“Johnny…” the old woman said, wheezing for breath, “...I have something to tell you.”
“What is it, Mom?” Johnny said, leaning toward his mother’s frail form.
“I’m sorry… I didn’t tell you sooner…” she struggled to stay awake as the light started to fade from her eyes. “But… you have… a brother…”
Johnny’s jaw hit the floor. “...What?” he stammered. “I had a brother this whole time? Why didn’t you say anything?! Does Dad know?”
“...j-jacket… pocket…” his mother whispered, before closing her eyes one final time and passing away.
Barely registering the shock of her death, he rushed over to her jacket on the chair and scrambled through the pockets. After three tries, he found a letter with a simple message on it.
“Johnny, you should know that you don’t actually have a long lost brother. I just wanted to see the look on your face when you thought you did. I imagine it was a lot like that of your father and I when you faked your kidnapping five years ago to try and get ransom money from us. See you at the funeral. Love, Mom.”