A young girl shouldering the responsibility of her four younger siblings is growing tired of life when her fate takes a complete turn. She learns she and her siblings have a wealthy grandfather who had a history with her mother years ago.
Jemma’s life had been perfect in some ways. When she was a little girl, a handsome man married her pretty mother, and they moved to a beautiful cottage in the countryside to live a peaceful life away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Then, when Jemma was five years old, her mother became pregnant with a boy. She felt God and Santa had hatched a plan to send her a Christmas present early that year by making her a big sister!
But what Jemma didn’t know was that God would send another baby girl her way in the coming year, making her and her little brother elder siblings. And two years later, she’d become an elder sister for the third time when her mother would give birth to two beautiful twin boys
For Arthur and Carla, their five children—Jemma, Noah, Alice, and the twins, Ethan and Francis—were more precious than any gold or diamonds in the world. Oh, how perfect their life had been on their mini-farm in the countryside and the cottage that housed the family!
Arthur and Carla had gone kayaking in the mountains, leaving behind their children at home and entrusting Jemma with the responsibility of her siblings.
Jemma was only 16, and she waited the entire day for her parents to return before rushing down to their old neighbor who lived in a cottage not far from theirs.
“Mrs. Berta!” Jemma had cried to her. “Mom and Dad… they aren’t home yet! They’d said they’d be back by evening! It’s getting really late!”
“Oh, is it?” the older lady asked worriedly, glancing at her wall clock. “If they’d gone to the mountains, they should’ve been back by now. They won’t even have phone service there.”
Jemma sighed. “My siblings are alone at home. And I’m… I’m just worried. Nothing happened to Mom and Dad, right?”
“Oh, don’t you worry, honey,” Mrs. Berta consoled her. “I’ll come with you. Let’s wait at your home together, okay? They will be back.”
Unfortunately, Mrs. Berta was wrong, and later that evening, a middle-aged man in a police uniform visited them, informing them they’d found two bodies in the mountains.
Jemma was called in for body identification, and she sobbed like a baby when she saw her parents’ pale, lifeless bodies under thin white sheets.
“This has to be a nightmare!” she cried. “Mom, Dad… Wake up! Noah was so excited about our upcoming trip! He… and I… we were all… Oh, Mom and Dad!”
At 16, Jemma had to put her own life on the back burner and become the sole carer of her four younger siblings. There was a visit from social services regarding sending the children to the foster system. But Jemma refused, and Mrs. Berta stepped in to aid her in looking after the children.
Jemma dropped out of school and began working on her parent’s farm to provide for her siblings. She’d cook, clean, take care of them, and work. The farm’s animals were also her responsibility, and she needed to feed and clean them.
Then there were regular visits from social services to ensure the children weren’t living in a deplorable situation in an old cottage under the care of a 16-year-old.
No matter how hard life gets, one should never give up.
All that mattered in Jemma’s life now were her four siblings. She hardly slept or relaxed and worked like a machine. Jemma had survived her parents’ deaths, but the sleepless nights and hard work were taking their toll, and her health was deteriorating.
One bright sunny morning, Jemma was picking radishes from her garden, but she barely had the strength to pull them out of the soil.\
“I’m exhausted… I’m just exhausted. Jesus,” she sighed, finally giving up. Then she remembered her siblings and gathered the strength, eventually picking three radishes.
Jemma rose to her feet, ready to return to the kitchen. Then she noticed something on the streets and came to a halt. A motorcade comprising of one, two, three, four… Four SUVs parked directly outside her cottage!
‘Who exactly are they? Is someone keeping an eye on us? Are they those cretins from the social services, eager to place my siblings in crappy foster care?’ she wondered.
Jemma was enraged. In a fit of rage, she threw the radish basket to the ground, dashed out to the street, and tapped on the black-tinted window of one of the SUVs.
As the car window was lowered, she noticed a man in a well-pressed black suit sitting in the driver’s seat.
“Who in the world are you? And who gave you permission to park here?” she demanded angrily.
“We were sent here by our boss,” said the man stiffly. “We’re supposed to take you and your siblings to the airport in two hours to your grandfather.”
“And I need to report you to the cops!” snarled Jenna. “My siblings and I don’t have a grandfather! Get it? Our parents were orphans!”
The man didn’t utter a word, but he took a half-torn photo out of his jacket’s pocket and showed it to her. “This is what we’ve received. We were asked to show this picture to you. Your mother is supposed to have the other half. We are doing as we were instructed, and we can’t leave without you and your siblings.”
Jemma knew the photo. She knew the photo too well.
The other half of it lay in Carla’s album, and Jemma had always wondered why Carla had saved a half-torn photo.
“You mean, the man here… he is my grandfather?” asked Jemma, tears fogging her eyes
“Jemma!” Noah called out to her and joined her, and so did Alice.
“Who are they?” Noah asked her. “Do you know them?”
“Why didn’t our grandfather show up before?” Jemma asked the man, ignoring Noah’s question. “Why is he remembering us after all these years?”
“I have no further information to share,” said the man. “His flight lands in two hours, and he’s eager to see you all.”
Jemma returned to the cottage and held the half-torn photo with the other half in the album. It now showed a man hugging a young girl, who was kissing him on the cheek. Jemma’s eyes welled up to see how much the man resembled Carla. He was, indeed, her grandfather!
Two hours later, Jemma and her siblings were at the airport, accompanied by a dozen men in black suits and shades. Everything seemed like a movie to Jemma, where the poor girl discovers she has a rich relative and her life takes a new turn!
A flurry of footsteps diverted her thoughts as the suited guys rushed to an elderly man walking towards them. He had a kind face, the smile of a Californian, and tears in his eyes.
“Oh! You’ve got to be Jemma!” he exclaimed. “You are gorgeous, darling! Just like your mother!”
“Hello, honey,” he added as he extended his hand for a handshake. “I’m Ron. Grandpa Ron. It took me years to track you all down… I was overjoyed to discover that I had not one but five grandchildren.”
“Why did you want to see us?” Jemma asked sternly, refusing to shake hands with him. “Our mother never spoke about you. That means she must have hated you
“Oh well,” said Grandpa Ron. “It’s all my fault, Jemma. And you can hate me for it. You should. I was an irresponsible father who forgot he had a daughter to care for. Your grandmother’s loss turned me into a cold man who didn’t want to live or care for his daughter.”
“Your mother ran away from home after getting pregnant, got married, and had a family. After she was gone, I realized what true loneliness was like. I’m glad she left the other half of the picture in her room before she left. I decided to look for her then, and it wasn’t until two days ago that I learned about you all.”
“Please forgive me. I could never ask your mother for forgiveness, but I want you and your siblings to let me look after you. I can give y’all a loving home. Please.”
Jemma was in tears, unable to believe what a strange turn her fate had taken yet again. She could tell Grandpa Ron cared about them, so she forgave him and agreed to accompany him home.