After an accident that sent her husband into a coma, Sarah has to decide whether to tell him the truth or keep hiding her double life – a conundrum that has tormented her for 19 years.
“Sarah, tell me where you are right now! I want the truth!” Chuck yelled into the phone while running from his office building elevator to his car and dashing inside, throwing all his things into the back carelessly.
“I’m… I’m running some errands,” Sarah stuttered, not understanding her husband’s sudden anger.
“I’ve had it with you!” Chuck screamed again, placing his phone on speaker and pulling back out of his parking spot. “You’ve been lying to me… for years, maybe! I know where you are! I just wanted the truth!”
“You have to tell him the truth,” the psychologist continued.
“What? What truth?” Sarah continued, almost dropping her phone as her hands started to sweat. She couldn’t believe her husband had finally found out.
“My secretary saw you three months ago with a man! And you’ve gone to his house every single day!” Chuck continued racing down the street with his sports car.
“What? What do you mean? Have you been tracking me? That’s… I… I can’t believe you,” she replied with fake outrage. She needed to buy some time.
“Oh no. You don’t get to be offended when you’re a cheater! We’ve been together for 15 years! How could you? How long has this been going on?” Chuck asked, as his anger mixed with defeat, but he was still driving quickly.
He needed to reach her and see the other man for himself. Perhaps, he would do something crazy and beat him up. But he wasn’t sure. He had never been much of a fighter. In any case, he was getting close to that strange house.
After his secretary told him what she saw, he placed a tracker on her car and saw her going to another address every single day. For months, Chuck waited for Sarah to say something about her day. He loved her. He didn’t want to believe she was cheating. He tried to give her hints. They could go to couples counseling and work on things.
But she had to tell him the truth first. Finally, he understood everything. Sarah didn’t want to stop cheating. She must love the other man more, and that realization boiled his blood that day when once again, the tracker showed her car at that address.
Rage overtook his whole body, and he flew out of the office, telling his assistant to cancel everything. He was still enraged as he got closer and closer, according to his GPS, and his car was flying too quickly for a neighborhood. But he couldn’t stop. Chuck didn’t want her to escape and lie some more.
“Chuck, it’s not what you think,” Sarah said glumly.
“What that’s they all say!” he shouted, hitting the steering wheel and closing his eyes. That was a big mistake. A little girl rode her bike into the middle of the streets, and Chuck didn’t have time to brake properly.
His tires squealed as the car swerved on a suburban road, and he ultimately lost control, spinning right into an old oak tree with a massive trunk. The last thing he remembered was hearing the metallic crunch against wood, but everything else went dark quickly.
“Your husband is in a coma,” the last words a loving wife wants to hear, but it was precisely what the doctor told Sarah.
It had been two weeks since the accident, and Chuck was unconscious with no sign of getting better or waking up. She blamed herself for the accident and wept by his bedside all the time. Her friends tried to get her away, but Sarah wouldn’t budge. All they could do was bring her clothes and try to be supportive. After a while, they let her be.
Chuck’s parents would visit, too. But they were so worried. She would always put on a brave face when they were around. However, she would weep, holding Chuck’s hand as soon as they left.
“I’m sorry, Chuck. It’s all my fault. We wouldn’t be in this situation if I had just told you the truth. I wished I had been brave. I’m so sorry, God,” Sarah cried once again. She repeated those words every day, and even the staff at the hospital was getting worried
A kind nurse, Jackie, told her it would be beneficial to see the in-house psychologist, and after more weeks of seeing Chuck so still and lifeless, she agreed to see him. She knew her dark thoughts were dangerous. She needed help.
For the first time ever, Sarah told the entire truth. Something about being in that room with a total stranger helped her open up.
“It’s a secret I’ve kept from almost everyone in my life for 19 years, Doc. It’s a secret that I always thought would ruin my marriage. But I never imagined it would hurt Chuck so much,” Sarah revealed to the doctor, explaining all her years of pain and regret. She also lamented over her cowardliness
Sarah wanted to take that moment to repeat what she had said in the hospital.
“Mrs. Langley, you know what I’m going to say, right?” the doctor said after their third session.
“No,” Sarah responded through a sob, grabbing a tissue.
“You have to tell him the truth,” the psychologist continued.
“How? He is in a coma,” she replied tearfully.
“Many studies suggest patients in a coma can hear almost everything around them. Talk to him. Tell him the truth. You will feel better. When he wakes, you can tell him again. I bet you’ll be even braver then because you would have already told the truth several times,” the doctor encouraged, and Sarah felt apprehensive…but hopeful.
The next day, she sat next to Chuck’s bed. Everything was still the same according to the doctors, but most of his outer wounds had healed, except for a cast on his arm. Thankfully, he was breathing on his own – without a machine. That was a good sign according to all the staff.
So, it was the perfect time to confess the truth. She sat by his bedside as always and grabbed his hand tightly. “Chuck, I wasn’t cheating on you. But I’ve lived a double life for years. There’s a man I’ve been visiting, yes, but I would never cheat. You’re the love of my life,” she began, squaring her shoulders as the tears rose.
“19 years ago, I was a different person. You wouldn’t even have recognized me. All I cared about was booze, parties, and boys. I haven’t told you much about my parents, but they were more than strict—religious zealots. I moved out at 18 and never looked back. I wanted to experience everything young people did. And I did whatever I wanted.”
The steady beeping of Chuck’s monitor was the only other sound in the room.
“I was stupid, too. So, I got pregnant. And everything changed. I knew I couldn’t raise a child. I had nothing. I couldn’t go back to my parents. The only person I had was my aunt Jenna, who offered to take my child. I accepted, but I visited as much as I could. I felt so guilty for not raising him myself. I did what I could,” Sarah stopped to blow her nose for a second.
“The pregnancy changed me. I had no interest in parties anymore, so I went to college. I met you. Fell in love desperately and was glad you did too. I had no idea you came from a wealthy family. Hell, out of all things I cared about, money was not a big priority. I just wanted freedom. That’s why I signed the prenup so quickly. I don’t care about money. But I admit I asked to live in our house because it was relatively close to Aunt Jenna’s house.
“I started visiting more and more often. Aunt Jenna passed two years ago, and she left the house to my… son, Lucas. She also told him the truth on her deathbed. He grew up thinking I was a cousin but wasn’t angry. He understood me. He lives at her house and commutes to the local college. He’s a freshman and a bright kid.
“My aunt couldn’t save much for his education, but I’m helping him too. With my money. Hmm…so, yeah. I was afraid you wouldn’t want me if you knew my history. If you knew that I had left my child to someone else,” Sarah swallowed thickly and finally looked up at Chuck’s sleeping face.
Only to see his two wide eyes staring back at her. She stood quickly, but everything went blurry, and she fainted.
Sarah woke up in the hospital hallway and noticed she was on one of the hospital beds they sometimes had. “What?” she questioned, rising on the bed.
” I Wished You Hadn’t Hidden This From Me.”
However, when they wheeled him for an MRI, she realized he must not remember what she told him. She would have to tell him the truth again. “Soon, I’ll do it soon,” Sarah promised herself and waited.
She didn’t get a chance to tell him that soon. His parents, who had visited every other day for a few hours, came and helped him get discharged. Chuck would need a few more weeks to recover fully, but Sarah was only too willing to help him through everything
Unfortunately, she couldn’t find the time to tell him the truth again. It was also odd that Chuck didn’t ask. He seemed to remember everything, so the head injury and coma hadn’t affected his memories. He should remember his anger at her right before the accident, but perhaps he didn’t care.
One night, Sarah got brave enough to talk and asked if he remembered anything right before the accident. “I remember it all, Sarah. But I almost died. I almost hit a girl on a bike. From now on, let’s only talk about our beautiful life together and how much we love each other,” Chuck answered, smiling.
Sarah wanted to take that moment to repeat what she had said in the hospital. But Chuck started mentioning how they met and got lost in that story. It was like he wanted them to relive those memories, and they stayed up late talking about it.
Another night, Chuck decided to cook for her, although his arm was still in a cast. Sarah tried to stop him, but he insisted. They laughed, danced around the kitchen, and kissed passionately. It’s like they were two teenagers in love again.
But Sarah started to feel guilty. She had to tell him. She couldn’t hide the truth any longer. So, another night when she arrived home from a grocery run, she called out to her husband. “Chuck, we need to talk about something important,” she said, setting the bags on the kitchen table.
We can talk about that later, darling,” Chuck said some the living room
Sarah only looked up then and started to insist. “We have to. There’s something important…” she trailed off because on the sofa beside Chuck, who was grinning like the Cheshire Cat, was…Lucas.
“What?” Sarah asked, putting her hand to her face and tearing up. She had cried so much over the past weeks she thought there was no more water left. Chuck stood, walked to her, and pulled her close to his chest.
“I remember everything from the hospital, Sarah. I wished you hadn’t hidden this from me. I would’ve helped. I would’ve loved you no matter what. I will always love you,” Chuck assured as Sarah sobbed into his chest.
She composed herself after a few minutes and went to her son. She apologized for being so absent, but Lucas already knew everything. Chuck came to him a few days ago, revealed who he was, and asked him to visit their home.
They talked for a long time about Lucas’ life and his school. Chuck then suggested having a weekly dinner with him if possible, and the young man agreed. After a few months, Chuck offered to finish paying for his college, but Lucas rejected that offer. He only took money from Sarah to appease her.
Lucas became a permanent part of their family, especially with the weekly dinners. They went to his college events and treated him like a son, as it should’ve always been. Sarah discovered she was pregnant after so many years of nothing. She gave birth to Cynthia, and Lucas was excited to be a “big brother,” even at his age.
Chuck, Sarah, and their baby watched him graduate from college a few years later. Chuck even offered him a job at the family company, which Lucas accepted.
Chuck’s grandparents were shocked about his existence at first, but they welcomed him into the family quickly too. “‘The more, the merrier.’ That’s what my parents would always say,” he laughed when Sarah commented about their easy acceptance of Lucas later.
Most of all, Chuck and Sarah didn’t take anything for granted and were exceedingly honest with each other. They almost lost it all for a secret that shouldn’t have been hidden at all.