Caroline got a job as a cleaning lady in New York and went to her first assignment. It was a beautiful house in Manhattan, but something shocked her. There was a picture of her mother in the office. Then a man walked in.
“I’m going to do a great job,” Caroline psyched herself up in front of her first assignment. She and her friend, Melissa, moved to New York a few days ago to make their dreams of being Broadway stars come true.
But they needed to find jobs first to rent an apartment together. Luckily, Melissa got hired at a clothing store, and Caroline got a job at an agency for domestic cleaners.
It was perfect. It wasn’t that time-consuming, and she loved cleaning because it had a calming effect on her. Moreover, if no one else was home, she could practice her singing voice.
Caroline was going to her first assignment as a cleaning lady. | Source: Shutterstock
Unfortunately, her mother’s face popped into her mind before walking into her first home. Her mother, Helen, didn’t want her to chase after such silly dreams, much less live in New York.
Caroline was born and raised in Philadelphia, which wasn’t that far away. She didn’t have a father, and her mother never said a word about him. For some reason, Helen really hated New York. She also sheltered Caroline all her life, which was why she had to escape.
When she and Melissa planned their move, she knew her mother would not allow it. Caroline suspected she may even fake an illness just to get her to stay. But Caroline needed to fight for her dreams. It was her life. So, she left a tiny note on her mother’s dresser when she was asleep and ran away.
It had been several days, and Helen had not called her, which was weird. But Caroline assumed she was probably mad at her. Hopefully, she would get over it once Caroline debuted on Broadway. Now, it was time to focus on cleaning this house.
According to the agency director, an older man lives in the house alone, so it was not particularly messy in the first place. When Caroline finally walked inside using the key under the mat as was instructed, she wasted no time to start cleaning — first, the kitchen, then the living room, and moving towards the bedroom.
She noticed the pictures above the mantelpiece. | Source: Unplash
“I’m almost done, sir. But may I ask a question? Who is this woman?”
She hesitated a bit right at the entrance of a serious-looking office, but there were no instructions against coming in. She resolved not to touch too much around the desk and continued cleaning.
There was a beautiful fireplace with a mantelpiece on top and huge bookshelves along the opposite wall. It was the kind of office Caroline had only seen in movies.
She tidied as quickly and thoroughly as she could but stopped short at the mantelpiece. There were several pictures on top, but one caught her attention. A picture with her mother’s face. She was at least 18 years younger, but it was her. “Why is my mother in this man’s pictures?” she wondered out loud.
Suddenly, she heard footsteps and an older man entered the office. “Oh hello there! You must be the new cleaning lady. I’m Richard Smith. I own this house,” the man introduced himself with a warm smile. “Are you done in here already?”
“I’m almost done, sir. But may I ask a question?” Caroline hesitated, hoping that the man wouldn’t be mad if she asked about the image. “Who is this woman?”
The man moved closer to see what picture she was talking about. | Source: Pexels
“Who?” he wondered, moving closer to her and putting on his glasses. “Ah yes. That’s Helen. She was the love of my life.”
Caroline’s senses started pinging. “What happened to her?” She couldn’t help but ask.
“She died during a bus crash. She was pregnant at the time too. I couldn’t even go to the funeral because her mother hated me. It was crazy… I tried to move on and never did. To this day, I still love and miss her,” Richard responded, removing his glasses and moving towards his chair.
“Sir, I’m sorry to intrude like this, and thank you for telling me. But this woman… she looks so much like my mother. It’s insane,” Caroline revealed.
The older man frowned at her. “What do you mean?”
“Well, my mother, Helen, looks exactly like this woman. Obviously, she’s older now, but the resemblance is uncanny. I’m 98% sure this is her,” she continued, facing Richard but gesturing toward the photograph.
Richard dialed right there from his desk. | Source: Pexels
“Helen? Your mother’s name is Helen? Where did you grow up?”
“Philadelphia,” she answered, shrugging her shoulders. Her eyes widened now that she realized that if that was Helen, then this man might be her father.
Richard covered his mouth with his hands. “This is not possible…” he whispered. “Can I have your mother’s phone number?”
“Sure,” she said and gave it to him.
“Can you stay here while I call her?” he requested, and Caroline agreed.
He dialed right there from his office phone, and her mother’s voice answered after a few rings. “Hello? Is it you, Caroline?”
Richard looked up at Caroline for a second but decided to speak up first. “Is this Helen Geller?”
“Yes. Who am I speaking to?” Helen asked from the other end of the line.
He told her about the alleged bus crash. | Source: Pexels
“Helen, it’s Richard,” he continued, his voice starting to get emotional.
“Richard, who? Wait a minute. Richard Morris? What do you want after all these years?” Helen asked, her voice hardening for some reason.
Caroline and Richard started at each other in confusion, but he continued. “What do you mean after all these years? I thought you were dead!”
Richard explained what he knew of the alleged accident when he had lost his future wife and unborn baby. He also explained how Helen’s mother didn’t allow him at the funeral and refused to tell him anything afterward. But Helen had no idea what he was talking about and told him what she knew.
“My mother told me that you called and decided you wanted nothing to do with me. So I raised my daughter on my own,” Helen revealed, and Caroline was shocked by this turn of events.
Caroline wanted to make it on Broadway first. | Source: Pexels
“That’s not… Helen, I would never abandon you. I never moved on. I still thought of you every day. I mourned you. I’ve been in pain thinking about you and our kid for almost two decades,” Richard continued, but Helen was quiet.
“I can’t believe Mom would do this. But well, that was her way. I don’t know what do now,” Helen finally stated. “Wait. How did you find out I was still alive?”
“Mom, I’m here,” Caroline chimed in at last. She hurriedly explained what happened and reassured her mother that she was fine in New York.
“I can’t believe this is happening at all. I can’t even ask my mother why she would do something so cruel to us. She died years ago. But anyway, when are you coming back home, Caroline?” Helen asked, in a firmer voice toward her daughter.
“I’m not coming back until I make it on Broadway. And now, well… now I have another reason to stay here,” Caroline continued, looking at Richard with a tiny smile.
They broke the ice with one silly statement. | Source: Pexels
“Fine, but I’m coming up to New York soon,” Helen said and hung up. Richard and Caroline started at each other in silence for a few moments before either of them spoke up.
“So, I guess you’re my dad,” she chirped. He laughed, and that’s how they broke the ice.
What can we learn from this story?
- Let your children pursue their dreams. Caroline ran away because her mother was overprotective. You should guide your children but let them decide what to do with their lives.
- Some parents don’t have your best interests at heart. Helen’s mother did something horrible to her and Richard, and they would never know why.
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If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a woman who didn’t end the call with her husband, and he heard her conversation.
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