Fred’s life is shattered due to his wife’s recent infidelity. However, as one door closes, another opens, and Fred finds his twin brother, who vanished twenty years ago. But Fred is about to find out the troubling story behind his brother’s reappearance and the true cost of brotherly love.

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Fred gripped the steering wheel tightly, his mind filled with the events of that morning. Next to him, his wife, Emma, shifted uneasily in the seat. They used to be happy together, but not anymore. Their relationship was over — at least from Fred’s end — after he caught her sleeping with another man.

“Emma,” Fred spoke up as they pulled into a gas station. “You need to get your stuff out of my place by Friday.”

“Fred, it was a mistake, I—”

“I’ve made up my mind. Let’s not make a big deal about it.”

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

Emma got out of the car crying, deciding to head home alone, and Fred went to pay for the gas.

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As Fred handed the money, the person at the cash register looked at him in confusion. “Weren’t you here earlier? Different clothes, though.”

“What?” Fred was puzzled.

“A guy came in before you. He looked just like you. Same beard, same hair, just… less gray.”

Fred’s heart started beating faster. “A guy like me? Which car was he in?”

“That old pickup over there,” the cashier said, not really caring.

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For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

Fred ran outside and shouted, “George!” But the pickup drove off, and Fred started chasing it.

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As he drove, Fred’s mind was a whirlwind of questions and long-lost memories of his twin brother. He remembered how different he and George were—Fred was studious, responsible, and hardworking, whereas George was rebellious and didn’t care about studies at all.

One night, 20 years ago, Fred was startled by the sound of the front door opening. George had come home late. In the living room, their parents were waiting, ready to scold George. They fought about his bad grades and not letting him go to a concert, which really upset George.

After the fight, George quietly packed a bag in his room, planning to leave. “Please don’t go,” Fred told him.

But George was determined. “I can’t stay here anymore. I have to, Fred. I will return once I become a successful musician.”

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For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

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Fred wanted to leave with him, but George said, “No, I have to do this on my own.” And then he climbed out the window into the night.

Years later, Fred — or as his patients called him — Dr. Montgomery found George’s old truck parked at a motel. The door to George’s truck swung open, and there stood his twin. The moment their eyes met, the years melted away, and Fred moved forward, propelled by a surge of emotions.

“I found you, brother… I finally found you,” Fred gasped and embraced George tightly.

But as Fred wrapped his arms around George, he felt the stiff reluctance in his brother’s posture; George seemed distant.

“Feel free to sit down,” George said as they went inside. Fred noticed the motel room was a mess — there were beer bottles strewn about and pizza boxes piled in the corner. “What have you been up to, George?” Fred asked, finally finding a clean place to sit.

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For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

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George leaned back in his chair. “Just living the dream. Music, parties, you know.” But he didn’t sound happy, and he wouldn’t look at Fred.

“Sounds like you’re free,” Fred commented, even though George’s version of freedom seemed more like being stuck, with dreams not coming true and money problems.

“Life’s been rough,” George finally shared. “My music gigs stopped coming. Our band didn’t make it big. And I ran out of money.”

“What about your friends?” Fred asked, worried.

“They have their own lives. They moved on… I got left behind,” George said, trying to laugh it off.

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For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

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“Why didn’t you come to me for help?” asked Fred.

“I was too ashamed. After everything that happened, I couldn’t face you or our parents. I took any job I could find, like in bars or restaurants.”

Fred tried to cheer him up. “I can help you out. There’s a job opening at the hospital. It’s never too late.”

“Start over, at my age?” George doubted.

“You’ve survived this long. You can do more than just survive.”

“Maybe,” said George, but he didn’t sound sure.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

Fred looked at his watch, feeling guilty for having to leave. “I have to go now. But we’ll catch up soon, I promise.”

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“Yeah, alright.”

For a bit, there was just silence in the room. Then, everything changed.

Fred felt a sharp pain at the back of his head, and everything went dark. He heard a loud noise and then nothing. He was out cold.

When Fred woke up, the sunlight from a dirty window hit him, and he realized he was on the floor. His head throbbed in time with the aggressive knocking that echoed in the cramped motel room.

Groggily, he stumbled to the door, the world tilting dangerously as he moved.

“Open up! It’s past checkout!” the manager barked, impatient and unsympathetic to Fred’s bewildered state.

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For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

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“George, you were supposed to be out two hours ago. I want you gone, and I want my money for the extra time!” the manager said as Fred opened the door.

“Listen, it’s not—”

“Excuses won’t cut it,” the manager interrupted him.

“Alright, I’ll pay,” Fred conceded, too tired to quarrel with the man. He looked in his pockets, but all he found were things that belonged to George, not him.

He had nothing — no wallet, no keys, no ID. Just some money in the pocket of his jacket. And that’s when he realized the depth of George’s betrayal. They looked the same, and George used that to trick him. Fred paid the manager and left the motel to stop George from whatever he was up to now.

The late afternoon sun cast eerie shadows on Fred’s Victorian home.

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For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

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“Emma?” Fred called, but only silence greeted him. With growing concern, he rang the doorbell, its chime echoing mournfully.

“Who are you?” Emma’s voice seemed distant and cold as it appeared through the intercom.

“It’s me, Fred,” he replied, confusion and a chill enveloping him. “Open the door!”

“I don’t know you,” she replied, and Fred was shocked. He started to panic. “Please, let me in, Emma!” he begged. But the door didn’t open, and his knocking seemed useless.

He could barely see Emma through the blurry door glass. She looked like she wasn’t even there.

“This isn’t funny, Emma!” Fred shouted. “Let me in, please,” he pleaded again, but it was futile.

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For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

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Then her voice came, slicing through the still air, devoid of warmth. “I’m staying with George,” she declared. “He won’t throw me out. He won’t divorce me. I can keep the life I’m used to.”

“What about my patients? They need me. George isn’t a doctor—he can’t—”

“None of this would’ve happened if you’d just forgiven me,” Emma snapped. “You couldn’t let go of my mistake. Now, it’s too late.”

“Too late? Look—”

Right then, the sound of police sirens got louder, and soon, the flashing lights were all over the street.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

The police walked up to Fred and arrested him. “Sir, you’re causing disturbance to the Montgomerys. Let’s keep this easy,” a cop said, slapping the cuffs on his wrist. Fred tried to explain what was happening wasn’t fair, but the police didn’t listen.

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At the police station, Fred kept saying, “I’m Dr. Montgomery. That house is mine.”

The police didn’t believe him and, in fact, they laughed at him. “Your ‘brother’ has papers proving he owns the house, and his wife says the same,” one officer said, making air quotes. “You think we should just ignore that?”

“Please, you have to believe me,” Fred requested, but no one cared. Fred needed proof of his identity, but how? His ID, phone, and everything else were gone when he woke up in the motel. And he was sure he wouldn’t find anything at home now.

Sitting in the station, feeling ignored, Fred started to feel like he would never get back his life. But then, he had an idea. After being released from custody, he disguised himself as a homeless man. Then, he went into the hospital pretending to be really sick.

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For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

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“I… need help,” he rasped, pretending to be in a lot of pain.

“Dr. Montgomery!” a nurse called out.

George came over, clearly not knowing what to do. “What’s… what’s the problem here?”

“This patient looks like he’s having really bad chest pain,” she said, thinking it might be a heart attack.

“Right, get him on a bed,” George said hesitantly.

As Fred’s cries of pain intensified, George’s uncertainty grew, his façade beginning to crumble under the nurse’s probing questions.

“Shouldn’t we administer nitroglycerin? Perform an ECG?” she questioned.

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For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

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“Uh…yes, of course,” George faltered.

Then, the chief physician came in, and he could right away tell something was wrong.

“Stop!” Fred suddenly shouted. The room fell silent, all eyes on him as he sat up, revealing a tattoo that read “George.”

“This tattoo belongs to my brother, my twin. I am Dr. Fredrick Montgomery,” he declared, the truth of his identity and the depth of his deception finally laid bare. Fred called the cops while George stood motionless, knowing his act was over.

Soon, Fred watched his brother being taken away by the cops. While he felt sad his brother chose the wrong path, there wasn’t much he could do. He knew George had to pay for his crime to learn a lesson.

Emma would be dealt with too, as she was George’s accomplice.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

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If you enjoyed reading this story, here’s another one: A homeless woman was humiliated and kicked out by an arrogant businessman after she returned his $1 million to him. Several years later, karma reached him.

This piece is inspired by stories from the everyday lives of our readers and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone’s life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to info@amomama.com.

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