You inhabit every inch of the memory-infused home you begged our husband to buy.
I see you in our daughter. In ice-blue eyes. A stubborn tilt of chin. The way she smiles through tears after failing to conceive and deciding to adopt. Her inability to call me mom.
I hoped now she’d understand how, although she came from your womb, I love her as my own.
New toddler in tow, she cradles your ashes. “Elaine, meet your grandma.”
The name on her lips, your name, marks the child yours alone.
You died, but I’m the one who’s gone.
Author bio: Serena Jayne received her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, and is a member of Romance Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. She’s worked as a research scientist, a fish stick slinger, a chat wrangler, and a race horse narc. When she isn’t trolling art museums for works that move her, she enjoys writing in multiple fiction genres. While her first love is all things paranormal, the mundane world provides plenty of story ideas.
My social media links are as follows:
Stepmother is part of 101 Fiction issue 21.