I discovered what my tyrant stepmother had been hiding since my father’s death, and she would get what she deserved.

Ellie’s stepmother Janice takes over as caregiver after she loses both of her parents a few years apart. Janice controls Ellie’s life and makes her live in her stepbrother’s shadow. But Ellie is forced to take action after learning about her Aunt Jody’s secret.

My father took on a new role in my life when I lost my mother when I was three years old. Since I had no grandparents on either side, he was the center of my universe.

Aunt Jody, the sister of my father, was still with us, but she had moved far away and immigrated long ago.

I therefore only knew my father.

However, my father brought Janice and her two sons—my future stepmother and step-siblings—home when I first started school.

At first, things went smoothly. Janice was really kind to me; she combed my hair every night till it was glossy and straight. She requested that I attend her and Dad’s wedding.

“Oh, Ellie, you have to be my flower girl!” she would exclaim, refusing to name me Eleanor. You have to be my flower girl, my dear darling; Jackson and Avery will be the ring bearers.

Janice kept me informed as she and my father were getting ready for their wedding. She took the boys and me to sample the flavors of the wedding cake and showed me the color scheme and flowers she preferred.

Avery wiped the frosting off my dress and added, “I like the peanut butter cake.”

“Ellie, what do you like?” Jane enquired.

I said, “Chocolate,” appreciating her attentiveness.

Even though I was afraid to introduce our new mixed family to my father, I was relieved that Janice wasn’t the nasty stepmother I had imagined she would be. Ultimately, all I felt was the absence of my mother.

But then my father started complaining about chest symptoms shortly after my sixteenth birthday party.

One day, as we were shopping at a store and picking up everything on Janice’s grocery list, he muttered, “Oh, Ellie.”

“What’s off?” Observing him clench his chest, I inquired.

When we reached home, he assured me, “I’ll be fine, El.” “I’ve simply been going overboard lately.”

My father died at home a few weeks later; he had a cardiac condition that had not manifested itself until that day at the grocery store. However, my father declined to visit the physician.

At that point, Janice underwent a complete transformation, turning into the malicious stepmother I had been concerned about for years.

One morning, while preparing breakfast for Jackson and Avery, she stated, “No, Eleanor. I’ve decided that Jackson needs your bedroom.” It’s significantly larger, and he needs room for his exercise gear. I’m going to use the large sum of money your father left behind for the boys’ rooms.

I was unable to protest. Janice would never let me hear the end of it, no matter how hard I tried to defend my own interests. She would not stop talking about how thankful I should be that she let me stay in the house. While some days were quiet and peaceful, others were boisterous and tense.

I gave my life to Janice for two years. There were relatively few recollections of living with her after she completely renovated the home and made everything to her taste.

“Janice, where’s the living room clock?” I asked her one morning.

That clock was something I adored. When I was younger, it used to scare me, but my father informed me it had been in the family for many years.

He said, “You have to remember your family when it chimes.”

However, one day it simply vanished.

Janice responded, taking a drink of her smoothie, “I sold it.” It was out of place with the overall design. Proceed now. Is today not the last day of classes?

I felt as though a piece of me had disappeared when I got to school. Though I hadn’t anticipated feeling the same way about a clock, I had felt the same way when my parents passed away.

I texted Aunt Jody saying, “I’m thinking of you.” Everything has been taken over by Janice. I will soon need to look for employment.

Considering the time difference, I didn’t think she would respond.

However, Aunt Jody called me right before the end of the day bell rang.

She questioned, “Are you alone?” before extending a greeting.

I said, “Yes, I’m still in school.”

“I perused your message. She said, “You have to get out before they figure out that you know the truth.

“What in the world are you discussing?”

You haven’t seen it from them. Elle, your father left you everything. I’m taken aback. You have the right to inherit the property. Janice has been trying to gain the upper hand by hiding this from you.

It hit me like a freight train, this revelation. I was unaware and wronged, but for all these years, I was the legitimate heir to my father’s wealth, living under the same roof as Janice and her sons.

“How is she able to do that?” I succeeded, speaking hardly audibly above a whisper.

“Be at ease,” Aunt Jody reassured. “I’ll talk to our attorney now. I’ll start the party and secure the estate so that only you can enter.

I gave a nod, fully aware that she was unable to see me.

She said, “Leave the house tonight.” “My attorney will get to work right away, and Janice will be informed shortly.” I must be informed that you have left the house safely. As soon as I can, I’ll get you a ticket to see me.”

I would be, as I had promised. As soon as I could, I wanted to head home, pack my belongings, and head to my friend Mariah’s place.

I walked into the kitchen right before I left my childhood home and wrote a note to my stepmother and stepbrothers. It wasn’t a note of spite, but rather a statement of strength, especially in light of what was about to happen.

I have a right to the inheritance you have withheld from me and exploited to exert control over me. Think of this as my farewell. I’m going to leave to take what is rightfully mine, whether or not you agree.

As a memento of my departure and a first step toward living the life my father always desired for me, I placed the note on the kitchen table.

I’m not sure what will happen to Janice, but if Aunt Jody gets her wish, I have no doubt that she will leave my house shortly. I’m going to stay with Mariah for the time being while I consider my options.

In my position, how would you respond?

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