Story of the Day

On our wedding night, my husband, Scott, wanted to get intimate with me, but I turned him down, saying I was tired. He understandingly agreed and kissed me goodnight. Suddenly, at midnight, I felt the bed shake and turned to my side, only to freeze at what Scott was doing on our bed.On our wedding night, amidst the anticipation, I was hesitating. “Scott, can we… can we talk for a bit?” I asked, suggesting we don’t dive right into the “action.” Scott frowned and questioned, “Talk? Now?” Despite his frustration, I expressed my need for more conversation and rest, given the day’s exhaustion.Scott reluctantly agreed, masking his disappointment with a gentle kiss on my cheek before we turned in for the night. However, the tranquility of our lavender-scented suite was shattered when I awoke a few hours later.
Our bed was shaking for some reason, and it took a while before my eyes focused enough to see Scott kneeling by the bed, holding a baby.”Scott?” I gasped in confusion. “What’s going on?” He looked at me before his eyes darted around as if thinking of an excuse, and finally whispered, “Everly, this is Ella,” he gulped, and my world spun as he continued. “She is my orphaned niece. My stepsister, Maya, is gone now. I found out about her just a few weeks ago.”I arranged myself on the bed, dumbfounded. “A few weeks ago?” I repeated, frowning, as I struggled to understand how the baby had appeared in our room on our wedding night. “Everly, I was scared you’d leave if you knew about her,” Scott confessed, not meeting my eyes. “How could you do this, Scott? How can we start our life together with secrets and lies?” I asked, appalled. But I took a deep breath. “Scott, what’s the plan here? Are you… wait, are we going to adopt Ella?””I haven’t thought that far, Everly.

Right now, I just need to take care of her,” he answered and suggested we postpone the discussion. I agreed because I was too tired to keep talking about it, but I went to sleep with a horrible feeling in my gut. We returned home to Scott’s vast estate the following day with Ella and settled into a life with her as if something had been decided last night. I felt powerless, but I had no idea how to change that. As I held Ella one evening, I sought answers about Scott’s past and his stepsister, Maya. “Scott, if you and your family cut ties with your stepsister, why insist on raising her baby?” I wondered.Scott’s reluctance to answer made me angry. “But she’s Ella’s mother, right? What else do you know about her?” I pressed, my voice sharper.”Everly, it’s not about Maya anymore. It’s about Ella. She’s innocent in all this. And she has no one but us,” Scott finally said. I inquired about Ella’s father, but he cut me off, refusing to say more. A couple of weeks later, curiosity led me to Scott’s study while he was away at work. I discovered a photograph on his desk that contradicted everything he had told me before. It was a picture of Scott, seemingly happy and close with a pregnant woman, potentially Maya.When Scott walked into the house later that evening, his smile faded as he noticed my stern expression. “Everly, what’s wrong?” he asked, his voice laced with concern.I held up the photo, my voice steady but cold. “Explain this, Scott. And I want the truth this time. You told me you and your sister were estranged. But this picture tells me otherwise.” Scott’s attempt to dismiss the photo only fueled my frustration. “No more lies, Scott! This photo shows you with a pregnant woman, smiling and happy. How can you claim estrangement?” I yelled. He sighed and plopped on the sofa. “Okay, you’re right. That’s Maya, Ella’s mother. Although my family cut ties with her, I used to meet her secretly… and help her,” he confessed.”Why hide it? Why did you lie to me?””I was afraid. Afraid you’d leave if you knew the truth. I wanted you to love Ella, to see her as our future…without getting caught up in the complications of her origins,” Scott answered. “Scott, again, how can we build a life on secrets and half-truths?” I asked, crossing my arms. “I need to trust you, for Ella’s sake, for our sake.” He nodded, but his mouth dropped at my next suggestion. “Maybe we should consider putting Ella up for adoption,” I said tentatively.”Adoption? Everly, that’s unthinkable. Ella is my responsibility,” Scott argued. “Maybe find a loving foster family for her. Someone could be a better mother than me—” He cut me off. “Is this your way of testing me? You think I married you just to have a mother for Ella?” “Yes!” “You’re being ridiculous!” The words felt like a slap, like all those stories about husbands gaslighting their wives. But I knew something was wrong, even if he denied it.Caught in a whirlwind of emotions and unanswered questions, I left the mansion with Ella, seeking solitude at the beach near our home to ponder the future. There, a mysterious woman approached. She curled her lip at me and the baby, asking, “Scott’s daughter?””No, she’s his niece. Who are you? How do you know Scott?” I questioned, wrapping my arms more protectively around Ella. The woman laughed… a cruel sound. “His niece? She’s his spitting image,” she said, smirking before her humor vanished and her eyes turned to mine. “Run for your life,” she whispered and walked off. “Wait!” I called out, but she didn’t look back.I breathed heavily, staring out into the ocean and then looking at Ella. What secrets was she born into? And what danger lurked in the shadows of Scott’s past?”We need to talk,” I initiated as I walked through the door later. Scott looked up, pursing his lips. “Everly, I’ve told you everything. There are no more secrets,” he insisted, but his voice didn’t sound so confident. I couldn’t contain my frustration. “No, Scott. There’s something you’re not telling me. Ella isn’t your niece, is she? She’s your daughter,” I accused. Scott choked on his spit and stayed for several minutes after recovering before hanging his head. “Yes, Everly. Ella is my daughter,” he confessed at last.”How could you lie to me about your child? How could you betray our trust like this?” I cried out.”I thought if you loved her as my niece, we could eventually become a family,” he explained. Angered and heartbroken, I demanded honesty about Maya and their past, leading Scott to reveal more about his relationship with Ella’s mother, who wasn’t his stepsister, and his desperation to provide Ella with a stable life. “You’ve not only betrayed me,” I said, starting to cry. “But you’ve also betrayed your daughter by starting our marriage like this.”I cried for days, contemplating what to do. I had grown to love Ella dearly but didn’t know if I could remain married to a liar. After a few days, I faced my husband again.”I’m leaving. I can’t do this anymore,” I declared. I had already packed my things. Scott rushed to grab my arm. “Please, Everly, think about Ella. She needs you,” he begged, but my resolve was firm. “Ella is your daughter, Scott. Not mine,” I clarified. I knew the words were hurtful and worked because Scott dropped his hold on me and let me go. *** The silence of my small apartment downtown was so different from the life I had left behind. Immersing myself in my work as a fashion designer, I sought solace in the familiarity of fabrics and designs, yet the void Ella’s absence left was profound.Despite the hurt, I found myself missing Ella’s laughter. Meanwhile, Scott’s attempts at reconciliation were relentless. Yet, the thought of facing him, of rebuilding from the ashes of our marriage, seemed an insurmountable challenge. I ignored him and didn’t reply to his texts or answer his calls. But he kept doing it. And one morning, Scott knocked on my door. He stood there with Ella, and her giggles were a bittersweet melody that softened the walls I had built around my heart. Reluctantly, I allowed them into my apartment. Scott’s apologies and promises of a future built on honesty clashed with my doubt. “Scott, would you have forgiven me if I had done what you did?” I questioned.He didn’t know how to answer that, but his vow of transparency and plea for us to become a real family resonated with a part of me still yearning for the dream we once shared. “A family built on truth, not lies,” Scott promised. “Please come home, Everly.” I couldn’t deny that it was what I wanted too. I grabbed Ella and hugged her tightly to my chest, nodding at Scott, who came to wrap us in his embrace. *** Months after returning home to Scott and baby Ella, Scott suddenly excused himself from our family time for an alleged emergency with a friend. His hasty departure on his day off was concerning. What was so urgent that couldn’t wait? It only got worse when an enigmatic envelope appeared on our doorstep the next day. Inside was a photograph of the mysterious woman from the beach, holding a child, accompanied by a chilling message: “Maya’s not the only secret Scott’s buried.”The implication was clear: more secrets were lurking beneath the surface of Scott’s past. Frantically, I called the number on the note, reaching the woman from the beach, who finally introduced herself as Amanda. “Meet me at Brown Beans Café,” she instructed urgently, adding, “Don’t tell Scott.” At the café, Amanda, with her baby in tow, dropped a bombshell: “I’m Scott’s ex-wife… and this is our baby, Renee.” I didn’t even have to consider it twice. I knew she wasn’t lying. But I didn’t expect the vivid pain I felt as my world shattered once more. “Sco-Scott’s ex-wife??” I stammered, heartbroken.Amanda’s revelations grew darker as she delved into Scott’s past involvement with a cult practicing bizarre rituals, seeking to increase their male members. “Everly, you need to understand the danger you’re in. Scott’s not who he seems. He’s just using you,” she insisted. I was paralyzed with shock. “But why? How did you find out about all this?” I asked, my voice trembling. “Maya figured it out somehow. She tried to expose him, and that’s when she had her accident,” she whispered, grabbing my hand. “You need to be careful. Don’t let him know what you’ve discovered. Just play along until we figure out an escape plan.” This was too much. I stood, but my body betrayed me. I swayed and blacked out. As I lay in the hospital bed hours later, the doctor delivered another shocking piece of news—I was pregnant.Amanda’s grave warning rang in my ears as I returned home, reeling from the revelation that I was pregnant and trapped in a sinister web woven by Scott. “He wants you to have a male child for his cult,” she had said. Her words echoed in my mind, increasing my dread as I entered my home. Fortunately, the house was silent, giving me time to think and prepare. When Scott finally arrived, I was ready, my heart pounding. “We need to talk,” I said, meeting his gaze with a feigned sadness. “I’m pregnant.”Scott’s brief joy turned to anger as I showed him an empty vial. “But I decided to terminate the pregnancy and took this just now—””You did what? Everly, that’s unforgivable!” Scott screamed, his face reddening and his hand lifting as if to strike me. But he turned, grabbed a vase, and lunged at me. Just then, police officers burst in, arresting him for assault and the murder of his ex-partner. As Scott was handcuffed and taken away, Amanda emerged, her presence a comforting reassurance. A little while later, as the cops finished their business, I was tending to baby Ella with Amanda sitting close by. Her words brought a sense of peace and validation to the confusing moment.”You’ll make a wonderful mother,” she said. I smiled and looked beyond my home, the police car…into the camera.”Cut! That was a perfect shot!” the director yelled, and everything changed. I laughed as Scott, my real-life husband and co-star, embraced me, praising my performance. “You did an incredible job, Everly… I’m so proud of you!” he exclaimed, his eyes shining with pride. The project was born from an actual incident on our wedding night, a humorous misunderstanding involving Scott’s niece, baby Ella. It had sparked Scott’s creativity, leading to the script for our short film.Our journey, marked by humor, drama, and love, reminded us that even in the most chaotic moments, there’s always a story to be told, a lesson to be learned, and a smile to be shared.