“You promised you’d help me,” I screamed, as the nurse lifted the newborn from my arms and handed her to a stern-faced nun.

“We are helping you. We’re going to find your daughter a good home.”

“Her home is with me!”  I was practically incoherent, sobbing and trying to climb out of bed. After a difficult labor with very little help, I was too tired to fight, but I couldn’t just let them take my baby.

“No money, no husband, no morals – what can you give her?”

“What a baby needs most – a mother’s love.”

The nun shook her head and left. The nurse tucked me back under the sheets. Later, I sneaked down to the viewing room where all the newborns waited for their “perfect” families.  My little girl’s name tag read “Healthy Female”. The St Agnes Home for Wayward Girls believed the new parents should name the babies. I whispered her real name over and over. “Dianna. Dianna. Dianna.”

I stood there in the dark for hours, tracing the outline of her shape on the steamy glass, tears streaming down my face.  Once she opened her eyes and looked straight at me.  Still blue, those trusting eyes, but already hinting at the warm brown they would become. “Yes love, it’s me. Your mother.”  Her dark hair was slightly damp from the moist air, and curled up at the ends, just like mine. Maybe if we meet again someday, she’ll recognize me. I imagined the child she would become.

“Dianna?”

“My name’s Melody. Who are you?”

“You may not remember me.”  I twirl the ends of my hair. She twirls hers, studying me.

“I remember something –  a special lady watching over me. An angel, maybe. Or a fairy godmother. She whispered one word over and over. Would you like to see my doll?  I named her Dianna.”

Her brown eyes look at me more closely.

“Are you my fairy godmother?”

In answer, I hold out my arms and she runs to me. No words, no questions, no explanations.  Just the two of us, wrapped in love.

Somewhere.  Someday.  Somehow.

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Margarida Brei
Margarida Brei(@margarida-brei)
13 days ago

What an absolutely emotional, melancholy and disturbing story, Julie! Sad indeed that society once forced unmarried women to give up their babies. Your brilliant short fiction echoes “Philomena” and her real life search for the son she was made to give up.

Greene M Wills
Greene M Wills(@greene-m-wills)
8 days ago

In the name of religion and false claims to morals, so many women had to go through such heartbreak!
You imagined their reunion in such a perfectly emotional way that I nearly cried, hoping that it would come true. I loved it!

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Melissa Taggart
Melissa Taggart(@melissa-taggart)
3 days ago

This story is rich in emotion, Julie. I cant imagine the heartache one must experience when having to give up a baby. The reunion gave me space to exhale. Another wonderful story!

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