Her body was limp, numbly draped across the sofa. Shadows crept around the dark dreary room like cats stalking their prey. The room was motionless; everything lay still, as if dead. The cigarette she held in her hand smoked gently upwards as if being sucked up by an imaginary black hole. The chaise-lounge she lay upon looked ghostly white, never having been touched by unclean hands. The letter was still in contact with her right hand. The letter she had received from who she thought was her mum. The letter that brought her, already shattered world, crashing down before her eyes. The letter enclosed a deep sense of emotion. It changed her whole past. Everything was different now.

‘I’m sorry’ the letter began. ‘I know I should have told you earlier. You’ve called me mum for all these years but I’m not who you think I am. When you were born your real mum was only a child herself and couldn’t have looked after you, so she put you into care. That’s when I came along and took you under my wing. I brought you up as my own but now I think its time you knew the truth. But there’s one thing I haven’t told you yet. I wasn’t exactly a stranger to your mum, I’m her sister. I brought you up letting you think I was your mum and she was your aunty. I wish I had told you before this horrific event happened. Your mum’s passed away. I hope you’ll forgive me for not telling you and I want you to know she always loved you!

As she read through the letter she reflected on all the birthdays and Christmas’s she had had with her mum and aunty, just the three of them. They had snuggled around the fire every Christmas for 24 years.

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Why hadn’t anyone told her about this? Would she have ever found out if it wasn’t for her real mum’s death? As she looked around the dark and smokey room, she wondered what it would be like to meet up with her mum again.

She sat in deep thought. Wondering what lay ahead of her in this strange and mysterious world she now lived in. She lay her elegant figure down on the sofa and reached for the damp, crusty cigarette packet that lay on the floor. She slowly lifted the lid of the packet and was reaching for the last cigarette. Just one more she thought. One more won’t kill me. I’ll give up after this. I promise. She lit the cigarette and took a long deep drag.

What would it be like if she was to see her real mum again? Would it be any different? Would it be awkward between them? There were so many questions lonely without their answers. She wanted to find the answers but she knew there was only one way. She had led such a depressed and unhappy life since he walked out on her. They were in love and everyone knew it but they just wanted different things. He left her miserable and helpless. She first stopped going out, her friends rarely saw her or even spoke to her.

She never picked the phone up, that was before the phone line got cut off. She stopped going to work and just moped about the house feeling sorry for herself. Everyone thought she must spend all day cleaning the house, but no, the house let off a vile smell which stunk out the whole street. She let herself go when we walked out. She used to have such an envious body, the right size curves in the right places. Now she was skinny and looked too delicate.

As she stared at the lilies she had received that day with the letter, she drifted off into an imaginary world of her own, her smoke smelling fingers gradually loosened around her cigarette. Ash slowly dropped onto the vodka bottle which lay below her. The room grew colder and darker; a strange emotion fell upon the room. It felt stiff and uneasy, a cold breeze rushed through the room, and she started gasping for air as if an imaginary ghost was strangling her. She started to panic, her bright blue eyes darting round the room.

She opened her mouth to shout for help but not even a whisper escaped from her tightly sealed voice box. Her chest started getting tighter around her lungs. Even though she had wondered what it would be like to see her mum again she wasn’t ready to leave this now alienated world. She wanted a second chance, to do things better. She inhaled her last breathe and prepared to leave this world, her head fell against the chaise-lounge. The room suddenly felt calm and peaceful everything lay still as if dead except this time everything was dead.

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