My biological mother died right after I was born, so I never really knew what a mother's love was like. Father remarried when I was 6 years old and although she was not my real mother, I called his new wife "mama" anyways.
At first mama was good to me. She would bathe me, sing songs to me, and then tuck me in and kiss me goodnight. I loved her with all my heart.
When I was 7, she moved in with Father and I. The first thing she did was take stuff that she needed from my room and claim it as hers. I was young, thought that she really needed the stuff, but didn't have enough money to buy some from the store, so I let it go. I forgave her because I loved her.
When I was 8, she had my brother. Father didn't want him, but I insisted on adding an additional member to our family, so he relented. And, my, was the baby beautiful! I watched mama as she showered him with hugs and kisses, and, all of a sudden, I started to feel lonely. I convinced myself that all newborns need extra attention, and that mama still loves me.
When I was 13, mama started to talk about me in front of other people. She would always tell strangers that I was only her stepdaughter and how troublesome I was. I figured that mama must be going through something terrible and she just needs someone to "share her burdens." But I forgave her because I loved her and I knew that she still loved me.
When I was 14, Father started his own business and it was very successful, so we moved to the richer part of town. Mama started buying things like jewelries to make herself more presentable to the other ladies. She sent my brother to a private school, but insisted that I stay in the public school that I was attending at that time. I thought that she did that because she didn't want to take me away from my friends and I loved her even more. I knew she loved me!
When I was 15, Father confessed to mama that he'd been having affairs with countless other women behind her back. Mama immediately went into depression and almost killed herself had I not been there to pry the knife out of her hands. Afterwards, I watched after her whenever I could. Instead of hanging out after school, I would rush home and hold mama in my arms whilst she cried her eyes out. I had a nanny take care of my brother while I tried to pull mama out of her depression. 6 months later, mama came into my room and gave me a big hug to tell me how much she loved me and how impressed she was that I stuck by her in her time of need. I kissed and hugged her and told her how much I loved her.
When I was 16, mama started criticizing me. Every time I would try on a shirt, she would tell me how unsuitable it was because my chest was not big enough. Whenever we would go shopping, she would compare me to the models in the ads and tell me that I would never look like them. As much as I wanted to give her a black eye, I restrained myself. She just didn't want me to make a fool out of myself and wear skintight clothes that make me look ugly. I loved her and I knew that, deep down, she loved me too.
When I was 17, mama started to compare me to our neighbors. She would always tell me how Cassie from down the street was so much prettier and artistic than me. She would constantly remind me of how witty and humorous Dora can be. And she would continually tell me how dull I was and that I was not cut out to be a socialite. But despite all her ranting, I managed to convince myself that mama at least still cares for me, if not love me.
When I was 18, I graduated from high school. Mama bustled around all day, telling everyone how proud she was of me. A week later, she acted as if she couldn't wait for me to leave home for college. She started tagging all my stuff with my brother's name and telling me that once I was gone, she was going to give everything in my room to him. I figured she just wanted to save money and forgave her. I loved her and I thought she loved me too.
When I was 19, I came home to visit only to find that mama has adopted a little girl orphan. Mama told me that she didn't need me to come home as often now that she has another daughter to take my place. And then she waved me off like I was of little importance.
Then it happened. I was 20 when I drowned myself. Mama didn't want the other rich people to know that she was associated with a suicidal girl, so she had the coroner say that I had a heart attack while swimming.
The funeral was the production of the year. Everyone was there, even people I didn't know. All of them were crying as if they've lost someone close to them. But it was mama who stole the show. She was the one who cried the loudest. She was the one who used up 2 boxes of tissues. She was the one who delivered the eulogy with such heartfelt acting that, if I was alive, I would awarded her an Oscar for a job well done. But most of all, she was the only one there who didn't wear black. She wore a red dress suit, one that showed off her legs and cleavage. She had rubies on her neck and diamonds on her fingers. Her lips were all rouged up as if she was a cabaret girl performing in front of the whole world. And perform she did.
Boy, my mama was the best damn actress in the whole entire world!
Too bad I didn't realize that beforehand…