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A desperate man is holding a flight ticket from an anonymous sender | Source: Midjourney
A desperate man is holding a flight ticket from an anonymous sender | Source: Midjourney

Man Receives One-Way Ticket from Anonymous Sender, Leading Him to Woman He Thought Was Dead — Story of the Day

Mariia Kobzieva
Jun 12, 2024
06:25 A.M.

Jack found a mysterious envelope in his mail. It contained a plane ticket and a note saying, "Emily needs help." Jack was stunned and confused, believing Emily had died in a car accident six months ago. The note, written in child-like handwriting, stirred old pains and faint hope. Jack decided to fly.

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A retired pilot, Jack found a mysterious envelope nestled among his modest pile of mail. Inside was a plane ticket to a city he hadn’t visited for half a year.

It was accompanied by a note written in a child-like scrawl, “Emily needs help.” The handwriting was shaky, tugging at the heartstrings, yet Jack's initial reaction was disbelief mixed with an old pain.

Years ago, Emily and Jack had managed a tender long-distance relationship, their love bridged by countless flights Jack piloted to see her smile for a weekend.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

But then, tragedy struck like a cruel twist of fate. He received a hospital call one evening—the detached voice informed him that Emily had succumbed to injuries from a car accident.

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In her fleeting moments of consciousness, she had made a last request, “Tell Jack to remember me alive and not come to my funeral.”

Those words had anchored him in a sea of grief, leading him to resign from his job and live shrouded in the shadows of what-ifs.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Now, six months into mourning, this note appeared almost like a cruel joke. Could it be a prank?

Yet, something in the depth of his seasoned heart stirred—a pilot’s instinct, perhaps, or a flicker of unresolved hope. He needed to find out the truth or break the monotony of sorrow that had become his life.

With a heavy sigh, Jack packed a small bag—the kind only someone who knows the skies well would. As he zipped it shut, his fingers brushed against an old photo of Emily, her laughter forever captured in time.

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

He tucked the photo into his jacket, a silent promise to carry her memory across the skies once more and, perhaps, to find closure in whatever awaited him.

***

Upon arriving in the unfamiliar city, Jack's first stop was the foster home where Emily had worked as a nanny. The place was welcoming, with children's laughter echoing from the backyard. Having grown up an orphan, Emily always had a special bond with children in need.

Jack noticed a little girl peeking from behind bushes as he approached the house. Her eyes were curious and cautious. She darted from one hiding spot to another, closely observing Jack’s every move yet maintaining a safe distance.

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Jack recognized the hide-and-seek game she was playing—not with her friends, but with him. The girl, he soon learned, was Mia, a child adopted by the family Emily had worked for.

Deciding to break the ice, Jack knelt and smiled warmly, "Hey there, I'm Jack. You must be Mia. I heard a lot about you from Emily."

"Emily talks about you too," Mia said in a small voice, her eyes scanning Jack as if trying to match the person in front of her with the stories she had heard.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

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Before Jack could ask more, the foster parents recognized Jack immediately. They looked surprised yet relieved to see him.

"Jack, it's been a while," the foster mother said. "We didn't expect to see you."

Jack returned the foster mother's greeting with a nod.

"Hello, it's been quite some time," he acknowledged. "I'm here because I received this plane ticket unexpectedly," he explained, showing them the ticket. "Do you know who might have sent it to me?"

For illustration purposes only | Source: pixabay

For illustration purposes only | Source: pixabay

Mia stepped forward, her eyes bright with excitement.

"It was me, Jack. I wanted to help Emily, and I thought you should be here," she confessed, her small hands fidgeting as she spoke. "I baked cakes, sold them, and worked on the local farm to save enough for the ticket."

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The foster parents sighed softly, nodding in agreement with Mia's explanation.

"We saw how hard Mia was working and how much it meant to her," the foster father added. "We didn't know the full story of what happened, but we couldn't stand in the way of her determination. We helped her send the ticket, though we doubted you would come."

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Jack, touched by Mia's efforts and the foster parents' support, smiled warmly at the little girl.

"Thank you, Mia. That was incredibly thoughtful of you," he said, his voice tinged with gratitude.

Still smiling warmly at Mia, Jack felt a surge of unresolved emotions.

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"Since I'm here, I would like to visit Emily's grave, even though her last wish was for me not to," he said, his voice dropping slightly with a hint of sadness.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

The foster parents exchanged a shocked glance before returning to Jack with urgent expressions.

"Jack, Emily isn't dead," the foster mother said gently, her voice filled with concern. "She recently came out of a coma, but she’s very much alive."

Jack's heart skipped a beat, his face reflecting sheer disbelief.

"Alive?" he echoed the word barely a whisper. For six months, he had grappled with her loss, navigating a life dimmed by grief.

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

"I don’t understand. I received a call from a doctor, using her phone, telling me Emily had died."

Mia's eyes widened, and she suddenly said, "It must have been Robert! He’s been chasing after Emily for a long time!"

The foster parents quickly tried to calm her, "Mia, we've talked about this," he said soothingly. "We need to be careful about what we say and think things through."

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

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Jack felt a storm of emotions washing over him. Relief, confusion, and an aching love that he thought he had buried six months ago surged through him.

"Alive?" His voice trembled, "How is this possible? And who is this Robert?"

The foster mother sighed, her eyes softening.

"Robert is a man who lives reclusively in town. After Emily's accident, he took it upon himself to care for her. He brings her flowers every day. We think he loves her... and we thought you left her when you found out about the coma."

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

"I need to see Emily immediately. How could I walk away at such a time? Jack's brows furrowed deeper, a flash of anger crossing his face, mingled with confusion.

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His voice grew intense with frustration. "All this time, I thought Emily was gone! Someone has been deceiving me, and now I need to find out everything."

Mia tugged at his sleeve, her face determined. "I should come with you, Jack. Emily trusts me; she remembers me even after the accident. I can help."

Her parents hesitated, exchanging worried glances.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

Mia pleaded, her voice earnest, "Please, I didn't raise all that money and get Jack here for nothing. Let me help him."

Jack nodded, "I love Emily, and I've been mourning her as if she were gone. I would be forever grateful if Mia could help bring us back together."

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Convinced by Mia's passionate plea and Jack's sincere affection, the foster parents finally relented, "Okay, Mia, you can go with Jack. Just be careful," the foster father said.

"Thank you. I'll take good care of her," Jack promised, helping Mia into the passenger seat of his car.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

***

Jack and Mia hurried to the only hospital in this tiny village. As they approached Emily's room, Jack’s mind raced with questions. How could she be alive? What would she say?

His hand paused on the door handle, taking a deep breath before entering.

Emily was sitting in bed, a pale shadow of her vibrant self. A wedding ring glinted under the weak hospital lights on her finger, drawing Jack’s attention immediately.

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

"Emily?" Jack's voice was a cautious whisper.

Emily turned towards him, her expression one of mild confusion.

"Do I know you?" she asked softly.

Before Jack could respond, a tall man stepped forward from the corner of the room. His confident posture seemed out of place in the hospital environment.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

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"Who are you?" the man demanded, his tone edgy.

Jack responded calmly but firmly, "I'm Jack, the man who has always been there for Emily."

The man, taken aback by Jack's declaration, hesitated slightly as if recognizing the name.

After a brief moment, he regained his composure and said with a forced confidence, "I'm Robert, Emily's fiancé."

Jack's eyes narrowed slightly, disbelief and irritation mixing in his expression.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

"Fiancé?" he echoed, his voice laced with skepticism.

Robert’s expression hardened as he repeated, "Yes, we were engaged before her accident. I'm afraid she doesn’t remember much right now, including you."

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At this moment, Mia rushed past Robert to embrace Emily, who was watching the exchange with a look of confusion.

"Emily!" she exclaimed, running to the bed.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

"Mia, my little friend!" her arms opened for a hug, which Mia eagerly returned.

"Mia, who is this man?" Emily asked, looking at Jack over Mia's head.

"He’s Jack, Emily," Mia said confidently, pulling back to stand beside the bed. "He's your true friend, not him," she angrily stared at Robert.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

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Robert scoffed, stepping closer.

"Mia, sweetie, that's enough," he said condescendingly. "Jack, I think you should leave. Emily needs rest and familiar faces around her."

Jack's jaw clenched, but he maintained his composure. "Emily, do you remember us from before your accident?"

Emily looked from Jack to Robert; her brow furrowed in concentration.

"I... I'm not sure. It's all so blurry," she watched him with sad eyes.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

"Mia misses you. We both do. We can help you to recover," Jack explained gently, trying to keep the situation calm despite Robert's glaring presence.

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Robert interjected sharply, "I appreciate your care, but I'm her fiancé. I know what's best for her."

Mia whispered loudly, "He's lying, Jack. He never liked you." Jack gave Mia a reassuring nod, then returned to Emily.

"If you ever need anything or just want to talk to someone from your past, I'm here," he said with tears in his eyes.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

Emily looked at him, a flicker of something unspoken passing through her eyes. "Thank you, Jack," she said quietly.

As Jack turned to leave, he knew something wasn't right with Robert's story, and he had to find out the truth.

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He couldn't confront the situation directly then, but his resolve was unshaken. Jack knew he needed a solid plan. Walking down the empty hospital corridor, Jack's mind raced through various scenarios and strategies that would reveal Robert’s true intentions and reaffirm his commitment to Emily.

Mia’s words rang through the hallway, pulling him from his thoughts, "We'll come back, won’t we, Jack?"

"We will, Mia. We definitely will," Jack responded firmly, his voice carrying the weight of his promise.

For illustration purposes only | Source: pixabay

For illustration purposes only | Source: pixabay

***

Jack arranged for Mia's guardians to take her on a trip for a few days. He shared his plan with them, which they gladly supported, and helped pack Mia's bags.

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Emily was to be discharged that day, and Jack had learned that Robert planned to take her home. But not if Jack and Mia could help it. A rescue mission began.

Jack gently lifted Mia from the car, hoisting her high above his head in a sudden, playful motion. Mia's laughter rang out, bright and clear, with surprise and delight at the unexpected fun.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

"Ready?" Jack whispered.

"Ready!" Mia responded with excitement in her voice.

They peeked into the room and found Emily sitting on the edge of her bed with a small bag packed. She looked up, her eyes lighting up at the sight of Jack and Mia.

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

"Jack, Mia! What are you doing here?" Emily's voice trembled with happiness.

"We're here to take you on a weekend adventure," Jack announced with a grin.

"But Robert said he was taking me home..." Emily’s voice trailed off, uncertainty flickering across her face.

Mia stepped forward, smiling. "We’re going to visit all your favorite places, remember all the good times. It’s going to be fun!"

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

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Emily looked from Mia to Jack, "I'd love that," she finally said.

As they helped Emily into the car, Jack could feel the tension melting away from her shoulders. They drove off, leaving the hospital—and Robert—behind.

***

The weekend was a whirlwind of emotions and rediscovery. They visited the local park where Emily and Mia had spent countless hours lying on the grass and laughing. Jack was watching them.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Then they went to the small cafe where Emily had her first art exhibition, the walls still adorned with vibrant paintings. Every place they visited, Emily’s memories flickered back.

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While sipping her favorite mint tea at the cafe, Emily looked at Jack, "Jack, I remember this place, and I remember you. You always encouraged my painting."

"I always will," he promised.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Mia was preparing to sleep on the last night of their common weekend. They stayed at the small rented house by the lake where Emily used to spend her vacations with Jack. Emily and Jack came to say good night.

"I want to show you something," she said, taking out the painting from under her pillow. Three people were there, sharing their adventures.

"You, Jack, and I are like family. Could you lie down with me just a little bit? I know a lot of fairy tales."

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Emily and Jack started to laugh. "Thank you, Mia. This means the world to us."

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

***

When Jack, Mia, and Emily arrived at Emily’s house, Robert was already there, pacing back and forth. His face contorted with anger the moment he caught sight of them.

"You have no right to take her!" he exploded at Jack, his voice filled with outrage.

While maintaining his composure, Jack replied calmly but firmly, "Emily is free to choose who she spends her time with," and added, "And by the way, the police are on their way."

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

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Earlier, Jack had visited the local police station, driven by his concerns over Robert's erratic behavior and the dubious nature of his claims about his relationship with Emily. He shared his suspicions, particularly highlighting Emily's vulnerable state post-amnesia.

The police had already been wary of Robert, given his history of complaints involving stalking. Jack's report only intensified their concerns, prompting them to act promptly.

As the police arrived, Robert’s anxiety spiked. He started to yell, "You can't do this! I've been taking care of her! I'm her fiancé!"

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

A police officer responded, "Mr. Billings, we've received reports and records suggesting otherwise. We need you to come with us for questioning."

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Jack interjected, "You manipulated her situation, Robert. You lied about her condition and your relationship. It's over now."

Mia declared boldly, "He’s not who he pretends to be! He made everything up!"

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

The police officer, signaling to his colleague, said to Robert, "Let's go, sir. We’ll sort this out at the station. You'll have a chance to speak."

As he was being led away, Robert made one last desperate plea, "Emily, you know me! Tell them!"

Finding her strength, Emily replied firmly, "I’m sorry, Robert, I don’t... and I need to find out the truth on my own."

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Robert was escorted to the police car. Emily and Mia watched, a sense of relief slowly washing over them.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Jack reached out, taking Emily’s hands in his. Emily’s eyes welled up with tears, her lips trembling as she struggled to convey feelings that words could barely capture.

“I may not remember everything, but my heart tells me I’m home when I’m with you,” she whispered, her voice choked with emotion.

"It feels like I'm rediscovering a part of me that I thought was lost forever," she said, her smile brightening through the tears, giving Jack and Mia every reason to smile back, their hearts swelling with hope and love.

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

***

In the following days, Jack, Emily, and Mia discussed their future. Emily confessed that her connection with Jack felt genuine and deep.

Seeing the joy in Mia and Emily’s eyes, Jack made a decision. He would sell his old house and renew his pilot's license.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

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"I want to be able to provide for our big family," he said.

The foster family agreed it was the best for Mia. They would remain close friends and see Mia often. This arrangement allowed Mia to stay in her familiar environment while being part of a new, loving family.

As they settled into their new life together, Jack resumed his flights. But now, every time he landed, he returned not to a house but to a home where Emily and Mia were waiting, their faces alight with the joy of a family reunited.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only | Source: Midjourney

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

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If you enjoyed this story, read this one: James wandered among the library shelves, searching for something to soothe his soul. A poetry collection captured his attention. He opened the book and was stunned to see pages filled with lines he had handwritten long ago, addressed to a woman he loved. How had this book ended up there, and why? 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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