A strange woman left her baby in Chandler Conner's arms and never returned. Chandler assumed he'd never find out why the baby's mother did it. But one day, he discovered the surprising reason why, which made him reconsider what he'd done in the past.
Chandler was rich, charming, very generous, and super kind to everyone – the qualities any woman would fall for. Besides, he owned one of the most exquisite diners in the state of California, and his business was doing pretty well.
But Chandler didn't have anyone in his life. No lover. No family. Nothing. Perhaps that's why he was a workaholic and loved his job more than anything else.
One morning, Chandler was sitting in his diner, comfortably sipping his black coffee, when he noticed a woman enter. The woman attracted his attention because she wasn't like other customers. She appeared tired, exhausted, and most of all, scared and terrified. She looked around as she cradled her baby close to her. Then she made her way to a waitress.
The woman dumped her son at Chandler's diner. | Source: Shutterstock
Chandler saw her saying something to the waitress, tears in her eyes and her hands clasped together as if she was making a request. He approached them, curious about what was going on.
Walking closer to them, he heard the woman say, "Please, I beg you! My mother…She's sick…I need to see her. Can you look after my baby? I'll be back in an hour."
"Well, ma'am," paused the waitress. "We can't...."
This continued for days, weeks, and months. Aaron's mother was nowhere to be found.
Just then, Chandler cut her off. "Sure, we can," he said, taking the baby in his arms. "Your daughter is lovely. How old is she?" he asked, smiling.
"Son," she whispered. "His name is Aaron. He's my son...three months old. Will you look after him? Can you take care of him?" she asked, looking him in the eyes as if she was expecting a yes.
The woman looked terrified. | Source: Pexels
"Of course, ma'am," he said hesitantly. "You'd be back in an hour, right?
"What? Yes, yes... And thank you," she murmured, then hurried out of the restaurant without looking Chandler or Aaron in the eyes. Chandler watched her vanish through the translucent door of his diner, then returned his gaze to the toddler in his arms, a bright smile on his face.
An hour passed. Surprisingly, there was no sign of Aaron's mom. The baby boy was crying, and no matter what Chandler did, he wouldn't stop. Finally, he had to seek assistance from a waitress who helped him change Aaron's diapers.
Chandler decided to wait a bit longer for Aaron's mother, thinking she might be stuck in traffic. But hours passed, and dusk turned into evening. The restaurant was closed, and the woman still hadn't shown up. At this point, Chandler knew what he needed to do.
Chandler agreed to look after Aaron. | Source: Pexels
He immediately went to the cops and filed a complaint against the woman. They suggested he hand over the infant to them, but he couldn't let go of Aaron. The baby's little hands were gripping his shirt collar as he slept soundly in his arms. It seemed Aaron needed him to be present while his mother was not. As a result, Chandler requested that the cops allow him to keep Aaron until his mother returned.
The cops submitted Chandler's ID and a few other paperwork and only then allowed him to bring Aaron home with him. He returned home and laid the boy on his sofa, surrounding him with pillows to keep him from falling. He sat next to him, his eyes not wanting to leave the child for a moment, and then he noticed something - the boy looked a little like him, just like when he was a baby.
Chandler would have dismissed it, believing he was overthinking it, but something in his heart told him otherwise. He began thinking about his past, the possibility of the boy being actually linked with him.
The next morning, he called the detective in charge of Aaron's case to see if there had been any news concerning the toddler's mother, but there wasn't. This continued for days, weeks, and months. Aaron's mother was nowhere to be found.
Chandler fell in love with Aaron. | Source: Pexels
On the other hand, Chandler had made up his mind to adopt the boy. When the cops announced they would close the case because they couldn't find Aaron's mother, he adopted him and became his father. Then three years later, he did the unthinkable. He eventually persuaded himself to take a DNA test with Aaron.
He couldn't shake the feeling that there was a possible connection between them, and no matter how hard he tried to suppress it, he couldn't beat it, especially when he saw how much Aaron resembled him as he grew older.
The DNA test results arrived a week later, and the words "25% match" made Chandler dizzy. He almost dropped the test results from his hands and looked at Aaron, giggling on the sofa behind him.
"How is this even possible? I - I never..." he gasped in disbelief. And suddenly, it hit him. Chandler realized Aaron's mother might be his daughter, Camilla, whom he had lost 20 years before. He had married when he was too young and found out his wife Samantha was expecting a girl.
Chandler planned to pursue his master's degree while working at a diner to support them that year. After Camilla was born, he tried to be a responsible father to her, but nothing he did was enough for Samantha. Besides, he never felt a connection with Camilla -- mainly because she looked nothing like him as she grew older -- and thought she wasn't his child, which caused quarrels between him and Samantha.
Chandler was once a family man. | Source: Pexels
Tired of their constant squabbles, he abandoned both of them and fled to California. Camilla was just four then. Was Aaron Camilla's child? Did she dump him in his diner on purpose? He had a lot of questions in his head now that he wanted answers to. But he had to find her first, which seemed impossible. Even the cops couldn't do it. How could he?
Three months later…
Chandler was on his way home one day after shopping for some new clothes for Aaron when he noticed a homeless woman in a corner. He approached her to offer her money, but he dropped the shopping bags from his hands when he caught sight of her face. She was Aaron's mother, or as Chandler would see it, his estranged daughter. "Camilla? Christ! Is that you?" he asked, stunned.
She looked up, and an outburst of rage gripped her.
"Leave! Don't come near me!" she screamed as she rose to her feet, moving away from them. "I - I can't love him. I'm a terrible mother. And it's all because of you! YOU abandoned me! Mom died! My boyfriend abandoned me! Everyone left me alone. I was so depressed that I couldn't love my child! You gave me depression! I hate you!"
Chandler turned pale at Camilla's reaction. He couldn't believe she'd been through so much. He knelt in front of her and apologized. "I'm sorry, Camilla. Look, I can't fix what happened in the past, but I can help you and Aaron. How about you come with me? I am not forcing you to, but—"
"Why didn't you do that years ago?" She suddenly started to cry. "Why did everyone abandon me? It wasn't my fault at all. I didn't do anything wrong. For God's sake, I'm your daughter!" She crouched and buried her face in her hands.
Chandler found Camilla at the corner of the street. | Source: Unsplash
Chandler approached her gently and stroked her hair. She was clearly destroyed, and she needed help. Chandler knew that, to some extent, he was responsible for it. "Hey, Camilla," he said. "I get it; I was wrong. I shouldn't have left you. I'm sorry. You can punish me for that. I will do whatever you say! But Aaron…he really needs you. Just look at him."
She slowly raised her head and glanced at Aaron, who was attempting to hug her. She felt relieved and a little calmer when she held him, but her tears didn't stop.
Chandler eventually persuaded her and brought her home. He consulted a doctor for help, and Camilla was made to undergo treatment.
Meanwhile, Chandler was relieved to have his daughter back, and he knows he will never abandon her again. But he would always regret leaving her and failing to check in on her even once in all those years.
What can we learn from this story?
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