MidReal Story

Lost and Found: The Mother's Deception

May 2
Scenario: A GIRL NAMED jane on the hunt for her biological mother. After years of her grandmother telling her that her mother didnt want her. When she later finds out she was loved and wanted but was being held captive by a stranger she thought was her grandmother
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A GIRL NAMED jane on the hunt for her biological mother. After years of her grandmother telling her that her mother didnt want her. When she later finds out she was loved and wanted but was being held captive by a stranger she thought was her grandmother
I was never able to celebrate Mother’s Day.
Not even when I was little, for what I would have given to be able to make a card, or offer her a bouquet of flowers.
According to my grandmother—my mother’s own mother—she didn’t want me.
There were no phone calls or cards on my birthday, no Christmas presents, and no notes tucked inside my lunchbox.
She simply wasn’t there.
And that was the story I had grown up with.
At first, it was a mere detail, or so I thought.
I’d ask my grandmother, and she’d say that my mother had made a choice not to be a part of my life.
It wasn’t because she didn’t love me, but she simply couldn’t be there for me.
That was the explanation that my four-year-old mind could comprehend, but it didn’t stop the tears from falling when I would ask her why she wouldn’t want me.
“Sometimes, things just work out that way,” she would tell me, fingers combing through my long blonde hair.
I’d imagine that maybe she was a princess in a faraway kingdom, and that one day, she’d come to take me away so we could live in her castle together.
Or maybe she was a spy, and had to keep her identity a secret so that I wouldn’t be in danger.
As I grew older, I learned that sometimes parents left their children when they couldn’t take care of them, and that it wasn’t their fault.
But for the life of me, I couldn’t understand why my own mother wouldn’t want me.
It made me feel unwanted, and that hurt more than anything else.
I cried myself to sleep more nights than I cared to admit as I wondered why she couldn’t love me enough to stay.
And so, it became something that I tried not to think about at all.
It made me different from the other kids at school, and I hated feeling like an outsider.
I wanted nothing more than to be strong, brave, and independent—the type of girl who could handle anything that came her way.
I was good at pretending that it didn’t bother me—not having a mom like everyone else—and I quickly learned to bury those feelings deep down inside me.
But no matter how hard I tried or how much I resented it, that feeling of being unwanted never went away.
And as I got older, it only made it worse.
When I was a little girl, I had told myself that my mother would come for me one day, that she had a reason for staying away but that she loved me all the same.
But as each year passed and she didn’t show up, that belief started to fade away into the background.
As I got older and watched other kids with their parents—especially their moms—I couldn’t help but feel a pang of jealousy and sadness for something that I would never have.
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Mother’s Day was always the hardest.
I would plaster on a smile as teachers handed out construction paper cards to be colored in with crayons and stickers.
In my younger years, I would simply hand them over to my grandmother without a second thought, but as I got older, I stopped bringing them home altogether because they would end up in the trash anyway.
Sarah always tried to make me feel better by including me in the celebrations with her mom or inviting me over for dinner with her family.
But it was hard not to feel the sting of sad silence that always lingered when we were asked what we were doing for our moms on Mother’s Day, or worse yet when our teacher would have us write about what made our moms so special and deserving of praise.
The woman who raised me wasn’t big on holidays either, and certainly not something as commercialized as Mother’s Day.
“Every day should be Mother’s Day,” she’d grumble, more often than not.
And so, she and I would spend the day doing the same thing as always: grocery shopping, cleaning the house, and preparing meals for the week ahead.
It was just another day, she would say, and nothing to fuss over.
Not having a mother around on Mother’s Day seemed like less of a big deal when I was little.
After all, I had never known what it was like to have her in the first place, and even though I was aware of the fact that other children had mothers, I didn’t quite grasp the significance of what that meant.
But as I got older, I started to see just how much I was missing out on, and Mother’s Day only served as a yearly reminder.
“Are you okay?”
Sarah asked me, gently squeezing my hand under the table as I fought to keep the tears at bay.
I nodded, trying to keep the quaver out of my voice.
It wasn’t fair of me to be upset, not when Sarah was so happy to be able to spend the day with her mom and make her feel special.
I loved Sarah, and I loved her mom, too.
But I couldn’t help but feel a pang of sadness as I realized that I would never have that same bond with my own mother.
I would never get to take her out for lunch or give her flowers or even just sit around and talk and laugh, the way Sarah and her mom were doing then.
In truth, I didn’t even know what she looked like.
My only memories of her were the photographs that my grandmother kept in an old album on the bookshelf.
Her hair was brown, her eyes green, and she had a wide smile that always made me feel warm inside whenever I looked at it.
She seemed like such a nice lady—which only made it all the more confusing when my grandmother told me that she didn’t love me enough to stay.
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“Yeah,” Sarah said doubtfully, watching me as I tried to contain myself.
“You sure you don’t want to talk about it?”
“I’m fine,” I said, and this time there was no mistaking the lie in my voice.
I knew that Sarah would be there for me if I needed her, but something about admitting how much it hurt made it all too real for me to bear.
Besides, even though we had been best friends since kindergarten, there were certain things about my life that I didn’t like to talk about if I could help it—and this was one of them.
“Okay,” she said, not entirely convinced, but willing to let it go for now.
“If you’re sure.”
After we finished our coffee, we left the café and walked down the street to meet up with some other friends from school who were planning a Mother’s Day picnic in the park.
I almost turned around and went home instead—I had already made an excuse about why I couldn’t see my grandmother today, and having to make conversation with people who had their moms around felt like too much of a burden.
But Sarah was there, and so I went with her anyway.
Besides, they were my friends, and not seeing them wouldn’t change the way that I felt about my own situation.
It wasn’t like I could avoid Mother’s Day forever.
So that was how we ended up sitting on a blanket in the park, eating sandwiches and laughing and pretending like everything was normal.
Sarah kept glancing at me out of the corner of her eye, as if making sure that I wasn’t going to break down into tears at any moment, which only made me feel worse.
She was my best friend, and if anyone could understand, it was her.
But a part of me didn’t want her to understand—not really.
Because if she did, then that would mean admitting that there was something wrong with me, and the last thing that I wanted was for her to think that this was somehow my fault.
“So, are your moms coming soon?”
Sarah’s blonde hair shone like a beacon in the sunlight as she turned to one of our friends to ask the question.
“Yeah, they said they’d be here in an hour or so,” replied the girl, whose name was Rachel and who I knew mostly by sight from the photography club that we were both in.
She had dark hair and pretty brown skin, and I was a little envious of the way that she could pull off wearing red lipstick during the day without looking like a clown.
“Mom’s driving up from the city,” Rachel said.
“Dad’s coming too, but he’s got some work stuff to finish up first.”
“Mm,” Rachel said with a shrug, as if it didn’t matter anyway.
“It doesn’t really matter who shows up, as long as we can all be together.
It’s not like Mother’s Day is this big deal or anything.”
I looked away then, afraid that Sarah might see the bitterness in my eyes.
Because to me, Mother’s Day was a big deal.
It was one of those days where I felt the weight of my mother’s absence more than ever, just because I couldn’t pretend that it wasn’t happening.
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On the other side of the blanket, Sarah was still talking to Rachel, trying to convince her that her dad would probably show up at some point, and if not, then there was always next year.
“I’m sure your mom will come around eventually,” Sarah said, sounding as if she really meant it.
Now it was my turn to glance at her out of the corner of my eye, wondering if she was being serious or if this was just another one of those things that she thought would make me feel better, even though it didn’t.
“You think so?”
Sarah was silent for a moment, looking down at the grass and pulling at a strand that had gotten stuck to her shoe.
“I don’t know,” she said at last.
“But I think that maybe you should try to talk to her again, if it’s been a while since you last did.” She hesitated for a moment.
“I mean, it has been a while, right?Maybe she’s changed her mind by now.”
I had to bite back a laugh at that one, even though it was anything but funny.
It had been fifteen years since my mother made it clear that she didn’t want anything to do with me, and in all that time, not a single word had passed between us.
And now Sarah was trying to tell me that maybe my mother would change her mind out of the blue and come back into my life as if nothing had happened?
“Do you really think so?”
I asked, doing my best to keep my voice neutral.
Sarah glanced at me, clearly catching the sarcasm in my tone.
“I’m just saying,” she replied defensively.
“What if she does want to talk to you again?Wouldn’t you regret not reaching out to her?”
“Why would I regret it?”
I asked, sounding more irritated than I meant to be.
“If she wanted to be here, then she would be here.
This isn’t just something that you forget about or change your mind on.” I hesitated for a moment before adding, “At least, that’s what I think.”
“Okay.” Sarah held her hands up in surrender.
“I’m not trying to upset you or anything.
I was just saying what I thought.”
“I know,” I said after a moment.
“I’m sorry.” I sighed, trying to shake off the sudden heaviness in my chest.
It wasn’t Sarah’s fault—I knew that she was only trying to help, and I loved her for it.
But this was one of those things that was never going to go away no matter how much I wanted it to.
And I didn’t want to talk about it anymore—not today, and not ever.
So instead of saying anything more on the subject, I tried to lighten the mood with a joke about the weather.
But even once we had moved on to other topics of conversation, an uncomfortable silence lingered between us for the rest of the afternoon.
By the time I got home later that evening, I had almost managed to forget about the whole thing.
My grandmother was waiting for me in the kitchen when I got back from work, as she usually was these days.
She offered me some soup for dinner, but I told her that I wasn’t hungry and went straight to my room instead.
“Is everything okay?”
she called after me as I left.
I didn’t answer her right away—partly because I wasn’t sure how to tell her what had happened today without getting upset all over again.
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I could hear her shuffling after me as I walked down the hall, but it wasn’t long before she gave up and went back to the kitchen.
My apartment was small and dimly lit, with only one window in the living room and one in the kitchen, and both of them had been covered up by a thick layer of grime.
It felt more like a prison cell than an actual home.
But the solitude was something that I had grown used to over the years, and even though it was lonely at times, it was better than the alternative.
I changed out of my work clothes and into something more comfortable before returning to the living room and turning on the television.
The sound of it filled up the empty space, but it wasn’t enough to erase the strange feeling of silence that still lingered between my grandmother and me.
Maybe Sarah had been right.
Maybe it was time for me to start looking for my mother again.
But just the thought of it made me tired.
It felt like there was nothing else in the world that I could do.
I went into the kitchen and pulled a box of pasta out of one of the cupboards.
It was going to be another quiet night—just like every other night—and I wasn’t really sure what else there was for me to do.
The way that Sarah had talked earlier had made me feel strange, almost like I was guilty for not trying harder to find my mother when she had been gone for so long.
But what was the point?
It wasn’t like we were ever going to find her anyway.
She didn’t want anything to do with us, and we needed to accept that.
Besides, even if we did manage to track her down, there was no guarantee that things would be any different than they were before.
I had tried not to think about it too much, but the whole thing had left me feeling weird.
It didn’t take me long to cook my dinner once I got started, and by the time I had finished cleaning up after myself, it was already getting late.
I went back to the living room and turned off the TV before going back to my room to change into my pajamas.
I still wasn’t feeling very hungry, but my stomach started to growl as soon as I smelled the food.
So I ate quickly before getting back into bed and turning off my light.
The conversation from earlier that day still lingered in my mind, refusing to go away no matter how hard I tried to push it out of my thoughts.
Sarah had sounded so hopeful when she talked about my mother reaching out to me again someday.
But I just couldn’t bring myself to believe her.
That ship had sailed a long time ago, and at this point in time, I would be surprised if it ever came back.
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