I Discovered What My Tyrant Stepmother Had Been Hiding since My Father’s Death – She Will Get What She Deserves

After Ellie loses both her parents years apart, Janice, her stepmother, takes over Ellie’s caregiving, dictating her entire life and forcing her to live in the shadows of her stepbrothers. But when her Aunt Jody reveals a secret, Ellie has no choice but to act.

After losing my mother at the age of three, my father became the primary person in my life. Everything in my world revolved around him, as I didn’t have grandparents on either side.

We still had my father’s sister, Aunt Jody, around, but she had immigrated a long time ago, and lived oceans away.

So, all I knew was my father.

Man carrying daughter and looking at water | Source: Unsplash

Man carrying daughter and looking at water | Source: Unsplash

But then, when I first started school, my father brought Janice home, along with her two sons, my soon-to-be stepmother and step-siblings.

Initially, everything was fine. Janice treated me well, brushing my hair every night until it was sleek and shiny. She even wanted me at her and Dad’s wedding.

“Oh, Ellie,” she would say, refusing to call me Eleanor, “You have to be my flower girl! Jackson and Avery will be the ring bearers, but you, my sweet girl, I need you to be my flower girl.”

While Janice and my father were preparing for their wedding, Janice kept me involved. She showed me the color palette she wanted, the flowers she liked, and took the boys and me to taste the wedding cake flavors.

Little girl dressed as a flower girl | Source: Unsplash

Little girl dressed as a flower girl | Source: Unsplash

“I like the peanut butter cake,” Avery said, wiping the frosting on my dress.

“And what do you like, Ellie?” Janice asked.

“Chocolate,” I replied, loving the attention she gave me.

As much as I was scared to share my father with our new blended family, I was grateful that Janice wasn’t the evil stepmother I had feared she would be. Still, at the end of the day, I just missed my mother.

But then, just after my sixteenth birthday party, my father began to complain about chest pains.

“Oh, Ellie,” he said one day as we were walking through a supermarket, getting every item on Janice’s grocery list.

“What’s wrong?” I asked, watching him clutch his chest.

“I’ll be fine, El,” he reassured me when we got home. “I’ve just been overdoing it lately.”

Aisle in a supermarket | Source: Unsplash

Aisle in a supermarket | Source: Unsplash

A few weeks later, my father passed away at home — he had a heart issue that didn’t present itself until that day at the supermarket. But my father refused to go to the doctor.

That’s when everything about Janice changed, and she became the evil stepmother I had spent years worrying about.

“No, Eleanor,” she said one morning while making breakfast for Jackson and Avery, “I’ve decided that Jackson needs your bedroom. It’s much bigger, and he needs space for his gym equipment. Your father left behind a lot of money, so I’m going to use it for the boys’ rooms.”

I couldn’t argue. Even if I tried to fight for myself, Janice would never let me hear the end of it. She would go on about how I should be grateful that she kept me in the house. Some days were civil, and others were loud and full of confrontation.

Breakfast laid out on table | Source: Pexels

Breakfast laid out on table | Source: Pexels

For two years, I let Janice dictate my life. She changed the entire house, tailoring everything to her taste — there were few reminders of life with my father.

“Janice,” I asked one morning, “Where’s the clock from the living room?”

I loved that clock. It used to terrify me when I was younger, but my father told me that it had been passed down for generations.

“When it chimes,” he said, “You must remember your family.”

But then, one day, it was just gone.

“I sold it,” Janice said, sipping on a smoothie. “It didn’t match the rest of the decor. Now, go. Isn’t it the last day of school?”

When I got to school, I felt that a part of me was missing. I had felt the same way when my parents died, but I didn’t expect to feel the same way over a clock.

Clock standing on a surface | Source: Unsplash

Clock standing on a surface | Source: Unsplash

I’m thinking of you, I texted Aunt Jody. Janice has taken over everything. I’m going to have to find a job soon.

I didn’t expect her to reply, given the time difference.

But just as the bell rang for the end of the day, Aunt Jody called me.

“Are you alone?” she asked before greeting me.

“Yes, I’m still at school,” I said.

“I read your text. You need to leave before they realize that you know the truth,” she said.

“What on earth are you talking about?”

“They’ve been hiding it from you. But your father left everything to you, Elle. I’m shocked. The inheritance, it’s rightfully yours. Janice has been keeping this from you because she wants to have the upper hand.”

The revelation hit me like a freight train. All these years, under the same roof as Janice and her sons, I was the rightful heir to my father’s estate, oblivious and wronged.

Person using a smartphone | Source: Pexels

Person using a smartphone | Source: Pexels

“How could she do that?” I managed, my voice barely above a whisper.

“Don’t worry,” Aunt Jody said. “I’m going to speak to our lawyer. I’ll get the ball going and tie up the estate, so only you have access.”

I nodded, knowing full well that she couldn’t see me.

“Leave the house tonight,” she said. “My lawyer will work quickly, and Janice will know about it soon. I need to know that you’re safely out of the house. I’ll book you a ticket to me as soon as I can.”

I promised that I would be. I planned on going home, packing my things, and leaving for my friend Mariah’s house as soon as I could.

Just before I left my childhood home, I went into the kitchen and wrote a note to my stepmother and stepbrothers, not out of spite, but as a declaration of strength — especially for what was to come.

Person writing a note | Source: Pexels

Person writing a note | Source: Pexels

The inheritance that you’ve hidden from me, that you’ve used to hold power over me, is rightfully mine. Consider this my final goodbye. I’m leaving to claim what’s mine, with or without your consent.

I left the note on the kitchen table, a symbol of my departure and my first step toward reclaiming the life that my father wanted for me.

I don’t know what’s going to happen to Janice, but if Aunt Jody has her way, I’m sure that Janice will be out of my home soon. For now, I’m going to stay with Mariah and wait to make my next move.

Young woman wheeling a suitcase | Source: Pexels

Young woman wheeling a suitcase | Source: Pexels

What would you do in my shoes?

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