My stepdad told me my birth father was dead and kept me in a web of lies for years. But then, I found something terrifying that exposed a long-hidden family secret and led me to my dad, who was still alive.
They say a dad is a son’s first hero. But my father, Darrell, was different. At first, I didn’t know why he didn’t like me at all. I thought he was being strict like all dads do. But then, I realized he was treating me like a stranger. He didn’t even want me around, and whenever I approached him for something, he ignored and shut me out.
Once, I remember I was on leave from school and took my dad’s gaming console to play when he was not at home. I thought he would not mind it. But when he saw me playing with his console, he grabbed it and scolded me. That day, I saw an ugly side of my father that made me hate him.
“Don’t touch my things without asking me. You have no right to do it,” he yelled.
I was shocked and didn’t immediately understand what my dad meant by I didn’t have a right…
I sought my mom, Samantha’s, support. But instead of backing me up, she sided with my father, as usual.
I know she loves dad to the core, but what about me? Doesn’t mom love me? Where do I stand, and why aren’t you supporting me, mom? I cried inside.
Truth triumphs and finishes the race no matter how long you run with a lie.
My father then hid the console somewhere, and when I searched for it later, I discovered a horrifying secret the guy I believed was my ‘dad’ and my mother had been hiding from me.
A week after I turned ten…
My parents threw a party at home. I didn’t like crowded places, so I locked myself in my parents’ room. I was bored and decided to find my dad’s console and play until the party was over. I knew he would be mad at me, but I planned to put it back without a trace.
I looked for the console everywhere and finally found it in my mother’s closet. As I pulled it out, an old photo album fell off a pile of garments. I hadn’t seen it before, so I was automatically drawn to it.
I checked the photos and found one with my mother in a bridal gown posing beside a stranger. There was an address written on the back of the picture, and it seemed to be in a different city far from where we currently lived.
Who is this man, and why is mom standing next to him? I wondered as curiosity got the better of me.
Once the party was over, I showed the photo to my parents and asked who the man near my mother was. I saw their smile disappear and shrink into nervousness and shock. I thought my parents would yell at me for barging into their room. But what happened that night was entirely different.
My dad politely sat me down, patted me on my shoulders, and said:
“Alan, that’s your father. He died when you were two years old.”
“My father? What do you mean he’s my father?” I exclaimed in shock because I thought Darrell was my father.
“Alan, I’m your mother’s second husband. We married after your dad’s death. It was a long time ago… now go to your bed and get some sleep.”
The man I believed was my father turned out to be a stranger to me in a flash. I could not bring myself together to call Darrell ‘dad’ again.
I braced myself against the bitter truth and brushed aside my resentment for him. I assumed he ignored and hated me because I was not his real son. Reality struck me hard, and I started growing distant from Darrell.
Six years flew by too soon, and day by day, I started noticing my parents behaving oddly whenever I was around. At this point, I realized they were hiding something else from me. They would be discussing something and stop or change the topic after seeing me. It didn’t add up to me, but I pretended I was not bothered.
My parents assumed I’d stopped doubting them, but I kept looking for clues.
One day, I returned home from school earlier than usual and eavesdropped on my parents’ conversation. They didn’t notice I was home and were busily discussing the guy in the photo with my mother.
I heard Darrell’s faint voice say:
“Alan must never find out that his father is STILL ALIVE.”
I was startled when I learned my birth father was not dead. I was confused about why my stepdad and mother were keeping me away from him.
What are they hiding from me? If my dad is alive, why didn’t he come for me? Where is he? Several questions haunted me, begging for answers.
Two years later, after I graduated high school…
Now that I was eighteen and had graduated, my parents understood I was adult enough to make my own decisions. So the first decision I made as an independent adult was to hang out with my friends at a music festival to celebrate our graduation.
“I’ll be back in a week!” I told them. They trusted me and sent me off without knowing I was actually visiting the city where my mother once lived with my birth father.
I snapped their pictures in the photo album on my phone and left for the alleged city to find my dad. I visited the address I noted from the back of the photo and knocked on the door. Moments later, an older woman answered.
“Hey, do you know this man?” I asked her. But she told me that she was new to the neighborhood.
I then met with all the neighbors, who told me they hadn’t seen my father. I asked every random stranger I met, but nobody knew my dad.
I was exhausted and marched down the street to rent a hotel when I bumped into an old, homeless man. Having lost all hope of finding my father, I showed the picture to the guy and asked him if he’d seen the man somewhere. To my shock, the guy, who introduced himself as Francis, told me he knew him.
“What?? Do you know my father? Where is he? Please take me to him!”
Francis and I walked across the street and arrived at a parking lot where I first saw my dad, whose name I still didn’t know.
“Your dad is sitting there. I found him several years ago on the streets, and we’ve remained friends ever since.”
I had never felt so weak and shaky before. I trembled on my way to my father as tears flooded my eyes.
“DAD??” I softly called out to him. But he never reacted, and I thought he couldn’t recognize me. I showed him the photo, but he couldn’t remember anything.
“Daddy, it’s me, Alan. Remember me??” But my dad never reacted.
Despite several questions still bombarding my head, I first took my dad to the salon. I bought him new clothes and food, got him ready, and took him back home because I knew only my mother and stepfather could answer all my questions.
Back home, two days later…
“Alan, I thought you would be returning next week,” my mom was stunned when she saw me home earlier than expected.
“Mom, one second, I have a surprise for you!!” I told her and returned seconds later with my father. My mother was stunned when she saw my dad. Her face flushed red as anxiety kicked in.
“Recognize him, mom?? He’s my real father who is ALIVE and not DEAD!!”
“ARNOLD??!” she shrieked. “Da—Darling, I can explain.”
That’s when I learned my dad’s name was Arnold.
“You have to, mom, coz you have no choice.”
Darrell stormed in and tried to stop my mother from confessing the truth. “No—No, Sam, don’t tell him.”
“Mom, if you don’t tell me, I’ll call the cops.”
At this point, my mother had no choice and began revealing a terrifying thing she and Darrell did to my father fifteen years ago.
“Alan, sweetie, your dad used to travel a lot alone because he loved solo adventures,” she began.
“One day, he returned home earlier than usual from his trip to Egypt and found me and your stepdad engaged in… intimacy in the bedroom. He was furious and began insulting me. He threatened to divorce me and kick me out of the house. That’s when Darrell knocked him down with a flower vase. Your dad fell unconscious, and we were afraid he was dead.”
“We waited for a couple of hours figuring out how to dispose of Arnold’s body when suddenly, he woke up and could not remember anything. We realized Arnold had lost his memory. We called emergency services and told them he was a stranger who visited us for some water and hurt his head after falling on the doorstep.”
“Since we were new to the neighborhood, nobody knew Arnold. They thought Darrell was my husband, which made it easier for us to fake things to save ourselves. Arnold had transferred the right on his property to me long back, so using that to my advantage, Darrell and I sold the house and moved here. We never returned to that city and had no idea what happened to Arnold after that.”
I was stunned by the wicked things Darrell and my mother did to my dad. I explained everything to my father, and he was furious though he could not remember what they did to him. He threatened to sue my stepdad and mom, but they laughed it off, saying he had no evidence.
But they didn’t know I had secretly recorded my mom’s confession on my mini spy camera pinned to my shirt button.
I left my father in a safe place and returned home to keep an eye on Darrell and my mom. I cooked myself dinner and went to my room upstairs as my stepfather and mom thought things were getting back to normal. That night, while they were fast asleep, I crept out to meet my friend, Jason, whose dad was a lawyer.
According to our plan, my parents were sent a court notice two days later while my dad stayed at my friend’s house. I stayed with Darrell and my mom to ensure they didn’t flee the city. The court notice arrived, and that didn’t seem to bother them.
“You don’t have evidence to prove us wrong in court,” Darrell challenged me.
Poor stepdad! He didn’t know what was in store for him in court.
At the hearing…
“Your Honor, Darrell is my husband. I don’t know who this man is. The photo is morphed, and he’s not my husband,” my mother defended herself in the witness box.
My lawyer then provided video evidence of my mom’s confession to the crime. The entire court, including my mom and Darrell, was startled when the footage was played.
My dad won the case, and we were granted legal rights to all the money and property Darrell and my mom possessed. They were sentenced to jail with a hefty penalty. I was delighted that justice was served right and told my dad:
“The truth always comes to light no matter how hard you try to bury it in the darkness.”
My dad and I marched out of the courtroom toward our new destiny while Darrell and my mom were taken to prison.
What can we learn from this story?
- Do not underestimate a person’s potential. Samantha and Darrell lived with the assumption that Alan would never find out his biological dad was alive. But to their dismay, he found out about his father and unraveled the truth they had been hiding from him.
- Truth triumphs and finishes the race no matter how long you run with a lie. Samantha and Darrell thought they would get away with the lie about Arnold’s death but were sent behind bars when the truth came to light.
Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.
A rich man’s adopted son aspiring to become a restaurateur decides to buy an old café and is startled when he sees his late birth dad’s photos in frames there. Click here to read the full story.
This piece is inspired by stories from the everyday lives of our readers and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone’s life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.