Sarah’s 18th Birthday and Surprises

When Sarah’s mom passed away, she was just 11. This experience left her deeply devastated. Her dad was lost as his own sea of grief. However, he eventually found love with someone else and remarried. Sarah’s stepmom was an incredible woman who never tried to substitute Sarah’s mother, but was always there for her. What’s most, Sara felt love and appreciated and she was lucky this woman became part of her and her dad’s lives. Life felt good again, but then another tragedy struck. Sarah’s dad lost his life. A day after his funeral, Sarah and her stepmom stood in complete silence in the dimly lit living room as uncertainty could be felt in the air. Then, the silence was broken by the stepmom’s words, “I can’t imagine how hard this is for you. But I want you to know, I’m here for you. We’re family, no matter what.” At that moment, Sarah felt relieved. “But everyone’s saying you’ll leave… go back to your family,” she mumbled, struggling to hold back tears. “Will I…will I go to an orphanage?” “No, sweetie. You’re not going anywhere and neither am I. Look at me,” she said, her hand finding Sarah’s in the darkness. “She then cupped my face, planting a tender kiss on my forehead. “We’ll get through this together. ”Fast forward to Sarah’s 18th birthday, she and her stepmom still lived together and were as close as ever. On the morning on the day which marked a milestone in Sarah’s life, her stepmom greeted her with a gift wrapped in a bow. “Happy birthday, sweetheart,” she said as she handed Sarah the gift.

“Thank you,” Sarah replied, her heart swelling with gratitude for this woman who had chosen to stand by her through everything. “I have a surprise for you too, but… you’ll need to pack your things. ”The stepmom went from smiling to making a serious facial expression. What could be wrong and why would Sarah ask from her to pack her things, were the first thoughts that came to her mind. “Pack my things? Are you… Are you serious?” “Yes,” Sarah answered. “I want you to pack your things in the next hour. You’re leaving this house.” “But why, dear? I thought we were a family…” “It’s time,” Sarah said, the weight of the moment pressing down on her. “I’ve been planning this since the day Dad died. You are going to another city.” The stepmom, unaware of what was going on, packed her belongings and put her inside Sarah’s car. On the way to their final destination, neither of them said anything. Eventually, Sarah was the first one to break the dead silence. “You didn’t know that my father opened an account in my name when I was a child, where he saved money for my education. Since his death, I’ve also put all my money, from my part-time jobs and gifts, into this account. Now, there’s a large sum.” Her stepmom turned to her, looking at her with confusion. “I understand. You’re an adult now, you have money and you don’t need me anymore. But why are you sending me so far away? You don’t want to see me at all?” she told Sarah. But, as they pulled up in front of a quaint, beautiful house, the surprise Sarah had been keeping was finally ready to be unveiled. “I will be spending some of this money on education,” she continued, pointing to the house. “At an Ivy League university in the city, we’re in now, where I have already been accepted. Do you see this house?” “Yes,” the stepmom said in a quiet voice. “I bought this house for you. There was enough money for everything. Now I will study here and you will live next door. We won’t have to be apart, and if you want, you can go back to our old house at any time, or we can return together after I finish my studies. ”Sarah’s stepmom couldn’t contain the tears of joy that started rolling down her face. “I love you, Sarah,” she said. “I love you, too,” Sarah replied. As the two women embraced, they became even more certain that family isn’t always defined by blood.