When a loving father arrives to pick up his daughter from daycare, he discovers that his guilt-ridden ex-wife, who has no parental rights, has taken her away.
Kayla was not happy when she first held her baby in her arms. Her daughter’s tiny feet, soft hands, and gentle gurgles made her feel nothing. She didn’t want to kiss, touch, hold, or even breastfeed her baby.
“I don’t think I’ll be able to become a mother, Declan,” she told her husband that day. “I don’t want her near me… I just don’t…”
Kayla cried a lot that day. For hours. Then soon after, she learned there was nothing wrong with her. Many new mothers experienced irritability with their babies.
“It’s fine, Mrs. Marrow,” the doctor had said. “You’ll be just fine. Postpartum depression is fairly common in new mothers. You’ll be alright with the right treatment and assistance.”
But Kayla wasn’t alright. She began to despise her child. She considered herself an awful mother, and one day, she did the unthinkable. She decided to take back what was hers, and she took little Eve with her without Declan knowing…
When Eve was a week old and craved her mother’s love, Kayla wasn’t there for her. She would cry alone in her bedroom, refusing even to see Eve.
“Please tell her to shut up!” Kayla would yell. “I don’t want to hear her cries! I can’t bear this… I can’t bear any of it!”
Mothers get hurt too, and sometimes, they need love more than anyone else.
Those were the days when Kayla did something wrong, very wrong. Declan was preoccupied with work and projects, and because she didn’t have anyone to look after her and love her, she resorted to the bottle to keep her mind off things.
It kept her numb, and she wouldn’t feel anything. But it didn’t make things better for Eve and Declan. She was usually lost and unconcerned about what was going on around her. That did not alleviate her depression. It was never meant to, and she deteriorated with each passing day and year.
By the time Eve was 4, Declan didn’t trust Kayla with Eve’s care. So he asked their neighbor, Mrs. Green (who was old and lived alone), to keep an eye on his wife and daughter because they didn’t have any family in town.
But one day, Mrs. Green was late to arrive at the Marrows’ home as she had to run an urgent errand, and Declan returned home to find Eve crying in the corner of her room.
“Daddy!” she cried, throwing open her arms around him. “Daddy, don’t leave! Mommy… she is bad! She is very bad, daddy!”
“Princess, it’s OK,” said Declan, hugging his little girl. “Daddy will talk to Mommy, alright? It’ll be fine…”
When Declan hugged Eve that day, he burst into tears. Eve had started fearing Kayla. Kayla wasn’t a mother anymore; she was becoming a monster.
“It’s all right, baby,” Declan assured Eve gently. “It’s OK!”
That night, Declan fed Eve, sat beside her reading stories, and when she was asleep, he finally confronted Kayla.
“We need to talk!” he said, storming into her room. They were sleeping in separate rooms because Declan couldn’t stand her smell. It no longer reminded him of the scent of love and roses. It reminded him of a hobo who reeked of garbage meat.
“Darling! What a surprise!” Kayla slurred as she wrapped her arms around him.
“Did you miss me? Are you here to spend time with me? OUR time?” she laughed.
Declan pushed her onto the bed. “Look at you, Kayla! I can’t believe I married someone like you!”
“Oh, baby, I missed you so much… I missed you so much, Declan!”
Kayla was barely in her senses and stank like she hadn’t bathed in years.
“What did you do to Eve?” Declan asked angrily. “She was crying because she’s scared of you, Kayla! She is scared in her home! She is scared of her own mother!”
“She should be,” cried Kayla. “That girl, she pisses me off! I sometimes wish I had never brought her into this world…”
That was the final straw for Declan. He filed for divorce from Kayla, and they separated. Considering Kayla’s condition, her parental rights were revoked, and she was not even allowed to visit Eve.
During that time, Declan became Eve’s mommy and daddy. He cared for his daughter on his own, and soon, they became each other’s world.
But one day, Kayla returned to their lives. Declan’s receptionist brought the visitor to his office, and he was shocked.
“Declan…” she whispered. “How have you been?”
“Kayla? What are you doing here?” he asked, shocked.
“I’m ready to become a wife and mother, Declan,” she said. “I’ve left my past life behind, and I’m a different person now. I went to this club… you know, these places where people gather and talk things out. I’ve healed, Declan. I changed.”
“Changed?” said Declan. “You changed? I don’t trust you! Get out! Stay away from Eve and me!”
“No, please,” begged Kayla. “I’d like to see my baby… my Eve… how is she?”
“OUT!” yelled Declan. “Get the hell out!”
“Did you remarry? Is your new wife good to Eve? Is she—”
Before she could say anything else, Declan got her kicked out of the office. But Kayla wouldn’t give up so soon.
That day, when Declan arrived at the daycare to pick up Eve, he didn’t see her running out the front gate as he usually did. She would scream, “Daddy!” and rush out of class as soon as it was over.
Declan checked the playground and all around the building, but he didn’t see her anywhere. That’s when his heart began to pound.
“Mrs. Durham,” Declan rushed to Eve’s daycare teacher. “Eve… I don’t see her anywhere! Where is my daughter?”
“Oh!” she cried, shocked. “Eve’s mother picked her up earlier today, saying she needed to take her daughter with her.”
“What?” said Declan. “Mother? Mrs. Durham! You know I pick up Eve every day! How could you just let her leave like that?”
“Well, Mr. Marrow, Eve didn’t object. She said she’d just go with her mother, and we had no grounds to stop her.”
Declan felt like he had been hit with a ton of bricks. “Eve doesn’t have a mother!” he yelled at the teacher, dialing 911 on his phone. “She’s my ex-wife! She has no parental rights! She isn’t supposed to be around Eve…”
The cops spent the entire day looking for Eve, but there was no sign of her. Declan spent the whole day with them, and when he finally parked his car in the driveway of his home, he couldn’t hold back his tears.
“Eve, sweetie, where are you?” he told himself in tears. He never thought Kayla would do something like this. The daycare was run by one of his friends’ acquaintances, so he never thought he needed to be too careful. He had trusted them blindly without considering the worse that could happen.
Declan slowly got down from his car, unlocked the front door, and stepped inside. There, he saw Kayla and Eve and stopped.
Eve and Kayla were laughing, giggling! They had drawn whiskers on each other’s faces with markers and were chasing each other around the house. They were… happy!
“Eve!” gasped Declan. “Daddy’s home!”
Eve ran to Declan and hugged him. “Daddy! Mommy’s home, too, and she loves us! She loves me! She got me french fries and a burger, and she took me shopping, too. She’s playing with me, too!”
“She is,” said Declan. “Yes, she is! We’ll be right back, Eve, OK? Mommy and Daddy will have a quick chat and be back.”
Declan took Kayla to the guest room and asked her to stay away from them. “I’ll report you to the cops,” he warned her. “Get lost!”
But Eve barged in and stopped him.
“Don’t do that, daddy,” she said sadly, hugging Kayla. “Mommy was sick. She needed love. We didn’t give her love, and she became sicker. She loves me now, daddy! I have never seen Mommy love me so much!”
“Please, Declan,” added Kayla. “I need you and Eve. I’ll leave if you want, but let me spend some time with Eve. Please? Look, I know I was wrong. Please, Declan, give me one chance. ”
“Yes, daddy!” chirped Eve. “Please!”
Declan reflected on the past and realized Eve was right. He was so busy with his life that he had forgotten Kayla and how she needed love and care to heal. She had been through rock bottom, and he failed to see the pain behind her self-destruction. He was not there for her.
Declan decided to give Kayla love, which changed their lives forever. Kayla had changed. She really had. She loved Eve, and she loved him too. So Declan embraced her with open arms.
He had given her a second chance to provide Eve with the happy home she hadn’t been able to, and she didn’t disappoint him. Never.
What can we learn from the story?
Mothers get hurt too, and sometimes, they need more love than anyone else. Kayla needed love to heal. When she didn’t get that, she resorted to the wrong things, which broke her family.
Sometimes, giving a chance is all it takes to make things fall into the right place. Declan’s decision to give Kayla a second chance forever changed their lives. Today, they are a happy family.
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