I’ve worked since the month after I turned sixteen. I’ve been working my way through college and I graduate next month. My only regret is that Mom won’t be there to see it.
She died last spring. Mom was all the family I had. Her parents disowned her after she came back from her study abroad program and realized she was pregnant. I’ve never met my father. I don’t even know his name. Thanks to Mom’s life insurance policy, I now own the home I grew up in. I still work too. I’m a manager at a local fast food chain. It’s not a great job, in fact the customers usually suck. But most of the crew I work with are pretty decent. Some of them are even pretty awesome. Now don’t get me wrong, I work with idiots, but at least they’re fun idiots.
Technically, I should have graduated in the spring, but after Mom died I asked to take an incomplete on my courses. Given the circumstance, I was allowed to take the rest of the semester off to final my mother’s final expenses and final needs. I finished my studies and exams over the Summer Term. Luckily for me, all of my professors were understanding. Now that I’ve finished my exams and officially passed my last college classes, I’ve signed up for graduation. I don’t know if I want to walk, I mean, who would be there to see?
I don’t really know what I want to do anymore. I’ve debated continuing my education and getting a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts. I double majored in music performance and literature. I don’t know if I want to consider literature or something else. I was lacking in motivation and didn’t know what direction I wanted to go in.
After my mom passed, I finally met my grandparents. They came to Mom’s funeral. It was weird. It seemed like they wanted to be there for me all of a sudden after being completely absent for the rest of my life. You spent over twenty years ignoring me and your daughter all because she felt in love, got pregnant, and had a baby? Honestly, you come home and find out your entire life is about to change and what do you parents do? Tell you to get the hell out and not come back. Yeah, that’s the kind of people I want at my back.
Then, something incredible happened. Something I never would have expected in a million years. A letter was hand delivered to me. I had to sign for it and everything.
Miss Juliet Anastasia Victoria Benn
I never used my full name. I didn’t recognize the ornate scrawl. It was sealed with a wax seal and a fancy looking crest. Seriously, who does that? I mean it’s not 1860. I opened it the letter inside was written in the same fancy scrawl.
My deepest sympathies to hear of the loss of Rose. She was a treasure and the world is truly a darker place without her. I wish I had known. I wish I had known she was ill. If I had I would have sent word sooner. It is my greatest wish that we should meet in person. I have something to discuss with you that cannot be discussed in letters. I offer you my personal hospitality at your earliest convenience. Send word care of return post when you wish to meet and I will send transportation.
I stared at the letter for days. I wasn’t sure what to make of it. Was it a joke? Then I began to wonder if this person did know my mother. If he did, should I meet with him? Would it give me any sense of closure? Would it rip open the wound that I’d only barely managed to hold together? I didn’t know what to make of it until another letter came for me with the same seal as the other letter.
I know this must seem strange and I wonder if you doubt my intentions. I need to speak with you. It is of the utmost importance. Please allow me the chance to explain. There is much that I need to talk with you about that I cannot explain in a letter. We need to speak face to face.
I decided to take a change and write back.
I have no idea who you are or why you want to talk to me, but okay. You say you knew my mother. How? I have no idea what to write you. I don’t know what you want to say to me, but I guess we could meet. But I want to know where? And more importantly, why?
Two weeks later another letter came in the mail.
I am thrilled to hear from you! I knew your mother many years ago, she was truly a radiant woman. I am reluctant to say why I wish to see you, as it has yet to be proven. From what I’ve found you are truly like her. Whenever you are ready, I will send a private jet for you.
I wrote him a letter explaining I had graduation to attend, but I’d be willing to come after that with a few conditions. It gave me a month to get everything prepared. I took a leave of absence from work. A friend of mine had moved in with her son not too long ago, and I trusted her with my home and my puppy. Well, he had been puppy, now he was about 95 pounds of adorable. My German Shepherd, Loki. He was protective and he’d taken to my friend’s son and was his guardian. I packed my bags and boarded a plane to England.
I grew up in sunny Florida. I’ve never lived more than thirty minutes from the beach and never out of the country. This was a whole new kind of adventure. I just hoped I was ready for it.