As she read the first few words, her voice and hand trembled. Her sister Constance encouraged her to face the moment.
“By opening this letter, you will be able to accept the truth”.
But Alicia would rather live in denial than acknowledge her fate.
Ten years ago, she had been engaged. During that time, she had not lived under the same roof as her husband-to-be but had met him often. As the days had gone by, and the wedding day had approached she hadn’t felt like herself. She had understood something within herself was shifting but she had been unable grasp what. Unable to confess her worries even to her sister, as she had felt this subject shameful, she had let it go.
One bright Sunday afternoon, Alexander had sat down with Alicia at the breakfast table the scent of coffee embalming the entire room. This was not a usual day. She could feel melancholy hovering over both of them as he announced that he no longer wished to marry her. Her world fell apart. She suddenly felt like she was losing control of her body. She remained inert, her voice stuck in her throat, she was unable to emit a sound. From the other side of the table, he couldn’t even look at her, he kept his eyelids shut, staring at the carpet. After that conversation, she was advised by her mother and sister to travel far away, out of his sight, and to wait until she had recovered from her pain.
She left for Hamburgshire to live with her aunt where she soon realised that she was with child.
She opened the letter in her sister’s living room. It was a reply from her daughter Elena whom had been adopted by a wealthy couple up north in Scotland. The content of the letter would either overwhelm Alicia or fill her with joy and hope. Since the previous winter she had battled with the Chief Executive of Adoption in Lancaster to have a letter reach her beloved Elena, now eight years old, in which she had suggested that she meet her biological Mama.
Alicia was never assertive, in fact she was quite the opposite compared to her fierce sister, but in that instance, she had revealed herself to be stronger than she had thought. She was convinced that somehow, she would find a way to meet her daughter.
Elena was not the name she had chosen at birth for the little baby girl, but it didn’t matter to Alicia’s heart, which loved her daughter unconditionally anyway.
Giving her up had not been her choice, but Constance’s decision. She had convinced her younger sister that her reputation would be tarnished if people found out that she had been pregnant while dating Alexander. At first, Alicia had resisted the idea of course, but the benevolent words of her sister had ended up making more sense than her own internal discourse. The couple had been everything that she had envisioned becoming with Alexander. Him, elegant and poised. Her, motherly and lively. She had left her precious daughter in the hands of strangers and hated herself for doing so. She had secretly cried long hours away from her sister, and still do only not so often.
Alicia glanced at her sister. She would finally know if Elena was willing to have contact with her.
As she read the first few words, her voice and hand trembled.