When 15-year-old Elle stumbles across an old picture of her parents, Maia has no choice but to explain the truth to her daughter. But the truth brings back memories, bad memories. Mistakes, and the real truth about what happened to Elle's father.


1. Memories

"Mom?" Elle sat in the living room. She had beautiful brown curly hair and the prettiest green eyes. She reminded Maia of someone, someone she cared not to remember.

"What it is it, Elle?" Maia stood in the kitchen putting together Elle's lunch. She really did spoil her, but being a single parent, she just wanted Elle to stay as close to her as possible. She got lonely.

"What's this?" She picked up a picture off the mantelpiece. Elle carried it to her mother, who froze at the sight of it.

"Nothing." Maia took the picture and turned it over. "It's nothing."

Elle flipped it over again. She pointed to the boy. "Is that Dad?"

Maia sighed. "I said it was nothing."

"What happened to him?" Elle hopped onto one of the bar stools facing the counter, the only thing dividing her from her mother, and the truth.

Maia dried her hands on a dish towel. "He was a straight A student. Sporty too." Elle propped her head up with her elbows, preparing for a story. "And not to mention attractive." Elle giggled. "We had our first proper date when he took me to prom. It was the best night ever. My dress was gorgeous, I had spent  nearly fifty dollars on my hair, and he was in a black tux."

Elle looked at the picture again, and Maia smiled. "He has eyes like mine." She commented.

Maia wiped her eyes, tears had began to form, the memory stung in her brain. "Yeah. But I think it's the other way around, you got your eyes from him. On with the story, that night," Maia cleared her throat and Elle's eyes widened.

"Mom!" She exclaimed, hiding her face from embarrassment.

"Well, you wanted the truth!" Maia laughed. "He left when he found out about you. I didn't see him again. But, he did leave a bunch of pink balloons for me at the hospital when you were born. I don't know how he knew you would be girl, but somehow he found out." Elle nodded. "I haven't talked to him since." Maia paused. "Nor have I seen him. He never called. Or even tried to keep in contact." Maia's tone became bitter, and she ceased.

Elle set the photo carefully on the counter. "He was just confused, Mom. He didn't mean to hurt you. He still cares about us. Both of us." Maia watched the school bus pull in front of the house.

"You better go." Maia's voice wavered. She had never thought her daughter would be so receptive to the news about her dad.

Elle nodded and pecked her mom on the cheek before scurrying out the door. And in that moment, Maia could've sworn she saw him hug her at the door, telling her to be good at school.

She turned away from the door and looked to the dishes. "Ah, sweet memories." She whispered to herself, as she began her daily chores. The same way she had done for fifteen years.


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