Sophia was lost and in deep thought, reminiscing. 'God, how I hate going down memory lane, remembering what we had to go through to be where we are now, it is just hard for my soul to handle.
'But Mother, wherever you are now, I promise you! I will give them ten-fold of what you received from them; I will take everything they have.' She thought as she was speaking to her dead Mother.
She did not realize that Ann was now looking at her with sorrowful eyes.
"As I was saying, going back to my Story. Everything changed when I received a scholarship to Julliard in Newyork City. The acceptance rate in this school of performing arts conservatory is only 6% a year. Do you know how proud your grandma was when she found out? A penny pincher, as she was, she gave away a free order of Dumpling with each order. Hahaha!" Sophia laughed bitterly after that.
"Anyway, to be accepted to this school is something to be proud of. Every aspiring performer in America dreams of studying in this academy. My first year was beautiful; I had learned so much and met a lot of people who had the same dream as I.
However, one fateful night we all decided to celebrate after a big performance test which we all excelled. We went to one of the trendy clubs to celebrate, and that's where I met your father who was there with some friends." Sophia stopped again, took a little breather, and got up to make herself more at ease while continuing with the Story.
"We instantly fell for each other and ended up with a one night stand. Unfortunately, a month later, I found out I was pregnant with you." She smiled bitterly.
"The only problem was, I didn't have any contact with your dad. Therefore, I had only one option at that time to get an abortion. I still had a couple more years of schooling, and I had an agency trying to scout me for a part in a Broadway show.
"To continue with the pregnancy, would surely ruin my bright future at least that's what I thought at the time. Hence I went home and told your grandmother about the pregnancy and my plan of getting an abortion."
Ann's face was shocked when she heard that! 'God, she was even planning to abort me?'
Sophia continued, "your grandma was so upset that she was ready to kill me herself. It was not because I got pregnant, but for thinking of aborting my flesh and blood. I still remember us having a big fight that day," Sophia said, sadly looking at Ann who was listening with a straight face, with heart beating fast. *thump...thump...thump…* with anxiety anticipating the next part of the Story.
"I told her I don't know where your father was; all I had at the time was his name. It was a one night stand if I continued with the pregnancy, I would be a kicked out of a school that I had worked so hard to get into, and I would lose a chance to get a part in a Broadway show.
"But your grandma didn't care about my excuses. She was so mad and started yelling at me. 'This is my flesh and blood, too! And I cannot let you kill my unborn grandchild. This child is a blessing, and we should cherish it instead of getting rid of it'.
"But I was only 19 years old at that time, and I still had lots of dreams. I thought that if I continued the pregnancy, all my hopes and dreams would vanish in the air." After saying those words, Sophia kneeled in front of Ann and held her hand with tears pouring like raindrops this time, asking for forgiveness.
She was so ashamed of telling Ann what she was initially planning to do. "Anyway, after that outburst from your grandma, I realized what she had said was true. It was not your fault. It was your father and I, who had made a mistake.
" Why should you be the one to pay the price? So, I agreed with your grandma that I will request for time off with the excuse of your grandmother's health. The Office of Administration believed me, and I was able to give birth to you without them knowing.
" After giving birth to you, Mom pushed me to go back to school. She told me to find my destiny, and she will take care of you so that I had no hindrance to my future and dream. Mother and I argued because I didn't want to leave you, I was dead set on staying at home and raising you.
"The other option that I could try was to find your father in Asia. However, the country is so big it's like trying to find a needle in a haystack. "
Ann's reaction now was changing little by little. 'At least she didn't want to abandon me at first; she was willing to keep and raise me. Doubt still lingering in her mind.
"My dream was to become famous, and I wanted to be the best in the industry. Do you know that for me to fulfill my dreams, I had to become a coldhearted 'bitch' and step on a lot of people? I had to use my body and looks, not just my talent. I had other relationships, but none of them worked out. That was Hollywood life back then." Sophia got up again and started pacing back and forth.
She continued with her Story: "It was hard to compete in Hollywood, so when I received an offer to go to Asia, I took it and started a new life here. All this time, I never lost contact with your grandmother. She would tell me about your first word, when you were teething, what you had been doing, etc.
" She would also send me pictures every month at first, then became every six months, later it grew every year. The last one she sent me was your high school graduation. 'Oh! I was so proud of how beautiful and smart my daughter.
"Then she got sick, and I was anxious and wanted to rush back home. But at that time, I have something going on with regards to your father, which prevented me from coming.
"Did you know that every penny that I made I would save it and send it to you and Mother? In all honesty, in the beginning, I struggled here many times. There were times that I had to go without so that I can send some money to your grandmother who was raising you on my behalf.
"On the day of your grandmother's funeral, I was there. I hid behind the tree, waiting for everyone to leave. I wanted to pay my respects to the best Mother in the world." Sophia started sobbing again, having a hard time continuing.
Ann got up from where she was seated, went towards Sophia, then gave her a very tight embrace without saying a word. It does not require a word at this time, and the feeling is what it counts...