A man discovers a shocking truth when he sees his wife come to pay her respects at her own funeral and follows her to find out why she did it.
“I’m not gonna cry, I’m not gonna cry, I’m not gonna cry,” Kevin Drew repeatedly chanted to himself, trying to hold his tears at bay. “My son is probably watching, I need to be strong for him.”
He was not going to break down, but his tears came unbidden as he watched them lower his dead wife into her freshly dug grave. Kevin would never forget the smell of the upturned soil.
His wife Mercy passed away earlier that week in a car crash, so the burial took place a few days later — not enough time for Kevin to empty his reservoir of tears, and so they kept falling as she was lowered into the ground.
The tragedy devastated Kevin and his son John because they had loved the woman very much. That day, as they stood before her grave, they both wept bitterly despite Kevin’s attempts not to.
Both father and son were inconsolable, and eventually, people who had attended started leaving one by one. Later, Kevin got his 15-year-old son to go, but he stayed behind, not quite ready to say goodbye.
He remained there by her grave, reminiscing about the memories they had together until sunset. When it got too dark to see, he stood up to leave and had taken several steps when he heard footsteps behind him.
When he looked back, he caught sight of a woman dressed in an all-black ensemble, and she was walking towards his wife’s grave. Kevin had been walking the other way, but he slowed his steps intentionally so he could better observe her.
She had a tall and slender figure that looked similar to his wife’s; even their gaits matched. He tried to get a glimpse of her face without looking too suspicious, but it was mostly obscured by the large fedora hat she wore.
“It can’t be Mercy,” he thought. “It’s just my imagination playing tricks on me.”
Still, he kept watching the woman, and he saw that when she reached the grave, she collapsed on her knees in tears. “Pfft,” Kevin scoffed. “If she cared so much about her, why was she absent from the funeral?”
At that moment, he decided that she was probably a friend who got the news late, so he picked up his pace again. He had gone a few more steps when he threw another glance over his shoulder and froze.
The mysterious woman had taken off her hat, revealing her face. She did not just look like his wife; she was his wife!
Kevin stood there watching her with his heart thudding so loudly. He wondered how she didn’t hear it. He had no idea what to do, so he stood there watching until she took her leave some minutes later.
As soon as the woman walked out of sight, Kevin shook himself and decided he had to verify if he had really seen what he had.
That decided, he dashed in the direction she went, but he was just in time to see her get into a red Ford but not before he saw a slip of paper fly out of her bag.
After she drove off, he walked to the spot she had been parked at, and he found a receipt from a store about 75 miles from the graveyard
Kevin convinced himself to follow her trail, so he kicked his car and drove to the small town where the store was. The town was small in Texas, so it wasn’t long before he located the store.
When he entered, he walked to the counter and showed the cashier a photo of his late wife. “Have you seen this lady?” he asked.
“That’s Mary,” the cashier answered. “She moved some days ago. Why? Is she in some sort of trouble?”
“No, that’s not it at all. I just want to have a word with her. Do you know where she currently lives?”
“Yes I do, it’s a small town, everybody knows everybody. I heard she got a room at Rozy’s Airbnb. Any cab will get you there.”
Thank you, Mrs…”
“Jill,” she supplied. “Nice to meet ya.”
“I appreciate the help,” Kevin said before walking out of the store.
He got a cab to take him to the Airbnb, where he got Rozy, the chatty owner of the establishment, to tell him what room she was staying in. He got no reply when he knocked on the woman’s door, but he noticed the curtain move. Someone had just peeped at him.
He rapped his knuckles on the door again, and after a few moments, the graveyard lady stepped out and into his arms. “I’m very sorry,” she cried.
Kevin stood rigid and stunned. He could not believe his wife was truly alive, but — he touched her face — she was right there before him, begging his forgiveness. But for what?
What is there to be angry about when she lives,” he wondered, then it occurred to him that it means she faked her death.
“How… ? Why did you do this?… to me, to our son, our family?” He asked, his anger multiplying with every word he spoke.
“Oh baby, this is all my fault! I shouldn’t have done what I did!” she said.
“What do you mean?” he asked, pushing her away from him, ending the hug. “Spill everything — now.”
“It began a few months ago when I stumbled on a woman who looked like a copy of me — she even had the crown-like birthmark I’ve got on my belly.”
“Aren’t those supposed to be unique?” Kevin asked.
“You should come in, it’s not a short story,” she told him. It took hours, but at the end of their conversation, Kevin understood what drove her to fake her death.
“We got along because it was so uncanny and met up more times after that to talk about how we have the same face. One time she revealed how difficult life had been for her since she was abandoned as a kid.”
“Why did that happen?” Kevin asked.
“I think our mom couldn’t afford to raise two kids at the time,” Mercy replied.
“That’s depressing,” Kevin pointed out.
“My thoughts exactly, and that’s why I tried to support her by giving her money or buying her things each time we met.”
“And you kept all these to yourself?”
“I apologize for not telling you, Kev. I just wanted to be certain first.”
“That excuse is a weak one, but continue your story,” he said.
“She started threatening me after I refused to increase the amount of money I usually gave her.”
“Yes, she wished to live a luxurious life, but at my expense. She believed things would have turned out well for her had she not been abandoned. I started to avoid her then and the threats became blackmail.”
“I couldn’t satisfy her; she didn’t want the small house I wanted to get her and the money I gave her freely was no longer enough. We were in the car one day and a debate broke out then she threatened to kidnap our kid.”
“That pissed me off and made me say hurtful things which also got her furious and we ended up fighting. I took my eyes off the road for too long and we crashed into a ditch then I blacked out. When I came to, she was dead. I was afraid of serving jail time so I ran away and anonymously tipped the police.”
“It was not your fault Mercy, you could have told me. I would have supported you,” Kevin said unhappily
“I’m sorry babe, I made some mistakes and caused you and John pain.”
The two went back home together, and after more talks, Kevin followed Mercy to the police station to turn herself in. The judge acquitted her of all charges at the trial after evidence that her sister had blackmailed and threatened her family was provided.
Mercy kept her sister in her heart and would often visit her grave with flowers despite everything that transpired between them. “Have your rest now, Grace,” she would whisper as she left.
What did we gain from this story?
Take responsibility for your mistakes. Mercy ran from the scene of her sister’s death because she was afraid of jail. She was ready to give up her family to avoid responsibility for the tragedy. Still, eventually, she had to come clean, and it saved her relationship and got her closer to healing.
Don’t be scared to admit when you’re wrong. It is hard to pull this off, but it is not impossible, and it is important to do it if you desire a good life with a clear conscience. It took Mercy some time to understand that, but it was not too late.
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