CW: THIS IS ALL FICTION- abduction, missing people, depression, substance abuse, murder
I knew I would find this, and I wouldn't give up until I did. I had been searching for years now, almost a decade, next month it'll be. I searched high and low, and I had even moved across the country in order to find this one thing, but I still didn't have it. Now, before you stop reading this because you don't know what this "one thing" is, I'll tell you.
This "one thing" is my daughter.
Her name is Aspen Grey, and she would be 11 next Sunday. She was abducted on January 13, 2011, and I've been searching for her ever since. I know she's still alive, because whoever has her has a social media account and has obviously been taking good care of her. She was only eighteen months when she was taken away, so I'm sure she doesn't remember me, but I remember every single thing about her. Whoever takes care of her is doing a pretty good job, but they don't know I follow them. They changed her name as she couldn't speak when she was taken away, so I just seem like a stranger following this popular account. Which happens to have my daughter in almost every picture. She isn't alone though, whoever has her either has their own biological kids, or abducted them, because there are plenty of different children in the photos. I always know which one is her though, because she was forever mine before she wasn't.
Aspen has (or had) wispy blonde hair, and beautiful brown eyes the color of dark honey. She has a birthmark on her wrist, almost shaped like a small heart. It's barely visible in the photos, but I would know because I carried her for ten months and birthed her myself. I spent the first few days with her just admiring how gorgeous she was, and when I noticed her marking my eyes flooded with tears. My grandmother had always talked about how if she would ever get a tattoo, it would be a small heart right where Aspen's is. She passed away just weeks before Aspen arrived. It was almost like her goodbye gift, Aspen's marking. If I had to pick a "favorite" thing about her, that would be it.
I know I won't ever find Aspen, or get her back, or tell her how much I love her, and that absolutely destroys me. Every day I can't even think about living without her, yet somehow I do. I've been searching for what feels like centuries, but it's almost only ten years. Which is still a long effing time, and I am so close to giving up, but the "mama" inside me won't let me. She was my only baby, I never had the chance to be a mama to anyone else. She was my perfect little angel, and now she's gone. I know she's alive, I know she's out there, yet I will never, ever have her.
Now you're probably wondering about her father, or if she has any siblings, which she doesn't. About her father though, I might have forgotten to mention he disappeared the same day she did. In fact, investigators think he might've been the one to take her away. It was the last thing I would've ever thought of, but after ten years, I've eventually come to realize my conscience isn't always right. Sometimes the people you love most, end up being the ones who hurt you the worst. Just like my husband, he left the same day she did, cut off all contact with me, and even changed his name. I know these things because the investigators put his name into their "Intel" machines, and nothing came out. Even his parents are being interrogated and they have given nothing.
My parents would be helping me, if my dad wasn't in state prison and my mom wasn't dead. Yeah, I kind of have it rough. My mom passed away when I was a teenager, and I have no idea how I survived. My dad is in prison for a plethora of reasons, the main one being substance abuse and murder. He killed his best friend the day my mama passed away. He was angry, mad, upset, and blamed him. He felt the only way he would get "fair" is if he took him away, but I have no idea how that's fair. It wasn't even his fault, but now he's gone. Back to my husband, if I could see him right now, I would just smack him. I might even hug him first, because he was the one I trusted everything with, and I mean everything. I would first hug him so tight, but then pull back and smack him so hard he'd see stars. I would scream and cry and shout and yell and hit him and hug him and fall to my knees with emotion. He would probably meet my dad shortly soon after in state prison too. He was the man I dedicated my whole life to, and I believed smacking him would cause him only a fraction of the pain he caused me. He ruined my life, the least I could do is smack him before the cops take him away, probably never to be seen or heard from again.
This story doesn't have a happy ending, I just needed an excuse to talk about her, my daughter. I know I won't find her, I never will. It took me almost eight years to realize that, and it will take me until I die to accept that. I'll always remember her little angelic face the night I first put her to bed, the sense of peace I felt when she was first laid on my chest, and the overwhelming amount of joy when she said "mama" for the first time. The mama bear inside me will never forgive myself for not being "safe enough". There is nothing I can do now, and that is what breaks me most. I will always love her, even if she doesn't know me. I will always remember her, even if she never remembers me. I will always call her my daughter, even if she calls someone else mama.
I'll always love her, but I'll never have her.