A rich man who paid a large sum of money for an old, dilapidated house shocked those in an auction. When he finally got to the house, he took only a box from it. Eugene was sitting at an auction for foreclosed and abandoned properties, waiting for a particular piece of land to be auctioned. He was waiting on a piece of land with a dilapidated old house in it.
When the time for that particular piece of land to be auctioned came, the woman beside him offered $20,000. He raised the stakes unreasonably high for such an old property without hesitation. “300 thousand dollars.”
There was silence in the whole room, and no one tried to outbid him. When the auction finished, the lady beside him, who introduced herself as Sarah, couldn’t help but ask: “Why did you raise the stake so much? I wouldn’t have even bought it for fifty thousand.”
“There is something inside that house that I would give millions for. I tried entering the property many times, but it was locked. They said I could only enter if I had the title to the land,” Eugene explained. The next day, when he sorted out the paperwork for the house, he drove to the property. Sarah was curious about what he would take from inside, so she sat in her car across the street.
As the gatekeeper gave Eugene authority to enter, he opened the house and searched it. Someone had told him that the previous owner left the house as-is till she died, so he was confident that he would find what he was looking for.
Finally, after searching the different rooms, he came across a dusty black box in the living room. He opened it and couldn’t help but cry. He clutched the box close to his chest and left the property with tears in his eyes.When he got inside his car, he took a deep breath before opening the box again. There, he took out an old picture that, from afar, Sarah thought was a piece of paper.
Seeing that, she walked towards him and abruptly opened the door of his car. “Did you just buy this house for three hundred thousand dollars to get a piece of paper?” she asked, surprised. “This is the only photo of my daughter that I had the chance of retrieving. I have never seen her in my life. My ex-wife had her while I was in the army 37 years ago and went into hiding,” he started to explain.
“While I was in the army, she sent me divorce papers. I didn’t know that she fell in love with another man, and they eloped. They left my daughter at an orphanage…” Eugene revealed.
“I’m sorry to hear that,” Sarah said, suddenly feeling guilty that she kept invading the man’s personal space. “How did you find out about your daughter?” she asked. “I was at an army veterans’ reunion when I bumped into one of my comrade’s wives. She asked how my daughter was doing, but I had no idea what she was talking about. She quickly apologized and said she didn’t know that my wife and I had separated while I was in the army,” Eugene, who was still clutching the photo, answered.
“So that’s my sad story,” Eugene told Sarah. “My ex-wife had bumped into that woman while she was pregnant, and years later, I find out that I actually have a daughter of my own. I hired a private investigator to help me, but he could only help so far as to point me to this house.”
Sarah was speechless, still standing by the door of Eugene’s car. Although she wanted to leave to give Eugene some space, she realized that he was also looking for someone to listen to his story. He continued, saying:
“The private investigator told me that my ex-wife and her new husband lived here and that they never had kids of their own. When the property was returned to the state when they died, it was in the list of contents that there was a photo of a baby girl as well as a box of baby toys.”
“I know I’ll likely never see her again. If you need this house, you can stay here. I’ve got what I needed anyway,” Eugene said “Really?” Sarah said, completely shocked. Eugene nodded his head. “Sure, why not. This is my calling card in case you need it,” he said before handing Sarah the keys.
When Eugene drove away, Sarah couldn’t believe what had just happened. She went inside the property to look inside, taking mental notes about what needed repairs. Days later, when she started on the repairs, she noticed a wobbly plank of wood on the floor.
She decided to lift it with some tools and discovered a box filled with dusty documents.When she realized what the documents were about, she quickly gave Eugene a call. “You need to come here. Quick,” she told him once he answered the phone.
Curious, Eugene drove to the property, fifteen minutes away from his house. Sarah was already waiting outside with a box in her arms when he got there. “What is it?” he asked her. “I found documents that have the full information of the family that adopted your daughter. Here it is! Your daughter’s name is Clarita Thompson,” Sarah said excitedly.
“What?” Eugene said, taking a folder from the box Sarah was holding. He couldn’t believe his eyes. He actually had a chance of finding his daughter.
“Thank you, Sarah! I need to get going now. I’m going to call my private investigator to help me locate them,” Eugene said, hugging Sarah before running back to his car.After a couple of days, Eugene’s private investigator located Clarita and her adoptive family. When Eugene introduced himself, Clarita was more than happy to meet him.
It turns out that Clarita lived an hour away in a nearby town. She volunteered to drive to her father’s house, where they met and made up for the lost time. Eugene explained to her what had happened – how he was in the army and did not know that his ex-wife was pregnant, and how he only accidentally found out that he had a daughter through a chance encounter with an old acquaintance.
“God’s timing never fails, dad,” Clarita replied to him after he explained himself. “I’m glad we found each other before it was too late,” she said, hugging her dad.