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A Barista | Source: Pexels
A Barista | Source: Pexels

Widow Hires New Employee and Learns the Secret Her Late Husband Hid for 20 Years — Story of the Day

Yaryna Kholodiuk
Jun 13, 2024
05:10 A.M.

After her husband's death, Margaret decided to fulfill their long-held dream of opening a coffee shop. Realizing she couldn't manage it alone, she had to hire a young man to help her. Because of him, she discovered a secret her late husband had been hiding for 20 years.

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Following her husband's untimely death, Margaret resolved to fulfill their shared dream of opening a coffee shop, a dream they had always cherished but never realized together.

Margaret invested all her savings to open this coffee shop, and today was finally the opening day. The sun was shining, and the smell of freshly baked pastries filled the air. She felt a mixture of excitement and nervousness as she unlocked the doors for the first time.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

A neighbor had advised her to hire someone to help her, but Margaret was adamantly against it. She was sure she could handle everything.

"I've managed bigger challenges in life," she thought, recalling her husband's illness and how she had cared for him. She wanted to prove to herself and to his memory that she could do this.

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However, more people came to the opening than Margaret expected. The bell above the door jingled constantly as customers streamed in, eager to try the new coffee shop in town.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

Margaret quickly found herself overwhelmed. She rushed from the counter to the tables, trying to keep up with orders. In her hurry, she forgot to take orders and always mixed them up. A cappuccino ended up as a latte, and a blueberry muffin went to someone who had ordered a chocolate croissant.

Customers left the cafe unhappy, their comments echoing in her mind, "She can't do it alone," and "This place won't last a week."

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

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The next day, with a heavy heart but determined spirit, Margaret decided to find an assistant. She posted a job ad and spent the morning conducting several interviews.

One candidate talked too much, another seemed uninterested, and a third didn't even show up. Margaret turned away each candidate, feeling more discouraged by the minute.

In the evening, just before closing time, a young man came in. He had a friendly face and a calm demeanor. "Hi, I'm Andrew," he introduced himself, smiling warmly. "I saw your ad and wondered if you're still looking for help."

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

Margaret sighed, feeling tired and unsure. "I am, but I've had a long day. I'm not sure…"

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Just then, a customer walked in, looking unsure about what to order. Andrew stepped up and began chatting with him, suggesting drinks and pastries.

The customer smiled and nodded, finally choosing a caramel latte and a slice of carrot cake. Margaret watched, impressed by how easily Andrew handled the interaction.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

"Well," Margaret said slowly, "I suppose I could give you a chance. Come in tomorrow, and we'll see how it goes."

Andrew's eyes lit up. "Thank you. You won't regret it."

Margaret was very picky about Andrew and his work. Even after Andrew had been working with her for several weeks and hadn't made a single mistake, Margaret still didn't trust him.

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For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

She often thought she would be better off doing everything herself. She watched his every move, correcting him even on small things.

But there was something about Andrew that she couldn't ignore, and that's probably why she let him keep working.

He reminded her of her late husband, John, in so many ways. Andrew had the same calm demeanor and the same thoughtful habits, and sometimes, she even thought they spoke the same way.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

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One day, while cleaning the coffee shop, Margaret climbed a ladder to reach a high shelf. Suddenly, she lost her balance and fell. Pain shot through her leg, and she couldn't stand up. Andrew rushed over and found her on the floor, wincing in pain.

"Margaret, are you okay?" Andrew asked, his voice full of concern.

"I think I've hurt my leg," Margaret replied, trying to stay calm despite the pain.

Andrew carefully helped her up and took her to the hospital. The doctor confirmed that her leg was broken.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

Andrew stayed by her side, offering support and helping her with everything she needed. He brought her home that day and helped her inside, ensuring she was comfortable.

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As they sat in the cozy living room, Andrew said, "I can watch the coffee shop while you recover."

"That's not necessary," Margaret replied. "I'll be at work tomorrow."

"But your leg is broken," Andrew insisted.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

"Don't worry, I'll be fine," Margaret said firmly.

"Let me at least give you a ride," Andrew offered.

"No," Margaret said, shaking her head.

"Margaret, you need to rest," Andrew said gently.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Midjourney

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"I can manage," Margaret replied. "I don't need help."

Andrew sighed heavily. "Okay, if you say so." He gave her a long look before leaving her house.

The next day, Margaret had a very difficult time getting to the coffee shop. As she was coming down the stairs from her bedroom, she missed a step and fell.

Pain shot through her leg, and she struggled to get back up. She realized she couldn't drive in this condition and had to call a taxi.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

When the taxi arrived, the driver was new and unfamiliar with the area. He took a wrong turn, and Margaret found herself far from the coffee shop.

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Frustrated, she had to walk several blocks on crutches. Each step was a struggle, and she worried she wouldn't make it before the coffee shop opened.

Finally, out of breath and in pain, she reached the coffee shop. To her surprise, the shop was already open. The familiar bell above the door jingled as she entered, and she saw people sitting inside, enjoying their drinks and pastries. Margaret looked around in disbelief.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

Andrew was behind the counter, calmly serving customers. He moved with ease, smiling and chatting as if he had been doing this for years. Margaret hobbled over to him, her face a mix of relief and gratitude.

"Did you do all this by yourself?" Margaret asked.

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"Yes, I did," Andrew replied with a smile. "It wasn't hard."

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

Margaret looked around, taking in the sight of the busy coffee shop. She nodded slowly, feeling a mix of emotions. After a few moments, she spoke again.

"Andrew," she said, "don't plan anything after work. You'll drive me home."

"Okay, boss," Andrew said, giving her a reassuring nod. "I'll be here."

Margaret watched as Andrew went to clear the tables. She felt a sense of relief knowing she had someone she could count on.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

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In the evening, Andrew gave Margaret a ride home. He noticed how tired she looked and offered to help her clean the house.

Margaret hesitated but eventually agreed, feeling grateful for his kindness. Andrew swept the floors and washed the dishes while Margaret rested her leg.

"Thank you, Andrew," Margaret said, watching him work. "You're very helpful."

After the cleaning was done, Andrew decided to cook lasagna for dinner. The kitchen was filled with the rich aroma of tomatoes, cheese, and herbs. When Andrew served the lasagna, Margaret took a bite and paused, surprised.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

"This tastes exactly like my husband's lasagna," she said, her eyes filling with tears.

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Andrew smiled gently. "My father taught me how to cook lasagna. He got the recipe from an old magazine."

Margaret nodded, feeling a pang of nostalgia. "It's so similar. It's like he's here with me."

Andrew sat down across from her, his expression thoughtful. "It's just a coincidence, I guess."

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

As they ate, Margaret couldn't help but feel a connection between her past and the present.

During the next few weeks, Andrew helped Margaret a lot, and they began to grow closer. Margaret saw Andrew as a loyal employee and a good guy. He was always there, ready to lend a hand.

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Andrew taught Margaret how to handle different equipment, showing her the best ways to use the coffee machines and other tools.

One day, Margaret noticed that Andrew seemed to like one of their regular guests. He smiled more and seemed nervous when she was around.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

As soon as Andrew finished taking her order, Margaret approached him with a knowing smile.

"You like her, don't you?" Margaret asked, raising an eyebrow.

Andrew blushed, looking down at his feet. "What? No... How did you know?"

Margaret chuckled softly. "It's pretty obvious. You should ask her out."

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For illustration purposes only. | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Midjourney

"She won't accept," Andrew said, shaking his head.

"Go on," Margaret said, giving him a gentle push towards the girl.

Margaret watched as Andrew nervously approached the girl. They talked for a few moments, and then Andrew came back behind the bar, looking upset.

"What happened? She didn't say yes?" Margaret asked.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

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"She said yes," Andrew replied sadly, "but she can't wait until tonight."

"You can leave early," Margaret said.

"Really?" Andrew asked, his eyes lighting up.

"Yes," Margaret confirmed. "Go enjoy your date."

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

"Thank you, Margaret!" Andrew said, quickly taking off his apron and returning to the girl.

His face lit up with a big smile as he walked towards her. They left the coffee shop together, and Andrew waved goodbye to Margaret.

"Good luck!" Margaret called out, feeling a warm sense of pride.

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In the evening, after the coffee shop closed, Andrew returned with the girl. He helped Margaret lock up the shop and then gave her a ride home. As they pulled up to her house, Margaret turned to Andrew.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

"Wait here a moment," Margaret said, disappearing into her house. Andrew stood there, puzzled.

A few minutes later, she came back with a vinyl record player in her hands. "This was my husband's and mine. We used to dance to the music all the time. I want you and your girlfriend to experience how beautiful it was."

Andrew's eyes widened in surprise. "Are you sure you want me to have this?" he asked, his voice filled with disbelief.

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For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

Margaret nodded, smiling warmly. "Yes, Andrew. I want you to have it. It would make me happy knowing you both can share those special moments too."

Andrew took the record player, still in awe. "Thank you so much, Margaret. This means a lot to me." He gave her a big hug, his gratitude evident.

Margaret watched him drive away, a warm feeling spreading through her heart. She realized that Andrew had become the son she never had.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

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The next day at the coffee shop, Margaret was busy organizing some supplies. As Andrew bent over to pick up a box, his shirt rode up slightly, revealing a birthmark on his back. Margaret froze, her heart pounding. It was the exact same birthmark her husband had.

"That birthmark!" Margaret shouted.

Then trying to look calm, she asked, "Andrew, what was your father's name?"

Andrew straightened up and looked at her, puzzled by the question. "His name was John. Why do you ask?"

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Midjourney

Margaret felt a rush of emotions—shock, confusion, and anger—when she realized that Andrew was indeed her husband's son. Her eyes filled with tears as she pointed towards the door. "Leave, Andrew. You've been using me all this time."

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Andrew's face went pale. "What? I don't understand. What did I do?"

"You knew who I was all along. John's wife!" Margaret accused, her voice shaking. "You tricked me into thinking you were just a nice kid looking for a job. But you were using me!"

"No, Margaret, I swear I didn't know!" Andrew pleaded, his eyes wide with shock and hurt. "I had no idea you were connected to my father. I was just looking for work."

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Midjourney

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Midjourney

But Margaret couldn't believe him. The pain of betrayal was too strong. "Just go, Andrew. And don't come back," she said firmly.

Andrew's shoulders slumped as he walked out of the coffee shop. He turned back one last time, hoping she would change her mind, but Margaret stood there with her arms crossed, her expression unyielding.

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He left, feeling lost and confused, while Margaret tried to process the flood of emotions that overwhelmed her.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

A few days after revealing the truth about Andrew, Margaret went to the hospital to get her cast removed. As she sat in the waiting room, she noticed a woman with a little boy. The boy was playing with a toy car, making vroom-vroom sounds.

Margaret smiled and said, "Your son looks just like you."

The woman smiled back and replied, "Thank you, but he's not my biological son. He's my husband's son, but I love him as my own."

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

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Margaret was taken aback. "That's very kind of you. It must be hard."

The woman nodded. "It was at first, but love makes everything easier. Family is not just about blood, after all."

Margaret left the hospital with those words echoing in her mind. She realized she needed to talk to Andrew and understand more about him and his past.

Later that day, she arrived at his home and uncertainly knocked on the door. After a few moments, Andrew opened the door.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

"Andrew, can we talk?" Margaret asked, her voice soft but firm.

Andrew looked up, surprised. "Of course, Margaret. What is it?"

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"I want to get to know your mother. I need to understand more about my husband's past," Margaret said.

Andrew's face grew serious. "Okay. Get in the car. There's something I need to show you."

Margaret hesitated but followed him outside. They drove in silence to a quiet cemetery. Andrew parked the car and led Margaret to a gravestone.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

"This is my mom," Andrew said, pointing to the headstone. "She died when I was 15. My dad raised me after that, but he disappeared one day. I searched for him but never found out what happened to him. I only learned he had died when you told me a few days ago."

Margaret felt a lump in her throat. "I'm sorry, Andrew. I had no idea."

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Andrew shook his head. "It's okay. I didn't know my father had another family. I never knew he was with you. I'm sorry if it felt like I deceived you. I truly didn't know."

Margaret sighed, her heart heavy with regret. "I'm sorry too, Andrew. I shouldn't have assumed the worst. I was just so hurt and confused. I couldn't get pregnant, so maybe my husband looked elsewhere. But that's not your fault."

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

Andrew looked at her, his eyes full of empathy. "It's not your fault either, Margaret. You did nothing wrong."

They stood in silence for a moment, the weight of their shared past settling between them. Finally, Margaret spoke.

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"You know, Andrew, I've always wanted a son."

As they stood there, a sense of peace washed over them. They had found something precious in each other—family.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

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: Alice, trying to prove to her ex that she was interested in more than just work, booked the first apartment she found in a resort town. However, when she arrived there, she saw a half-naked stranger walking around. 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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