After her husband left her a painting, it was mistakenly deemed worthless. Her determination to find out the truth led her to the most thrilling and devastating journey of her life.
A secret note beneath a layer of paint would change everything she thought she knew about the man she loved.
Charlotte And John
Charlotte and John shared their lives together for 50 long years before John sadly passed away. They raised two wonderful children together and lived a modest life full of happy memories.
Charlotte loved John deeply and was heartbroken when he passed. However, much like every relationship, theirs wasn’t perfect.
A Private Person
Charlotte lived a good life with John and although they didn’t have much money, they always got by. He was good to her but there was one problem that never got resolved throughout all their years of marriage.
John was a very private person, even with his wife. It was a trait that caused many problems between them, up until his final words.
John would often come home late from work without having a good explanation. He also had a press in their bedroom wardrobe that he always kept locked.
Charlotte tried numerous times to open it but she never managed it. She also trusted him enough not to push him. She figured he’d tell her in time. She just never thought he’d tell her too late.
Before John passed, he gave Charlotte a painting and told her to never give it away. He told her it was extremely valuable and to look closely at it. It was a cryptic message that made Charlotte as confused as she was sad.
Charlotte felt like he had given her a final task as his wife. Maybe this was the answer to all the secrecy over the past 50 years?
When Charlotte gave the painting to an art assessor, she was told it was worthless. “Are you sure? Can you look again?” Charlotte pleaded. That’s not what her late husband told her.
How could a painting that her late husband assured her was so valuable be worthless? Returning home with the painting, Charlotte wasn’t ready to give up so she called a friend.
A Different Opinion
Her friend, Tony, was an amateur art restorer. He agreed to take a look at it and give her a second opinion. Within a moment’s notice, Charlotte was at his house with the painting.
She told him what the previous art assessor had said to her and explained that it just didn’t make sense. Knowing Charlotte’s late husband himself, Tony agreed that something was off.
Something Hidden Underneath
Before long, Tony realized that the painting had an unusually thick layer of varnish on top of an already unusually thick layer of paint.
He looked closer, carefully studying the curvature of the brushstrokes but something wasn’t right. There were abrupt rises in the paint where it wouldn’t occur naturally. Something was definitely hiding underneath.
Tony called Charlotte to come over and look at what he discovered. Then he slowly and meticulously started to break through the paint, being careful not to cause too much damage.
Charlotte watched in amazement as a small obscure piece of paper came into view. Tony carefully freed it from the painting. On the front was Charlotte’s name, written in her late husband’s handwriting. Her face went pale.
A Local Bank
Charlotte reached for the piece of paper and turned it around. Her husband had written an address she recognized and a code.
The address belonged to a local bank. After thanking Tony profusely, Charlotte raced to her car and drove to the address stated. What was her beloved late husband trying to tell her?
When Charlotte asked an employee at the bank for help and showed him the note, his reaction took her by surprise. He stumbled onto his feet and asked her to follow him.
When he took her into the back towards a high-security room, she thought she was in trouble. But when he led her to a big safe in the center of the marble-laced room, her mouth fell open.
Surprise And Confusion
The employee asked her to place her finger on the safe scanner and a green light appeared. Engraved on a silver plate beside the safe was her late husband’s name. Her heart pounded as she tried to understand what was happening. What had he kept from her?
The safe door opened and there, before her eyes, lay another note addressed to her name.
The Truth Comes Out
The tears flowed steadily as Charlotte recognized her late husband’s handwriting once more. She asked the employee for a moment while she read his letter.
The letter was long. It was also one of the most heart-felt letters she had ever received from him. As she read, all the secrets he had kept from her for years finally came bubbling to the surface.
First, John explained the safe and why the insane amount of money it contained was in his possession. John worked as a carpenter but he also had another job. His real job that Charlotte had no idea about.
Charlotte knew that John had a wealthy uncle who was a renowned painter, but she thought all of his paintings had already been sold. That wasn’t the case.
A Wealthy Inheritance
John’s uncle left his estate to John. His inheritance included his entire work of paintings. Paintings that John continued to auction and take care of on the side of his carpentry career.
The money was partly his inheritance and partly the money he earned selling his paintings and prints. He explained that this was the reason behind all the secrecy she had to endure. But why?
John was raised by his wealthy uncle and hated seeing how everyone treated him differently because of his wealth. He ended up surrounded by people who used him. John didn’t want the same life for himself.
So he did everything in secret and lived the life he dreamed of with his loving wife. He raised decent kids and lived happily in peace. Charlotte couldn’t help but smile through her tears.