I have a mom, a real mom, one who loves me and bakes cookies and made scrapbooks of my first year. I sat on the couch in disbelief, my parents sitting across from me, hardly containing their excitement. I nodded my head as they made light conversation, why I was so numb inside. Shouldn’t I be just as excited as they were? I shook my head slightly, and refocused on the conversation.
My mom laid her hand on my knee, “Would you like to see your room?”
I nodded, not sure what to expect, but she led the way down the hall, she stopped before the closed door, “I haven’t stepped in here since the night you were taken from us. Walter comes in here every now and then to open the windows, so it doesn’t get musty…”
She trailed off as she pushed open the door. I took in the sights and smells of a beautiful nursery…. my nursery. I started crying as memories of Christopher’s nursery plans filled my head.
My mom wrapped her arms around me, “I know we’re practically strangers, but if you need to talk, feel free to speak honestly, don’t spare our feelings. We’re just happy that you’re alive, honey.”
I broke down into harsh sobs, “Uh…a few months ago, I…*sob* was pregnant…my boyfriend..*sob*….got really drunk….and he shot me. He missed my heart..*sob* but he hit my stomach..”
She pulled me into her arms, “Oh, sweetheart, I’m so sorry.”
She held me tight until I stopped trembling. I soaked up the comfort, not used to having a mother who actually took care of me. She sighed, “So, how would like your room to look?” I looked at her quizzically before she laughed, “What I’m trying to say, is that our door is open if you want to stay a night every now and then, or even come live with us. But we know that that’s a big adjustment, so however you want to work it.”
I nodded my head, “Uhh…can I think about it? It’s a lot to consider…” She laughed before nodding excitedly.
We parted ways that night, as I headed for the hotel they insisted on putting me up in. I laid on the bed, big tears rolling down my face. I had so many emotions swirling around but the more I learned about them, the more I hated my mom, ugh…I mean my kidnapper. I called her after I had finished crying, and left her a voicemail, saying she could find her car at the nearest impound.
I hung up and took a much-needed soak in the tub. I flipped through the baby book that Vanessa, my mom, had sent with me. I traced my face in the picture, jealous of how happy she looked. I was determined to be that happy again. I packed my bag, left the hotel and found myself back on their doorway.
My dad opened the door and look concerned, “Honey, are you okay?” I found myself smiling ear to ear, “I have been robbed of too much time from you all. I want to move in and make the most of the new memories we can make. If that’s okay with you guys.”
He pulled me in and gave me a big hug, “Sweetheart, you don’t know how happy that makes me.”
I giggled and my mom appeared next to me, so I chose that moment to address them both, “Guys, I know you’ve been confused as to what to call me, because to you I’m Sabrina, and to me, I’ve been Lauryn for the last 18 years that I can remember, but I want to put Lauryn in the past. From now on I am Sabrina Daisy Quinn.” My mom’s eyes filled with tears and we hugged again, my dad encircling the both of us.
My brother, Ethan, who had yet to show any interest in me was on the couch playing the newest R.E.F.U.G.E. game. I grabbed the other controller, “Mind if I join?”
He looked at me, his eyes wide, “You play this game?”
I shrugged, “Not this game specifically, but at the shelter I was staying, they had this game system. I loved to play My Sims Go!.”
He laughed, and he showed me the basics. We were both in the heat of competitive driving while Mom made a delicious smelling dinner. Dad settled on the couch with his paper. Ethan shook his head in defeat when were done, and we gathered at the table for dinner.
My dad broke up the monotonous sounds of the silverware scraping the plates, “So, Sabrina, if you don’t have any plans this weekend, your mother and I thought we’d celebrate your return by having a family day at the Sunny Seashell Spa. We own a cabana there part time.” I nodded, thinking that it sounded perfect.
The rest of the week flew by in anticipation of our day at the spa. My mom and I both got deep-tissue massages and pedicures while the guys lounged by the pool. We met up by the pool in the afternoon. My dad and I relaxing on the loungers, while Ethan and my mom swam around. I was deep into a book when I heard a “COWABUNGA!!” With a huge splash, Ethan dove into the pool, smiling impishly when he resurfaced. I splashed him in annoyance, but I couldn’t help but smile. I got out and dried off, while trying to salvage my book. As I was walking back towards the locked room, something, or rather someone, nearly bowled me over, sending me to the floor. I ducked my head in embarrassment, dazed, but alright.
I took the hand offered to help me up, a rich warm voice apologizing, “Oh man, I’m so sorry. Are you okay? Oh crap, you’re bleeding.” I looked down at my knee, “Oh yeah, I guess so.” I looked up at him, and did a double-take, “You-you’re Nikolai Cruz……” He shrugged, “Yeah, but I’m also the guy who just knocked over a beautiful young lady.” I blushed but couldn’t manage to find my words. I was standing in front of Nikolai Cruz, world-renowned singer, famous for the hit song, “You’ve Got My Heart”. I stuttered before he gestured to my knee, “You should get that checked out…….” I sputtered, “Oh, uh, I’m Laur-I mean, I’m Sabrina.” I laughed nervously but he tugged my arm and led me to the first aid station. He stood near me while the on-call nurse cleaned my leg and put a bandage on it. I thanked her before turning to Nikolai, “Mr.Cruz, you really didn’t have to stay. I’m really alright. I’m sorry to take up your time.” He laughed before kissing my hand, “Please, call me Nikolai, and why don’t you make it up to me by having dinner with me next weekend?” I blushed, completely nervous, but I found myself agreeing……..
What in the world did I get myself into?