I am not my husband’s first wife. His first wife died tragically and left behind two young children. The youngest is a girl named Hope. She is so attached to her daddy that she slept in our bed the first few years after we got married. And I can tell how much my husband also loves his little girl. The two of them are almost inseparable. This makes the situation I find myself in a very dicey one. Now let me start from the beginning.
My husband and I met at a time when he was very low. He was dealing with the grief of losing his wife, financial loss, and the responsibility of a single parent. To make matters worse, his in-laws were adding more stress to his plate. He told me, “They are fighting me for custody of the children. They know they can’t fight me legally so they are doing everything possible to frustrate me into giving up the kids. I understand that they want to hold on to their daughter by taking in her children, but what about me? I already lost my wife. How can they expect me to lose my children too?” As he spoke I felt his pain. I felt his anger too. And I felt his determination to hold on to his kids.
It was one of those moments when you can’t offer words of comfort to someone who is hurting. Basically, because you don’t know anything about what they are going through. The best thing to do is to listen, and just be there for them. And that’s what I did. I didn’t know what it felt like to grieve a spouse while fighting to hold on to my kids. All I knew was, that someone I cared about was hurting. So I held his hand in a show of comfort. This encouraged him to keep talking. “Can you believe they tried to kidnap my kids twice? When they failed they took it out on my house. They broke in while I was at work and emptied the house of most of my possessions.” I asked how he knew it was them and not thieves. He said, “They told me themselves. They said the items they took were their daughter’s possessions. I didn’t want to drag it out with them so I let them get away with it. Right now, I have nothing. My house is an empty shell I’m refurnishing from scratch.” He wasn’t lying. He was repeating just about three clothes when I met him. His in-laws had taken his clothes too.
I had a job that was paying me enough to get by. So I decided to stand by him and help him get back on his feet. I bought him new clothes and bought some for the kids too. I also bought them new school uniforms and shoes. As time went on, my man was able to pick himself up and shook off whatever dust the bad times laid on him. He began working again and I saw how happy it made him. He started looking better and the heavy cloud that always hovered over him slowly dissipated. He did a lot of work on himself and healed. All that time I stood by him, cheering him on. I remember the day he proposed to me like it was yesterday. He was nervous, and I found it cute. He told me, “You met me at my lowest and you helped me rise out of the ashes that sought to bury me. I am blessed to have your friendship, but I’m a greedy man. I want more of you. I want you to be my wife. Please say yes.”
We all know how that ended. We are happily married and we have a daughter together. Everything was going on smoothly until one day my husband’s old friend came to visit us. My husband wasn’t home so I was the only one who attended to him. The moment I saw this guy, I froze. Why? He bears a striking resemblance to Hope. It is the kind of resemblance that does not require a DNA test to prove that the two are related. Their eyes, ears, nose, mouth, the shape of their lips when they smile, and even how they walk are alike. Their hairline, hair texture and they both have a blank spot in their hair. In our conversation, he told me that he used to work together with my husband’s first wife before she passed. That statement only confirmed my suspicions that something happened between them.
So after he left, I started researching him. I saw photos of his wife and his daughter. His daughter looked exactly like Hope. There was no doubt that the two girls are sisters. At the end of my internet stalking, I concluded that this old friend of my husband is the biological father of Hope. I wasn’t sure if my husband knew about it. Because only a blind man will miss how much they look alike. So one day I casually asked my husband; “What will you do if you find out that one of your children is not yours?” He raised his eyebrows “Where’s that coming from? Are you trying to tell me something?” I shook my head, “No this is a hypothetical situation. Just answer me.” He shrugged, “I don’t know. I’ll probably look for the child’s father and give the child to him.” I just said okay and changed the topic. I may be wrong in my suspicions but it’s too risky to talk to him about it. The bond he has with Hope is something else. He spoon-feeds her even though she is old enough to feed herself. Everyone in our lives knows that Hope is the Apple of his eye.
So I have decided to shut up. My husband’s first wife died with her secret. And I am looking after her children. I love them. So I will also lock up this secret. Let him find the truth somewhere else.