A little boy is approached by a strange man who gives him a paper and introduces him to a little girl, and what he says to his parents leaves them in shock.
Jonas was seven years old when he ran into the house dragging a girl a year or two older than him and screaming: "MOM! DAD! Come see! I have a sister!" His parents, Dean and Carla Vernon turned in surprise.
Dean grinned. "Wow! A sister...And where did you find her? In the garden?"
His son smiled proudly. "How did you know? A man told me and gave this..." Jonas gave his father a piece of paper and what he read there turned Dean's world upside down!
Nadine and Jonas quickly became close. | Source: Shutterstock.com
The paper was a birth certificate and it named the little girl -- Nadine, 9 years old -- as the daughter of Frank Walton and Carla Fredericks Walton... Dean looked up at Carla. "She's your daughter?" he gasped.
Carla jumped up and grabbed the birth certificate from his hand and scrutinized it. "That's...Damn Frank! We had a deal!" she cried angrily.
You can't hide your true self forever.
"A deal?" Dean asked, "What does that mean?"
"Dean," Carla's voice softened and she laid a caressing hand on his arm, "You knew I was still married when we met... But I fell in love with you, I wanted to start a new life. Frank told me he'd only let me go if I gave him Nadine, and by then I was already pregnant with Jonas -- your baby.
Jonas stunned his parents when he brought a girl into the house. | Source: Unsplash
"So I agreed, but I've never stopped thinking about my baby girl..." Carla smiled at Nadine and gave the frightened girl an enthusiastic hug. "My sweet baby, you're with mommy now..."
What Dean didn't see was the glint of anger in Carla's eyes as she hugged the daughter she hadn't seen in eight years. It was true that Carla had been married when she met the very wealthy Dean, but she had demanded her ex-husband keep their daughter.
Nothing would be permitted to spoil Carla's glamorous new life, least of all a needy toddler who needed her attention 24/7. Now she'd be obliged to play devoted mom to not one but two brats! Carla was furious.
Dean welcomed Nadine into the family and quickly became close to the sweet, shy girl. As for Jonas, he adored his big sister and followed her everywhere. But there was something Dean didn't realize.
Carla had abandoned her daughter when she married Dean. | Source: Unsplash
Carla was resenting her young daughter's presence in their lives more and more. It irritated her when Dean came home with a surprise gift or a new book for Nadine and a toy for Jonas. It was as if the two children were usurping her place in his heart.
As for Dean, he saw the little girl's sadness and felt compelled to make it up to her. There was one thing that weighed on his mind. Why had her father left her with them so suddenly?
He decided to confront Frank Walton and find out the truth. He asked Nadine for her father's address and dropped in one afternoon without saying anything to Carla. He knocked on the door and was shocked by his first vision of Frank.
The man was clearly very ill. He was painfully thin, his hair was falling out and his skin was a pasty yellow. "I'm Dean Vernon. I want to talk to you about Nadine."
Dean was saddened and disappointed by what he learned about his wife. | Source: Unsplash
Frank invited Dean in and the two men sat in the sitting room. "I'm dying," Frank confessed. "I didn't want Nadine to see me like this. I want her to be happy and settled with her new family by the time I'm gone."
"But why did you bring her to us if you forbade Carla to see her daughter ever again?" Dean asked.
Frank started laughing, which ended in a painful spasm of coughing. "Is that what Carla told you?" he asked. "She told me she didn't want to see me or my brat ever again. She walked out and never looked back. Carla never loved us."
Dean felt his feelings for Carla cooling. He promised Frank that he would care for Nadine as if she were his own daughter and left the dying man with a very different idea of who his wife really was. He just didn't feel the same way about her.
Carla became angry at her little daughter. | Source: Unsplash
When she approached him with her seductive smiles, he cringed from her touch, and she sensed it. Her anger immediately focused on Nadine. She had to go!
Carla waited until Dean had taken Jonas to Little League practice before she made her move. She walked into Nadine's room and threw a suitcase at her.
"Pack!" she screamed. "I want you out right now!" She shoved a handful of Nadine's clothes into the bag and dragged her out of the house.
She pushed her daughter into the back of the car and drove to Frank's house. The house was dark and no one answered the door but Carla didn't care. She left Nadine sitting on her father's front doorstep and drove away.
When Dean and Jonas arrived home, they found Carla smiling and happy. "My boys," she cried. "Why don't we go out for pizza?"
"Pack!" she screamed. "I want you out right now!" | Source: Unsplash
"Where's Nadine?" asked Jonas. "She LOVES pizza!"
Carla smiled brightly. "Nadine's daddy came to fetch her!" she said. "He wanted her back and she wanted to go..."
"Liar!" cried Jonas. "She loves me!" And he ran to Nadine's room to look for her.
Dean looked at his wife. "You are a liar," he said softly. "Where is Nadine?"
Dean found Nadine all alone at the empty house. | Source: Pexels
"She ran away," Carla cried. "She's back where she came from, I don't care where!"
Dean looked at Carla with disdain. "You're a monster!" he said.
Dean got into his car and drove straight to Frank Walton's house, and there, sitting on the doorstep he found Nadine. "Honey," he cried. "I've come to take you home!"
"Mommy doesn't want me," Nadine said. "Maybe I should stay with daddy."
Gently, Dean explained that her father was very ill in the hospital but that he and Jonas were her family now, and they would look after her and love her forever. When Dean arrived back home with Nadine, Carla was standing by the front door.
Dean divorced Carla and kept the two children. | Source: Pexels
"Dean," she snapped. "It's her or me!"
"I'm so glad you said that, Carla," Dean said calmly. "Because I was about to throw you out, this way is a lot less trouble! I choose HER."
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