After buying a used car, George and Miranda discovered an old wallet under the seat. It contained a picture of a cute little girl. They thought nothing of it until George recognized the same girl in Miranda’s mother’s photo albums. The older woman told them a shocking truth, and the young couple made a decision.
“Miranda, let’s go! Your mother is going to get angry at us again for being late!” George yelled at his girlfriend, Miranda, through his car window. He was already in the driver’s seat and waiting for her to come. But this was a common occurrence. Miranda always took a little longer to finish getting ready, and then she tended to forget something behind.
In the meantime, George looked around their new car. Well, new to them. They had just bought it for a great price, and it was in fantastic condition. They bought it together, so it was their first real purchase as a couple. He was pleased about that, as their relationship was moving forward. The next step was to buy a house, but that would take longer.
Suddenly, George got the urge to check himself in the mirror and pulled down the visor only for a piece of paper to come falling. It ended up under the seat, so he attempted to reach for it. But upon searching for the paper, he discovered an old wallet. The paper was just an old bill, and he shrugged, placing it in his pocket to discard later.
George decided to look inside the wallet, and he noticed a man’s driver’s license, among other essential things. There were a few 20-dollar bills, but his eyes were drawn to a picture of a little girl. George smiled for some reason, looking at the picture, and didn’t notice when Miranda entered the car.
“Come on! Weren’t you the one in a hurry?” she exclaimed and laughed. George shook his head and started the engine. “What’s that?” Miranda asked, pointing at the wallet.
“Oh, I think this belonged to the previous owner, Mir. He looks pretty young, huh?” he said, handing her the wallet. Miranda inspected it.
“That must be a picture of his daughter. So cute. She kinda looks familiar. A little like me,” Miranda said offhandedly.
“Right? That’s what I was thinking, but then again, a lot of blonde girls look similar,” George replied, still focused on the road. “Anyway, I still have his number. We can call him later and see if he wants his wallet back.”
“The food was delicious, Mrs. Francis,” George said after Miranda’s mother picked up their plates and placed them on the dishwasher.
“I’m glad you like them, dear. I’m also glad that you bought that new car. Your old one looked pretty roughed up,” Mrs. Francis commented, drying her hands with a towel and sitting back down at the diner table.
“Yeah, but Mrs. Francis, this is Fort Lauderdale. We don’t get snow, and the weather is mostly predictable. You were worried for nothing,” George replied, remembering how the older woman always worried they would get into an accident due to bad weather.
“Still. It’s better to have a car that won’t leave you two stranded in the middle of the road,” Mrs. Francis insisted with a smile. Miranda just smiled and rolled her eyes at her mother, but she was also glad about the car.
“I completely forgot! I moved some boxes around today, and I found some of Miranda’s old photo albums. Do you want to see them, George?” Mrs. Francis asked with a smile and stood up.
“No!” Miranda groaned and covered her eyes in embarrassment. Mrs. Francis brought the albums out, and they started perusing as the older woman told stories about Miranda. But George was not listening to her or Miranda. He was looking intently at one of the pictures.
His girlfriend must have been around four or five years old when they took the photo, but that wasn’t the weird part. She looked exactly like the little girl in the wallet. George grew suspicious, “Excuse me for a minute,” he said and went outside.
“George, what’s going on?” Miranda called, following him to the doorway and watching him get something from their car.
“Look,” he said after returning and opening the wallet. “This girl looks exactly like you did back then. Isn’t it uncanny? We thought it was a cute coincidence, but I don’t think so anymore.”
“Wow, you’re right,” Miranda commented, seeing the picture in a new light, and showing it to her mother. “What do you think, Mom?”
The older woman grabbed the wallet and looked at the picture through her reading glasses. “Oh my,” she breathed, handing Miranda the wallet back. Mrs. Francis took off her glasses and closed her eyes for a minute.
“Mom, what’s going on?” Miranda asked, looking at her mother with concern.
“Dear, you might be the girl in the picture,” Mrs. Francis said with a frown. “I never thought I would have to tell you this. But you’re adopted, honey. You were already five when I adopted you.”
“I don’t understand. Don’t most five-year-olds maintain some memories? Wouldn’t I know I was adopted?” Miranda asked, looking at the picture again. George sat down next to her and held her arm in comfort.
“You did at first. But then, you never talked about it again. I made some hints about your past when you were ten, and you looked at me like I was crazy. You didn’t remember anything. I was hoping to tell you about your adoption so you would be informed. But since you didn’t remember, we put it off, and then, I forgot,” Mrs. Francis revealed.
“So, the man that sold us his car might be my biological father?” Miranda asked as tears glistened in her eyes.
“It’s a possibility, I guess. All we knew back then was that a woman left you at the orphanage. Frank and I didn’t want a baby, and we just clicked with you. So they gave you to us quicker than we expected,” Mrs. Francis continued, mentioning her late husband.
“I don’t know what to do with this information,” Miranda muttered as she cried on George’s shoulder.
“You just have to follow your heart. You have my full support to reach out to this man. Your father would approve too if he were here, so don’t worry about that. You’ll know what to do soon,” Mrs. Francis encouraged, patting Miranda’s arm and smiling as she sniveled too.
“Let’s call him,” Miranda said with conviction to George, who was sitting in front of the TV in their living room.
“Are you sure?” he asked, reaching for his cellphone.
George called the man who had sold them the car and arranged a meeting with him the following day. He graciously agreed to come to their house and showed up right on time.
“Mr. White, thank you for coming,” George said, shaking his hand and inviting him inside.
“Please, call me Bob. Is there something wrong with the car? I’m a great mechanic. I can check things out for free if you want,” Bob offered, wiping his hands on his jeans as he entered their home and looked around.
“No, Bob. There’s something we have to talk to you about. I found your old wallet in the car,” George explained and grabbed the wallet from the coffee table.
“Oh wow. I lost this thing years ago. I can’t believe it was under the car seat this entire time. How didn’t I find it? Thank you so much! I don’t need the documents anymore, but this picture means a lot to me.”
“That’s actually what I wanted… well, my girlfriend and I wanted to discuss that picture with you,” George said, and Miranda came into the living room. She and Mr. White didn’t interact much during the sale of his car. He mostly talked to George and only saw each other briefly.
But this meeting was different. Bob focused on her intently with furrowed brows and asked, “Have I met you before?”
“We think so. That’s why we wanted to talk about the photo in your wallet, sir,” Miranda replied.
“I don’t understand,” Bob said, looking away from Miranda and concentrating on George.
“We think Miranda is the girl in that picture, Bob. Her mother has pictures of her around that age, and the resemblance is so uncanny that they have to be the same,” George explained calmly.
“That’s impossible,” Bob mumbled, looking back at Miranda. His face scrunched up as emotion took hold of him. “That can’t be. It’s impossible. No. It’s impossible.”
“I know this comes as a shock. We were surprised too. But Miranda’s mother just revealed that she was adopted at five years old, so it’s actually pretty possible,” George insisted.
Bob sat down on their couch. Tears were still running down his eyes as he opened the wallet once again. “This is Clarabelle. My daughter. Her mother and I… well, we didn’t have the best relationship. We were never married and were always fighting. But I loved this girl with all my heart,” Bob began his story.
Miranda and George sat down to listen to him. She urged him to continue.
“One day, Clarabelle’s mom disappeared. She took my child and was gone. I reported her to the police. I did everything I could. But back then, there were no laws like there are now about kidnappings. If a parent took the kid, it was not considered kidnapping even if the other parent disagreed, so the police were not helpful,” Bob uttered, wiping his tears.
“You never heard from that woman again?” George wondered.
“No. To this day, I don’t know what happened to her or why she disappeared with my daughter. It’s been over 20 years. I thought they might be dead,” Bob said and took a breath before continuing. “You think you might be Clarabelle.”
“My mom explained that I was five years old when I was adopted from an orphanage. They told her that a woman had left me there, and that’s all. She also said I forgot all my previous memories at some point. I don’t remember being called Clarabelle, so I don’t know,” Miranda said, wringing her hands in nervousness.
“But there’s a chance. Oh my god. Maybe I should’ve asked around orphanages. I didn’t think about that,” Bob muttered and looked up from the wallet. “Miranda is a pretty name too.”
They talked for a long time and eventually decided to get a DNA test. It confirmed their suspicions. Miranda was Bob’s missing daughter.
They hugged each other tightly after reading the results. Mrs. Francis was there to witness the whole thing too. Bob thanked her for taking such good care of his daughter.
Afterward, Bob took Miranda aside and had a serious conversation with her.
“I can’t ever replace your late father now. But I wonder if you and I can keep in contact every once in a while? You can meet my family too. My wife is going to love you. Of course, your mother would be invited too,” Bob pleaded.
Miranda started sobbing and agreed right away. Bob soon became a vital part of their daily lives, and he walked her down the aisle years later when she married George.