The Family Secret | By: Carmen Mauceri | | Category: Short Story - Other Bookmark and Share

The Family Secret

This story is going to be in presented in several parts.
Part 1

I went to the attic in search of my lost birth certificate, when I accidently came across this envelope addressed to my mother. What caught my attention was the P.O. Box address. As far as I knew we've livd here all my life. I looked at the name and address of the person who sent it. It came from a Donna Sanders, a name that was unfamiliar to me. She also had a P.O. Box address which seemed rather strange to me.

My curiosity got the best of me because the envelope was kind of heavy. I took out the contents of the envelope. A few photos fell to the floor. I picked them up and looked at them. My mother and a man were in those pictures. Who's that guy? I thought.

I unfolded the letters and glanced at them. It appeared by mother had been corresponding with this woman for years. I read the top letter.

Dear Rose,
Thanks for sending me the pictures of Lorraine. She's such a pretty child. From what you tell me, she's a very smart little girl. You must love her very much.

" what's this all about?" I asked myself.

Why is my mother sending this woman pictures of me? Who was that man in the photo? I then glanced at several others. They were basically the same, asking how I am and all that. I just couldn't understand why this woman was so concerned about me. The next letter had a totally different tone.

Dear Rose,
I received your letter, which distressed me for the entire day. I was tempted to call you, but I knew it would definitely be the wrong thing to do.
We've discussed it several times why Lorraine shouldn't be told the truth. I shouldn't of told you, I sometimes have regrets in what we did. Maybe this is giving you a guilt trip. We both know that telling her now, after all these years would only make the situation worst. It wouldn't correct the mistake we made. Remember, we did it to save each other. If the truth came out now, it would only hurt us all. I hope I will never hear about this again.

Please don't attempt to call me because Phil is getting a little suspecious. I don't want anything to jeopardize our happy life style. I don't ever want him to find out about us and that I have a daughter. He would never forgive me if he knew what I have done.

I was flabbergasted. I reread the letter a few times, to make sure I understood every word. What's the big secret about them, the two women? That part wasn't very clear, but it was clear that this woman's daughter is me. It all made sense, the correpondence, the picture of me. But why?"

In a few weeks, I'll be eighteen years old. I've been living in the dark for all these years, with a dark secret pending over my head. I probably would of never found out, but then again, Mom wanted to tell me and this woman didn't. I wonder if Dad knows all this?"

From that day on, I was tormented day after day, by this family secret. It had affected my sleep, my personality, my whole way of thinking. I had lost weight. I was tempted many times to spill the beans, but why should I when they kept me in the dark, in their lie, all my life. They had no respect or no feelings as far I was concerned. I had my own plans in mind. The truth would eventually all come forward.

Shortly after I found a full time job and with the help of my best friend, Holly, who was like a sister to me, saved money to buy a car and have spending that we needed for our trip to the west coast.

We both were excited about the trip, even if the real motion for going was to confront this woman, who was my real mother. It would be our first vacation away, without parents being around.

We chose the month of May. It was the perfect time to hit the roads; no snow; nice weather. We'd share the driving and the expenses.

Prior to the trip I had made many calls from work, not to get my parents suspicious. I had called the post office a few times asking them questions, but the post office wasn't allowed to give out information. Holly and I decided to make the trip anyway. We needed a vacation.

It took us almost a week to reach Texas. We took our time. We had a great time seeing the sights along the way and eating out. As we got closer to our destination I got jittery. I had thoughts of chickening out, buy Holly gave me the strength to go through with this.

The fun of the trip came to an end. It now came down to the nitty gritty of it all. We immediately found a motel room. We rested up, showered, and the next day we set forth to the post office.

"Here goes," I said to Holly, walking into the lobby of the post office. I waited for the post master to finish up with a customer. I felt the butterflies in my stomach. "Good Morning," I said, fumbling through my handbag. I handed him the envelope. "I need to find this person and the only address we have is a P.O. Box."

He looked at the envelope and then at me. "Someone had called me about that, not too long ago and I told them I can't give out information."

Holly sensed I was nervous, so she answered for me. "It's important we find her...she's our mother and she's missing."

The man looked at us. "I'm sorry to hear that, but the police would be your best bet." He gave us directions on how to get there and we left.

I was completely freaked out by the time we got to the police station. Holly suggested she should do the talking. A police officer approached us. "My sister and I drove all the way from Michigan to find our mother. She's been missing for several months." I once again took the envelope out of my handbag and showed him the address on the envelope. He glanced at it. "This is the only address we have. We just came from the post office and the post master advised us to come and see you."

"Did you file a missing persons report in your home town?" he asked us.

I looked over at Holly and then at him. She knew I wasn't much of a liar. "No," she said. "We came directly here, instead."

"Well then follow me. We'll need to file a report." We sat down with the officer and gave him all the information he needed and then we left there.

To be continued.
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