I examined the blue envelope as I sat on the last row pew. Somebody had slipped it under my bedroom door while I was asleep, and the first thing I thought to myself was, “Why did mom write me a letter?” She had not contacted me since I was 10, and all I knew was that she had run away with another man. I stared at the envelope with feelings of both pure resentment as well as utter curiosity. No matter how mad I was at her, my mother always held a soft corner in my heart. “So she finally thought about me on my 21st birthday after all these years?” I thought. I squinted my eyes as my hands shook  while I took off the wax seal. Inside lay a light brown letter which looked as if it had been crushed and crumpled many times before it actually made it into the envelope and through my doorstep. My heart was beating so loud it felt like someone had taken it out and held it to my ears. I fumbled with the letter while I opened it, and gradually started reading: “Mona, I know you never deserved any of this but I have missed you ever since I left. My sweet child, I don’t mean to ruin your birthday but I wanted to write to you before I leave this world for good. I can’t continue living with the guilt of everything I did to our family. I wish you get all that you deserve and desire. Goodbye.” No, no, no. This can’t be happening. No. I have to stop her. I have to stop her. “Mona.” I have to stop her. “Mona listen.” I felt a hand on my shoulder. I heard a distant voice but none of it mattered. I have to stop her. “Mona listen to me. Can you hear me?” I gasped for air as I sat up straight, my heart pounding as if it was stuck in my throat. “Are you okay child?” asked my father as I looked around completely bewildered. None of it made sense. Why am I lying in bed in a johnny gown with an IV drip beside me? Why are all these walls so dull and grey? “No. I’m not okay. And neither is mom. I have to stop her before it’s too late,” I said.

“What do you have to stop her from?”

“From dying. I have to tell her to stop.”

“It wasn’t your fault, honey. It was never your fault.”


“I thought you were coping better with everything that happened since it has been more than ten years. I had no idea you still blame yourself.”

“Blame myself? Everything that happened? What happened? And why am I in these stupid clothes?”

My father started explaining, “Ever since your mother passed away, you have been blaming yourself for it. You wanted to bake cookies with her and so she went outside to get the ingredients. Unfortunately, she met with an accident and succumbed to her wounds. You were only 10 then. And about the stupid clothes — you had a panic attack and blacked out, so I took you to the hospital.”

“Wait, what? So I was dreaming this entire time? The, the letter? Did mom not send a let-” “Ohhhhh,” I let out a groan as I dropped my face in both my hands out of embarrassment. Wow. The tricks my mind plays on me. “A nice story you made up there, goofy,” I thought to myself. 

“See, Mona. I know you miss your mom dearly and I know there is no one in the whole world who can replace her. But I want you to know that your father is always here for you whenever you need him honey. I might not love like your mom but I do love you nonetheless,” my father said as he squeezed my hand softly. I felt safe. 

I smiled and said, “I love you, dad.”

“Mr Wilson! I think she just called you dad! Mr Wilson! Come up here!”

I opened my eyes with a visibly annoyed disposition. Wait a second. Mr Wilson? Mr Wilson! I was dreaming yet again. A dream within a dream. My subconscious is so wicked. How could I forget? I am a foster child with no trace of her biological parents.