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A laptop on a table | Source: Shutterstock
A laptop on a table | Source: Shutterstock

I Found a Hidden Folder on My Father's Computer – The Photos I Saw Made Me Shudder

Sonali Pandey
Jul 08, 2024
10:20 A.M.

Hazel discovers a hidden folder on her father's computer, filled with photos that turn her world upside down. The images reveal a shocking truth about her mother's death, putting everything she knew about her family in question. As she prepares to confront her father, Hazel must ask herself: is she ready for the answers?

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"Honey, did you remember to water the plants?" I asked Ethan as I walked into our cozy living room.

An assortment of potted plants | Source: Unsplash

An assortment of potted plants | Source: Unsplash

Ethan looked up from his book and smiled. "Yes, love, I did. You know I wouldn't forget your precious plants."

I chuckled, feeling the contentment of our shared life.

A man sitting on a couch, reading a book | Source: Pexels

A man sitting on a couch, reading a book | Source: Pexels

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It had been five years since I moved out of Dad's house. I was only twenty then, full of dreams and hopes for the future. Mom passed away when I was just one, so I didn't get to spend much time with her. The only memories of her were the photos and stories Dad and I shared.

I missed her deeply on my wedding day. Dad did his best, but there were moments only a mother's touch could mend.

A bride and groom with their arms around each other outdoors | Source: Unsplash

A bride and groom with their arms around each other outdoors | Source: Unsplash

Meeting and marrying Ethan brought a new chapter of joy into my life. Our home, though modest, was filled with love and laughter.

"Sometimes, I can't believe how happy we are," I said, sinking into the couch next to him. "I miss Dad because he must feel so lonely at times, but I love our life here."

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Ethan wrapped his arm around me, pulling me closer. "You can always visit him more often, Hazel. He's not that far away."

A couple cozying up to each other | Source: Pexels

A couple cozying up to each other | Source: Pexels

I nodded. "I know. But I really miss him sometimes. I wonder what he's doing right now," I said. "Probably tinkering with something in the garage?"

Ethan laughed. "Most likely. He loves his projects."

An older man working on a bike | Source: Pexels

An older man working on a bike | Source: Pexels

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We sat in comfortable silence for a moment, savoring the peace of our home. Our marriage wasn't perfect, and we had our ups and downs, but we faced them together.

The next day, as I was enjoying a quiet morning, my phone rang.

A woman enjoying a peaceful morning | Source: Pexels

A woman enjoying a peaceful morning | Source: Pexels

It was Dad.

"Hey, Dad," I said as I answered.

"Hazel, could you come over and help with some chores? I'm swamped at work, and the house needs some tidying up," he asked.

"Of course, Dad. I'll be there soon," I replied.

Senior man on a phone call | Source: Pexels

Senior man on a phone call | Source: Pexels

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I was so happy he called me and asked me to come over. Honestly, I was just looking for a reason to visit him, and now I had it.

Later that evening, I arrived at Dad's house, a place filled with memories of my childhood. The familiar creak of the front door greeted me as I stepped inside.

Inside a cozy living room | Source: Pexels

Inside a cozy living room | Source: Pexels

"Time to get to work," I said to myself, rolling up my sleeves. I always felt a sense of duty to help Dad, especially since he had done so much for me.

As I finished tidying up the kitchen and vacuuming the living room, I remembered I had a task to finish for my boss.

A woman using a vacuum cleaner on a carpet | Source: Pexels

A woman using a vacuum cleaner on a carpet | Source: Pexels

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Dad's laptop sat in the corner of the study, an older model but still functional. I knew he didn't use a password, so I turned it on and got to work.

As I typed away, my eyes wandered to his files.

A person typing on a laptop | Source: Unsplash

A person typing on a laptop | Source: Unsplash

A folder there caught my attention. It was named "Memories," which seemed odd because Dad never mentioned keeping digital photos.

Curious, I clicked on it.

Inside, I found another folder labeled "Special Day."

A woman working on a laptop while sitting on a bed | Source: Unsplash

A woman working on a laptop while sitting on a bed | Source: Unsplash

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My curiosity grew, and I opened it.

What I saw next made my heart stop.

There were dozens of photos of my parents, looking incredibly happy. But what caught my attention was the date on the photos. It was the day my mother died.

A woman staring at a laptop screen in shock | Source: Midjourney

A woman staring at a laptop screen in shock | Source: Midjourney

"That can't be right," I whispered, feeling a wave of confusion and shock wash over me.

Dad always told me that Mom died in the hospital after a long illness. But these photos showed them celebrating, smiling, and even dancing.

I scrolled through the images, each one more puzzling than the last. My mother looked radiant, not like someone who was gravely ill. My father's smile was broad, his eyes twinkling with joy.

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A man carrying a woman at the beach | Source: Pexels

A man carrying a woman at the beach | Source: Pexels

"Why didn't he ever tell me about this?" I wondered aloud, a mix of anger and sadness bubbling up inside me.

I felt betrayed, as if a part of my past had been hidden from me all these years.

A woman with her head bowed down in despair | Source: Pexels

A woman with her head bowed down in despair | Source: Pexels

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I sat back in the chair, trying to make sense of it all. Why would Dad lie about Mom's death? What really happened that day?

The questions swirled in my mind, each one more urgent than the last.

"I need to talk to Dad," I decided, closing the folder and shutting down the computer.

A person using their phone | Source: Pexels

A person using their phone | Source: Pexels

Grabbing my phone, I dialed Dad's number with trembling hands.

"Hello, Hazel," he answered cheerfully. "I'm sorry, sweetheart, is it too much work looking after this old man's house?"

A senior man on call | Source: Pexels

A senior man on call | Source: Pexels

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"Dad, you need to come home right now," I said, trying to keep my voice steady. "It's important."

"Is everything okay?" he asked, concerned.

"No, it's not," I replied, my voice cracking. "I found something on your computer. I need to talk to you about it. Please, come home."

A woman on a phone call at home, with her laptop in front of her | Source: Pexels

A woman on a phone call at home, with her laptop in front of her | Source: Pexels

There was a moment of silence on the other end. Then Dad spoke, his voice serious. "I'll be there as soon as I can. Give me twenty minutes."

"Thank you," I whispered, hanging up the phone.

A serious-looking senior man on a phone call | Source: Pexels

A serious-looking senior man on a phone call | Source: Pexels

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I paced the living room, my emotions swirling. How could he have kept this from me? Why did he lie about Mom's death?

The minutes felt like hours as I waited. I tried to distract myself by straightening up the room, but my thoughts kept returning to those photos. They didn't make any sense. Mom looked so happy and healthy.

A happy woman holding her partner's hand | Source: Pexels

A happy woman holding her partner's hand | Source: Pexels

Finally, I heard the sound of the front door opening. Dad rushed in, his face filled with worry.

"Hazel, what's going on?" he asked, walking over to me.

An older man looking concerned | Source: Midjourney

An older man looking concerned | Source: Midjourney

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I took a deep breath, trying to keep my emotions in check. "I was using your computer to finish a task for work, and I found a folder with photos of you and Mom. They were taken on the day she died. You always told me she died in the hospital after a long illness. But these photos... they show you both happy, celebrating. What's going on, Dad?"

A woman with a serious expression on her face | Source: Pexels

A woman with a serious expression on her face | Source: Pexels

Dad's face paled, and he sat down heavily on the couch.

"What are you hiding, Dad? Tell me!"

"Hazel, I... I didn't want you to know the truth," he said, his voice shaky. "There's so much you don't understand."

"What do you mean?" I demanded, feeling a fresh wave of anger. "Why did you lie to me all these years?"

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Grayscale image of a sad man | Source: Pexels

Grayscale image of a sad man | Source: Pexels

He looked up at me, his eyes filled with pain. "I thought I was protecting you. But maybe it's time you knew the whole story."

I stared at him, my heart pounding.

A sad-looking woman | Source: Midjourney

A sad-looking woman | Source: Midjourney

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"It was 24 years ago, Hazel," he began. "Your mother and I decided to go camping on the ocean coast. It was a beautiful weekend, just the two of us. We laughed, we talked, and we made plans for the future."

I could see the memories flooding back to him, his face softening for a moment. "We had an unforgettable time. But on the way home, everything changed. I lost control of the car. It skidded off the road and crashed into a tree."

A car crushed by a broken tree | Source: Pexels

A car crushed by a broken tree | Source: Pexels

My heart pounded as I listened, the shock of his words sinking in. "What happened next?"

"We were in the middle of nowhere, no cell service, no way to call for help," Dad continued. "Your mother was badly injured. I knew I had to get help, but there was no one around. So I carried her, Hazel. I carried her through the forest for two hours, hoping to find someone, anyone, who could help us."

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A sad image of a young couple | Source: Midjourney

A sad image of a young couple | Source: Midjourney

Tears welled up in my eyes as I imagined the scene, my father struggling through the forest with my injured mother in his arms. "But she didn't make it, did she?" I asked, my voice breaking.

Dad shook his head, tears streaming down his face. "No, Hazel. By the time we reached the nearest town, it was too late. She was gone."

A man with his head lowered | Source: Pexels

A man with his head lowered | Source: Pexels

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I felt a deep, aching pain in my chest. "Why didn't you tell me, Dad? Why did you let me believe she died in the hospital? Why did you lie to me all my life?!"

He looked at me, his eyes filled with sorrow. "I thought I was protecting you. I didn't want you to remember her like that. I wanted you to remember the happy times, not the tragedy."

A man with a painful look in his eyes | Source: Pexels

A man with a painful look in his eyes | Source: Pexels

"But you lied to me," I said, feeling the anger rise within me. "You let me live my whole life believing something that wasn't true. How could you do that?"

Dad's shoulders slumped, and he looked down at his hands. "I was afraid, Hazel. Afraid that you'd hate me, blame me for her death. It was my fault. I was driving. I lost control. If I had been more careful, she'd still be here."

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A bearded older man with a serious expression on his face | Source: Midjourney

A bearded older man with a serious expression on his face | Source: Midjourney

I was shocked that the man who had always been my rock, my source of strength, had lied to me all these years.

"I can't believe you kept this from me," I said, my voice breaking. "I trusted you, Dad. And now, I don't know what to think."

A woman in tears | Source: Pexels

A woman in tears | Source: Pexels

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Dad reached out to me, but I pulled away. "Please, Hazel," he pleaded. "I never wanted to hurt you. I thought I was doing the right thing."

I shook my head, tears streaming down my face. "I need some time, Dad. I need to think."

An elderly man with a young woman | Source: Pexels

An elderly man with a young woman | Source: Pexels

I stood up, my legs feeling unsteady beneath me. The room seemed to spin as I tried to make sense of everything. I looked at Dad one last time, his face etched with regret and pain, before turning and walking out of the house.

The fresh air hit me as I stepped outside, but it did little to clear the fog in my mind. I felt a profound sense of betrayal and loss, my heart aching with the weight of the truth.

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A person walking away | Source: Pexels

A person walking away | Source: Pexels

I don't know how to process this revelation, don't know if I could ever forgive Dad for lying to me.

Would you be able to forgive in this situation?

If you enjoyed this story, here's another one where a fortune cookie helped a woman uncover her husband's secret life.

A woman holding a plate of fortune cookies | Source: Midjourney

A woman holding a plate of fortune cookies | Source: Midjourney

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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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