Story Starts Below
Steven could not believe his eyes when he opened the door that evening. But there was no doubt in his mind that it was her. After being missing for 10 years, he was finally face to face again with his wife Janette.
You wanted to know all that happened to her in the years she was gone?
After missing for 10 years
Steven could not believe his eyes when he opened the door that evening. But there was no doubt in his mind that it was her. After being missing for 10 years, he was finally face to face again with his wife Janette. He wanted to know all that happened to her in the years she was gone.
A different woman almost
She looked like life had not been kind to her recently. Worn down from an apparent life on the street. Steven invited her inside. The least he could do was have a conversation with her. He was deadly curious to what she had to say after all this time…
Her incredible story
But when she started telling him what had happened to her and what she did, Steven quickly found out that there was a lot more to the story than he could have ever guessed…
But to better understand Janette's unbelievable story, a bit of backstory is required. Starting with the disappearance...
Everybody was completely shocked the morning after Janette had disappeared. A mature woman with a loving husband and 2 perfect teenage twins. What had happened? Police were immediately called by her husband Steven after he woke up alone…
Had she just left?
The police looked for any signs of forced evidence or any sign that Janette was maybe taken against her will that night. But the police quickly managed to conclude that this was not the case. It seemed like Janette had left on her own accord.
It all seemed planned
A suitcase and a load of her clothes were missing from the house. And Steven also quickly found out that she had transferred a lot of money from their shared savings into her personal account. It seemed like she had planned this. But was this the actually the truth?
Police were searching for her
Even though it looked like there was no indication that any crime was committed in this case, the police were still willing to put out a search warrant for Janette. Mainly because there was apparently no indication she would ever do this. The whole thing was just very strange…
Nobody could find her
For the next couple of days, Police were passively looking out for Janette. There were some reports that she had been spotted in neighboring cities but all of these would eventually lead to nothing. It seemed like Janette was really gone and nobody knew why…
Her husband and teenage twins struggled to accept this reality. Even though a part of them resented Janette for leaving like this without any explanation, they still loved their wife or mother very much and missed her greatly in day-to-day life.
Steven can’t forgive himself
Mainly Steven spent months just thinking where he went wrong for this to happen. Beating himself up for not noticing anything sooner. He figured that she could not have just made this drastic of a decision just out of nowhere. Something had to have happened!
Holding out hope
For about a year Steven held up the silent hope that Janette would return home or at least let them know something about where she had gone or why she had left. But this was not the case. It would eventually turn out to be way longer before they got any answers…
Moving on with their lives
Steven and the twins eventually managed to move on with their life. The twins moved out of the house only 2 and 3 years later respectively. They started building lives for themselves, getting relationships and one even got children of her own. All before ever hearing from their mother again.
Not forgetting Janette
In the years without his wife, Steven actually started dating again and got into a couple long term relationships. But all of them eventually collapsed. Mainly because he simply could not get the memory of Janette out of his head. It was ruining his life…
More than a memory again
He just could not help missing her even though he also still cared a burning hatred for what she had done. He was conflicted about his feelings to the core. He was able to repress the memory most days, but could have never guessed she would soon be a lot more than a memory again…
10 years have passed
Nobody even knew they were dealing with Janette at first. She was just seen as another homeless woman on the busty streets of LA. Somebody people paid as little attention to as possible. A stain on society in their eyes.
Not wanting to be found
And it was also not like Janette made a real effort to be recognized by anybody. She allowed herself to blend in with the homeless population in a large city that she had never even lived in herself. A city where nobody knew who she was. Or at least, that is what she thought…
Moved to LA
While Steven and one of the twins still lived in their hometown a couple hours away from LA, the other twin, Megan, had actually moved here a couple years ago in pursuit of better career opportunities. And it would not be long before she came face to face with her estranged mother…
Meeting her mother
At first, Megan did not even recognize her mother. And who could blame her? She looked nothing like the once so sophisticated woman that she had grown up with. They had passed each other multiple times before finally coming face to face.
When Megan was on a morning run through the street, Janetta actually crawled out of her tent to start her day. With nobody else around, the pair looked at each other for a brief moment and both were completely stopped in their tracks. “Those eyes…”
Both of them were just standing there staring at each other for what felt like hours. Neither of them knew what to say or who was supposed to speak first. Eventually, it was Megan who broke the silence. With a voice still very much trembling in disbelief, she asked; “Mom?”
No doubt left
Janette went completely red in the face. When she answered Megan, her voice was weak and raspy, but Megan recognized it immediately and there was no doubt left in her mind. “I thought I would never see you again. And I thought that was probably for the better…”
Not wanting to come home
Megan asked her mother if she wanted to come to her house to talk and maybe clean her up. She seemed not to be in a great state. But Janette seemed hesitant. Especially when she heard that Megan now had a husband and 2 daughters. She didn't want them to see her like this.
1 person to call
Megan was doubtful about what to do next. She could not just leave her mother on the street like this. But where could she bring her if she didn’t want to come home with her? There was only one place and one person she thought could possibly help her…
Megan called her father Steven. He was at work when he picked up the phone. The news Megan had to tell made him almost fall out of his chair. Janette? How was that possible? What was she doing living on the street in LA? He was convinced Megan had to have the wrong person…
A picture of Janette
Only when Megan took a picture of Janette, which she was trying to avoid as much as possible, did Steven start to believe it was actually his wife. She looked very different from 10 years ago, but it was still unmistakable. He would recognize that woman anywhere…
A complete shock
At first he was not sure what to do with this situation. In his mind Janette was a closed chapter. At least that is what he had been telling himself over the past couple years, assuming he would never see her again. But he felt like this changed everything for him.
Megan told him that she was not willing to come with her to her home in the city. So now Meghan was trying to convince Janette to at least go home to Steven, if it was only to talk. And it would help if Steven would tell her that it was perfectly okay to come.
Only one option
But this was not easy for Steven to just allow. Was he really ready to let his life be shaken up like that again? What if she wanted to do more than just talk? He did not even really know what she wanted to happen. But the more he thought about it, the more he realized that there was only one option.
Megan would bring Janette
He let Megan know that he would love to see Janette again and that he was willing to come her up if necessary. But Megan herself had the day off and had the time to drive Janette to him. She also wanted to be there when she told him her story…
Steven had so many questions
Megan would arrive home with Janette at lunchtime, giving Steven a lot of time to think about what this reunion of sorts was going to be like. He had so much to say to Janette and so many questions to ask her that he had tried to put to the back of his mind for so long…
Coming face to face
Steven had been waiting and looking out the window for about half an hour when Megan’s car finally pulled up. He immediately felt his heart start to beat faster. In a few seconds he would be face to face with his wife again. He took a deep breath and headed to the front door.
Not knowing what to say
When he opened it up, he saw Janette had just gotten out of the car. When she saw Steven, she nearly froze. Her face became red as could be. Only when Megan took her by the arm did she start walking towards the door. Neither of them knew what to say.
Her bizarre story
For a minute, Janette and Steven just stared at each other in silence before Megan did the honors of inviting themselves in. They made a pot of coffee and got seated on the couch. Then Janette finally started explaining what had happened to her in those 10 year away…
She had planned on leaving
She started at the infamous night. The night she had unexpectedly and somewhat mysteriously disappeared. But she quickly made it clear that this was not that unexpected at all but something she had known about for a while before it happened.
Not happy with her life
Janette had apparently not been happy with the seemingly perfect family life that she had. She had felt like there was something missing and thus she had started looking for it. And after a while, she thought that she found it and wanted to act on it.
A rash decision
Janette felt like she had lived her life too much by the book. She lived her life as she was supposed to so to say. And she wanted to make a change in this before it was too late. But she would end up regretting that rash decision a lot sooner than she could have expected.
Leaving to Mexico
She had planned it for weeks without anybody knowing about it. People would just have wanted to stop her, she figured. So in the middle of the night, she had a taxi come to the house and packed a bag with the essentials. She then had herself driven across the border to Mexico…
Flying to Paris
From there she headed to the airport and boarded a flight to Paris. And that's all she had planned. From there she wanted to start living a new life. A life out of the norm. A life that Janette felt was free. But it would end up being a life that was anything but that…
Ready to spend some money
He had also taken half of her and Steven’s savings with her and she was planning on enjoying that money. And while she was first planning on doing that alone, she quickly met somebody who was very eager to accompany her.
Janette thought that this woman, who was named Annastacia, was iof the same spirit and mindset as she currently was, and so she opened her heart to her. But as it would turn out, Annastacia had very different intentions with Janette.
A fake romance
The pair began a passionate romance over the next couple of weeks. Janette was honest in saying that in this period she had barely thought about Steven or the children., All her focus was on her new life in Paris and mainly Annastacia. But she would soon be rudely woken from this dream…
Woken up by strange men
Janette and Annastacia had booked a hotel just outside of the city to enjoy some more time in the calm and rural cities France had to offer. But when Janette woke up on the very first morning there, she woke up surrounded by men she had never seen before…
She had to cooperate
Annastacia was nowhere to be seen and before she could even question what was happening, the unknown had already put a bag over her head and tied her hands together. They told her that everything would be fine as long as she was silent and would cooperate.
Driving for hours
They ended up leading her to a car. Janette had no idea where they were going but they would end up driving for hours. When they got to a very isolated farm, they finally stopped and told Janette what their intentions with her were.
Wanting ransom money
They knew she was American and they wanted her to get in contact with her family over in the states so they could demand ransom money for her release. But to the men’s surprise, Janette flat out refused this. She did not want Steven or any of her family to know about what she had done…
Not finding anyone to ask it from
The men then took it upon themselves to try and find any relatives or connections of Janette, but she had done a very good job of cutting all those times when she left for France. They tried for weeks with no result. And Janette was locked up on that farm through all that time…
Just taking all Janette’s money
Eventually, they just wanted to get Janette off their hands so they settled for taking all of the money she had and then dropped her back near Paris somewhere. Janette first had the intention of going straight to the French police to report what happened to her but knew that this would probably just result in nothing.
She wanted to go home
Besides, Janette had her mindset on something completely different right now. All she could think about was getting back to America. Back to her family. In the weeks that she had been locked up all she could think about was how much she missed them and how much she regretted leaving…
Getting on a boat
But getting back was easier said than done as she had no money and no way of getting money. A plane journey was out of the question but Janette figured that she might be able to hop on a boat that was heading to America if she was willing to work on the journey.
A lot of time to think
And so it happened. A captain was willing to take Janette with him but she would have to do the same through physical labor the crew had to do. This was incredibly difficult but Janette did not regret her decision. Even when she got a lot of time to think on the journey and realized something.
Did she deserve her old life?
She wanted to be reunited with the family she left behind, but if she was honest with herself, she figured that she did not deserve this. After what she had done to them and put them through, what right did she have to just come barging back into her life because her plan did not work out as expected?
Making it on her own
When she had finally made her way to LA, Janette had fully convinced herself that her family would not want her back at all and that she was not going to force herself back into their lives. She was going to live with the consequences of her decision and try to make it on her own.
Living on the street for years
This eventually landed her on the street doing odd jobs to make ends meet. It was not the life she had envisioned for herself at all, but it strangely did give her the feeling of freedom she had been looking for. At least a little bit.
Never forgot her old life
And this was the situation for the following years. Janette told Steven and Megan about all the horrors she had endured living on the streets of LA but also some beautiful moments that would always stick with her. She had accepted this way of life, but had to admit that she never stopped thinking back to her “previous” life with Steven and the kids.
Steven managed to forgive her
Janette had been talking for at least 2 hours and Steven had just listened with his mouth hanging open, not saying a single word. All the anger that he felt had faded away in that time as he heard what Janette had gone through in those 10 years.
Feeling love for Janette again
Yes, she had made an incredibly stupid decision by leaving like she did but she had paid from that 3 times over at the very least. And the longer he listened and looked at what was once the love of his life, the more he felt that love come back.
Moving back in
Eventually, Janette moved back in with Steven and the 2 managed to rekindle their romance and are now even planning on renewing their marriage vows. They have lived apart for so long that it is almost like a new relationship, but it still feels just like old times.