Chris was waiting at the altar for his future wife, Debra, when he saw the man who killed his father ten years earlier. He was her father! He lunged at him, but the man had an explanation that changed Chris’s family forever.
Chris was nervously waiting next to his best man and the other groomsmen at the altar. He was about to marry the love of his life, Debra, whom he met in college. Everything had to be perfect today, so Chris adjusted his bow tie once again and breathed deeply. Then he looked toward his mother, Alice, and his stepfather, Harry.
He was particularly thankful for Harry. Harry was there for them when Chris’s father was killed ten years earlier during a bank robbery. They met at the police academy and became partners at the local station in Denver, Colorado. Unfortunately, police efforts never managed to find his father’s killer, and Harry stepped in to help both Alice and Chris through their most challenging times.
Debra started walking down the aisle towards Chris, but his jaw went slack. | Source: Shutterstock
Eventually, he and Alice fell in love, although Chris initially found it strange. Now, he was his role model, and both his parents looked so proud to see him standing there ready to make a lifelong commitment to a beautiful woman.
The wedding march began, and he spotted Debra in a beautiful white gown, smiling at him. He smiled in return and almost started to cry. Then his jaw went slack when he saw the man walking beside her.
Debra’s parents moved to Europe before she started college, and they barely kept in contact since then. She lived with her grandmother until she moved to the dorms.
When Chris and Debra got engaged, Debra was sorry her parents wouldn’t be at the wedding, so her grandmother was going to walk her down the aisle. However, at the last minute, her parents called and told her they were coming for the wedding. She had been so excited, and Chris couldn’t wait to meet them.
But as Debra and the man Chris believed to be her father now walked down the aisle, Chris smile turned into a frown. Suddenly, he lunged at them. “YOU MURDERER! I WILL KILL YOU!”
The guests watched Debra walking down the aisle and noticed Chris’s expression change. | Source: Pexels
There was a massive commotion in the church as his groomsmen ran to him, and the guests exclaimed at his reaction. “What are you doing?!” Debra yelled at him. “STOP! THAT’S MY FATHER!”
“Calm down, Chris! Calm down!” his best man held him back.
Suddenly, Alice was right there beside him. “Chris! What in the world are you doing? We’re in a church, for God’s sake!”
Chris looked at his mother in pure shock. “Can’t you see who this is, Mom? He’s the man that killed Dad!”
The entire church went quiet. Debra’s eyes widened as she turned her head to look at her father. Everyone else also stared at the man. Finally, Debra spoke up. “Dad… tell me this isn’t true,” she breathed slowly.
The man looked at his daughter with a pained expression and bowed his head in shame. Chris was ready to take his phone out and call the police. But Debra’s dad raised his head and said, “No, it’s not true.”
Debra’s father begged for a chance to explain his side. | Source: Pexels
“LIAR! YOUR PICTURE WAS EVERYWHERE! Police searched for years trying to find you!” Chris raged again, but he couldn’t approach the man because his groomsmen were still holding him steady.
“It wasn’t me. I swear it wasn’t me! I’ve had to keep this is a secret for ten years, and I’m tired. I’m tired of being away from my daughter and my country for something I didn’t do!” the man yelled and started to cry.
“Please, Debra, Chris, there’s much to talk about. Let’s go somewhere else for a few minutes, and we can explain everything,” Debra’s mother appeared right beside her husband and grabbed his arm.
Debra looked at them and then towards Chris, not knowing what to do. But she was inclined to believe her family. “Please, honey. Let’s listen to them first,” she begged her fiancé.
Chris didn’t want to listen to anyone. He wanted justice. But Alice grabbed his arm and started pulling him. “Let’s go. We all have to talk. Harry, come with us…,” she said, turning around to make eye contact with her husband. But Harry was nowhere to be seen. “Has anyone seen Harry?” Other guests looked around, but no one had seen him since Chris’s outburst.
Walter was at the bank when two robbers came in. | Source: Unsplash
Debra and her parents walked away towards the bridal room at the back of the church, and Chris followed with his mother. His groomsmen wanted to go too, but Alice told them this was family business, and everything would be alright.
“You have a few minutes before I lose my cool again. I don’t care if you’re Debra’s father. I will call the police!” Chris warned, staring daggers at the man.
“Please, Chris,” Debra cried.
“The police won’t do anything,” the man spoke. “They’re the ones at fault here.”
“What?” Alice breathed. Chris’s brows furrowed, not wanting to believe a word this man said.
“First of all, my name is Walter, and that’s my wife, Charlotte. I never imagined we would meet under these circumstances, but here we are… I will never forget that day. I was at the bank making a deposit just like many other people when two robbers came in. They had us all on the ground when two officers showed up and got into a serious argument with them.” Walter stopped, overwhelmed with emotion.
The robber dropped his gun, and Walter picked it up. | Source: Pexels
Charlotte patted his arm in encouragement, so he continued.
“Somehow, one of the robbers dropped a gun near me and got behind the bank tellers to hide from the officers. I wanted to help, so I grabbed the weapon. Looking back, that was the worst mistake of my life. One of the officers came towards me and asked me for the gun. The other officer was holding down the second thief. I thought everything was over when a gunshot went off, echoing through the bank. I covered my ears and looked down. When I looked up, I saw the gun I had given the officer on the ground, and he was running towards the other policeman.”
“I don’t understand. You gave the gun to the policeman, but it suddenly went off?” Chris asked, confused.
“Yes, one of the policemen fired at the other. I saw him running towards him, acting concerned. But it had to be him. The robber was hiding behind a bank teller, and the other was in handcuffs at that point,” Walter insisted, using his hands to get his point across. “I later learned the name of both officers: George Watson and Harry Carney. Harry shot George. I swear that’s what happened! I swear!”
Alice cried, refusing to believe Harry had done this. | Source: Pexels
“That’s impossible!” Alice exclaimed. “You’re lying! Harry was my late husband’s best friend! Harry is my current husband, and he would never do that! Chris, don’t believe this lie!”
Chris looked at his crying mother and back at Debra’s father with confused eyes. He didn’t know what to believe. It didn’t make sense. Harry had known his father forever. But… he got awfully close to his mother pretty quickly, Chris thought.
“Then, why were you blamed?” Chris asked, still not believing Walter.
“My fingerprints were on the gun because I picked it up,” Walter said, resigned. “Charlotte and I were ready to fight these claims, though. I was going to turn myself over to the police and let them investigate everything. We were friends with a few bank workers who were there that day. They were all willing to testify for me. But…”
“What?” Chris urged him to continue.
“Another set of officers came to our house. They told us that they didn’t want this to escalate, and they wanted us to leave the country immediately. They were pretty intimidating. They mentioned Debra and how she would be hurt if this case went to trial. We were so scared, and then they gave us money. A huge chunk of money to move to Europe. So we did it. It felt like we had no choice,” Charlotte added, holding her husband’s arm and crying.
Debra encouraged Chris to go find out the truth. | Source: Pexels
“An inside job,” Chris breathed, scratching his chin.
“No, please! Chris, you can’t… this can’t be true! NO!” Alice was still hysterical.
“Mom, Harry isn’t here right now. He is not at the church. He wouldn’t have left you alone after my outburst unless he recognized Debra’s father. Something isn’t right here,” Chris told his mother, trying to calm her down.
Suddenly, Debra approached him. “Chris, my love. I know that this is all crazy right now. But is there any way you can check my father’s story? Is there someone in the precinct you can trust that’s not related to your stepfather?”
“I don’t know…“But I have to try. I have to know the truth. Can you please watch my mother? I don’t want Harry near her until we get to the bottom of this. And wait… our wedding?”
“It can wait as long as you need to. I’ll tell everyone we’re postponing it until further notice. Don’t worry about it. Whenever you’re ready, I’ll be waiting for you back home. I want to know the truth too. I need to know that my own father didn’t cause all the pain you’ve been living with for years,” Debra told him, touching his cheek with tears falling down her face.
Chris went to the police department to talk to Captain Phillips. | Source: Unsplash
Chris kissed her back softly and left. He was going to meet Captain Phillips at the station. The man had always been kind to them.
Chris explained everything to him, including what Walter told him about that day. Captain Phillips breathed deeply, removing his glasses and wiping his eyes. “Let me see what I can find, son,” he finally said.
“Please, Captain. If you know anything already, you have to tell me,” Chris begged.
“This could bring this entire precinct down, Chris,” the man whispered with pained eyes.
“I loved your father. He was the epitome of a good man. I was only a Lieutenant back then, and our captain… well, he was corrupt, to say the least. The bank had CCTV footage from that day, and only a small group of us saw it. The captain worried that his promotion wouldn’t go through if people discovered that one of his officers shot his partner, so he hid it. He made us blame someone else,” Phillips fessed up.
Captain Phillips quit his job, taking the blame for everything. | Source: Unsplash
“How could this happen? I let that man into my house. He married my mother! HE WAS MY DAD’S BEST FRIEND!” Chris cried, putting his head in his hands.
“I suspect that Harry had a crush on your mother for many years, long before she started dating your dad. I stayed out of it. But now you know the truth,” Captain Phillips stated.
“You have to clear his name, sir. Walter doesn’t deserve to be blamed for this, and Harry has to pay,” Chris insisted.
“Oh boy. You don’t know what you’re asking for. Everyone involved has higher positions now. It would be my word and that man’s against very important people in the police department,” Phillips explained shamefully. “But… I’ll see what I can do.”
In the end, Captain Phillips quit his position in the police station after telling the public that he had been involved in the cover-up. Harry had fled the state, and there was a current search for him. Meanwhile, Debra’s father was cleared of all charges, and he could safely return stay in the country. The police department also offered him settlement money to compensate for their suffering.
Debra and Chris eventually got married. | Source: Pexels
Chris was not happy that Captain Phillips was the only one who lost his job, but it was something. His mother was distraught. She had married the man who killed her husband, and it was going to take a long time to heal from that. But the silver lining is that they would never fall for his lies ever again.
Meanwhile, Debra and her mother started planning their wedding, which took place a few months after Walter was exonerated. This time, Chris smiled at the man walking his fiancée down the aisle, and they formed a great father and son-in-law relationship afterward.
What can we learn from this story?
- You can’t always trust everyone. Unfortunately, Alice and Chris had lived with an evil man for many years.
- Some coincidences can be life-altering. If Chris had never met Debra, he would’ve never discovered her father’s real killer.
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