Grace stood out front of Sophie’s house. It was a beautiful suburban home. Just like Grace had always wanted. Her heart broke a little.
“No,” Grace thought, “I need to be strong.” Stepping up to the door, Grace rang the doorbell.
“Coming!” Sophie called from inside. Opening the door, Sophie stood there in shock as she stared at Grace. Then, her eyes fell to the bakery box that Grace was holding.
“I thought since you couldn’t make it into the bakery, you would like some Strawberry Fizzy cupcakes delivered to your door.” Grace said, as sweetly as she could as she handed the bakery box to Sophie.
“Thank you.” Sophie said, quietly. Fearful and wary, Sophie took the box and set it down on the table next to the front door then stepped back outside and slowly shut the door behind her.
“Look, I…I’m really sorry for what I did.” Sophie started to explain. “I’m sure by now you heard about the lie I told my parents and how it resulted in me being adopted instead of you.” Sophie explained, awkwardly.
“Yep. I do know. But you know what, we were so young back then and we just wanted to get out of there so badly. I understand why you did it. It’s okay.” Grace lied. She hoped Sophie couldn’t pick up on her rage boiling just under the surface. Sophie’s face lit up as she reached for Grace and pulled her into a hug.
“Oh, Grace! I’m so happy you forgive me! I’ve held onto this guilt for so many years.” Sophie cried. “Come in! Come in! Let me just take this cupcake box into the kitchen and I’ll be right back.” She said, pulling Grace into the house by the arm.
Stepping inside, Grace saw a wall of photos. Like a scrapbook of happy memories on display, Grace looked at them sadly as she saw a very happy Sophie grow up in the stolen storybook life Grace had always dreamed of. She squinted and pretended to see herself in Sophie’s place, enjoying the life that was meant for her.
“Nice family.” Grace muttered to Sophie as she came back into the room, trying her best not to sound hurt.
“Thank you. My parents are amazing people. My grandma is, too.” Sophie said, smiling.
Grace cringed inwardly at how casually Sophie called these people in the photos her Mom and Dad. These people were supposed to be her parents, not Sophie’s.
“Thank you for the cupcakes.” Sophie said, excitedly. “I craved them everyday when I was pregnant.” An uncomfortable silence passed between the two girls and Grace’s eyes fell to a huge golden award sitting on the foyer table. Leaning forward to read the inscription, Grace saw that it was for a man named Tyler Calloway in appreciation for his continued dedication and astounding medical breakthroughs in his continued efforts to eradicate the Llama Flu.
“That’s impressive.” Grace said, motioning toward the award.
“Yeah. My husband and my Dad are doctors. They’ve made a big difference in the world.” Sophie said, proudly.
“C’mon, I want you to meet someone.” Sophie said, smiling. Grace followed Sophie through the beautiful house and into a sweet little nursery. Reaching into the bassinet, Sophie lifted out a tiny bundle and showed her to Grace.
“She’s beautiful.” Grace smiled. “What’s her name?”
“Cheddar.” Sophie teased. Grace laughed, remembering the cheese incident at the orphanage. Grace’s brief moment of happiness was replaced with the now painful memory. Sophie used to be her best friend, they shared so much together. Trying to hold her smile, Grace was again reminded of why she was there.
“No really, her name is Molly, after my adoptive mother.” Sophie said, as she gently set the baby back down into the bassinet.
“May I?” Grace said as she motioned that she wanted to hold the baby.
“Oh my gosh, of course!” Sophie said, happily. Grace picked up the soft, warm bundle and cuddled her in her arms. Looking down at Molly’s face, she saw a purity and innocence that captured Grace’s heart. Putting Molly over her shoulder, Grace took a deep breath. She smelled of baby powder.
Grace closed her eyes and smiled. Placing Molly back into her bassinet, Grace looked down at her.
“She’s so sweet. She has her whole life ahead of her.” Grace thought to herself. Looking over at Sophie, Grace’s eyes teared up.
“She’s perfect.” Grace said, looking at Sophie. Sophie smiled, and looked at her newborn daughter.
“She is.” Sophie beamed. “I never knew I could love someone so deeply.” Walking across the room for a tissue, Sophie noticed herself in the mirror.
“Oh my gosh, look at me. I’m a mess. I haven’t had a bath in days.” Sophie said, embarrassingly.
“How about I draw you a bath and I’ll watch Molly while you relax.” Grace offered.
“Really?” Sophie said, happily. “That would be amazing.”