Jessica had long been dreaming of a vacation at one of the resorts in California, but she could never find the time for it. She was raising two kids on her own and had to work hard to provide for them with everything they needed. Kevin and Lisa were the meaning of her life, and Jessica understood it like no one else. The age difference between them was small, so they got along with each other really well, coming up with interesting games with all kinds of toys from miniature dolls to bulky plastic trucks.
Now, looking at Kevin and Lisa, Jessica couldn’t be happier with the fact that her children were so great. There was only one thing that ruined her otherwise happy life. The fact was that Jessica’s husband had died two years ago under very strange circumstances. Being a successful businessman, Bruce Taylor often traveled to neighboring cities or even states on business. Of course, it took a lot of time and effort, but on the other hand, it brought success and financial stability to the man and his family.
On that fateful day, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Bruce had breakfast and kissed his wife and kids goodbye before going to work. “Honey, I’ll be late today. We have an important meeting scheduled, and I definitely need to be there,” Bruce said before leaving. If only Jessica knew that those would be her husband’s last words. All day, the woman felt inexplicable anxiety, and when the phone rang in the evening, she already knew that something very bad had happened.
Unfortunately, her worst fears came true. The indifferent voice of the police officer informed Jessica that her husband had died in a car crash, as it was determined during the investigation. Rushing to get to the important meeting, Bruce exceeded the speed limit and lost control of the car on a difficult section of the highway. The young businessman’s car flew into a ditch and, having turned over several times, burst into flames. Despite the fact that Bruce’s Ford burned almost to the ground, the rescuers still managed to find his charred body.
There was no point in investigating further; everything was clear as day. And only Jessica refused to believe that her husband was really dead. She knew that Bruce rarely went over the speed limit. He was an experienced driver who had never received any tickets or fines from police officers or traffic officials. Time passed, but the pain of losing her husband only got stronger. Despite the fact that two years had passed since Bruce’s death, there wasn’t a single day when one of the kids didn’t ask Jessica when their daddy would come home.
At such moments, the unfortunate widow couldn’t hold back her tears. How could she explain to the children that they were never going to see their father again? Of course, Jessica did everything to ensure that the kids didn’t feel disadvantaged. She didn’t just work hard; she also spent all of her free time with Lisa and Kevin. Jessica took the kids to the city park, the movies, and all kinds of attractions.
Then one day, Kevin mentioned that he wanted to see the ocean. Lisa immediately liked this idea. She was only a year younger than her seven-year-old brother. This desire was partly due to the fact that the kids had recently watched a movie about the adventures of pirates sailing under the Jolly Roger flag in the seas of the Caribbean. Ancient sailing ships, sea waves, and treasure chests excited young Kevin’s mind, and so seeing the ocean became his most cherished dream.
It was then that Jessica decided to go to one of California’s resorts. She knew that she could also benefit from the vacation on the beach, hoping that it would help her escape the series of problems that had been stacking up recently. Therefore, Jessica took some time off work and started getting ready for the trip. “So, are you ready to go on this trip or what?” Jessica asked, holding the plane tickets in her hands.
“Of course, we’re ready!” Kevin and Lisa shouted together. Jessica smiled understandingly and decided to double-check her travel bag. The woman couldn’t shake off the feeling that she’d forgotten something. It could have been anything – sunblock, sunglasses, or hats for the kids. “Mom, can I sail on a yacht or swim with the mask and flippers?” Kevin kept asking. “Sure you can, but first you need to go to bed to rest up before the flight,” Jessica answered, touching her son’s shoulder.
Of course, they could have taken the bus from Utah to California, but the trip would have taken much more time, and they didn’t have enough of it. As it was, the next day, the three of them got up earlier than usual and, having had breakfast, went to the airport. Kevin and Lisa had never been on a plane before, and having seen the huge aircraft with their own eyes, they couldn’t contain their emotions. Having taken their seats in the economy class, they clung to the windows to look at the Earth from high up in the sky.
Smiling at how excited the kids were, Jessica closed her eyes and tried to take a nap. She knew that the flight wouldn’t take long and therefore wanted to make the most out of it. Unfortunately, Jessica couldn’t fall asleep. The fact was that the obsessive thoughts about her late husband, who wasn’t with them now, wouldn’t leave the woman’s mind. But when the plane started to descend for landing, Jessica’s sadness was replaced by joy for the expectations of the upcoming vacation.
California greeted the travelers with hot sun and a gentle ocean breeze that left a barely perceptible taste of ocean salt on their lips. “Mom, when will we go to the beach? I want to see the surfers,” Kevin asked, adjusting the baseball cap on his head. “Let’s first leave our stuff at the hotel, and then we can go right away. Don’t worry; you’ll have enough time to soak up the sun,” Jessica said with a smile. The truth was that she was also eager to plunge into the warm ocean waters as soon as possible.
After leaving their luggage at the hotel, Jessica took Lisa and Kevin to the beach. There were a lot of vacationers there; sun loungers were everywhere, and those who were lucky enough to get them first were now relaxing comfortably in the sun. Jessica, Kevin, and Lisa sat down almost at the edge of the water. Warm ocean waters pleasantly caressed their legs, and the sun slowly but surely covered the vacationers’ skin with a bronze tan.
Since it was a hot day, Kevin and Lisa asked Jessica to buy them lemonade. Just half an hour later, the woman looked around and immediately saw a booth selling drinks at the entrance to the beach. “I’ll be back in a minute, Kevin. You’re in charge while I’m gone,” Jessica said and took some money to go get the kids lemonade. Even from a distance, she saw that there was a man standing behind the counter. The seller was dressed in a branded apron and a baseball cap with the logo of a famous football team.
Jessica stepped closer, took out the money, and prepared to order. At that moment, the seller raised his head and, looking at the customer, asked, “What can I do for you, ma’am?” Jessica was about to order three glasses of lemonade when she saw something that almost made her faint. The woman turned pale; she took a couple of steps back and started gasping for air like a fish thrown ashore. “Are you all right, ma’am? Is something wrong?” the vendor asked sympathetically. But Jessica was so shocked that she couldn’t say anything.
“No, that’s just impossible. He died two years ago,” flashed through the woman’s head. The people standing in line started expressing their displeasure and asked the confused customer to step aside. But Jessica still couldn’t take her eyes off the man selling lemonade. The fact was that the stranger in the branded apron looked exactly like her late husband. “But it can’t be Bruce. And why would he pretend to be someone else?” Jessica thought.
Meanwhile, the vendor was approached by the owner of the booth, who turned out to be a beautiful woman in her 30s with a noticeably rounded tummy. “Well, you’ve got people waiting again, honey. Simon, haven’t I told you that you spend too much time on each customer?” the business lady drawled with displeasure. The scene she had just witnessed made Jessica even more confused. “Honey, Simon, are they in a relationship? This can’t be happening. Bruce is married and has two children,” the woman thought, having a hard time keeping her emotions in check.
Still unable to find the answer to her question, Jessica bought lemonade elsewhere and returned to her children. All this time, the woman tried to figure out what was going on. She needed to find out the truth, but first, she needed to take the kids back to the hotel. “But, Mom, we only just got here,” Kevin expressed his displeasure. “Don’t worry, dear. We’ll definitely come back later today. In the meantime, you need to babysit Lisa. Back at the hotel, you two can watch some cartoons,” Jessica answered, trying to make her voice sound confident and convincing.
Leaving the kids at the hotel, she returned to the beach. But this time, Jessica didn’t come to the beach to relax; she was watching the lemonade seller who seemed to be an exact copy of her late husband. She didn’t have to wait long; the man soon ran out of lemonade and, having removed the apron, started getting ready to go home. “Now, I’ll find out where you live, Bruce,” Jessica whispered, following the man.
As it turned out, Simon lived half a mile away from the city beach in a big house with red tiles and ivy-covered walls. As soon as Bruce’s doppelganger stepped inside, Jessica hurried over to the door and knocked softly. “Well, the moment of truth has come,” the woman thought. Much to Jessica’s chagrin, the door was opened by the pregnant owner of the lemonade stand. Glancing at Jessica with displeasure, she blurted out, “What do you need? The hotel is located at the end of the street.”
“I don’t need a hotel. I came to find out the truth about my husband, Bruce,” Jessica said agitatedly. The woman’s eyes seemed to have immediately filled with fear and despair. Her lips were trembling treacherously, and her face turned white as chalk. Having finally pulled herself together, she said, “So, that was his name? Bruce? I call him Simon; I like it better. I knew that you’d probably find us someday. But you can’t really expect me to just let him go. I’m pregnant with his child, and I’ll do anything to keep our family together.”
Such injustice made Jessica’s face turn red. “What’s going on here? Bruce already has two children; he is my lawful husband,” the woman exclaimed, crossing the threshold of the house. But the woman of the house wasn’t going to give up so easily. Her eyes burned with hatred and anger. At that very moment, Bruce came into the living room and became an unwitting witness to their conversation.
“What’s going on here, Sandra? Who is this woman, and why are you talking to her in such a tone?” Bruce asked, not hiding his indignation. Only now did Jessica realize that her husband really didn’t remember anything from his past. “I’m your real wife, Bruce. You have two kids; their names are Kevin and Lisa,” the woman shouted with tears in her eyes. After Jessica’s words, Sandra took a couple of steps back in the direction of the kitchen.
Jessica’s words caused Bruce to have a headache that was so excruciating that he dropped to his knees. Thoughts and images of his past merged into one, illuminating his inflamed consciousness with the spark of insight. “I remember. I remember everything. I’m not Simon; my name is Bruce Taylor,” the man exclaimed, getting up from his knees, crying uncontrollably. Jessica ran to her husband and wrapped her arms around him.
At some point, the reunited couple succumbed to momentary weakness and lost sight of the owner of the house, whose hand slowly reached for the handle of a kitchen knife. “If you won’t be with me, you won’t be with anyone!” Sandra exclaimed and rushed at Bruce with the knife. Fortunately, the man managed to step aside, and so the blade of the knife only slightly scratched his shoulder.
Grabbing the distraught woman’s hand, Bruce knocked her to the floor. Meanwhile, Jessica was already calling 9-1-1. Half an hour later, it was all over. As it turned out, a little later, Sandra Green had a mental disorder, which, left untreated, turned her into a sociopath. In a few years, two years ago, she was returning to California from Utah and found a man lying on the side of the road. The stranger had a wound on his head, from which Sandra concluded that he must have been assaulted.
It’s worth saying that the woman was almost right, and here’s exactly what happened that night. Picking up a hitchhiker, Bruce couldn’t have even imagined that he would be a particularly dangerous criminal. After beating up Bruce, the man took his car and left the scene at high speed. Unfortunately, or fortunately, he wasn’t a great driver, and thus he lost control of the car a few miles later and drove it into a ditch.
The car caught on fire, and the carjacker died inside. The most interesting thing was that instead of taking Bruce to the hospital, Sandra took him to her home in California. It’s hard to say why she did it instead of just taking him to get treated. Most likely, Sandra was simply tired of loneliness and, having lied to the man who lost his memory, decided to arrange her own personal life.
However, the cunning woman didn’t take into account one thing: the truth will always come out. The fact that Bruce and Jessica found each other after two years of separation was a clear confirmation of this. Now Sandra was in for mandatory treatment in a psychiatric clinic, while Jessica and Bruce were spending their vacation at one of the best resorts in California.
Having finally reunited, the couple vowed to be faithful and to never part again in their lives. Looking at their happy parents, Kevin and Lisa were sure that they would keep their word. And they knew that there would be many more oceanside vacations in their future.