Making Amends

Written by Isa Bedigian

Sarah hears from her long-lost birth mother.

"Hey," Bailey entered the apartment. "You've got some mail."
She looked up from the counter where she was painting her fingernails. "Junk and bills?"
"I'm not sure, this one doesn't have a return address, it's handwritten."
He handed it to her & gingerly she took it from him with her half-finished left hand. The fingernails on her right hand were finished. "Wait, Bailey," she called him back from the bathroom. "Open it & take it out for me."
"What would you do without me?" he kissed her on the lips and opened the letter, leaving it on the counter before going to do his business.
Instantly, Sarah recongnized the handwriting of her birth mother Robin.

"Dear Sarah,

Where on this Earth do I begin? I feel like such an idiot, I haven't been there for you as a mother for eighteen years now, and I guess this isn't the best time to start, but I don't have a choice.

I've moved to San Franciso permanately. I've given up the whole stage thing, too much work for someone my age.

I've also gotten married Sarah, to a wonderful man named Mark Carlise. We've been married almost two years now. He's a lawyer, and& he got a big promotion that moved him down to the Bay Area, that's why we're living here now.

I have something else to tell you Sarah.

We have a daughter. Well, I have a daughter. With Mark. Her name is Isabel, and she's three months old. You have a little sister Sarah.

I named her Isabel because that was the name I first gave you. My mother's name was Isabel, & I wanted you to still be a part of me even if you weren't in my life, that's why I named you that. I know your adoptive parents felt the right to change your name, and for whatever reason they did that, I'm not angry. At least not anymore.

I've told Mark about you, and we'd like you to come stay with us for part of the summer. Get to know your baby sister, get to know me. I've missed all this time with you Sarah. I know it's my own fault, but life really is too short to throw it all away.

Please write or call me when you receive this. I love you.
Robin (Mom)"

"Wow," Sarah said aloud after reading it. She sat there in silence staring at the phone for half an hour.
"I needed that," Bailey said when he came out of the bathroom after his shower, towel-drying his hair. "What was that letter? Chain mail or something?"
"No, it was from my mother."
"Why would she write when she can call--"
"No Bailey, my real mother. Robin."
"Really?" his eyes were wide.
She nodded. "She lives here now, just a few minutes from here actually. She's uh, married, and she has a baby girl. Isabel."
"Whoa, that's alot for a letter. You okay?"
She shook her head. "No, no I'm not."
"Do you wanna talk, or--"
"Actually Bailey if you don't mind I think I need to be alone for awhile. I'm gonna go for a long drive & clear my head."
"Okay." he leaned down and kissed her head. "I'll be at the restaurant if you need me k?"
"Yeah, thanks."
He kissed her again and left, wet hair and all.
She went into her room and changed from the plaid-and-Pooh/Piglet boxers she'd been wearing into denim shorts and drove off in her convert. She cruised down the highway, crying, thinking, screaming at times if it made her feel better. Around midnight she walked back into the apartment and hit the machine for messages.
"Hi Sarah, it's Julia. I'm just calling to let you know that Charlie came by on Saturday, well I guess you already know that, but he was here and we talked and I actually think I have it in me to tell him now. I'll call you later. 'Night."
Sarah made a mental note to call Julia in the morning when the apartment would be empty and she would really be able to talk.
"Sarah, it's me. I'll probably be really late tonight, but call or come by if you need me. I love you."
She smiled and saved Bailey's message.
"Sarah," a slightly familler voice began. "It's Robin. I just wanted to call and see how you are. I'll call back later. Bye."
Sarah pressed the delete key, went into her room and slammed the door shut.

The next day, Sarah got up and went to the house as usual to sit for Owen and to wait on Daphne. She ignored all the pressing thoughts about her mother and the new baby abd tried to concentrate on Daphne and her needs. But while bringing her her lunch, she fell apart and started to tell her the whole thing it about the letter. By the time she was finished, they were both crying.
"I just feel like she's been so unfair, but now all of a sudden she wants to be a part of my life."
"Maybe she just feels like she's finally at a point where it doesn't scare her to have you in her life."
"Scare her?"
"Sarah, when I found out I was pregnant, I was more scared than I've ever been in my life. And when I found out that I could lose this baby, I was even more scared. The fact of the matter is that regardless of the circumstances, you always feel some love towards that child. You just don't always know how to show it." she rested a hand on her stomach. "It's like, I love this baby, but I know I'm not right for it, so I'm giving it to Charlie."
"I just don't get it though." she sighed. "Enough depressing talk, what's new with you?"

Sarah crawled into bed with Bailey that night, wide awake. He lay next to her snorring as she thought about Robin and all the things Daphne had said. Quietly, she crawled out of bed and into the kitchen. She turned the overhead light on and grabbed the phone. She dialed Robin's number from memory and waited while it rang.
"Hello?" she answered, sounding awake.
"Robin? It's Sarah."
"Sarah!" she sat down in the rocking chair, still making sure to rock the baby in her arms. "How are you? I was hoping you would call."
"I'm okay, I hope I didn't wake you...."
"No, you didn't. Isabel did, actually. She hasn't mastered the sleeping part of a baby's ritual yet." There was silence for a minute. "I am so sorry Sarah."
"You don't have to--"
"Yes I do. I totally blew it. I had the chance to be your friend, if nothing more, and I blew it. I wouldn't blame you if you didn't have another thing to do with me."
"I can't do that, I mean you're my mother."
"Even though I did it to you."
"That doesn't change that you're my mother."
"I'm glad you feel that way. I'd like to see you."
"So would I. I mean, I'd like to see you too. And Isabel."
"Maybe we could meet for lunch tomorrow? I know this great little place....." Sarah listened as her mother rattled on. She'd forgotten what it felt like to actually have a conversation with her mother. It was a good feeling.

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