A Change Of Heart
“PUSH!!!!!!” yelled the doctor.
“Come on baby, you can do it! Give it all you got! I love you girl!” said Chad Evans.
“You can do this Mrs. Evans! During this last contraction, I need you to give it all you’ve got and then you’ll see your beautiful baby girl!”
Kiara Evans put her chin down to her chest and pushed with everything in her soul. She felt the worst pain that she had ever felt in all her thirty-eight years of living on this earth and couldn’t help but to cry and yell at the top of her lungs. She just knew she was about to touch the face of Jesus when suddenly the pain immediately began to lessen.
“She’s here!” yelled Dr. Ellis as she placed a screaming baby girl on the first-time mom’s chest so that the beaming father could cut the umbilical cord.
The nurses came over to get the newborn to clean her up and get her weighed while Dr. Ellis attempted to deliver the afterbirth.
“How’s my baby doing?” Kiara asked.
“She’s doing great!” yelled one of the nurses.
“Chad, can you go over there and be with the baby? I’ll be okay babe.”
“I’m so proud of you! I promise, I’m going to give you the world, girl! You’ve made me the happiest man ever right now!” said Chad. Seeing his newborn baby girl kicking her legs and hollering brought tears to his eyes. He prayed for this moment and finally it was a reality. Chad thought to himself, “so this is what it feels like? God this feels great!”
Breaking his thoughts, the nurse said “Eight pounds, six ounces. She’s a healthy baby girl Dad and your wife is a trooper indeed!” Chad stuck his chest out a little to show just how proud he was of his girls, but he was literally scared to death of what was to come as he was not used to this one bit. It was all new to him.
The nurse asked if he would be okay walking back over to sit down with the newborn in his arms. It was at that moment he vowed to protect his baby girl with everything in him. There was no way that he would drop this most valuable and fragile package while walking back over to his wife.
Chad sat down but became frightened when he saw the nurse lift her arm as if she was sewing. He asked “Hey Doc, what are you doing down there?” Dr. Ellis, with her crazy personality said, “Son, it seems that baby girl has a head just like her father, so Mom had a little tear. Don’t worry, when she heals up in a few weeks, it’ll be good as new!”
Somewhat embarrassed, the new dad sat back in the chair and continued to admire his new baby girl.
Chad was so in love that he didn’t notice his wife watching him. Kiara was blessed indeed — a handsome, hardworking husband and a precious new daughter, but there was something she needed to tell him. The question was when… Something had to be said, and soon but she just didn’t know how. How would he react? What would he say? Would he leave? In that moment, Kiara thought that maybe it would be better not to say anything and just go along with life. After all, she was the only person in the room who knew the secret anyways and maybe it would be better for everyone if she just took it to the grave.
“Mrs. Evans, your husband is here.” said the nurse.
“Oh, thank you.” Kiara said as she refocused her attention just in time to see Chad pull up to the curb to retrieve all the luggage in addition to the newly monogrammed diaper bag. Chad had taken all of the new parent courses and felt confident in his ability to safely secure little Miss Adalyn Elise Evans’ car seat in for her first official trip home. He then went back to assist his wife with getting into the backseat of their SUV so she could sit beside their daughter as they were already protective of their precious jewel.
As they approached their home, Kiara noticed a familiar car in the driveway and began to smile. After getting out of the SUV, she heard her father Eugene yell, “there’s my baby girl and granddaughter!”
“Hi Dad!” yelled Kiara.
Kiara’s father, a retired firefighter, assisted his daughter with getting inside the house while Kiara’s mother Louise helped Chad with the baby.
“When did you get here? I was so worried that the storm was going to keep y’all away.” Kiara said.
“And make me miss my first granddaughter’s trip home?” Child no!” Kiara’s father said while laughing. “We wanted this moment to be special between you and Chad so we decided to just be here when you arrived home.”
Kiara smiled at her dad, he had always been her superman. She looked over at her mom and said, “Mom, how hard was it to stay away from the hospital?”
Rocking Adalyn, Louise said, “Baby, you know I would’ve loved to have been there but God blessed you with a good man. We knew you would be okay with Chad there. Your father and I made a promise not to interfere unless Chad called us, so we hopped on a flight and were at your house by the time you got your epidural.”
Kiara’s parents lived in Oklahoma so flying back and forth between Oklahoma and North Carolina were regular trips for Kiara when she would become homesick and thankfully Chad didn’t mind. That was one of the many reasons why it made the secret that she was holding from him seem harder to keep after realizing just how great of a man he has been to her. Chad was simply amazing and she knew she was blessed to have him as her husband.
“Kiara, if you want to lay down, I got the baby.” said Louise.
Before laying down, Kiara asked her mom if she would follow her to the room. She knew she needed to tell someone and if anyone could keep her secrets, it would be her mom.
“What is it?” asked Kiara’s mom.
“Can you give me Adalyn for a minute?”
“Of course sweetie, you look like something is on your mind. Are you okay, Kiara?”
“Well, that’s what I need to talk to you about Mom…”
“Girl you’re making me nervous! Spit it out!” yelled Louise.
Kiara began pacing the floor and rocking her baby girl.
“Kiara Monique Evans! What is it girl? You always start pacing when you get nervous!”
Kiara calmly said, “Mom, I found Misty.”
Just then, Louise sat down on the bed and clutched the neckline of her blouse. Misty was Chad’s mom.
“Well, are you going to tell him?”
“That’s what I was hoping you would tell me.” said Kiara.
“Baby, I can’t make that decision for you. I do know how Chad feels about her and at this point baby all I can say is pray.”
“I want Adalyn to know his mom because although I don’t agree with her lifestyle, I want her to know that she has a granddaughter. My prayer is that maybe it would help her to see the bigger picture and want to straighten out her life.”
“Baby I don’t know, but I’ll be praying too. Maybe God will reveal it to you in a dream. Now give me the baby and you get some rest. Call me if you need me.” said Louise.
Kiara laid in the still of the darkness thinking about just how blessed she truly was, however, the question remained… should she tell Chad and take the chance of ruining the life he worked so hard to build or should she keep quiet?
This was such a hard decision for Kiara because Misty had become addicted to drugs after meeting Chad’s father Devin, who later turned into Misty’s pimp. When Chad’s grandparents died in a car accident, Misty inherited a lump sum of insurance money and Devin saw that as his opportunity to take advantage of Misty.
Long before she met Devin, Misty grew up in the church, was a straight “A” student, and the daughter of a successful attorney. Misty’s mother was a stay at home mom who was actively involved in all her daughter’s extracurricular activities. She was the apple of her parents’ eyes.
Shortly after the death of her parents, Misty withdrew from college and developed a drinking problem. After hooking up with Devin one night after the bar, she got pregnant. After her first ultrasound, she soon found herself excited at the thought of becoming a mother and promised she wouldn’t take a drink while pregnant. After dating for a few months, Devin proposed to Misty and they were married before Chad was born. They were ready to began living their happily ever after or so Misty thought.
When Chad turned two, the beatings started. One night while listening to some music on her phone, Devin became upset and pushed Misty because she wasn’t paying enough attention to him. She was completely caught off guard causing her to trip and fall on the floor. Confused as to why someone who promised to love, honor and cherish her would put his hands on her, Misty jumped up and tried to grab her purse, but Devin became angrier and pushed her into the door. He was so enraged that she was trying to leave that he wanted to beat her to it, so he stormed out of the house, jumped in the car, and sped out of the driveway. Misty ran to her infant son and cradled him. She was so shocked and confused. Misty really thought they had it all, but she couldn’t be more wrong.
It wasn’t long after the beatings started that Devin became addicted to drugs and expected his wife to financially support his habit. Misty had never worked a real job before but after looking at all the past due bills, she knew she had to do something and fast, because Chad was going to be starting pre-school soon. The only thing that kept them from being homeless was the fact that Misty kept the same home she grew up in and it was paid off.
Devin demanded that Misty had to go to work daily and he would drop Chad off at school. She worked hard as a retail associate to make ends meet while he ran the streets or sat in the house playing video games. Each time she threatened to leave, Devin would threaten to kill them both, so she had no choice but to stay.
One day, Misty and Chad came home and Devin had a few of hishomeboys over, along with some females Misty had never seen before. She noticed they were doing drugs in the living room of the very home that her son was being raised in and her parents had left to her. Misty was livid! She began to go off, yelling and telling everyone to get out of her house when Devin jumped up and slapped her across the face. Misty grabbed her face and attempted to run toward the door when Devin grabbed her and told her to give him all of her money. She told him she didn’t have any and yelled for Chad to go to his room. Just then, one of the men stood up and said, “Man, I’ll give you a grand if you agree to let me have sex with your wife.”
Devin walked up to Misty and whispered in her ear, “We need the money. Do it for Chad.” Misty began to cry. She couldn’t believe that her life had come to this. Devin brought a drink to her and told her to drink it and relax. Misty hadn’t had a drink since before Chad was born and she definitely didn’t want to have one now. Devin pulled out a gun and told Misty to drink the concoction or else. She cried as the room began to spin and her vision became blurry.
When Misty came to, she saw the guy that requested to have sex with her standing at the end of the bed buckling his pants. He smiled and said, “thanks for the good time ma” as he walked out. Misty began to cry and yell just as Devin calmly entered into the room.
“What’s wrong with you?” Devin asked.
“What did he do to me, Devin?!” Misty questioned while sobbing uncontrollably.
“Whatever he wanted!” yelled Devin. “And you better shut up because you’re about to do it again!” Just then, Devin pulled out a wad of money held tight by a thick rubber band. “With me as your pimp, we’ll never be broke again.”
While Chad was growing up, he constantly heard the neighborhood kids calling his mom the town whore. He knew she didn’t work a regular job and slept a lot, but he didn’t know exactly what she did to make all of the money that they had.
One day, Chad came home early from school and caught his mom and one of his teachers involved in a sexual act. The teacher jumped up and ran out of the house. Misty began to yell, “Why did you come home early, Chad? Your dad is going to be so mad at me!” Through his tears Chad said that they got out for parent teacher conferences. Misty looked back and there it was posted on the refrigerator.
Just as Misty thought, Devin came from the back room enraged because the interruption caused him to lose money. He was tired of his business being disrupted by Chad and demanded that Chad go out and make him some money too.
“He’s old enough! He got my pimpin’ blood in him!” Devin screamed.
“No!” yelled Misty.
“It’s me or the boy!” Devin demanded. “Just know that if you try to leave, I’ll kill you both.”
Chad was only eleven when his mom dropped him off at her local church with his life packed up in a suitcase. Tears were streaming down Chad’s face as he begged his mom to not do this. “I promise that I will knock before entering the house! I’ll stay at school all day and not come home until the night time! I’ll go hangout with friends until it’s time to come home, just please let me stay with you mom, PLEASE!”
With her head held low, Misty knocked on the door of the Pastor’s office. She pushed Chad to the Pastor, quickly turned around and ran to the car as she heard him screaming, “mom, don’t leave me!!!” in the background.
As Misty drove away, she prayed that her son would have a better life and that he would forgive her for the choice she made in order to save his life. As a mother, she felt that this was the only way to save not only him, but them both.
Kiara woke up in the darkness to see a glimmer of light coming from the baby’s nursery. She eased to the door and saw her husband rocking Adalyn and talking to her. “I will never leave you. I love you and know that I will do everything in my power to make sure that your mother and I will always be here to support you. I’ll always choose you and I’ll do everything in my power to make sure that you always know that you are loved.”
Kiara stood back in the hallway, and after feeling a slight pain, she decided to walk to the kitchen for a glass of water to take with her pain medication.
“Baby, are you okay?” Chad asked.
“Oh babe, you scared me! I didn’t know you were in here. I thought you were still in the nursery.” said Kiara.
“We came in here when I saw the kitchen light on,” said Chad with a smile.
Kiara stood back, cocking her head to the side to take in the sight of her husband cradling their newborn daughter. He was so gentle. “Give me Addie baby and you go get some rest,” Kiara said.
Adalyn yawned and Kiara held her up to smell her breath. She looked at the little infant draw her legs up and admired the beautiful creation that God had enabled both she and her husband to make. Addie was perfect. She was everything that they could’ve imagined she would be. It was at that moment Kiara asked Addie if she would like to meet her granny.
“Addie, I know you can’t understand mommy, but I would really like for you to tell me if I should tell your dad I found your granny. They haven’t seen each other in a very long time and I don’t want your daddy to be mad at me. What do you think?” Kiara asked.
“Yes!” said a voice.
“Umm, what did you say?” Kiara asked puzzled.
Just then, her mother came out the guest room. “I’m sorry baby, I was playing a game on my phone. What are you girls doing in here?” Louise asked.
“Mom, God just answered my prayer!”
“He won’t lead you wrong, baby. I’m glad he answered it for you.” said Louise.
The next day while Chad went to work and her parents did a little sight-seeing, Kiara decided to contact the rehabilitation center that housed Misty.
“Thank you for calling New Start Rehabilitation Center, this is Cindy. How can I help you?” said the Office Manager of the center.
“Yes, my name is Kiara Evans and I’m calling to check on Misty Evans.”
“Oh yes Mrs. Evans, Misty is doing well. She’s hoping to complete her 90 days in the next week and she’s looking forward to living a drug–free lifestyle. She keeps asking how all of this is being paid for and we just tell her that an anonymous donor is taking care ofit. I’m also happy to tell you that if Misty successfully completesthe program, she will have a job and an fully furnished apartment waiting for her.” said Cindy.
“Wow! Thank you so much for the update. I’ll be calling back to check on her progress very soon. Enjoy your day!” said Kiara.
She hung up the phone, smiled, and breathed a big sigh of relief. Kiara was so worried that Misty would abandon the program butbased on that update, she was well on her way to finishing it and hopefully starting her life over.
A plan was being set in motion — Chad’s birthday was coming up soon and what better way to surprise him than bringing his mom back into his life? Kiara made this her goal and decided that she would do whatever it takes to make the surprise happen.
Kiara looked down at Addie who was sound asleep against her bosom. She was such a sweet baby at only a few days old. “I think I got this mom thing down, just as long as I have your dad by my side. It’s not so bad after all,” thought Kiara.
Chad wondered what was on his wife’s mind during the times they would talk throughout the day. Each time they spoke, it was as if her mind was somewhere else. Chad wondered what could have his wife so preoccupied. He knew it wasn’t Adalyn because she had her parents there and he was also prepared to hire a full-time nanny if needed, to ensure Kiara wouldn’t feel overwhelmed as a first-time mom. He even ensured that she had everything she needed and wanted, so was something else going on?
Later that night as everyone sat down for dinner, Chad asked Kiara if they could step outside to have their dinner while Kiara’s parents stayed inside with the baby. It was their last night with their granddaughter before flying out early the next morning, so of course her parents were eager to have some one-on-one time with Adalyn.
Once they were outside, Chad told Kiara he noticed that she seemed different lately, as if something was on her mind.
“Oh, it’s that obvious, huh?” said Kiara.
“Yes and I know you. I know when something isn’t right. What is it?” asked Chad.
“Babe, its nothing. When the time is right, I’ll talk to you about it. Okay?”
“Is it something to do with Addie? Is everything okay?” Chad asked.
“What? No it has nothing to do with Addie, she’s fine.” Kiara said.
“Well what is it then, Kiara? I need to know.” Chad said sternly.
“Chad, please just leave it alone. I’m not in the mood for dinner anymore and I really don’t feel like talking. I just want to go lay down.”
“Okay babe. I didn’t mean to upset you. If it’s my birthday that you’re concerned about, please don’t worry. You gave me my present early. I don’t need anything else, but my girls.” Chad said with a smile on his face.
Kiara laid in bed wondering just how Chad may react. It was hard for her to guess. In all her years of knowing him, dating and now being married, she could not guess what his response would be to seeing his mom after 20 years.
The next morning Kiara contacted her party planner and began going over the details to ensure a wonderful celebration for Chad. Deep down inside, she couldn’t help but hope that he loved her surprise.
Misty moved into her fully furnished apartment after successfully completing rehab and was looking forward to starting a new life without Devin. Devin had been one of her biggest mistakes but yet he brought her the biggest blessing of her life, Chad. As a mom, how did she walk away from her child all those years ago? Misty wondered where Chad was. Did he have a family? Was he successful? She could only pray for the opportunity to talk to him one day soon and let him know why she made the decision to leave.
Misty had gained weight and looked healthy again. It had been a long time since Misty had seen herself look “normal.” She was no longer in contact with Devin as they had been divorced for a year now and she was so thankful that he was finally out of her life.
Misty desired to live a better life but had no life skills and didn’t know the first thing about getting her life together. A kind man approached Misty and told her about a drug rehabilitation centerthat specialized in assisting people with getting off of habit forming drugs and alcohol. Misty took it as a sign from God and jumped on the opportunity to clean up her life. After being enrolled in the program for 2 weeks, she was informed that unless they had insurance coverage, she wouldn’t be able to stay. It seemed that just as quickly as they told her she had to leave, they contacted and told her that she would get to remain at the center. Misty asked who would be paying for the rehab since she didn’t have insurance and the Facility Director said that an anonymous donor had stepped up and paid for Misty’s stay. Misty was sograteful and promised to do everything in her power to stay away from anything that resembled her old life.
As she settled into her new lifestyle, she couldn’t help but become curious about who was responsible for this. Misty took it as a blessing and promised to make the best of it.
About a month after working, Misty was asked to come to the office for a phone call.
“Hello, this is Misty. How can I help you?”
“Hi Misty, I know you don’t know me but my name is Kiara Evans.” said they voice on the other end of the line.
Misty thought to herself, I don’t recall anyone by that name but asked, “how can I help you, Kiara?
“Well… I’m your daughter-in-law.” said Kiara.
Misty felt the tears well up in her eyes. “Are you saying that you’re married to my son Chad?”
Kiara smiled and proudly said, “Yes ma’am I am.”
Misty had been praying for a second chance with Chad, so Kiara could not have contacted her during a better time. Misty was divorced from Chad’s father and finally sober, so the only thing she wanted now was the chance to be the mother she always wanted to be for Chad.
“Misty? Are you still there?” questioned Kiara.
“Yes dear, I am. I’m just speechless. I don’t know what to say.”
“I know things were tough for you during Chad’s childhood and in the years following, but I have a question for you. Chad’s birthday is coming up as I’m sure you know and I would like for you to be there. Would you be interested in attending? I haven’t told him yetthat I found you but…..”
“Hold on, what do you mean, you found me?” asked Misty.
“Well, I hired a private investigator to find you because I wanted to give you the opportunity to get clean and finally be able to enjoy your life. I am so thankful that you agreed to it all!” said Kiara.
“You did that for me? But you don’t even know me and all theyears that I wasn’t there for Chad...”
“Misty, its in the past now. I want you to come to his birthday party that I’m throwing for him!” said Kiara.
“Oh my gosh, this is so much to take in! I just don’t know if I can do this. I don’t have anything to wear! Kiara, I’ve had a hard life and I don’t look the same. Would Chad even recognize me? I know he must hate me for everything I did to him.” Misty sadly said.
“Misty, just agree to it and I’ll take care of everything else. I promise!” said Kiara.
Misty thought about how she desired to have another opportunity to be a mother to Chad. “Okay Kiara, I’ll do it.”
“Perfect! Be ready by noon on Saturday and leave the rest to me. See you then, Misty!”
Misty woke up early Saturday morning and put on her best clothes, which really weren’t good at all but they were the best that she had. Just as she got dressed, she heard a knock at the door.
“Who is it?” asked Misty.
“Hi, it’s Carl and I’m here to pick up Misty.”
Misty walked out and got into the car and off she went for a day of total pampering.
First stop, the beauty salon. Next stop, a visit to the nail salon. By the time she arrived home, there was someone waiting to meet her. An unfamiliar yet friendly woman by the name of Sha’ree was waiting to get Misty fitted for her outfit and to do her makeup.
“Hey Misty, you don’t know me but I’m here to get you ready for the birthday party. Kiara sent me here and I’m going to make sure that when I get done, you feel like a movie star!” said Sha’ree.
When Sha’ree was finished, Misty turned around and looked in the mirror and she was speechless.
“WHAT! That’s me? Wow, I’m beautiful.” The tears began to fill Misty’s eyes as she saw her younger self in the mirror instead of the 55 year old woman that she was today.
“Uh-Uh, no ma’am! Don’t ruin my hard work with those tears!”Sha’ree yelled.
Misty laughed and blotted away the tears. Just then, there was a knock at the door. Sha’ree packed up her supplies and went to the door. The driver was there again for Misty. When Misty came around the corner, even the driver was shocked to see how beautiful the woman he saw earlier in the morning now looked. Sha’ree hugged Misty and told her that she was gorgeous and to hold her head high today.
Misty nervously walked down the driveway to get in the car as she prepared for the hour long drive to Chad and Kiara’s place. She could only pray that she wouldn’t ruin her son’s 35th birthday celebration. She began to get nervous as the car approached a residential area.
“Are we close?” she asked the driver.
“Yes ma’am, we’re almost there actually.”
Inside, Kiara was pacing back and forth. Guest had started to arrive and soon she had a house full of Chad’s closest friends.The doorbell rang and she quickly ran to the door. It was her parents Eugene and Louise, and they had come back in town just for the night to celebrate their son in law’s birthday. She greeted her parents and walked back to check on Addie.
“Mom, I’m so nervous! Do you think I made the right choice? What if Chad hates me?” Kiara asked.
“Sweetie, he isn’t going to hate you. He could never hate you because he knows the woman he married. Don’t worry, everything is going to be okay. I know it!” said Louise.
Just then, someone yelled, “Everybody! Chad is outside!”
Everyone got quiet, turned off the lights and waited for Chad to enter the door.
Chad grabbed his chest in shock! “Oh my goodness, man y’all got me good!!! Kiara, where you at babe? I know this was your idea!”
Kiara emerged from the crowd smiling with Addie in her arms. “Happy Birthday Baby, I love you. Your surprise is on the way.”
Chad gave his wife a hug and a kiss before walking away to greet others. A few minutes later, the doorbell rang and Kiara walked to the door slightly shaking at the thought of what was about to take place.
Kiara opened the door and an alcohol/drug free Misty stepped through looking like a runway model straight off the catwalk.Everyone turned around to see who this beautiful woman was.Chad turned around to see what everyone was staring at and he dropped his glass. He looked at Kiara and looked back to Misty, his mouth wide open and eyes filled with tears.
Misty looked at Chad and said, “Happy Birthday, son!”
Chad stood there, looking as if he had seen a ghost. Misty walked towards him but Chad backed away. Kiara’s eyes filled with tears.Did she make the right decision by inviting Misty to the party?
Misty stood there for a moment and finally said, “Chad, you have every right to be mad at me and you have every right to hate me,but please know that I did what I did to save us both. You were too young to know what was going on but I thought I was making the best choice for you. If I would’ve kept you, your father would’ve killed both of us.”
Chad just stood there with no emotion on his face and no words coming out of his mouth.
“I’m so sorry, this was a mistake coming here. Kiara, thank you for the invitation but I need to go. I don’t belong here.” Misty quickly said and started walking towards the door.
“No, don’t leave.” said Chad. “I’ve waited so long for this day. I didn’t think it would come but I had a change of heart after your granddaughter was born. When I saw my daughter being born, I knew I would give anything at that very moment to keep her safe. I didn’t understand what you did for me until I became a father, I knew at that moment why you had to leave.”
Misty ran to Chad and hugged him so tight. It was as if Chad and Misty were hugging for all the times they didn’t get the chance to.Kiara emerged from the crowd during the tearful reunion holding a special surprise for Misty.
“Misty, there’s someone I want you to meet. We call her Addie for short, but this is Ms. Adalyn Elise Evans, your granddaughter.”
“Know that we can’t change the past but we can choose to give our future an opportunity by forgiving in the present.” -Tee
I hope you enjoyed!