A wealthy mom is astounded to learn what her 10-year-old daughter has been doing every day after school at an abandoned building.
Jessica Harding gave her daughter everything she desired, from a pony to the latest technologies, but the one thing Julia truly desired was a father figure. Jessica revealed to Julia that her father died before she was born.
Jessica had informed Julia that Derek Harding had been a lovely and gentle guy who was looking forward to welcoming their first child before a catastrophic accident took his life at the age of 32. What Julia didn’t realize was that everything was a lie.
Derek had actually gone on a business trip to Seattle and never returned. Jessica, who was seven months pregnant at the time, drove Derek to the airport herself.
Even back then, he appeared aloof and too silent, telling her he was too tired to converse. He went away, ticket in hand, without looking back. Jessica never saw him again.
Jessica had slipped into a profound melancholy, and it was only the birth of her child two months later that drew her out of the abyss. Julia had been the center of her entire universe, and she had made the decision early on that she would not know about their abandoning.
So she burned every photo and souvenir of Derek and spoke of him only in the most general terms, emphasizing his compassion and athletic ability—much like Julia.
Fortunately, Jessica’s family was quite affluent, and a few years before marrying Derek, she received a considerable inheritance that enabled her to luxuriously maintain herself and her daughter.
Julia had everything she wanted. Jessica purchased Julia a pony when she wanted to learn to ride, and she enrolled her in ballet school when she wanted to dance.
Julia was not spoiled, despite Jessica’s reckless indulgence of her child. She was a kind, compassionate, and extremely sensitive young lady. She began returning from her outings with her nanny in the park with sick butterflies and caterpillars, and once a young bird, from the time she could walk.
If the world was hurting, Julia wanted to mend it, and it was her beautiful benevolence that got her into a big fight with her mother. Julia went to ballet on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and the driver was typically the one who picked her up.
Sometimes the most heinous wounds carry the key to their own healing.
After Jessica reprimanded the driver for constantly being almost an hour late from ballet, he said that it was Julia who always arrived late and in filthy clothing.
Jessica was confused and asked Julia what she was going to do after ballet. Julia just shrugged and said softly. So she resolved to track down Julia herself and solve the riddle.
Jessica was parked outside the dancing academy the next Tuesday when she watched all the girls come out—then she noticed Julia slipping past the car, crouched behind the fence.
Jessica exited the vehicle and followed her daughter. Julia was taken aback as she went inside an abandoned building at the end of the street. Jessica followed her in and noticed her running to a figure in the shadows.
“Here I am!” said Julia. “I brought you some ham sandwiches, chocolate milk, and cozy socks.” The thing raised its head at the sound of Julia’s voice, and Jessica had a blurry vision of big eyes set in a skeleton with a scarred face.
“Julia!” she yelled. “What are you up to?” “Return here right now!” Julia turned to face her mother. In her terror, she dropped the sandwiches and other things she was holding.
“Mom!” she exclaimed. “Oh, this is my pal, and he’s hungry.” But Jessica had arrived in two steps, grabbed Julia’s arm, and was yanking her out and away from that terrifying dark figure.
Julia overheard a long and passionate lecture on the dangers of slipping away from school and being alone with strangers in an abandoned building on the walk home.
“But mom, he’s not a stranger!” Julia said. “He’s been a buddy of mine for two years, and he would never harm me!”
“You were simply lucky, that’s all!” Jessica said so angrily. “But Julia, I want you to PROMISE me that you would NEVER, EVER see that man again!” Julia wailed, but she promised, which calmed Jessica down a little.
She knew her daughter was a truthful child, and she prayed that her good heart would keep her safe in the future. Jessica shoved the event with the homeless guy to the back of her mind for months, but fate wasn’t finished with her yet.
She was driving Julia to her end-of-the-year dancing performance when she heard her daughter yell, “Stop, mom, PLEASE, PLEASE STOP!”
Jessica drew the car to a halt, and Julia unbuckled her seat belt, opened the door, and jumped out of the car before she could even inquire what was wrong.
Jessica noticed her kneeling by the side of a prone body laying on the snow-covered pavement. “It’s my pal, Mom,” Julia said, “and I think he’s extremely sick!”
“Ma’am, this man has an advanced brain tumor that must have been spreading for the previous 10 to 15 years,” one of the physicians remarked. “Did your husband get headaches and forgetfulness?”
Jessica gave a nod. “He did! He was so forgetful that he had to write everything down, and he suffered from headaches.
“Then,” the doctor softly said, “it’s possible that he just forgot who he was and that you even existed.” “The tumor is harmless, yet removing it may cause him to recall…”
“He didn’t forsake me,” Jessica murmured, tears stinging her cheeks. Jessica brought her kid into her arms as the doctor shook his head “no.” “Oh, honey,” she sobbed. “You returned your father!”
Jessica, calmer afterward, revealed to Julia who that man was and why she’d told her he was dead. “But he wasn’t, you know; he forgot himself and us!”
The man opened his eyes two weeks after his operation to find Jessica sitting in a chair next to his bed. He scowled and seemed perplexed. “You…” he murmured. “I’ve been fantasizing about you…”
Jessica clasped Derek’s hand in her own. “Oh, no, this isn’t a dream!” she exclaimed, beaming.
Derek took her hand in his, then gazed at her face. “Jessica?” he asked quietly. “Where is the baby, Jessica?”
Of course, they gently told Derek what had occurred and how much time had passed, but the day finally arrived when he could finally hold his daughter in his arms.
By some bizarre twist of destiny, Julia had taken her long-lost father out of the misery he’d been living in and back into his family’s arms.
What can we take from this story?
Sometimes the most heinous wounds carry the key to their own healing. Jessica was astounded to find that her husband had amnesia but had never abandoned her or their
Kindness might be fate’s hand. Julia’s kind personality prompted her to befriend a homeless guy, who turned out to be her long-lost father.