
Clint was speaking in a very hushed tone to Kenzie.
“Don’t tell Mommy what you saw, okay? We have to keep it between us. We don’t want Mommy to be mad at me, right? I couldn’t help what happened. It just happened, okay, Kenz?”
More Questions Than Answers
Jessica felt a knot in her stomach, and she was feeling sick. She wished she hadn’t heard that, but she was glad she had it all recorded.
But she was left with more questions than answers.
To her, it seemed like Kenzie had witnessed Clint do something. What was it? Jessica could only think of one thing.
She Had Seen Something
It was clear to her that her little Kenzie had seen something that no little girl should have to see. She thought about the one day that Clint had fetched Kenzie from school. Could she have seen it then?
Jessica was convinced that Clint was cheating on her, and Kenzie saw the whole thing. It made perfect sense.
That’s why Clint was trying to hush her up into not telling her mother, she thought.
A Loss For Words
Jessica was at a loss for words. Not only was Clint being very secretive with her daughter, but now he was also cheating on her. What had she done to deserve this?
She was beyond distraught, and she didn’t know what to do.
Clint, the man everyone had warned her against, had once again proven that he was no good for her.
A Living Nightmare
The only way she could really find out if Clint was really cheating on her was if she checked his phone.
She knew the password, and she was going to do it that night while he was asleep.
Jessica felt like her whole life was a living nightmare, and it was all because she had allowed Clint back into their lives.
Taking His Phone
As Clint finally came to bed, Jessica waited a few minutes for him to fall asleep. Luckily for her, he usually fell asleep very quickly, and she was able to get out of bed, grab his phone, and sneak off within minutes.
She went to the bathroom and sat down on the closed toilet seat. She took a deep breath and entered Clint’s password.
It was the date of her birthday.
Jessica felt a tear roll down her cheek. She thought about all the good times she had with Clint, and now he went and ruined it all for them.
She thought he was a good guy, but now, with this evidence stacked against him, he looked like a complete villain.
She couldn’t believe that someone she loved could do this to her and her daughter.
When Jessica quickly scrolled through Clint’s phone, she didn’t find any evidence of cheating. He only had the contacts and messages of people she knew.
She even checked his social media accounts and came up short. She shook her head in confusion.
There must be something that she was missing. She knew that Clint could be very sneaky.
Caught In A Lie
She remembered all those years ago when she caught him in a lie. It had hurt her so much, and after he had promised her that he wouldn’t ever be dishonest with her again, Jessica believed him.
She loved him with all her heart and was rooting for him to change his ways and step onto the right path with her.
And he eventually did.
Hatching Another Plan
Although he was walking the straight and narrow path, it seemed like he had chosen a completely different one once again. Jessica could no longer keep up with it, and she swore that it would be the end.
However, she wasn’t completely sure that he was cheating on her.
But she had another plan to eventually catch him in the act. He wouldn’t know what hit him.
Jessica knew that Clint loved going to the local bar, and she was sure that this was where he met his secret fling. It had to be. How else would Kenzie have seen them together?
So she arranged for her best friend, Mel, to babysit Kenzie while she got ready to go on a stakeout mission.
“You’re crazy, Jess. I would have dropped him long ago. Why are you putting yourself through all of this?” Mel asked.
Jessica had her reasons. One, she still loved Clint very much and hoped and prayed that she was somehow wrong about him.
And two, if he was cheating on her, she needed concrete proof against him in case he denied everything.
She hated to do it, but she had no choice. Clint had lied to her before. She couldn’t take any more chances with her and her daughter’s lives.
In The Clear?
However, to her dismay, after spying on Clint for over an hour at the bar, he didn’t mingle with anyone else besides his buddies.
They drank beers and played dart games all night long.
Jessica felt a tinge of relief. But it still didn’t explain the strange conversation he had with Kenzie, and she still had to figure out what he and Kenzie were up to when she wasn’t around.
Kenzie’s Demeanor Changes Again
She was still immensely worried about Kenzie. Her demeanor had once again changed in the last few days. Jessica had failed to notice because she was too busy trying to catch Clint cheating on her.
She felt like a horrible mother. She was letting her precious daughter down in so many ways. But not anymore.
She was going to put an end to this once and for all. It was time that the truth was revealed.
Unveiling the Mystery
Back in the present, Jessica huddled in the bathroom with the nanny cam footage as she sought answers. The screen displayed a delicate dance of avoidance between father and daughter. Kenzie’s eyes shone with a deep-rooted discomfort. Determined to finally put this to rest, Jessica watched the disturbing scene unfold.
Jessica froze. Furrows slashed across her forehead. Her fingers, drenched in sweat, started trembling.
She didn’t know whether she’d thrown her phone away or clutched it in her grasp as she sped off. All she knew was that she couldn’t get to her daughter fast enough.
A Clean Slate
Clint had long been a dangerous person. Dark days had seen him frequent many a jail cell and even go to prison for a spell.
But we all have our moments of weakness, and we fight to be better versions of ourselves.
Clint had promised everyone he’d changed. He’d not collided with the law for years now, having one of the cleanest records in recent times.
Revelation in Kenzie’s Room
Jessica sprinted down the hall, her breath catching in her throat. Bursting into Kenzie’s room, she found Clint and Kenzie in an unexpected tableau. What she’d seen on her phone had continued while she was in transit here.
Kenzie was attempting handstands with determination, guided by her father’s patient encouragement.
Confusion enveloped Jessica as she watched the scene unfold. It was a far cry from the expected confrontation.
As Jessica listened, Kenzie explained the unusual dynamics between her and her dad. The motherly instinct to protect her daughter clashed with the reality before her.
It turns out Clint and Kenzie had a wager – a unique, although bizarre, arrangement. If either touched the other without mastering a handstand first, they had to endure watching the other’s favorite TV show.
Kenzie, desperate to hug her father, was determined not to endure reruns of Monster Truck stunt shows every evening.
Jessica’s initial panic transformed into relief, then a pang of guilt for not understanding sooner.
Kenzie poured her heart out, expressing the conflict she felt, torn between the desire to embrace her dad and the dread of enduring TV torture.
The innocence of the revelation struck Jessica, softening her concern as she realized this was a quirky, albeit harmless, family game.
As the realization settled in, Jessica hugged Kenzie tightly, the warmth of relief mingling with a lingering unease. She couldn’t help but feel a twinge of regret for the misconceptions that clouded her perception.
She took a moment to reflect on her past with Clint. The mistrust from their history had blurred her ability to see the truth of their current relationship.
She questioned whether her past experiences had conditioned her to expect the worst, even when the reality was quite the opposite.
A Changed Man
Seeming to sense Jessica’s internal struggle, Clint reassured her that he had indeed changed. That night, he had a long conversation with Jessica, assuring her he’d never hurt her or their daughter.
Yes, his past was filled with poor choices. But it had led him here, to a world where he was a dad and husband to the best daughter and wife any man could ask for.
But would Jessica believe his words?
Clint had always been good with words. To Jessica, actions spoke louder. But hadn’t Clint’s actions been genuine and pure for their last four years together?
Jessica grappled with conflicting emotions – wariness and the desire to believe in Clint’s transformation.
She recognized that rebuilding trust required a leap of faith, a conscious decision to let go of the darker parts of their history. It seemed she, too, needed a transformation.
The Healing Power of Love
In the following weeks, Jessica took it upon herself to see a professional. She also spoke to Clint a lot, where she learned he’d had years of self-reflection, which ended with changing his ways.
The Noelle family went through a journey of healing and understanding. The handstand wager had led to something more, a symbol of their unique bond, fostering laughter and connection.
Although the scars from their past were still present, they were just that: scars, with no poisonous pain festering underneath.