Story Time

A Father Set Up Camera In Daughter’s Room To Find Out Why She Wakes Up With Bruises Every Morning

IT STARTED WITH THE NOISES

A family living in Ohio had their lives turned upside down when they began to notice strange things happening under their roof. It started with strange noises at night. 

Thinking that maybe there were raccoons living in the ceiling, they dismissed the sounds at first. But in the following weeks, things started to escalate. Then, the bruises started to appear. 

JUST THE THREE OF THEM

Darren and Pam had been living in Darren’s mother’s guesthouse for over a year. Now, Darren wanted to run far away from it.

It had all begun when Natalie came down for breakfast one morning. At first, Darren didn’t take too much notice of her exposed legs. However, a few days after the first set of bruises had healed, he knew he had to do something.

DISTRUST

Darren had never experienced anything like this in his home before, and he wasn’t the kind of man who took things lying down. 

When he saw the bruises on his daughter, he immediately suspected his long-term girlfriend, Pam. He was convinced she was to blame, but she denied everything. Like any loving father, ignoring what was going on in his home was not an option. 

CONFRONTING HER

Darren confronted Pam and asked her if she was leaving the bedroom at night, even going as far as asking her if she had been in Natalie’s room. Did she know about the bruises on his daughter’s legs? And did she have anything to do with them? 

Darren found himself without any other option. What he didn’t know was that this decision would reveal something so much worse.

NO ANSWERS

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For weeks, Darren kept pushing. But Pam kept denying that she had anything to do with the bruises. So Darren tried to approach the matter more directly. Although Natalie had been a bit distant with him lately, he chalked it up to normal teenage-girl behavior. 

They used to have a good relationship, so Darren decided to ask his daughter what had happened. But she wouldn’t – or couldn’t – give him answers either. 

THE BRUISES

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It happened in the first week of Natalie’s summer vacation. The temperature had climbed above 90 degrees so the teen was wearing shorts. 

Darren couldn’t help but notice that Natalie’s legs were covered in bruises again. He asked his daughter about them, but she just shrugged and said she didn’t know… she’d woken up like that.  He would have to do something rather underhanded to get the answers, but he had run out of options.  

A SEEMINGLY ORDINARY FAMILY

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For many who knew the couple, it seemed as if they were living the dream. They had a stable relationship, lived in a nice home, and they had Darren’s wonderful daughter, Natalie.  

But one day, everything changed. While Darren was half-asleep, he could have sworn that he heard weird noises from his daughter’s room. And it was Natalie who would eventually be the proof that, yes, something strange was happening at night.

A DAD’S WORRIES

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It’s only natural for a dad to worry about his daughter – any parent will tell you that. Natalie was Darren’s whole world and he only wanted what was best for her.

Natalie had always struggled with her parent’s separation, and Darren had always felt guilty about what effects it had on her. When Darren first started getting serious with Pam, he knew he wouldn’t forget about his daughter.

A PHASE?

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Darren looked after the needs of his daughter very closely and because of it, the two had a very close bond. But Natalie began changing when Darren met Pam and she moved in with them.

Darren was always open with Natalie and told her she could tell him anything. But throughout the year, she had become quieter –  a lot quieter. Darren assumed it was because of her growing up and getting into her teenage years. But things only kept escalating.

A DIFFERENT NATALIE

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As time went on with Pam living with them, Darren noticed that the life was being sucked out of his daughter. He didn’t understand why, and he was worried that she spent too much time locked up in her room by herself.

Darren was worried about her being sucked into social media. He had heard horror stories. But little did he know that her social media pages were the least of his worries.

WARNING BELLS

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Darren decided to ask Natalie about her change in behavior. She told him that she didn’t like the way other rooms in the house felt.

Darren didn’t want to interfere with her life too much and felt confident that she would tell him if there were any problems. But he’d learn to regret that decision. 

QUESTIONING EVERYTHING

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This was not the life Darren had signed up for when he chose to be with Pam. He knew that she and his stepdaughter had never really seen eye-to-eye. 

But, as far as he knew, that was pretty normal for a stepdaughter-stepmother relationship. But what was he supposed to think about the bruises? 

MODEL STUDENT

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As far as Darren knew, Natalie was a model student and never went out to parties like the other teenagers her age. 

She wasn’t social or interested in playing sports – she preferred to curl up with a book and read during her summer vacations. And, she wasn’t dating. So, where did the bruises keep coming from?

WHAT WAS HAPPENING?

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Weeks went by, and every morning Darren would see more bruises appear on Natalie’s legs. What was she doing in the night to receive these bruises? And Pam and Natalie kept denying that they knew how she’d gotten them.

What exactly was happening to his little girl? The worried dad had hundreds of questions running through his mind. But one thing was for sure: he was at his wit’s end. 

TRYING TO CATCH HER IN THE ACT

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Darren had night after sleepless night trying to stay awake to catch Pam in the act. The weeks of accusations from him and the tears and denial from her had left them in a bad place. Now, Darren was sleeping on the couch and they were hardly speaking to each other. 

Deep in his heart, he didn’t actually believe that she was the culprit. But, with nobody else in the house, he didn’t know what to think. 

IT WASN’T PAM

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Darren caught Pam a few times when she went to get a glass of water in the night, but he never caught her going into Natalie’s room after they said their goodnights to her. 

Darren even went as far as setting up a deer camera outside and pointing it under his daughter’s window in case she was sneaking out, but now he was sure nobody was going in or coming out of her room. 

A CHANGE IN BEHAVIOR

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And the marks weren’t the only odd thing about Natalie: now, she never seemed to get enough sleep. She’d go to bed at 8 PM, exhausted, and only reemerge from her bedroom at lunchtime the following day.

She would pick at her food and hardly eat anything at dinnertime, and snap at Darren’s most innocent questions when he showed concern. It was like Natalie was a different person.

DID SHE HAVE A SERIOUS MEDICAL CONDITION?

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Since Darren was reasonably sure that nobody was entering Natalie’s room at night, he began to worry about her health. Perhaps she had some sort of medical condition? 

He finally apologized to Pam and voiced his concerns. Pam softened a little, and they took Natalie to the family doctor in hopes of finding out the truth. 

POSSIBILITIES

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Darren cringed as the family doctor looked at him suspiciously while examining Natalie’s legs, but then he explained that there were several health conditions that could be causing them. 

His first concern was a clotting or platelet issue, so he asked whether Darren or his ex-wife had any bleeding disorders running in their families. Darren shook his head.

TESTS

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The doctor drew blood from Natalie’s arm to test for myeloma, leukemia, sepsis, and autoimmune diseases. 

He ran through a list of supplements and medications that can cause spontaneous bruising, but Natalie hadn’t been taking ginkgo or blood thinners, and she certainly hadn’t been doing any heavy drinking. But, when the tests came back, what the doctor told him only left more unanswered questions.

THE RESULTS

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Natalie didn’t appear to have anything wrong with her. There was nothing strange or worrying about her results. The doctor checked her blood levels but couldn’t find any deficiencies. 

Although Darren was relieved to hear that his daughter was healthy, this news meant that the cause of his daughter’s bruises could be something far more complicated. But, as soon as they got home, there was a knock on the door.

FROM BAD TO WORSE

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Darren opened the door, only to see a woman with a stern look on her face standing on his doorstep. She tersely introduced herself and informed him that she was from social services.

When Darren managed to wrap his head around what the woman was there for, he was in complete shock. This couldn’t have something to do with Pam, could it?

THE INVESTIGATION

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The woman, who introduced herself simply as Mrs. Wood, said that she was there to investigate a possible “situation” involving young Natalie and her parents. 

Mrs. Wood had been made aware of Natalie’s inexplicable marks by their family doctor. Of course, the doctor was obligated to report anything suspicious. All Darren could do was comply. 

HE COULDN’T PROVE IT

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Darren’s mind began to race… he hadn’t done anything! He’d never, ever, lay a hand on his child! But, unfortunately for him, there was no way he could prove otherwise. 

Mrs. Wood would simply have to speak to Natalie herself. Maybe she could get the answers that nobody else seemed to be able to pry out of Natalie. 

LOCKING THE DOOR

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Mrs. Wood came inside and introduced herself to Pam, who was sitting in the living room. Then, she went upstairs and entered the girl’s bedroom, making sure to lock the door behind her. Pam shot Darren a look. 

“What’s the meaning of this?!” she asked furiously. But before Darren could explain, she’d already stormed off.

SPEAKING IN PRIVATE

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Darren paced nervously in the hallway while the social worker spoke with Natalie in private, wondering what would happen next. He was innocent and he was now sure that Pam was innocent too.

Surely the social worker wouldn’t get much more out of his daughter than he had? Or… would Natalie finally tell the truth?

DESPERATE

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Mrs. Wood finally emerged, closed her notebook, told Darren that she’d “be in touch” and showed herself out while Darren tried to comfort Natalie. 

Without any prompting, she sobbed: “I told her what I told you, dad. Every morning I wake up with marks and I don’t know how they got there!” After weeks of frustration, tears, and tension in their home, he couldn’t take it anymore and made a decision.

THE FINAL STRAW

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He’d taken Natalie to the doctor and they’d run blood tests. He’d asked her what was going on directly. He had even accused his girlfriend. 

Darren was at a loss and becoming more desperate by the minute. Something just wasn’t adding up here. He vowed that he’d find out what it was. But did he really want to know the answer?

GETTING TO THE BOTTOM OF IT

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Things had become tense between Darren and Pam since the accusations were hurled, and he was determined to get to the bottom of everything… for the sake of Natalie’s welfare and his relationship with Pam.

So they all decided to set up a camera in Natalie’s room to find out what had been happening, once and for all. The CCTV revealed the truth — but none of them were ready for the discovery.

THE FOOTAGE

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Darren set up the CCTV with a mission: to find out who or what was responsible for the bruises on his daughter. 

He made sure that whoever had been doing this would be exposed, even going as far as purchasing a night vision camera. He was hell-bent on putting a stop to everything. After another sleepless night, he sat down in front of his laptop to view the recording.

In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead are entirely coincidental