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Woman reading a letter | Source: Pexels
Woman reading a letter | Source: Pexels

Orphan Finds Old Love Letters in Antique Shop, Realizes She Knows the Senders — Story of the Day

Yaryna Kholodiuk
Jun 07, 2024
04:30 A.M.

Erika's parents abandoned her when she was just five years old. More than anything in the world, she dreamed of finding a family. One day, while sorting through items in an antique shop, she found some old love letters. Erika realized she knew the people who wrote these letters and thought that she might finally have the family she dreamed of if she found them.

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Erika works in an antique shop to save money for her education. She dreams of becoming an archaeologist. Every day, she carefully arranges old items, dusting off the past and hoping for a brighter future.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

Erika had no one to help her with her education or anything else. Her parents had abandoned her when she was just five years old, deciding they would be better off without a child. She didn't know any other relatives who could support her.

This abandonment had left her feeling unwanted and inadequate for most of her life. Even her own parents had given up on her, and the thought of it hurt deeply. She often wondered what she had done to make them leave her behind.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

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Despite the pain, Erika had accepted her situation. She knew she could only rely on herself and was determined to make a better life through hard work and perseverance. Every item she sold in the shop brought her one step closer to her goal.

Today, Erika had a lot of work to do. Her boss made her check all the items stored in their warehouse.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

Erika's boss was always very strict and extremely stingy. She never allowed even small discounts for regular customers and insisted that nothing remained unsold.

Sighing, Erika began to sift through the dusty items. She wasn't expecting to find anything special, just some old trinkets and faded photographs. But then, something caught her eye.

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For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

It was a bundle of old letters tied together with a fraying ribbon. She picked them up and began to read. They were love letters between two young people, written over 50 years ago.

As she read through the letters, she noticed something surprising. The surname mentioned in the letters was the same as her grandfather's. Her heart skipped a beat.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

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The surname of her grandfather was the only thing Erika knew about her grandparents. When she still lived with her parents, they constantly cursed her grandfather, mentioning his surname, and she remembered it to this day.

She examined the handwriting and the dates, feeling a strange connection to the words on the yellowed pages. For the first time in a long while, Erika felt a glimmer of hope.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Midjourney

She approached her boss, who was sitting at a cluttered desk, immersed in accounts. Taking a deep breath, she spoke up. "Sara, can I ask you for a favor?"

Sara didn't even look up. "I'm not giving you a raise," she replied sharply.

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Erika shook her head. "No, it's not about a raise. I need a few days off." She handed Sara the letters. "I found these among the unsold items. I think they belong to my grandparents."

Sara glanced at the letters briefly before handing them back. "No."

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

Erika blinked, confused. "I don't understand."

"I said no. Who will work if you take time off?" Sara's tone was dismissive.

"But I have been working almost without any days off for a year. I'm only asking for a few days," Erika pleaded.

Sara's expression hardened. "Erika, no."

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For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

"I can make up for the days I miss. I promise," Erika offered.

But Sara's eyes narrowed. "If you take these days off now, don't bother coming back."

Feeling a lump form in her throat, Erika took the letters and put them in her bag. She turned and walked out of the shop, her footsteps heavy. As she reached the door, she heard Sara shout after her, "Ungrateful girl!"

Outside, reality hit Erika hard. She had now lost her income and would need to find a new job to pay for her education. But in her heart, she knew she couldn't miss this chance. She had a lead on finding her family, which was worth more than any job.

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For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

Erika prepared to travel to the address mentioned in her grandfather's letters because the town was in a neighboring state. She packed her things carefully, folding each item neatly into her worn suitcase.

With a mixture of hope and fear, she bought a bus ticket. The journey was long, and Erika spent most of it staring out the window, imagining what she might find.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

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When Erika arrived in the small town, she felt a nervous excitement. She walked to the address from the letters, her heart pounding with each step. But when she reached the house, her heart sank.

The place was abandoned, with broken windows and weeds growing through cracks in the pavement. She started to cry and sat by the house, feeling utterly defeated.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

She had hoped to find her grandparents and even left her job for this. Now, it seemed all was lost. Perhaps Erika was not destined to have a family or be happy.

Through her tears, Erika noticed a blurred silhouette approaching. She wiped her eyes and saw an elderly woman standing before her. The woman looked kind and concerned, her eyes full of questions.

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"What happened, dear?" she asked gently.

Erika wiped her eyes and said, "I hoped to find my grandparents, but I found only this abandoned house."

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Midjourney

The woman nodded understandingly. "No one has lived in this house for many years. Do you know their names? Maybe I can help you. Everyone knows each other in this town."

Erika nodded, feeling a glimmer of hope. "Margaret and Richard."

The woman smiled. "Oh, of course, I know them. I will help you."

She gave Erika an address and directions. Erika thanked her with a mix of relief and excitement. With a new sense of purpose, she headed towards her grandparents' house, hoping this time she would find the family she had been searching for.

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For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

Erika approached a beautiful, well-kept, but small house. Her heart ached as she realized she could have grown up in this cozy place. She stood there for a few minutes, looking at the house, mustering the courage to knock on the door.

"Are you waiting for someone, miss?" a man from the neighboring house asked over the fence.

Erika turned to him and said, "Yes, I came to find Margaret and Richard."

The man smiled and shook his head. "Then you're looking the wrong way. Their house is across the street."

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

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"Thank you," Erika said, turning around. She froze in shock as she saw a huge mansion before her. It was nothing like she had expected. She turned back to the man, her eyes wide. "Are you sure they live here?"

"Absolutely," the man replied with a nod. "They are the nicest neighbors I've ever had."

Erika nodded and walked towards the mansion. Her heart pounded as she approached the door. She took a few deep breaths to steady herself, then rang the bell. A few seconds later, the door opened to reveal a friendly grandmother with a wide smile.

"Yes, dear?" the grandmother asked kindly.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Midjourney

"Are you Margaret?" Erika asked, her voice trembling with hope and nerves.

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"Yes," Margaret replied, her smile faltering with concern. "Is something wrong?"

Erika took a deep breath. "My name is Erika. I believe I'm your granddaughter."

Margaret's hands flew to her heart, tears filling her eyes. "It can't be," she whispered. Then, she reached out and hugged Erika tightly.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Midjourney

Erika hugged her back and started crying, too. The embrace felt warm and safe, something she had longed for all her life. They stood there for a few minutes, holding each other and sharing their emotions.

Finally, Margaret gently stepped back and wiped her tears. "Come in, dear," she said softly. "I'll make us some tea." She led Erika into the house, her heart filled with joy at finding her long-lost granddaughter.

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For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

Margaret led Erika into a luxurious living room filled with elegant furniture and beautiful decorations. Erika couldn't help but marvel at the surroundings, feeling both awe and a sense of belonging.

A few minutes later, Margaret returned with a teapot and two cups on a tray. She set the tray on the table and sat beside Erika.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

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"I hope you like green tea?" Margaret asked with a warm smile.

"Yes, thank you. It's my favorite," Erika replied, feeling a bit more at ease.

"Mine too!" Margaret said, pouring the tea.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

Erika took a deep breath, gathering her thoughts. "I don't want you to think I'm an impostor," she began, taking the letters from her bag. "I found these letters in the shop where I work... used to work. Your husband's surname made me realize you are my grandparents."

Margaret took the letters from Erika and examined them closely. She covered her mouth with her hand, tears streaming down her cheeks.

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"These are our old letters from when we first started dating," she said softly. "I lost them during a move, and it seems someone decided to sell them."

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

She looked at Erika with tears in her eyes and hugged her tightly. Erika was not used to such warmth; she couldn't remember the last time anyone hugged her until today. The embrace felt both strange and comforting.

"You have no idea how valuable these letters are. Especially now," Margaret said, her voice trembling. "Richard, your grandfather, passed away two years ago."

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash

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"I'm sorry," Erika said, her voice filled with empathy.

Margaret nodded, wiping her tears. "I'm so sorry you never had the chance to meet him. He would have liked you very much," she said. "I forgave my daughter when she ran away from us at 17 and never contacted us again, but I won't forgive her for keeping my granddaughter from me."

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pixabay

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pixabay

Erika's eyes welled up with tears. "Actually, my parents abandoned me when I was five," she said sadly.

Margaret's face filled with sorrow. "Oh, dear. My poor child," she said, hugging Erika again. "Now you have me. You have your family."

Erika smiled through her tears, feeling a sense of belonging she had never known before.

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"Aren't you of the age to be in college?" Margaret asked gently. "Aren't you missing classes?"

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Midjourney

Erika nodded. "I was working to earn money for my education. I want to study archaeology," she explained.

Margaret's eyes lit up. "Oh, Richard worked as an archaeologist when he was young," she said, her voice full of pride.

Erika looked down, feeling a mix of frustration and determination. "But I got fired when I asked for a few days off to come here," she added.

Margaret shook her head, her expression turning to one of disapproval. "Some people can be so awful. Don't worry about paying for college. You now have a family. And family takes care of each other," she said firmly.

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For illustration purposes only. | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Midjourney

Erika hugged Margaret, whose embrace was gentle and reassuring.

Everything suddenly felt right. She realized she had found a family and a place where she belonged. The heavy weight she had carried for so long began to lift, replaced by a sense of hope and happiness.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Midjourney

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Tell us what you think about this story, and share it with your friends. It might inspire them and brighten their day.

If you enjoyed this story, read this one: The life of a lonely widower, Colin, changes when a single mother with two children moves into the house next door. She tries to show Colin that even after the death of loved ones, life goes on. Read the full story here.

This piece is inspired by stories from the everyday lives of our readers and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone’s life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to info@amomama.com.

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