the short story project


Byel Rocham


I’ve lost everything that was precious to me and I’m sure that no one seems to care. In harmony, as the voices of my parent sang a goodnight song, I slowly dozed off on my mother’s arm. Gently, as their soft lips kissed my cheek, as they tucked me into bed and turned off the candle lights, and humming until their voices gradually echoing away. 

It was late at night when the incident happened. Both of my parents slept in the same room, and my room is just beside them. 

In a disheartened weep as I heard my parents scream. I immediately got up and ran to their door. I was only five years old then.

I still remembered at the back of my mind “Please, don’t harm our beautiful Elise Rose,” cried my mother. Her voice still creaked and caught in her throat as she carried her last breath. 

There, I witnessed the most horrendous attack. The murderers stabbed both of my parents with a knife in their chests. I yelled “Mommy! Daddy!” as my grief crawled up to them. The murderers didn’t allow me to go near them but took me forcefully away as I cried. I passed out and had lost my memory. 

They both wore masks and were dressed up from head to toe in black suits. I couldn’t recall what their faces looked like. The next day, I found myself sleeping in a comfortable bed, I looked around and it was decorated beautifully like a princess room. 

“Good morning sweetie, you are awake,” replied the woman in a welcoming voice. 

“She’s adorable, isn’t she? Honey.” She looked up at the man as she held her coffee cup still dressed in their sleeping gowns.

“Good gracious, pardon us for not introducing ourselves. I am Matilda and this is Jone and we are your Mom and Dad.” Friendly as they approached closer. 

I felt scared, shocked, and confused all at the same time seeing myself in an unfamiliar place. As years passed, my first name hasn’t changed but my last name did “Rose to Bernard” and I was raised in a household where everything needed to be disciplined in a graceful manner. My parent taught me how to become an assertive person rather than be aggressive to others. In my late twenties, I was determined that I’ll get accepted in “Institut Français de la Mode” for fashion university without my parent’s knowledge. Most of my spare time, I would hide in the attic and did some sewing. My parents weren’t aware of this interest of mine. They were always busy encouraging me to attend the blind date that they had arranged for me, and he was from a wealthy family. 

At some point in my life, I wondered if they were my real parent because of the pressure being exposed to me. For instance, they wanted me to become a lawyer that I had no interest. They urged me to married a wealthy man who I was not attracted to, and most important of all they wanted me to give them a grandchild. Frankly, none of that matters to me. 

My parent was middle class in terms of status. They had almost everything that they wanted. After I graduated from the senior high school year, I attended law school. I’ve tried my hardest and did the best that I could but it wasn’t enough. There wasn’t much space for me to breathe really, I felt trapped and uncertain feelings appeared rapidly.

It was the night before the blind date, and hopefully, I’ll get to hear the news from the fashion school. I prepared myself for bed and rested my eyes. In a whisper, “our dear Elise Rose, we miss you,” chanted slowly by these two adults who appeared in almost every night of my dreams. I woke up in surprised and thought to myself what was the dreams about. 

I got up and prepared myself for the day to attend the blind date. I dolled myself up and dressed elegantly in a long red dress. As I walked downstairs partly near the living room, I heard a conversation between my parents while they had their morning tea chit-chat kind of routine.

My mother burst her tongue out,  “honey, do you remember twenty years ago when we…” in a curious voice.

“Shush…” my father interrupted.

“We agreed to never talk about that incident.” 

“But.. those poor souls who were wrongfully died and left their daughter behind.” My mother found herself feeling guilty. 

“My dear, unfortunately, it was their fate that led them that way but they were good friends of ours.” Replied my father. 

“Riches were theirs and poorest of ours,” said my mother. And then she sipped her tea.

“What’s unfortunate and riches-poorest?” I budged into their conversations. 

“Oh, my darling! You look absolutely stunning,” happily replied my mother and ignoring my questions. 

My father immediately got up and reached his hand out to me. 

“My lady, may I have the honor for a dance?” 

“Why, yes!” giggled as I replied.

He spun me around under his hand and gave me a kiss on the cheek.


“You look absolutely amazing, my precious daughter.” My father complimented. 

“Thank you.” In a squeaky voice, I replied. 

They walked me close to the door and wished me luck that my blind date will go smoothly. Their dreams were finally about to come true. As my foot stepped outside walking toward the carriage.

My mother shouted in a graceful manner “Wait! My darling, you forgot your earrings.”

I stopped and touched my ears but realized that I had forgotten my earrings.

I volunteered to go and grab the earrings that my mother prepared for me. It looked like a heart-shaped diamond. 

“The earrings are in our room my beautiful daughter, located in the top drawer” replied my father. 

I excused myself to their room and I opened the top drawer and saw the earrings. There, my eyes were drawn to a bizarre, crumbled up picture of a couple holding their daughter in between them. I took a closer look and flattened the folds and somehow the girl in the picture showed a resemblance to my facial features.

I looked at myself in the mirror and stared at the mirror. Then suddenly a vivid memory came to my mind of how my parents tucked me into bed, and how I grabbed both of my parents closer to me. Their face features looked exactly like them in the picture that I held with my own hands. And then my mind traveled back to my parent’s conversation before I approached them earlier. This gave me pieces of information about who my real parents were. “Wrongfully died and left their daughter behind…behind…behind…” I was confused and in distress. I felt the heaviness on my shoulders pull me down on the floor to my knees. “Please, don’t harm our beautiful Elise Rose.” I clearly remembered the voice of my deceased mother’s last words as she took her last breath. 

I looked at the picture grieving and in anger. When I was four years old, I remembered going in my mom’s sewing room, as she prepared for her worldwide fashion show along with my father’s support. He was well known for his remarkable photography skills. I remembered my parent’s best friends mentioned their name “Matilda and Jon….” Could they be the ones who were responsible for my biological parents’ deaths?

I dropped the box of earrings on the floor and held the picture firmly on my hand. I ran downstairs and left via the back of the house. I walked aimlessly without knowing the direction. I felt lost and betrayed the people who I called “Mother and Dad” for my whole life were the murderers of my biological parents. No wonder why, they never cared to ask what my passion was, interests, or about my well-being. They deceived me and it hurt like a thin needle constantly poking through my skin. I’ll find out who I truly am and I will live my life.

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