“It has been a great favour of you people to lift up from our hearts the stress of being in debt while being blessed with a baby girl”.
Andrea, the only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Casper, had to be adopted by an entirely new people at a time when she was only a few weeks old. Her parents were very poor; their own misstep of investing all of their money in a project had got them bankrupt. They could hardly have anything to eat themselves and getting an approval for their daughter being adopted by an acquainted couple, they soon worked it out, not merely because they were poor but because they didn’t want their daughter to meet with the same bitter fruits of life as they already had.
The initial days proved to be overwhelmingly good. There was even a grand celebration arranged by Adler and Scarlett at the child’s arrival. Everybody wondered why they had agreed to adopt someone else’s daughter while having their own, four years of age. However, little did Mr. and Mrs. Casper cared about what others postulated. All they had learned about Adler and Scarlett in four years’ time was their seemingly sympathetic behaviour and it now became their practice to walk over to their daughter’s place often to stay in good touch.
Andrea didn’t know who her real parents were. From the very beginning, she had come to believe that Adler and Scarlett were her real parents and Emily, their only daughter, was her real sister. Nobody had bothered to apprise her even when she grew up to a beautiful girl of eleven. She was never allowed to share her family matters with anybody else, about how she lived, how she felt; she was always forced to either speak good or stay quiet. As she grew up, she started to feel that she was always treated in a different way from others and that, she could not in any way correspond the love that Emily received. Emily was sent to a highly standardized school while she was taught studies at home and her needs were predominantly ignored. She was restricted to a number of things and at times, she would feel that the pure love and endearment she received were from the two people who would visit her often but as time passed, her sole exultation was also stolen and due to the fact that Mr. and Mrs. Casper had to travel all over from the countryside to the city without even a proper mean of conveyance, Scarlett told them that Andrea would visit them herself every week which soon changed into every month.
At the new year’s eve, Adler and Scarlett arranged a grand celebration at their place. Almost every person of the family participated. Andrea saw them all for the very first time. She also noticed that Emily talked to each of them, especially girls of her age, very nicely. For a while, she just noticed them all but on the thrilling conversations and laughter, she approached the girls and greeted them humbly.
At first, all the girls stopped talking. Andrea got confused. Then suddenly, there was wild laughter, a sarcastic one in which Emily took the most part.
“Why is she here? Why isn’t she working with the maid?” said the voice of a girl whom Andrea had seen for the first time.
The wild laughter broke yet again! Andrea felt highly embarrassed. Without waiting to let others speak any more, she immediately averted her eyes from all of them, dashed upstairs and closed the door quickly behind her. There had been moments when she had been ignored or scolded but those patronizing tones brought her the most tears. She cried as she felt she was worthless in front of all! While all the others were bustling with dancing and celebrating, she was only left with tears under her pillow.
Despite the problems and the painful difference Andrea had to bear, she never grumbled nor demanded any luxury. In fact, she would always try to be good friends with Emily but Emily who never had respect for her, always ignored her. She would cry, almost every day and would often wonder is she had really done something wrong. She never came to know the cause and the problem until one day when the time and the situation could not hinder any one from letting her know.
It was her twelfth birthday and she had just woken up from bed when she saw Scarlett preparing to go somewhere, surprisingly. As there was no one else in the house and Emily would come home late, she was told to accompany her and reached the same house of the people whom she dearly loved. As she approached the front gate, she found that a large crowd had gathered around the house and voices of several people moaning were coming out. She immediately ran into the house, struggling among the crowd and for the first time saw a dead body! It was of Mr. Casper, her real father, though she still didn’t know. Tears came dripping naturally over her face when she saw the dreadful ambience and walked over to Mrs. Casper who was sitting at a corner, getting goose bumps of what terrible had happened.
“Your father would have really wished to see you if he didn’t have a sudden death”, said a grief-stricken voice of Mrs. Casper as she passed her arms over her daughter.
There was a deep silence, though not a pointless one! After twelve years of mental affliction and depression, Andrea was finally told about the most important and most painful secret at the same time. She then vividly understood why she had always felt a difference. She cried and cried until her mother continued.
“I am completely downhearted and would have been even more if Adler and Scarlett had not adopted you and given you so much love. I am satisfied that you are in the safe hands because I had always wished so”.
Andrea stopped crying. She knew then if she cried more, her mother would not feel good and might be even more disturbed. Therefore, she held a deep breath and courageously spoke, “Don’t you worry, mom, your daughter has been receiving all the possible fondness since the very first day of her life. I’m perfectly well and satisfied with all what I receive and all what I possess. Now all you have got to do is to stop thinking about me and start taking care of your own health. Look, you have got so weak!”
It was not even a week after the disclosure of the secret that her mother too passed away. The way she had lied to her mother had been constantly gnawing at her but on witnessing how peaceful and serene her face looked at the deathbed, she realized that she had done something really good. She had lied for her mother’s sake because if she didn’t, she might have had an awful death. Therefore, she comforted herself for the rest of her life by saying, “Lies spoken for welfare are not lies”.