A young boy is stunned when he discovers the identity of the mysterious, pale, thin woman who has been watching him secretly.
Will first noticed the tall pale woman watching him through the window of an old house he passed by every day on his way to school. When she saw that he’d noticed her, she quickly hid, but the next day, she was watching him again.
Then she showed up at one of his baseball practices. She was standing half-hidden behind the bleachers, and at first, he thought it was one of the moms sneaking a smoke. But then he saw it was the pale woman from the old house!
When the woman saw that Will was looking at her, she turned away quickly and ran off. After that it seemed to Will that the pale woman was everywhere he went. If he went to the movies with his friends, or for a soda, she was there. It was kind of creepy, like a horror story, or something, so he told his mom.
“Mom,” Will said, pushing his mashed potatoes around the plate for a bit. “Mom, there’s this weirdo following me all the time.”
Esther Roberts set down her knife and fork and stared at her son. “Will, mom and dad have told you that if some strange man…”
“Be cool mom, it’s a woman,” said Will. “She looks like an extra from one of those zombie movies, like a scarecrow or something.”
Will’s dad shook his head. “Listen, I think you’ve been watching too much Netflix! Zombies!”
“Jack,” Esther said. “If Will is feeling disturbed by this person then it’s no joke! Where do you usually see her, Will?”
“Well, I have a baseball game tomorrow,” Will said, “and she usually shows up for those.”
“Then your dad and I will be there,” said Esther firmly. “And if this woman is a stalker we will take action.”
The next afternoon, as Will stepped up to the plate, Esther was scanning the bleachers, looking for her son’s stalker, looking for the tall thin woman. Esther spotted her and nudged her husband.
“Look, over there, next to Heather Jenkins!” she whispered.
Jack looked over and gasped. “Damn! She DOES look a bit like a zombie!”
“Stop it!” cried Esther. “Look at her, Jack, look at her eyes!”
“Oh my God, Esther!” gasped Jack. “You think… After all these years?”
Esther got up. “Yes, I do, and I think we need to have a long-overdue talk with Will tonight.”
The thin pale woman watched Esther and Jack walk away, then she turned eager eyes to watch Will as he swung at the ball and took off, running as fast as he could to first base.
A sweet smile lit up that thin face, and her blue, blue eyes glowed — blue eyes just like Will’s.
Janet White’s life had been an endless chain of misfortunes that had led to her standing watching her own son from a distance, cut off from what she most loved in the world.
Maybe it started when Janet was just a little girl, and her dad had run off, and her mom started having all these strange boyfriends. Or maybe it was when she dropped out of school to go and work at the diner when she was only 16.
No matter how many twists and turns our life takes there’s always hope of a happy ending.
It was at the diner that she had met Freddy, and he seemed cool and handsome and powerful. He noticed Janet, smiled at her, asked her out. It was a dream come true, riding on the back of his bike, meeting his cool friends.
The dream soured when Janet discovered that she was pregnant. She didn’t know what to do, she was just 16, and she lived in the back room of a trailer with her mom.
When she told Freddy she thought he’d be angry, but he smiled proudly. “Babe,” he said. “That’s just the first baby, we gonna have us a dozen!” And Janet smiled in relief. Freddy was going to stand by her, it was going to be OK!
When Janet told her mom, she was mad, called her a cheap floozie and told her to get out. But it was OK, Janet moved in with Freddy.
“We have everything, babe,” Freddy told her. “And soon you gonna be a momma!”
“Freddy,” Janet said a few months later. “We need to get us a crib for the baby and some other stuff. Could you give me some money?”
“Money?” Freddy wasn’t in a good mood, and he threw his beer bottle against the wall, “You always askin’ me for money!” he screamed.
“But Freddy, it’s for the baby!” Janet wept.
“Stop blubbering, I’ll get you your damn money!” Freddy snarled. “I’m a good provider, not like your no-good pa!”
The next day, Freddy had come home late, sweating and trembling, and with blood on his jacket. He took out a handful of money and threw it at Janet.
“Freddy!” Janet gasped, seeing that some of the notes were sticky with blood. “What did you do?”
“I did what I had to do in this damn country where a man can’t get no job!” Freddy screamed. “That’s what I did!”
“The blood, Freddy are you hurt?” Janet asked.
“That’s none of it mine,” Freddy said. “That damn clerk, I told him to stand still and he wouldn’t. It weren’t my fault…”
“Oh my God,” whispered Janet. “Did you KILL someone?”
“You shut your mouth!” Freddy shouted. “You don’t say a word, you hear, or maybe I cut you too!”
Janet stood very still and kept very quiet. She knew then that if Freddy could hurt people, he could hurt her, so she said nothing.
She took Freddy’s favorite jacket to the dry cleaners and when the woman asked her what the stains were, she stammered some excuse. She grabbed the jacket and ran.
Two days later, the police came to their door, and they arrested Freddy for robbery and murder — and Janet was considered an accessory after the fact. Her baby would be born in prison, and know that his mom and dad were criminals…
So when they had placed that beautiful baby boy in Janet’s arms, she had told the woman that she wanted a better life for her son, she wanted him to be happy and healthy and proud.
Janet signed the adoption papers, and all she asked was for a photo of her boy once a year. That photo had become Janet’s lifeline, and she kept dreaming of leaving, walking up to him one day saying, “I’m your momma.”
But fourteen years into her prison sentence, Janet had been diagnosed with leukemia and the warden had authorized a compassionate release. They are setting me free to die, thought Janet, but maybe I can see my boy before I go.
This was why Will had seen the pale woman watching, drinking in every second of his presence, but Janet was in for a huge surprise. The next morning someone knocked on the door of her modest apartment.
When she opened it, she was stunned to see standing in front of her Esther and Jack Roberts, and with them, smiling shyly was Will!
“Janet,” Esther said. “I sent you lots of letters over the years, but I never got the chance to thank you for the wonderful gift you gave us. Your parole officer gave us your address because there’s someone I’d like you to meet.”
Then Esther turned to Will and said, “Son, this is your biological mom. She did a very difficult thing so you could have a better life — she loved you so much that she gave you up.”
Will stepped forward and put his arms around Janet who couldn’t stop crying. “I get to see you, touch you before I die…Oh, my son…” she wept.
“Die?” asked Jack stunned. “But Janet are you sick?”
Janet nodded. “Yes, leukemia. The chemo didn’t work, they hoped maybe a bone marrow transplant, but there were no matches.”
Will turned to Esther. “Mom, you’re a doctor! Could I be a match?”
As it turned out, Will was a match and underwent the painful procedure to donate to Janet — giving her back the gift of life.
Janet found a job when she was better, and moved in close to the Roberts so she could see her boy every day — but now when she goes to the baseball games she doesn’t hide anymore.
What can we learn from this story?
- Unconditional love means doing what is best for your beloved, no matter how hard it is. Janet wanted WIll to have the best life possible, so she gave him up for adoption.
- No matter how many twists and turns our life takes, there’s always hope of a happy ending. Janet thought she was going to die sad and alone, but she recovered her health and her son.
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If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a woman who was arrested for kidnapping after she saved a little girl from her abusive father.
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