Read Pink Dress
“Am I her? The girl in the pink dress? The one who was kidnapped?”
I toss the dress I’ve been hiding in my room for a week at my mother. She doesn’t flinch. It lands on the floor without a sound. Mom furrows her brow.
“That’s ridiculous.” She sidesteps the dress and goes back to the stove, slowly stirring the simmering tomato sauce.
“You’re lying. I can tell.” She purses her lips, continuing to stir. She starts humming, a lullaby she sang when I was a toddler to get me to sleep. Now it makes my blood run cold.
“Can you set the table?”
I don’t move. “I want to know where I came from. Meet the woman who gave birth to me. That’s all. I won’t tell anyone…”
She snorts as she turns off the burner. “Did you finish watching that news story?”
“What do you mean?”
She sprinkles chopped fresh herbs over the sauce, then wipes her hand on her apron and grabs her nearby phone. She pulls up a news article then hands it to me. Mother of Missing Baby Found Dead. It’s dated a week after the kidnapping. The phone falls to the tiled floor with a clatter. I can’t breathe.
“Now, please set the table. I shouldn’t have to ask you more than once.”
She starts taking vegetables out of the fridge for a salad. I stand glued to the same spot in our kitchen, afraid to turn my back on this woman. This woman who is now a stranger.
Read Part 3 – Two Little Girls