Helen couldn’t bring herself to reveal everything she remembered from that night. She couldn’t be so cruel.
What did it matter now? The hopeful woman—Tara, was it? Or Terri? She was terrible with names— didn’t need to know that her mother had held her but once. Helen had placed the baby in her arms and watched as the girl hugged the bundle to her. She remembered Jane staring down at her newborn for a long moment, as if remembering every line of that sweet face. She had cried big, silent tears, and one splashed onto the baby’s cheek, startling her into a cry. The young mother panicked and held the baby away from her, but Helen remembered her calling her back at the last moment.
“Let me kiss her goodbye.”
After a soft kiss on the forehead, the girl turned away, before the baby even left for the nursery. She never asked for the normal statistics, like weight and inches. She pretended to sleep, but Helen remembered the way she cried quietly into sheets pulled high upon her face.
Taryn didn’t need to know it was the only time her mother ever saw her. She didn’t need to know that when her mother snuck out in the middle of the night, she left her baby behind.
Taryn already knew she was adopted.
She didn’t need to know she had been abandoned, as well.
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