A man adores his daughter and is trying to be the best dad to her when an unexpected visit turns their lives upside down. His ex-convict brother shows up on their doorstep, claiming to be her biological father, and things only take a turn for the worse.
Dylan’s life was incomplete without his daughter. April wasn’t the brightest, most beautiful, or most talented girl in the world, but in Dylan’s eyes, she was all that and much more, and he loved her more than anything.
Most of Dylan’s neighbors knew him as a father before anything else, so you can imagine how devoted he was to his daughter. When April was a baby, he strapped her to his chest before going grocery shopping because he didn’t want to leave her alone.
The Mums at the grocery would be in awe of the handsome single dad, and so would be the women at the park where Dylan took April in the evenings to play. Over the years, nothing changed much in April and Dylan’s lives, except that April grew older and became prettier.
Dylan gave his baby girl the best of everything, pretty much like every other dad, and they were happy in their small world until one day, his older brother Vincent knocked on their door…
It was a Sunday morning. April woke up late on weekends, and Dylan was fixing her breakfast when he suddenly heard a knock on the door. He quickly washed the pancake batter off his hands and hurried over to the door.
“I’m coming!” he exclaimed as the knocks grew louder.
When Dylan opened the door, he couldn’t believe his eyes. His older brother stood in the doorway. “Vincent?” Dylan asked, shocked. “What are you doing here? What the hell do you want?”
Vincent smirked and walked past him into the house. “You’ve got a nice house, brother,” he scoffed as he looked around. “So…where is April? I learned she lives with you!”
“Why do you care?” Dylan grumbled, blocking Vincent from entering their home further. “Just leave us alone. You have nothing to do with her!”
“Well, she can decide for herself!” Vincent shot back. “Call her!”
“Call her, or I will!”
“But—” Vincent started screaming April’s name before Dylan could say anything. “Shut the hell up! You’re gonna wake her up!”
“Well, I want to meet her,” Vincent said defensively, “and you can’t stop me!”
Sometimes, it takes a blow to reflect on your mistakes and rectify them.
“She’s got her exams next week; she’s already stressed. Not now, Vincent. Please. I beg you,” Dylan pleaded.
Vincent softened a little and sat down at the kitchen counter. “Oh, the jail food was terrible!” he whined. “Mind fixing me breakfast too? At the very least, I can eat breakfast here, right? Relax,” he added, zipping his lips with his fingers. “I’m not going to tell her anything, but I’m not leaving until I see her. I won’t tell her the truth!”
Dylan sighed as he shut the door. “All right,” he said. “But you eat breakfast and then leave! And you won’t appear in our lives again until I tell you she’s comfortable knowing everything!”
“Sure, sure,” Dylan said, nodding. “Can I have some pancakes now, please?”
Dylan trusted Vincent and let him join him and April for breakfast, unaware of the nasty plan that was brewing in Vincent’s mind.
“Oh!” cried April, joining them at the kitchen counter. “Uncle Vincent? That’s you? Oh my god, that IS you! Dad showed me your pictures! We finally meet!”
“Hi, sweetie,” Vincent said as he hugged her and opened the chair next to him for her. “How have you been?”
“I’m great. You didn’t tell me Uncle Vincent was coming, Dad!” she told Dylan before turning to face Vincent. “The prison must’ve been hell, right?” she whispered.
“Worse,” Vincent commented. “It was nastier than all the derogatory words you can think of!”
April laughed. “I’m relieved you’re back.”
“So am I,” Vincent added.
Dylan sighed and rolled his eyes. “OK, guys, no whispering! April, finish your breakfast quickly, and Vincent will leave once he’s done with his.”
“Dad!” she cried. “C’mon! He’s just come home!”
Dylan and Vincent exchanged a glance. “He’s got work to do,” said Dylan. “And he has to leave. That’s it! I’ll be back in a minute.”
Dylan disappeared into his bedroom and left Vincent and April to talk. When he returned, he saw Vincent holding April’s hand and talking to her. He didn’t think anything was strange until he heard what Vincent said.
“…And he’s been lying to you the whole time! You know what,” Vincent whispered. “I’m your real dad! You’re my daughter, April, but Dylan doesn’t want me to be a part of your life!”
“VINCENT!” Dylan yelled angrily. He couldn’t believe Vincent hadn’t kept his word and had told April everything. He charged at Vincent, enraged, and grabbed his collar. “I’d told you to keep your mouth shut!” he yelled. “What the hell are you doing!?”
“Dad! Uncle Vincent! Please, leave each other!” April cried as she tried to separate the brothers, who were on the verge of hitting each other. But Dylan couldn’t keep his cool. His past flashed before his eyes as he recalled how he had saved April years ago.
Back then, Dylan and Vincent were both teenagers. The two brothers had always been poles apart except when it came to sports, movies, and games. When they grew older, their equation became problematic in every sense of the word.
Vincent wanted to be in the company of the ‘cool’ kids in high school, kids who did terrible things and were frequently suspended from school. Those so-called cool children didn’t like Dylan, and a huge fight broke out between the brothers.
“They’re going to ruin your life, Vincent, just like they’ve ruined theirs!” Dylan told his brother one day after spotting him mocking a newcomer at their school with the ‘cool’ kids.
“Back off, Dylan! You’re a loser! Just like that newcomer!”
“Can’t you really see what they’re doing?” Dylan had asked furiously. “They’re gonna make things hell for you. Just stop hanging out with them!”
But Vincent didn’t listen to Dylan. Instead, he yelled at him that he wasn’t their mother and shouldn’t be telling him what to do.
Dylan had still tried his best to help his brother. He had tried to stop Vincent from becoming a brawler and help him get his life back on track. But Vincent refused the help.
Finally, Dylan gave up and parted ways with him. He focused on bettering his life after graduating high school and worked hard for his dreams. Over time, the two brothers lost touch, and Dylan got busy in his life, working as an accountant at a private firm.
However, he hadn’t forgotten his older brother. One day, Dylan learned through their mutual friends that Vincent had gotten into big trouble. Vincent had been a part of a gang and was apprehended for his crimes and sent to jail.
The news saddened Dylan, more so because he found out Vincent had a girlfriend who was pregnant. She wanted to terminate the pregnancy, end her relationship with Vincent, and leave the city. But Dylan decided to persuade her not to leave the town until the baby was born. Her child was, after all, a part of Vincent.
“But I don’t have the means to support her!” Stacey cried when Dylan visited her and persuaded her not to terminate the pregnancy. “I can’t do this, Dylan.”
“Please,” he begged. “Look, all I ask is that you wait until this baby is born, OK? I promise you that I will be there for you until then.”
“And then what?” she snapped. “I can’t give this baby a good life! And dating your brother was a blunder! He’s the worst man I’ve ever met, and now he’s in prison, just when I need him. WOW! Isn’t your brother incredible?” she asked sarcastically.
“Look, you don’t need to support the child, OK? After the baby is born, I’ll adopt the kid,” Dylan proposed. “Legally. I’ll take the kid in and give that baby all the love as a parent.”
But Stacey wasn’t up for it. So Dylan made a deal with her that he would pay her a certain amount if she agreed to keep the pregnancy. While it took a lot of convincing, Stacey finally agreed.
“But once I pop the baby out, I’m leaving this place!” she said, and Dylan nodded. “Sure. Not like I have a reason to hold you back,” he’d said.
Months later, when little April was born, Dylan brought her home and became her dad. He was the one who stayed up late trying to calm her down when she started crying, the one who changed her poopy diapers and sang her lullabies, and the one whose fingers April held when she was learning to walk.
Dylan wasn’t April’s biological father, but he had raised her like one. He put his own life on the back burner for her sake. He never dated anyone or even thought about starting a family of his own.
One day, Dylan and Vincent started arguing, and it got so bad that April couldn’t stand it.
When April became older and curious about why she didn’t have a mother, Dylan told her a white lie that her mother had died. He hadn’t even told her about Vincent until she stumbled upon one of their old photo albums in his closet.
April would not have existed if Dylan hadn’t convinced Stacey to keep the pregnancy, and now Vincent was back to destroy their peaceful existence. Dylan wouldn’t let that happen.
“Leave us alone! I legally adopted her, and she is now my daughter!” he yelled at his brother.
“So what, Dylan?” Vincent retorted. “I’m her real dad! Her biological father! A piece of paper can’t deny that she carries MY genes!”
April couldn’t believe what she was hearing. She was shocked to learn that the man who had raised her wasn’t her biological father, and the man she’d only heard about a few times was her real father, whose blood flowed through her veins.
Alas, what a strange twist of fate!
“DAD! UNCLE VINCENT! STOP!” she screamed, her hands held to her ears. “STOP! OR I’LL LEAVE YOU BOTH!”
Finally, the two men calmed down and stopped arguing. “April,” Dylan said as he took a step toward her. “Please, listen—”
“TRUTH,” she demanded, stepping back. “I want to know what happened, and I’ll listen patiently only if you guys stop fighting like dogs!”
Dylan didn’t have a choice. He sat down with April and told her everything. April was obviously taken aback, but she handled the situation way more patiently and maturely than the two older men.
The three of them agreed that Dylan and April would continue to live together as they had for years, and Vincent could visit them on occasion. It was all peaceful after that, with Vincent dropping by Dylan’s house on weekends to meet April until Dylan’s fear of losing her overtook him.
He noticed that April and Vincent had grown close over time, and he became increasingly anxious that Vincent would take her away from him. So, when Vincent came over to his house one day, Dylan started arguing with him, and it got so bad that April couldn’t stand it.
She packed her clothes and stormed out of the house, vowing never to return. “You guys can keep fighting because that’s all you care about! You don’t love me! Neither did Mom!”
Vincent and Dylan followed her, pleading with her to stop. But she didn’t listen to them and dashed across the street when a car hit her and disappeared down the street.
“NO! GOD, NO!” The brothers cried out in unison as they dashed over to April. But it was too late. Darkness engulfed her eyes, and she collapsed in their arms, blood trickling from her brow.
Dylan got so nervous that he went completely blank. “Hey, hey, Dylan, relax, okay?” Vincent consoled him then. “She’s going to be fine! I’m calling the ambulance!”
April was rushed to the hospital by paramedics and then to the operating room for surgery. The doctor said she would require an emergency blood transfusion.
“I—I can donate mine!” Dylan offered. Right then, Vincent stepped in.
“I’m her biological father!” he said. “You can do the tests! I’m ready! I can donate blood.”
Finally, Vincent donated blood to April and saved her life.
Sitting in her ward after the surgery, the two brothers looked at an unconscious April and made a promise to each other…
“Let’s never do it again! Let’s not hurt her!” said Vincent. “If you believe you can be a better parent, I will disappear from your life forever. I only want her to be happy. I’m sorry, Dylan, I shouldn’t have returned. Perhaps if I hadn’t, she wouldn’t have—”
“No,” Dylan cut him off, realizing his fault. “No. It was my fault. I was so insecure. I was afraid I’d lose her, and…” Dylan burst into tears before he could finish his sentence, and Vincent wrapped his arms around him to comfort him. “It’s all right, brother. She’ll be fine, and we’ll let her choose what she wants, OK?”
When April finally regained consciousness, the two brothers apologized to her, and Dylan admitted it all happened due to his insecurity.
“I was a fool!” he told April. “I’m sorry, baby girl. I’ll never do it again.”
That day, the two brothers reconciled for April’s sake, and Vincent promised to stay out of their way and simply be a friend to April.
But Dylan said, “No. You’re coming to stay with us. As our daughter said, she has two dads, and I don’t want one of them to stay away from her.”
What can we learn from this story?
You become a parent through love and care, not necessarily biology. Dylan wasn’t April’s biological father, but he loved her more than one.
Sometimes, it takes a blow to reflect on your mistakes and rectify them. After April’s accident, Dylan and Vincent realized that their arguments were only causing pain to April. They decided to change that and raise her together with love.
Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.