I was an artist. Just a twenty year old, I couldn't do much but spend most of my time out in the wary old sun, speckling my brush with blots of coloured paint. I was different from both my parents, however. My father was the rare one with tanned brown hair with streaks of deep, glinting black. My mother had a pure chocolate river that cascaded beautifully down her back. I, however, had blonde strips with brown.
I had always wondered where that blonde had come from. My mother used to tell me that it probably was a mixture of brown and black. I left that to it and never really bothered much.
One particular morning, my blood red alarm clock buzzed viciously at the hems of my bedsheets. I shot out of my bed, hastily quickened my pace to the bath and after that, I heaved my canvas out onto the lawn; gazing wistfully at the exploded shades of blue, linking with the glimmering sun. I averted my eyes, yearning for some sort of inspiration to draw. A vivid and spirited spark flickered merely into my mind and I was blank for a moment. Without the slightest hesitation, a young woman, the approximate age of my mother appeared gracefully into my mind. It was strange: that had never ever happened before...
I closed my eyes and inhaled. I drew her billowing blonde hair and her green eyes like mine. I flicked my brushes wickedly, blotted huge dollops of paint and blanketed all my faint pencil sketches with vibrant and dynamic paint. I grinned, satisfied at my piece of art wondering who on earth could that be and why she appeared into my mind.
I set the canvas out to dry and glimpsed at the vibrant hues, sighing. Personally, I had never felt that way before.
As I joined my parents at the dinner table, munching on stale take-away pizzas and oozing croissants, my mother pushed a strand of golden hair and tucked it into my ear. "So, what did you paint today honey?" she asked softly and proud at the woman I had become. Here was the thing: I had a painting ready for my parents every night.
I smiled eagerly. I spun around my damp painting. My mother's curved smiling lip twisted into an immersed frown. My dad's cheeks wheeled to a pale colour and he squeezed my hand encouragingly. "That's a lovely painting sweetie!" he swallowed and drummed his ebony fingers on the wooden table like he always did when he was nervous or anxious.
I noticed the fake smile and the gritted teeth at once. "What's wrong?" I asked sharply, glaring demandingly at the two of them.
My parents knew I was quite insistent when I wanted something. "Nothing, for you to worry about.” Mum stuttered, looking pointedly away and giving Dad a meaningful look. Mum folded her upper lip in and crossed her hands, looking clearly upset.
"Something's wrong. Tell me." I cried. The dining hall seemed to get more humid and tense. I crossed my fingers, hoping I hadn’t upset any of my parents.
Mum's smile slipped off her face and Dad's widened grin was wiped away. "There is...there is." she sobbed, resting her head over my father's shoulder and squeezing Dad’s sweaty palms.
"What is it?" I yelled, practically furious now, unable to read anything from my parents’ expressions.
"Oh, Stephanie...oh my god. We're not your real parents."
I grinned. "Good one. But it isn't even April Fool's yet." I grinned. “Now tell me the truth.” I said seriously.
"We're not lying honey. We're not. Didn't you ever wonder why you ever had blonde hair?"
All the sweat and all the happiness drained out of me. "You're kidding me. Please. Besides, what has this got to do with my painting?” I choked, as my tears squeezed themselves out of my green eyes.
Dad swallowed painfully and clenched his fists. "That -" he pointed to my canvas, "is your real mother."
"That - that...how?"
Mum gulped and sighed nervously. "We kidnapped you in a grocery store. You see, I couldn't have kids. You were the perfect one. We don't even know your birthday. Nor your age. You probably visioned her and drew her.”
My expression turned sour. All the rage billowed into me. And I seemed incapable of complimenting anyone in this case. The savage bubbled like hot bursting lava in the throats, ready to burst out any second. "How could you? How could you steal a little girl's life? Don't you know how much it means to me that I can't see my very own mother?" I sobbed, screaming into my mother's face.
My mother wept sorrowfully and she hardly made an effort to suppress her sobs. Mum quieted me and sighed. "I expect you'll leave us now. I happen to know where your mother lives. Shortly after you were kidnapped, she put an advert into the paper containing her address if anyone ever found you."
I couldn’t believe such a melancholy and dreadful, dramatic night could make such a drastic change to my life in just a day.
I inhaled deeply and rapped softly over the door, which supposedly held my mother behind it. The woman who answered the doorstep had a flowing golden river like mine. Her green eyes shone desperately and she raised her eyebrows gently at me. "Anything?"
I stammered. I had no idea what to say. I just couldn't barge into her doorstep and claim to be her daughter could I?
"May I stay here for the night? I'm - I'm homeless." I hastily answered, not able to believe my own lies.
The woman smiled. "Do come in."
The young woman was alone and she pressed a mug of hot tea into my hands. "I'll fix myself another cup. Don't worry. What's your name?" she inquired, staring at me cradling my hot tea in my arms.
"Stephanie." I replied.
The woman hesitated. "S-Stephanie?" she repeated, stammering.
I nodded. "Yes."
The woman got up and swept to the kitchen to pop in a tea bag and pour some hot water. "You know...I once had a daughter by the name of Stephanie. Then, someone kidnapped her. I waited for years for someone to come by. No one came holding my beloved daughter." she swallowed painfully, fighting back urging tears to yet, once again repeat her sorrows that she thought could never come true.
"You - you." she stopped, staring at me.
"Blonde hair, green eyes." she muttered, her eyes growing huge and vast.
"Mum? Is that you?" I swallowed.
Tears streamed to my mother's eyes as she rocked me to and fro. "Stephanie! My daughter’s back! You really are. Oh god, you’re really back. Thank god, thank god.” she sobbed, clutching me tightly and securely.