A worried father becomes aware that his vulnerable 14-year-old daughter is receiving expensive gifts and meeting a strange man.
Oliver Farrow was a caring and vigilant dad, but it still took him over a month to realize that something was going on with his daughter Carla. At fourteen, Carla was lovely, sweet, and bright, but she was still a teenager.
Like all teenagers, she deeply resented what she saw as her parents’ attempts to ‘interfere’ in her life. So Oliver and his wife Gail tread a narrow path, allowing Carla relative freedom, but keeping an eye out for trouble — and then trouble came in the most unexpected way.
Oliver was ashamed to be following his daughter, but he felt the end justified the means | Source: Shutterstock.com
It all came out because Oliver’s fashionista sister Ruth came for dinner. Ruth was sitting chatting to Oliver and Gail when Carla breezed in, her bag over her shoulder. She kissed her aunt and hurried upstairs to wash for dinner.
Oliver noticed that Ruth was staring after Carla, frowning. “What’s up, sis?” he asked.
“That’s a vintage Birkin bag,” Ruth said “Since when do you buy Carla thousand-dollar handbags?”
“Oh, that’s a replica,” said Gail smiling. “Carla picked it up at the flea market for $20. It does look good doesn’t it?” But Oliver could see that his sister wasn’t convinced, and that started him wondering.
Oliver was worried when his beautiful teen daughter started coming home with expensive items | Source: Unsplash
Was the bag really genuine? It was unlikely that Ruth would be taken in by a fake, but if it was real, where did Carla get the money for something like that?
That night over dinner, Oliver watched his daughter carefully. To his distress, he had the feeling she was avoiding looking at him. What was going on with Carla?
That night, he discussed it with Gail, and she dismissed his concerns. “Oh Ollie,” she cried. “All girls need their secrets! We have to give her space!”
Oliver wasn’t convinced and he started watching Carla more closely. Suddenly, Carla announced that she’d swapped her old laptop with a friend, but the computer she brought home didn’t look second-hand. It looked extremely expensive and top of the line.
Carla claimed her expensive new bag was a knock-off | Source: Unsplash
Again Oliver pointed it out to Gail, and his wife promised she’d talk to Carla. But that was before he noticed that Carla was sporting $500 sneakers and carrying a new iPhone.
“Carla,” Oliver said that evening. “Your mother and I would like to talk to you.”
Carla waved a hand in the air. “Sorry guys, it’s Friday, and Janice’s brother is taking us to the mall. Can we talk tomorrow?” Before her parents could react, Carla vanished out of the door.
“I’m going after her,” Oliver cried and grabbed his car keys.
Carla told her father her new computer was a hand-me-down from a friend | Source: Unsplash
Janice and her brother did pick up Carla, but they dropped her off at the mall entrance and drove on. Oliver felt a chill. What was Carla doing? Who was she meeting?
Keeping out of sight, Oliver trailed Carla to a Starbucks and watched astonished as his daughter ran to a handsome older man and threw her arms around him. The two sat down and started talking, leaning towards each other intimately.
Secrets always lead to more secrets and the possibility of misunderstandings.
Oliver saw the man place a small parcel on the table, and Carla reached for it eagerly. Carla was smiling, and the man was holding her hand, fondling her wrist! It was all too much for Oliver.
In two steps, he reached the table and grabbed the man by his lapels. “Take your hands off my daughter, you filthy pervert”
Oliver followed Carla to the mall | Source: Unsplash
The man was gasping and trying to push Oliver away, and Carla was crying: “No daddy, stop, it’s not what you think!”
Oliver turned to his daughter. “A grown man is giving you expensive gifts and touching you and it’s not what I think?” He looked at the hand the man had been holding and saw a diamond tennis bracelet gleaming on Carla’s wrist.
“What’s that, Carla?” Oliver asked, “Mom and I have warned you about men like this…”
But Carla was shaking her head, tears in her eyes. “Oh daddy,” she whispered. “I didn’t want you to know!”
Oliver saw Carla with an older man | Source: Unsplash
“Know what?” asked Oliver. “You know that I love you, there is nothing you cant tell me!”
The older man stepped forward. “I think what Carla means is that she didn’t want to hurt you.”
Oliver was bewildered. “You discussed me with this person?” he asked Carla angrily. “What is going on?”
“Daddy, six months ago Janice and I did an ancestral DNA test, for laughs, you know?” Carla said. “But the results… It said that Jeffrey was my biological father, and I was afraid mom had cheated and you didn’t know. I couldn’t ask her…”
“Take your hands off my daughter, you filthy pervert” | Source: Unsplash
Oliver shook his head slowly. “Oh my sweet,” he said gently. “Of course I knew. Your mom and I wanted you very much, but I was infertile so we went to a sperm bank. I didn’t think it mattered at all, you were mine from the moment I saw you.”
Jeffrey placed a hand on Oliver’s shoulder. “I’m sorry, but when Carla contacted me I was just so delighted! You see, I made some donations to a sperm bank in college, but afterward, I came out as gay.
“I’m married, but my partner and I don’t have children. Having a daughter like Carla was like receiving a gift from heaven. I don’t want to steal Carla from you. You have the greatest treasure in the world, all I want is for you to let me share!”
That night, Jeffrey, his partner, Carla, and her parents had dinner together and hammered out some basic co-parenting rules, like no $1000 Birkin bags for a teenager…
Carla became part of a big, happy blended family | Source: Unsplash
Carla found herself at the center of two happy families, and Oliver realized that his daughter was a lot wiser than he had given her credit for.
What can we learn from this story?
- Dont make rush judgments. The older man Oliver thought was trying to seduce his young daughter was her biological father.
- Secrets always lead to more secrets and the possibility of misunderstandings. If Oliver and Gail had told Carla she had a donor dad, she wouldn’t have kept him a secret.
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If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a man who discovers his youngest son isn’t his and keeps the secret his whole life.
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