223 Chapter 220 Stella’s Mother
"Well, that's a difficult situation," said Stu, rubbing his chin thoughtfully.
Stella sat on the floor, leaning against the still warm oven, feeling drained. She had gone into far more detail then she had intended to, telling Stu about her mom.
"I think your best choice would be to sit down with your mom, and tell her what you just told me," he said with a nod, before jumping up from the stool he was sitting on and heading for the pantry door.
"What?!" she exclaimed, on her feet and grabbing his arm.
"Stella, I have a lot to cook in the next twenty-four hours. You asked me for my advice and I gave it. While I could have told you to do any number of other things, your problems with your mom will not go away until you tell her what they are. You told me that she doesn't remember anything, so she won't be able to help you get over your issues unless you give her a chance. I believe that she is a really good person who will be horrified at what happened, and ask you what she can do to fix it. So, be prepared to have a solution to that when you go to her. Or don't."
Pulling free of her grasp, he moved into the pantry to start baking the cake for her wedding. When he stepped back out and looked around, she was gone.
Stella paced back and forth on the roof of her mother's house. It wasn't much bigger than the one she had grown up in. Glancing at the rising moon, she finally sighed. This was no way for her to act. She couldn't possibly be afraid of her mother?
Jumping down, she listened to her mother humming under her breath as she did something just inside, and knocked on the door. Why were her palms sweaty? This was ridiculous!
"Coming!" she heard, as her mother set something down and hurried to the door. "Stella? Is there something wrong?"
"I need to talk to you," she blurted out, before she could back down again. Stu said she needed to talk to her mom. Joseph had basically told her the same thing, but for some reason, Stu telling her made her realize she was acting like a coward about it, and the feelings of betrayal and anger were getting worse.
"Of course! Come on in," she said, stepping back so Stella could come inside.
Glancing around, she couldn't help but compare it to the home she had grown up in, and the comparison made her grit her teeth.
"I know that you don't remember when I was young, or even that I am your daughter, but I need to talk to you about it, or I might do something I regret later," said Stella, moving past the half sewn doll's clothing, that were being made by hand, rather than by magic, and sat in the corner on a stool by the fire.
"Alright, let me put my things away. Now that I don't need to sleep as much, I've been having to come up with something to do at night."
Stella watched as her mother carefully put away her things, and then settled into the chair, looking at her expectantly.
"I ran away from home at the age of seven, right before my eighth birthday, because you were going to sell me to slavers for money."
"What?!" exclaimed her mother, looking horrified. "Why would I do that?"
"Because I had grown too much for you to be able to afford food for the both of us, and the little you made from prostituting yourself wasn't enough. Plus, you had overheard some of the guys you regularly brought home, discussing getting their hands on me."
Her mother's mouth was hanging open, as if she had just heard the worst news she possibly could have, and it had shocked her. Plunging forward, before she could recover, Stella started telling her about every single time her mom brought someone home, and how she had learned to hide from them, under the neighbor's bed, through a hole in the wall under her own bed. How, her mother had started using drugs to hide the pain from her nightly work, and that took away from their food money. The lack of proper clothing, dishes, food, toys, and love had finally caused her to run away from it all.
There was a long pause after she had been talking for several hours. Her mother sat in her chair, tears streaming down her face, unable to say anything. Stella glanced at her occasionally, but mostly just looked at one spot on the floor. She was afraid if she looked at her too much, she would start crying herself, and there was no shavist way she was going to do that!
Then, after clearing her throat, Stella started telling her how, every time she saw her mother working with the little kids so lovingly, and how neat and clean her current house was, she couldn't help but remember the life she had, and was finding herself getting more and more upset.
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The silence when she finally stopped talking, seemed to drag out forever.
"I'm sorry that I can't change the past, because I would in a heartbeat," her mother finally said. "Nothing I ever do now, will ever be enough to make up for the heartbreak that you have suffered, and the anger you have now is proof of that. I can ask you for forgiveness, but I don't think I deserve that. I want to exclaim that I would never have done such a thing, but I can tell by the heat in your eyes that it has to be true. Do you think…"
She paused as she considered her next words, and Stella found herself straining forward to hear them.
"Do you think, we could start fresh? I can't change your past, but I could try and make the future between us better?"
Stella looked at this person, that she knew was her mother, and thought about that for a while. She really didn't want to be reminded every time she saw this person, of her past. And she knew that was going to happen. It would almost have been better, if she had allowed her to die, when she had found her in that gutter.
"I think that would be good, but instead of mother and daughter, maybe we should be acquaintances. I know that after the marriage, I will be very busy with Joseph. You have no memories of me, and are only offering this because you feel that it is right. I must admit I feel better after telling you the truth, and maybe you will understand why I don't visit more often."
Her mother nodded slowly, as she thought over that.
"I will understand if you don't want me at your wedding."
"No, tradition states you should be there, so you will be, and you will help me with my hair, but after that, I think I will be done with you as mother and daughter. We are not the same people we were back then."