Lt. Chris Wilson was on deployment overseas when he got a message from a friend that his wife was selling off all their furniture.
He thought he would surprise his wife and daughter and asked for early leave.
But after coming home early and seeing the conditions his daughter was living in firsthand, his suspicions were confirmed. He knew that things weren’t okay.
Things Weren’t as They Seemed
While Chris was deployed, he was constantly thinking about the wife he had left behind. It was the only thing that kept him going. But after receiving a strange text from one of his friends back home, he didn’t know what to think.
He knew he had to see for himself. He got off a plane a month early and made his way home.
In his mind, if nothing was going on, he’d get to see his family early and surprise them in the process.
But there would be a surprise in store for Chris when he got home. He had no idea what he would be faced with.
He thought he was the one that would surprise his wife.
But she was hiding something from him that he could never have anticipated. And it would have something to do with his daughter.
When Chris finally got home and used his key to come in through the front door, he hoped it would be a perfect reunion.
But instead, he saw that a lot of their furniture was actually missing.
But that was only the beginning. Once he saw what kind of conditions things were in, he knew that he shouldn’t have left for so long.
Chris Wilson was the kind of guy that would go to family barbeques and watch Disney films with his daughter.
But even though he was that kind of guy, it was made difficult by the fact that he had another family he had to look out for.
The military was a demanded family, especially since he held the rank of Lieutenant. His tours had to be long ones since he had many obligations that privates didn’t.
Missing His Family
This meant that Chris missed his darling wife a lot. He even regretfully missed the birth of his own daughter. That was one of his biggest regrets.
But there was nothing to be done about it.
Chris knew that his daughter understood and loved him very much. Even if he only saw her every few months. But did his wife understand?
Was She Understanding
After everything they had been through, Chris thought that his wife understood that the country had to call on him. He just hoped that it was true.
Did she start selling furniture and hide other dark secrets while he was away because he was never around to be her husband?
Chris would learn soon enough.
Working Hard To Help Out
Even though Chris couldn’t be home all the time, he did work hard on the military base so that he could send most of his money back home for financial aid.
His wife worked her own job, but without his contribution, he knew that it wouldn’t be enough for them to live comfortably back home.
He hoped that it was good enough.
Getting a Strange Call
Chris had been three months out on active duty when he got something he didn’t expect. It was a text from a friend back home.
Chris tried keeping in contact with all of his friends, but it was a difficult thing.
He didn’t always get around to talking to his friends back home. But when he saw the message from an old friend, he didn’t know what to think.
A Message From a Friend
Chris left a lot of good people back in his hometown whenever he went on duty. His closest friend, Kenny, always gave him updates about his hometown in Dallas, Texas.
But that was the weirdest thing. He got a message expecting a weather update or some local drama.
But it had to do with his wife, and he couldn’t believe it.
Usually, Small Things
Kenny usually updated Chris on minor things just as a way of keeping in contact. It was normally what had happened on the local news, or the day-to-day felt in Dallas.
That’s why when Chris peered down at his phone between shifts and read the message. He knew he had to get home as soon as possible.
It would have him going to an administrator to request leave immediately.
The reason why the message was so concerning was that it had to do with his wife. Kenny never said anything to do with his wife. He never had any reason to, until now.
But it wasn’t just the fact that it concerned Chris’ wife that bothered him.
It was the nature of the message that raised his suspicions and would have him asking for leave.
The message simply read, “Chris, I just thought you should know your wife is selling the furniture out of your house.” Chris’ eyes went wide. What was she doing with everything?
Alarm bells rang out in his head. The issue was that he wasn’t scheduled for leave for another month.
But he’d put on his best smile and see what he could do about it.
Asking for Leave
Chris requested leave from the administration office on the army base. He just hoped that they would give it to him due to his stellar record.
They told him they’d have to process the request, and he’d have to wait a day. The entire time, he worried about what was happening at home.
Was she leaving him and didn’t want to tell him?
Despite all of Chris’ good characteristics, he was a bit of an overthinker. While he was waiting for his request, his mind overimagined what was going on at home.
He lay on his bunk that night thinking about everything that could go so wrong in his life.
Even though he wasn’t home much, it was still his life. Everything he cared for was in his house back home, but would he even have one to go back to?
The next day, Chris busied himself with the normal tasks on the base while he waited for the result to come back. By afternoon, he had gotten an email from just the faculty he was looking for.
It was about his requested leave.
He opened the email and breathed a sigh of relief. His leave was approved immediately.
Chris chartered a flight back to Dallas and was happy to be coming home, even if it wasn’t for the right reasons.
He just hoped that it was nothing and that he’d be able to enjoy his time with his family.
He sat on his flight and pulled out a photo of his young daughter and his wife. Nothing made him happier, but what would he be met with when he got back?
After his flight, Chris got a cab back from the airport to his house. He felt a pang of anxiety as he pulled into the street where his house was.
He expected to see it in shambles or maybe even a for-sale sign in the front yard.
But as the cab pulled out in front of the driveway, he looked at the house that he hadn’t seen in three months with scrutinizing eyes. What would he make of it?
It Looked Normal
To Chris’ surprise, the house looked just the way he had left it, at least on the outside. But as he walked towards the front door, he felt an uneasiness creep over him.
With every step closer, he felt dread slowly creep up his spine. He got to the front door and turned his key in the lock.
But he had no idea what he would be met with once he walked inside.
His Friend Was Right
Chris walked into the living room and noticed that the couch was gone. A lot of the other furniture was missing too.
He then turned to walk upstairs to check out the bedroom. He knew his daughter would be at school. But he didn’t expect his wife to be home.
That’s when he stumbled into something that he would never have thought possible. He heard his wife’s voice from the bedroom. Then he heard the clear voice of a man. She definitely wasn’t alone.
Chris felt his blood boil as he approached the door. He hated confrontations, but this was the last straw.
He kicked the door open and looked into his bedroom.
His military training had kicked in, and he was ready to take on any threat in the room. But then he noticed that his wife wasn’t in trouble. It was actually quite the opposite.
Chris’s eyes went to the bed in the corner, where he saw his wife and a stranger. He couldn’t say or do anything. He just stood frozen at what he saw in front of him.
He didn’t quite understand what was going on.
His wife would have to give him a really good explanation to get out of this one. When she saw him, tears rolled down her cheeks.
Happy To See Him
The scene that Chris stumbled into was his wife standing on the bed without any sheets or duvets on it. It had been wrapped up like it was ready to be moved. But that wasn’t everything. There was also a man in a boiler suit with her.
It was one of the strangest things he’d ever seen in his life. His wife, however, just seemed happy to see him.
Tears streamed down her face as she went in to hug him. But she needed to explain herself.
What Was Going On?
Chris was a little relieved that the man seemed to be there for professional reasons. But what was going on?
Chris needed answers. And he would try to get them out of his wife.
Before he could say anything, though, she told him that it would be better if they spoke in the kitchen. That was her first mistake.
Looking Into His Daughter’s Room
As Chris turned to walk down the stairs, he couldn’t help but peer into his daughter’s open room.
That’s when his anger flared up again. He saw something very distressing.
Her daughter’s bed was gone, and in its place were a few pillows on the ground. Was his princess really sleeping on the floor? What was going on?
Once in the kitchen, Chris demanded to know what was going on. Where was all of the furniture, and most importantly, where was his daughter’s bed? Why was she sleeping on the floor?
“Well…” his wife started as she looked at the kitchen floor. “She has been sleeping on the floor, but don’t worry about it.”
How could she say something like that? Then Chris’ mind went to the worst thing it could.
Were they moving out, maybe? It would explain the man upstairs moving out their beds and the furniture downstairs.
Were his wife and daughter secretly moving away while he was on duty?
He mustered up the courage to ask her in a hoarse voice. But what he was about to tell him would break his heart more than any of his military-related injuries could.
A Matter of Money
His wife explained in a sad tone that it was due to financial problems.
Chris couldn’t understand and asked her what she meant by that.
She broke down and spilled everything. It had been a long three months, and Chris clearly didn’t know what was going on, but his wife was about to enlighten him on the grim turn of events.
“I had to take a pay cut from work, and that meant that we’ve had to scale back a few things in order to afford groceries, water, and electricity.” She finally told Chris.
He couldn’t believe it. So they weren’t moving out. But it was almost as bad since it meant he had failed his family, and his own daughter had to sleep on the floor because of their financial situation.
He understood why she didn’t tell him. She was as proud as he was when it came to her career.
Chris pondered a solution until it came to him. He reassured her that he would make a plan that would mean that they could at least sleep on beds like most people.
He had already devised his plan. He had been offered a promotion in rank along with a raise. He was going to wait and talk to his wife before making a decision. But now, it was a no-brainer. Everyone would be financially secure, and his daughter could get her bed back.
In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.