She opened the door and there it was. She had patiently awaited its arrival for many weeks. Now it was time, time to open the box and put an end to all the questions, all the wondering and all the agony. Ever since the day she heard it was coming, she had envisioned in her mind what would be inside. She daydreamed about glorious items such as diamonds and gold. Or perhaps, she wondered, it might be wondrous heirlooms that she could pass on to her future children. There were as many thoughts in her head as there were days in a year. What ever could the package hold? The anticipation was killing her.
She grabbed up the box, big but lightweight and carried it to her room. She hastily found her pair of scissors and meticulously started cutting the tape away from the outer recesses. When the tape was sufficiently out of the way, she grabbed the cardboard sides and opened it. To her dismay, she still wasn’t able to see the contents due to that awful styrofoam coating. Why couldn’t they have packed it in bubble wrap so it would have been a little more transparent? No, she thought, I suppose that would have been too much trouble. Oh well, now she would have to find a plastic bag to throw the styrofoam in. After all, she couldn’t have it littering her floor. Off to the kitchen to find one and then a foot race back to her bedroom to unearth the hidden item.
She dug and dug through the styrofoam, scooping up a handful at a time and placing it in the plastic bag. She had almost given up on finding ANY item hidden under it all. It seemed to stretch on for ages. Then as she removed the last handful, she saw it. The item she had been expecting for weeks and conjuring up ideas of grandeur about. There it was, at the bottom of the box, glaring at her and taunting her.
When she had first heard of her grandmother’s sudden death, she had wept for days. Her grandmother was like a second mom to her, always there for her and offering her comfort when needed. She had thought the world was coming to an end at the idea of her grandmother being gone from her life forever. Then she went to the will reading and it was discovered that her grandmother, a woman who had always lived by the bare minimum and never flaunted a single penny earned, was rich beyond your wildest dreams. If one had looked at her, they would have never guessed. In fact, her family even had no clue. They knew she had a decent savings, left her by her deceased husband, killed during the war, but no one had ever guessed she had a hidden fortune.
Alas, no one could have ever fathomed how she bequeathed that fortune. Half of it went to a charity she had always loved, of which the children were victims of abuse. One could only wonder as to why her heart reached out so much to this charity. She had never mentioned whether or not she, herself, was a victim of abuse. It was just surmised by her love of children that she would want to do everything in her power to see every child was loved and cared for the way one ought to be. The other half of the money was divided between her only daughter and her 3 grandchildren. After the money was divvied out, the reader of the will shared with all those in the room that her grandmother had left a special item for her one and only granddaughter. It was not said WHAT the item was, but simply told to her that it was at the bank and scheduled to be mailed to her as soon as possible.
From that day on, she had been dreaming up what the item could be. She had always known she was her grandmother’s favorite. That was what she told her anyways. The money bequeathed to her was a dream come true. She could now afford her dream home and be happy in the thought that her future was going to always be well taken care of. The money could never replace her grandmother in her heart and life, but it was a welcome addition after such a loss.
Now she knew what the item was and she couldn’t believe it. For 23 years, she had gone through life unaware. There laying at the bottom of the box was her birth certificate. Born July 16th, 1988, little Katherine Marie Bentnor. Everything looked right except that last name. Her last name for 23 years had been Monroe. What exactly was she looking at? And the names of the parents, those were NOT her parent’s names! What was going on? Was this a joke?
She lifted it up to take a closer look and saw there was a letter underneath it. She opened it up and read it, tears filling her eyes. It was from her grandmother,
“Dear my little Kat,
I have always loved you since the day your momma brought you home. Your momma had always wanted a little girl, but after having two little boys, she was told she would be unable to deliver again. It broke her heart in two and it was then that I told your momma of my wealth. I had scrimped and saved over the years to save up a nice fortune for my family. It had always been my dream to be able to give them the life I never had. I gave your mom the money to see about adoption.
She found you rather by accident, but what a wonderful one it was. Your real mom was only 13 years old and had been beaten and raped by her father for many years. I know this may hurt you to know but she had gotten pregnant by her father and halfway through the pregnancy, she had run away. The little girl(your mom) ran for miles and ended up knocking on my daugher’s(the mom you have always known) door. Of course, my daughter took her in and helped her out in every way she could. The girl was frightened that her father would find her and she was also scared of the burden of being a mother at 13. She asked my mom if she would take her child after it was born and raise it for her. She knew the life she could create for the child would be nothing compared to what my daughter could.
My daughter agreed and when the girl gave birth to you, my little Katherine Marie, she was overjoyed to see you were a girl. The girl she had always dreamed of.
She helped the girl get away from her father and the father was eventually jailed and Heaven help us that he will never be released. Your real mom went to foster care where she grew up, went to college and became a nurse. She kept in contact with us and we sent her letters and photos, but she chose to stay away and not interfere with your new life. She wanted the best for you and told me to only disclose your past after my death.
Since you are reading this, I have obviously passed on to a better place. Enclosed I have the address and phone number of your real mom should you decide to get in contact with her. Please do not be upset with me or your mother for never telling you the truth. It was your real mom’s wishes and after everything the poor child had been through, we felt it was our job to do as she wished. I bequeathed you enough money to help you in visiting your mom,moving near her if you so choose, and even helping her as well, if need be.
Always know that I will always be with you, even now, looking over your shoulder and comforting you. I love you more than you will ever know.