Two orphaned girls are reduced to looking for clothes and food in dumpsters when their aunt spends their inheritance.
Sarah and Sophia Gordon were just 13 when their parents died in a plane crash. Their only surviving relative was their father’s younger sister, Isabelle, and she was named by the courts as their guardian.
Fortunately, Sarah and Sophie, who were identical twins, had each other, because Aunt Isabelle was mostly absent and seemed to spend an inordinate amount of time shopping for clothes. What the twins didn’t know was that the money Isabelle was spending was theirs.
At first, Isabelle was relatively contained. She made sure the very generous monthly allowance the estate paid for the girls’ living expenses was actually spent on them. But as time went by, Isabelle got greedier, and her tastes more expensive.
She spent less and less money on grocery shopping, and as for buying clothes for the two growing girls, forget it!
One morning, as they were getting ready for the first day of school after their summer vacation, Sophie complained, “Sarah, my jeans don’t fit me, and my sweaters are too short!”
Sarah was trying to tug down the sleeves of her winter coat. “Well, when it starts to get cold, I’m going to freeze! We have to talk to Aunt Isabelle.”
Sarah and Sophie were very young when their parents died
And so that evening, the two girls caught Isabelle on her way out for another night on the town.
“Aunt Isabelle,” Sophie said. “We need new clothes for winter.”
“Yes,” said Sophie. “And our boots are too small. We can’t go out in public like this.”
But Isabelle looked annoyed instead of concerned. “There’s no money, girls, you’ll just have to make do!” she said coldly. “I can barely afford to feed you as it is!”
Their Aunt Isabelle was their guardian but she was only interested in the money
“But…How can we ‘make do’?” asked Sophie.
As bad as things may get, never forget that there is always something wonderful waiting around the corner.
“Oh I don’t know, go to the Goodwill store!” said Isabelle, tucking her iPhone into her Hermes bag. “Here’s $50. Make sure it stretches!”
So the girls did go to the goodwill store and managed to parlay their $50 into two pairs of second-hand boots, and two thick but very ugly sweaters. “We can’t live like this,” Sarah whispered that night. “We look like beggars, Sophie, this isn’t what mom and dad would have wanted.
Soon the twins’ clothes no longer fit
“Well, let’s go talk to Molly’s mom. She and our mom were friends. Maybe she can help us!” said Sophie.
So the next day after school, they went to talk to their friend Mollys’s mom, who made all her own clothes. But Molly’s mom shook her head. “Girls,” she said. “I loved your mom and I’m fond of you, but I work for a living, I cant work for free. Besides, your Aunt gets a perfectly adequate amount for your living expenses…”
Sophie and Sarah walked home feeling as if their last bridge had been burnt. They were walking past a series of dumpsters opposite a luxury condo when Sarah noticed a large shopping bag leaning against the full dumpster.
The girls started looking for clothes in dumpsters
Curious, she peeked in and gasped. “Look, Sophie, brand new clothes!” And some of the items really were new and even had their labels attached, and others were in great condition.
From then on, Sophie and Sarah would often troll the neighborhood’s dumpsters looking for clothes they could use. Now they were dressed warmly, but as time went on, Isabelle stopped buying groceries…The girls ate lunch at school, but they starved at home.
One afternoon, Sophie was looking for clothes in a dumpster and found an intact Happy Meal… From then on, the girls would scrounge through the dumpsters outside local restaurants.
Sarah and Sophie were eating leftovers from fast food restaurant dumpsters | Source: Unsplash
Sophie and Sarah’s mom and dad would have been heartbroken to see their precious girls living on scraps and wearing hand-me-downs, but Isabelle didn’t care. She had taken up a new hobby — gambling — and was now digging into the girls’ college fund.
There seemed to be no hope on the horizon until Sophie found a lovely old vintage coat outside an old Victorian mansion. She took it home to her sister who tried it on. “Wow,” said Sarah, putting her hands in the coat’s pockets, “That’s really cool!”
Then she pulled out her hand. She was holding what looked like a very old perfume bottle made up of sapphire blue glass. The whole bottle was covered in what looked like gold filigree, and the cap was set with what looked like huge glittering jewels.
They found a jeweled perfume bottle in an old coat’s pocket
“That’s so pretty!” cried Sophie. “And it looks expensive!”
“Well,” said Sophie. “Consider it our 18th birthday present!” But Sarah was looking at the bottom of the bottle and frowning. The next day, she got onto the library computer and did a little research.
When she got home, she was dead white. “Sophie,” she said quietly, “Do you know what we found?”
As it turned out, the perfume bottle was worth a fortune |
“A perfume bottle?” asked Sophie.
“This is a perfume bottle made by Fabergé for the Emperess of Russia, and these are real gold and diamonds and emeralds and rubies!”
After their discovery, the girls decided to wait a week until their 18th birthday before approaching an auction house that verified the authenticity of the perfume bottle. The piece went to auction and reached an incredible $5 million!