October 02, 2021
Alexa saw her parents fighting over an old dusty box before her father left them forever. She grew to resent her mother for not showing her what was inside and lost contact with her. But years later, she received a letter that changed everything.
“I’ll show Alexa the box if you don’t do it!” Alexa’s father, Eric, yelled at her mother, Sandra.
“Don’t you dare blackmail me!” her mother yelled back. Alexa was just five years old at the time, and her family lived in Mancos, Colorado. It seemed like her parents were fighting over a wooden, antique box sitting on a shelf in their bedroom.
She didn’t know what was inside, but it must be have been vital for her father to be so mad. What’s inside the box? Alexa wondered. However, she quickly forgot all about it because her father left that night.
“Everything will be all right, honey. Your father left to work in another country, but you don’t have to worry,” Sandra assured her. Alexa waited for weeks for her father to return, but she realized he was gone for good after a few months.
Alexa’s father was her favorite person in the entire world. Her mother worked all the time, while Eric stayed at home. He took her on many outings, bought her ice cream, and made her laugh.
As she grew up, Alexa started resenting her mother for her father’s absence. But Sandra never fully answered her questions whenever she asked her about their separation. “Honey, it was grown-up stuff. It happens,” Sandra said.
“Fine. Grown-ups divorce all the time, but why hasn’t he called me at all? What did you do?” Alexa cried.
“I didn’t do anything. His absence is the best thing that could have happened. But I can’t explain it to you right now. You’ll understand when you’re older,” her mother continued.
No matter what Sandra said, Alexa couldn’t stop thinking about her father and the mysterious reason he left. She knew there was something more. But it wasn’t until her 16th birthday that she remembered their fight over that old box.
While her mom was still at work, Alexa snuck into her bedroom one afternoon and took it. She couldn’t open the lock easily and tried everything. She was looking at YouTube videos about opening locks when Sandra came into her room.
“Darling, what do you—what are you doing with that?” her mother asked when she saw the box in her hands.
“I want to open this box! I know this is the reason why you and Dad broke up. I want to know the truth, Mom!” Alexa yelled.
“Give me that right now! You are not ready to hear the truth, Alexa. This is a grave matter!” Sandra reprimanded her.
“I’m 16 already. I’m old enough to know!” Alexa yelled.
“All you need to know right now is that you’re better off without that man in your life. I decide when to tell you what’s inside this box and that's final!” Sandra screamed back.
“Fine!” Alexa said finally. But that argument was the last straw for her. She stopped speaking to Sandra unless it was necessary, and at 18, she packed her bags.
“Honey, you’re too young to leave right now. You can stay home while you go to college,” Sandra begged her.
“Are you going to show me what’s inside that box?” Alexa asked coldly.
“I…I’m not sure. No, Alexa, I can’t,” Sandra replied.
“Then, goodbye,” Alexa said and left her childhood home forever. She cut contact with Sandra for good and moved on with her life. After graduating college with honors, she got a fantastic job in marketing in California. She met a man named Richard, and they got married.
Sandra was not invited to their wedding or included in any part of her life. In fact, Alexa tried to find her father for many years after leaving home, but to no avail. It was like he was gone from the face of the Earth.
A year later, Alexa and Richard welcomed their first son, Matthew. She loved seeing her son play with her father and resented that her mother drove her dad away.
Several years went by, and shortly after Matthew turned 5, Alexa received a letter. It was from her mother, who had tried to contact her many times over the years. She almost threw it away but got curious.
She opened the envelope and discovered a key inside as well as a handwritten letter from Sandra. It also contained the deed to Sandra’s house and a letter from her lawyer. Alexa opened the letter from the lawyer first.
It informed her that Sandra had passed away in her sleep and left her everything. Oh no! she thought, so she started reading the handwritten letter. “My Dearest Alexa, I wasn’t sure if you would open this letter after all these years, but I had to try,” Sandra wrote.
“Here is the key to the old box you were always so curious about. My house is yours to do as you please. I hope you can forgive me for not telling you the truth sooner. I was a coward, and I lost you forever. Sincerely, Mom.”
“Alexa, what’s going on? Why are you crying?” Richard asked when he reached the living room and saw crying on their couch.
“My mom died, and she left me everything. I need to go to my hometown,” she responded.
So they traveled to Colorado to settle everything and to finally get answers. Inside the box, Alexa discovered adoption papers and her parents' old marriage certificate.
There was also another letter from Sandra. “Alexa, my dream was to be a mother, but I had fertility issues. Agencies wouldn’t let me adopt because I was single. So I paid a man to pretend to be my husband, and we got fake married,” the letter explained.
“He had a fake I.D. and didn’t use his real name in our marriage certificate, so it was always fake. But it worked. The agency let us adopt you, and we were happy at first. But then that man demanded more money and more things. He threatened to tell you the truth all the time,” Alexa continued reading.
“I couldn’t take it anymore. I asked him to leave and annulled our marriage. I was always too scared of telling you, even when you resented me for his absence. I’m sorry. I should have been honest. Please know that no matter what happened in the past, I loved you always.”
Alexa couldn’t stop sobbing. Her mother should have revealed the truth earlier. They could’ve rebuilt their relationship, but it was too late. Alexa blamed herself for being too short-tempered, and it took her a long time to stop.
But she finally did. She forgave herself and decided to do something in Sandra’s honor. She and Richard agreed to adopt a baby girl and named her after her grandmother.
“I hope you’re watching over her from heaven, Mom,” Alexa prayed silently while looking at her daughter sleeping.
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