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A green parrot in a cage | Source: Flickr
A green parrot in a cage | Source: Flickr

My Husband's Gift Unveiled His Dark Secret without Him Even Realizing It

Prenesa Naidoo
May 15, 2024
04:16 A.M.

When Deb goes away to care for her mother, she returns to a home where something feels incredibly off. As much as she tries, she just cannot understand what it is, until her parrot, Pippy, reveals something that makes her review the home security cameras.

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Working from home has been the biggest blessing for me, especially recently, when my mother was admitted to the hospital for surgery after finding out that she had fibroids.

Of course, there was no choice about it.

A person with an IV in hospital | Source: Unsplash

A person with an IV in hospital | Source: Unsplash

"Deb, you have to go," Nick, my husband, said when we were making breakfast together the morning after my mom had phoned.

"You'll be okay here, by yourself?" I asked him, pouring milk into a cup of coffee.

A person pouring milk into coffee | Source: Unsplash

A person pouring milk into coffee | Source: Unsplash

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"Yes, of course," Nick said. "Your mother needs you, and I'll have to be here for Pippy anyway. I do need to go away for two days next week, but I'm sure Camila will come over and stock up his food."

Nick was constantly going off on work trips, and because we weren't looking into having children yet, Nick had gotten me a talking parrot to keep me company while he was away.

A green parrot on a person's arm | Source: Pexels

A green parrot on a person's arm | Source: Pexels

Camila was my best friend, and she often came over to visit—cooking with us, having movie nights, and so on.

So, I knew that in my absence, Camila would watch over Nick and make sure that he was eating and all of that.

Two women holding each other | Source: Unsplash

Two women holding each other | Source: Unsplash

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I began to pack my bags while Nick got ready for work. I was nervous about going to my mother—I didn't know what to expect. I wasn't used to my mother being unwell; for as long as I could remember, she was always the strong one.

But now, I knew she needed me. And my only option was to be there for her.

An open suitcase on a bed | Source: Unsplash

An open suitcase on a bed | Source: Unsplash

"Oh, honey," my mother said when I showed up at her door with my suitcase. "You didn't have to come!"

"Of course, I did," I told her, and I meant it.

The next few days were all about getting my mother ready for her surgery and making sure that her house was fully stocked for when she got out.

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A daughter with her arms around her mother | Source: Pexels

A daughter with her arms around her mother | Source: Pexels

On the evening after her surgery, I visited her in the hospital; the medication made her emotional and soppy.

"Thank you for coming, Deb," my mother said, wiping her tears. "I was so scared about doing this alone."

When I showed my mother the bouquet of flowers that I had brought her, she wept even more.

A woman in a hospital bed | Source: Unsplash

A woman in a hospital bed | Source: Unsplash

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"It's time for something to eat," I told her, giving her some custard.

When my mom was discharged, we settled into a routine at home—I would sort out her breakfast and bath, and then settle myself down to work for a few hours.

I would cook for us, and she would try to get back on her feet and move around the house.

A woman in the kitchen | Source: Pexels

A woman in the kitchen | Source: Pexels

And before I knew it, two weeks had passed, and I was ready to go back home.

The night before I left, I sat in the guest room at my mother's house and scrolled through my socials. I saw a photo of Camila with Pippy the Parrot, and I felt incredibly homesick.

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A person scrolling through social media | Source: Pexels

A person scrolling through social media | Source: Pexels

As much as I wouldn't have changed being with my mother for the world, I was ready to head home again.

Driving home, I thought of having a dinner party with our closest friends—the more I drove, the more I craved the comfort of being around my friends.

I just wanted to sit around a dinner table and have everyone talk about whatever news they had.

A woman driving | Source: Pexels

A woman driving | Source: Pexels

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Two days later, I was stuck in the kitchen, cooking up a storm for the dinner that evening. My husband was away on his trip but would make it in time for dinner.

As I began the dessert, ready to bake a cheesecake, Camila walked in.

"I wanted to come in and help you set up," she said. "What can I do? Put me to work!"

A woman wearing an apron and holding a bowl | Source: Pexels

A woman wearing an apron and holding a bowl | Source: Pexels

She put on an apron and tied it tightly, while greeting Pippy.

"Honey, honey, honey!" Pippy's voice was strangely affectionate, a tone that I had never heard before.

"That's new," I said. "I've never heard Pippy say that!"

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Camila chuckled and smiled at my parrot.

A person tying an apron | Source: Pexels

A person tying an apron | Source: Pexels

Later, when we were done with the food preparation, Camila went upstairs and took a shower—ready for us to get ready to greet our guests.

As I poured the glasses of champagne, Nick walked in and enveloped me in a big hug.

"Welcome home," he said.

He held onto me for a moment before letting go when Camila walked in, looking fantastic.

A couple embracing | Source: Pexels

A couple embracing | Source: Pexels

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Our friends started coming in, and Pippy continued with his "Honey, honey, honey!" whenever Camila walked past.

The rest of our friends chuckled, amused by the bird's sudden verbosity.

"It looks like someone missed you a lot!" Camila laughed, unaware of the storm brewing inside me.

People sitting at a table | Source: Unsplash

People sitting at a table | Source: Unsplash

I had spent a lot of time with Pippy, but he didn't ever call me 'honey' or anything of the sort.

The seed of suspicion was planted. I didn't like the way I felt about Camila getting all the attention from my bird. Later, when I was washing the dishes as our friends relaxed around the house, I began to feel uneasy.

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Something just felt incredibly wrong to me. But I couldn't quite figure out what it was.

A person washing dishes | Source: Unsplash

A person washing dishes | Source: Unsplash

When everyone had left and Nick had gone to bed, I went into our home office and began to look through the footage of our home security cameras.

I knew that I was being excessive in my actions, but I had always trusted my gut feelings, and I didn't want to ignore it this time.

After scrolling back to the day I left for my mother's house, my worst fears were confirmed.

A white surveillance camera | Source: Unsplash

A white surveillance camera | Source: Unsplash

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Camila could be seen entering my house, greeting my husband warmly—an intimate embrace and a kiss to follow. Day after day, while I had been looking after my mother.

Betrayal sliced through me, but it was pure rage which harnessed my creativity. I smiled at a cruel plan forming in my mind.

A man kissing a woman's forehead | Source: Unsplash

A man kissing a woman's forehead | Source: Unsplash

Over the next few weeks, I trained the parrot secretly—using snippets of Camila and Nick's recorded conversations from the camera footage.

It was perfectly timed, because once Pippy had learned everything I needed him to—Nick's birthday rolled around.

The stage was set for a grand "Tropical Nights" themed dinner party at our home, attended by our families and close friends. As we dined, Pippy's cage sat prominently in the living room, a subtle centerpiece to the night's drama.

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A long table with food | Source: Unsplash

A long table with food | Source: Unsplash

As dessert was served—along with Nick's birthday cake, I whistled to Pippy, ready for the show.

"Honey, she won't find out," Pippy mimicked flawlessly.

Murmurs circled the table as forks paused in midair and my guests began to frown.

"Don't worry, Deb's clueless," Pippy continued, his voice chillingly nonchalant.

"What is going on?" Nick asked. "Pippy?"

A green parrot in a cage | Source: Pexels

A green parrot in a cage | Source: Pexels

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"Well," I said, picking up my glass of wine. "Birds only mimic what they frequently hear. Isn't that right?"

"Camila!" Pippy said, loud and clear.

I sat back in my seat, waiting. I could see the pieces clicking together for everyone as they sat around the table.

Camila's husband, Jeff, was the first to react, his chair scraping back as he stood.

"Camila?" he asked. "Is this true?"

"Um, Jeff," Camila began.

A side profile of an angry man | Source: Pexels

A side profile of an angry man | Source: Pexels

"Look, we can explain," my husband stuttered, but the scornful looks from everyone around the table told him it was too late.

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"I think it's pretty clear," I said, my voice steady but cold. "That some relationships aren't what they seem. But thankfully, I have Pippy to keep me company."

The aftermath was explosive. Accusations flew as Camila and her husband left in disgrace—while Nick was forced to face the collective disappointment of friends and family.

An upset couple | Source: Pexels

An upset couple | Source: Pexels

The next morning, while I was drinking my coffee and eating toast—Nick shuffled into the kitchen, avoiding my gaze.

He had confessed to the affair easily—after Pippy had outed them, he realized that lying or trying to cover it up wouldn't help in any way.

"I'm sorry," he said when he got ready for bed on the couch.

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"How long?" I asked.

"For a few months," he said. "We'd both go away for work, or at least that's what we used to tell you and Jeff, but we'd be at a motel together."

Nick fell asleep detailing how he and Camila had fallen for each other.

A man sleeping on a couch | Source: Pexels

A man sleeping on a couch | Source: Pexels

Now, standing across from me in the kitchen, Nick finally looked me in the eye and smiled.

I pushed the divorce papers toward him—something that I had prepared the day after I had found the camera footage of my husband and my best friend.

I deserved better.

Divorce paperwork | Source: Pexels

Divorce paperwork | Source: Pexels

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What would you have done?

If you enjoyed this story, here's another one |

Steve begins his day like any other — nothing out of the ordinary, just a man saying goodbye to his wife as he leaves for work. But as the day moves on, he receives urgent calls and texts from his son. When he gets home, nothing is as it seems. Now, there's a strange man in his house, a pregnant wife with a baby that may not be his, and a crying son. What does it all mean?

Read the full story here.

This work is inspired by real events and people, but it has been fictionalized for creative purposes. Names, characters, and details have been changed to protect privacy and enhance the narrative. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental and not intended by the author.

The author and publisher make no claims to the accuracy of events or the portrayal of characters and are not liable for any misinterpretation. This story is provided “as is,” and any opinions expressed are those of the characters and do not reflect the views of the author or publisher.

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