The heavy pattering of the rain on the window and the thunderous rumble from the sky distracted Dylan, who was busy with his laptop. Furious, he went to the living room window to close the curtains when he noticed something strange.
A woman was drenched and shivering in the torrential rain, looking at her house. Even in the dead of night, he could make out her frail figure, shivering from the cold outside.
“Lyra, darling! he called his wife. “Did you call someone at home?”
“No, I didn’t, Dylan,” she replied, joining him at the window. “Who’s there?”
“Do we know her?” I ask. “That woman out there… she’s standing in the rain.”
Lyra looked out the window and shook her head. “I don’t know…she looks old. Let’s ask her if she needs help.”
So Dylan and Lyra went downstairs and out, carrying an umbrella and an extra blanket for the older woman.
As soon as the older woman saw them, Dylan saw panic in her eyes.
A mother loves her child no matter what.
“Ma’am, are you okay?” Dylan asked, shielding her under the spare umbrella. “Can we help you with something?”
“Oh well, I don’t know…” she said. “I-I don’t have a place to live here. I’m new to the city and I have no idea where to go…”
The woman had no luggage, which confused Dylan and Lyra. She could be faking everything, they thought. And they had two children at home. They didn’t want to risk their safety by letting a stranger in, but something in the woman told Dylan she wasn’t a threat.
“Do you have any relatives we can contact, ma’am?” Lyra asked. We could call the police.
“Oh no, no,” he yelled. “I have no family… I came here looking for a job, children… I don’t know why I—I just stopped here. I should go…”
“It’s fine!” Dylan stopped her. “Go ahead. You’ll get sick in the cold. Have some tea with us.”
So Dylan and Lyra took her inside. Lyra gave her some of her mother’s old clothes, and after the older woman had dried and changed, they all had tea together.
“I’m Marlene,” the old woman told Lyra and Dylan, who had discussed hiring her as a kitchen servant. He seemed fine and Lyra needed help with chores around the house.
“Thanks for the tea,” Marlene said. “I really needed it”.
“So you said you came here looking for a job?” Lyra asked. “Would you like to work for us? We have two children who are asleep right now. Could you meet them in the morning and I need help around the house.”
Really?” Marlene asked. “Would you really hire me?”
“Well why not?” Dylan said. “As long as you’re okay with that. We’ll also need your information… any identification… We can’t leave anyone home.”
“Oh, okay,” Marlene said. “But I’d need help with that. I was robbed right after I left the station, so I’d need a laptop or something… I was smart enough to keep digital copies.”
“Perfect!” Dylan smiled. “You can rest in the guest room tonight, Marlene…”
That was four years ago. Marlene started working as a maid at Dylan and Lyra’s house four years ago after Dylan sheltered her from the rain, but she quickly became like family to them. Her children, Aaron and Lisa, affectionately called her “Ganma Marlene,” and the entire family adored her.
But on her birthday that year, everything changed. Dylan and Lyra planned a lavish celebration for Marlene and invited everyone they knew.
After everyone left, I was busy unwrapping presents with Aaron and Lisa. Meanwhile, Dylan went to his room to get something and noticed that his laptop was on.
He was about to close it when a message on his social profile on Facebook caught his attention.
“Happy birthday dear Marlene! I hope you are having the best days of your life now that you have found your son. Your little one must love you so much!”
Dylan felt as if her heart had dropped to the ground. 28 years ago, his mother mercilessly abandoned him at the door of a shelter when he was just a three-year-old boy. She never came looking for her, and he could never find her. I didn’t know anything about her.
“Marlene!” scream. “Why did you do that? Why?”
Marlene turned around and saw Dylan crying.
“Honey,” Lyra said, concerned. “What’s wrong? Why are you crying?”
“I would like to know the truth, Marlene. Or should I call you ‘mom’?”
“What?” Lyra gasped. “Breast?”
Marlene’s eyes filled with tears. “I’m sorry, Dylan,” he said. “I didn’t want to cheat on you all these years. I’m sorry.”
“What else have you lied about, huh?” the Scream. “Tell me, damn it! Why did you do it? Why did you come here and hurt me again?”
“Dylan…” Marlene whispered. “I’m sorry,” she said. “I had no choice. You were a three-year-old…you needed a loving home, and I could never have given it to you. I was diagnosed with cancer and I never thought I’d get over it, Dylan. So I had to let you go. I came looking for you when my cancer went into remission, but it was too late.
“A wealthy family had taken you in and they said you were happy. I was happy for you, Dylan, so I stayed away and watched you from afar all these years. Look at you; you’re rich and successful today. It’s because of your upbringing. I’m so grateful to them… and I’m sorry. I don’t know why I couldn’t contain myself when you took me in four years ago… I just couldn’t… I was afraid to tell you the truth… I’m sorry…”
“OUTSIDE!” Dylan yelled. “Don’t you think you’re too mean to deserve such kindness? You can’t just walk into my life and then walk away. Just walk away!”
“Dylan, honey,” Lyra said. “Let’s talk about it-“
“It’s okay, Lyra,” Marlene said through tears. “I deserve this. I shouldn’t have kept you all in the dark. I’m sorry.”
A week later, Dylan regretted saying that. He discovered that Marlene was not the biological mother who had abandoned him.
Dylan came across Marlene’s Facebook profile on the laptop because she hadn’t logged out and read another message her friend Linda had left for her.
“You should tell him the truth, Marlene. How devastated will he be to find out that he has lost his mother twice? He deserves to know that his mother abandoned him in a park and that you took him in. He will love you, Marlene. He really will… .”
Dylan couldn’t believe what he had read. She went through her entire profile crying, reading Linda’s messages, and guess what? He found out that Marlene had been living just a few blocks from him.
Dylan ran to her house, and as soon as she opened the door, she cried her heart out and hugged her.
“Mom,” he sobbed. “I love you! I’m so sorry, Mom…I’m so sorry. Why didn’t you tell me you’re not my biological mother? You…saved me!”
What does it matter, Dylan?” she asked, hugging him back. “I loved you like my son, and it hurt when I left you. I abandoned you… I was no different from your mother, except that I left you because I loved you.”
“You will come home,” he said. “That’s all I want. I love you.”
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