Story edited by Spyro. I would like to thank the editor for doing a great job with the editing of my story. I have made some minor changes after the edit. If there are any errors in the grammar, it is my doing. I hope you enjoy the story and I am open to any comments.



Chapter 1

Checking the clock on the wall, it was eight-thirty in the morning. "I have to eat quickly. The solicitor's appointment is at nine," I said to myself while consuming my breakfast. Halfway through my meal, I noticed someone approaching my table. It was one of the waiters.

"Mr Ward the car to take you to the solicitors is here."

"Thank you," I replied to the young man.

Putting my napkin on the side of the plate, I got up, making my way to the hotel's main entrance. With my army Windproof Smock jacket buttoned up, I was getting ready to put the hood over my head, to cover me from the rain. Out of nowhere, a dark-skinned man appeared next to me. He was over six feet tall, built like a rugby player. Holding an open umbrella over my head, he said, "If you can follow me, Mr Ward." Taking me to a black Mercedes limo parked a few yards away. Opening the door, he gestured me to get inside the car. Closing the door behind me, I watched him as he walked around the front of the car, to the driver's side.

As the car started to move, I gazed out of the car window. Watching the raindrops splashing on the glass, leaving a streak of rain. Bringing back memories of the last time I was in a limo, a dark time in my life.


Let me tell you a bit about myself. I am just under six feet tall, brown eyes and curly black hair. I was an average student in school. I had the chance to go to university, but with the circumstances that fate brought my plans had changed overnight.

Since I can remember, it was just my mother and me. Living in a council estate on the borders of Birmingham. It wasn't the best of neighbourhoods, but then again beggars can't be choosers. Mum had two jobs, working over twelve hours a day. She would leave the house at seven in the morning, returning after eight in the evening. So, we could have whatever we needed in life. She wanted me to have what all the other kids had.

I was eighteen years old, just finished secondary school with five A' Levels. I was to start at Birmingham City University in September. My mum was so proud of me. She told everyone she knew that her son was going to university. I had just passed my driving test, first time, I was over the moon. Mum had some money she had saved up. She wanted to buy me a second-hand car. I responded to her desire, "The car can wait, mum, I know you want to buy it for me as a gift. Put the money aside for a rainy day."

Everything was going so well until that rainy day came. It was a Friday evening in August. I had just finished my part-time job in Tesco. Mum was going to be late coming home, as she had an appointment to see her GP at our local clinic. Rushing home, I started to prepare dinner for us. Standing over the stove, I heard the front door close. "I'm in the kitchen mum cooking dinner!" Dropping the Spinach and Ricotta Tortellini in boiling water for it to cook. Turning towards the door, mum was just standing there next to the kitchen table. Holding onto the chair, just glaring at me. The look she had on her face, I knew there was something wrong.

"Is everything ok mum?"

"The tests I had two weeks ago, the results came back. They were not too good. They show I have lung cancer." stating this, mum pulled the chair from under the table, dropping on it. With her elbows on the table, she put her hands over her face as she started to cry. Rushing to her side, I leant over, embracing her with both my arms. Stroking the back of her head, trying to comfort her. Forcing myself not to cry, as I wanted to be strong for her.

We didn't eat anything that evening, we both lost our appetite. Sitting on the sofa, both of us just staring into space in silence for almost an hour. I eventually broke the silence.

"I told you so many times mum, about the smoking!"

"I know Jason," looking away as she started to cry again.

With everything on hold in our life. My mission was to get my mother well. I would go with her to every chemotherapy, be by her side after her treatment. When she got too weak, she had to stop work. I worked more hours at Tesco. Management was showing some sympathy. They would be very flexible with my timetable so I could take mum to her appointments and letting me work more hours on the night shift for the extra money. After six months of treatments, the doctors told us the cancer was not going away. It was a matter of time, six months to a year they gave her.

She fought the disease for over two years, passing away on a cold night in December at Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Lying on her deathbed, she stroked my cheek with the back of her hand. She whispered in my ear, "I am so proud of you Jason, my beautiful boy." Those were the last words I heard from her, as she drifted away from my life.

Not many people attended the funeral, maybe two dozen. It was only friends; there was no family. My mother was an only child, no brothers or sisters. My grandparents passed away when I was young. I had no memories of them. When my father left us, I was only a year old. I didn't even know where he was living. Mum would never speak of him. When I asked about my father, she would respond with the same answer every time.

"He had his reasons to leave."

That was the last time I was in a limo, at my mother's funeral.


"We are here Mr Ward."

The driver's voice brought me back to present day. Looking up, he was standing there, holding the car door open. Getting out of the car, the first thing I notice, it had stopped raining.

"With the sky clearing up, maybe I will get a clearer view why I am here," was my thought.

In front of me was a large frosted window with the name 'Robert Clark Solicitors' written across the glass in gold letters with black trimming on each letter. It was the same font style the letter had which I received a week ago. Opening the door for me, he gestured me to go inside.

"Have a good day Mr Ward."

As I entered the office, to the left was an office desk. Sitting there was a lady in her fifties. "Good morning Mr Ward, I am so glad you could make it," the secretary said. Smiling at me, she motioned me to take a seat on the sofa opposite. "Mr Clark will be with you as soon as possible." Sitting there, I watched her fingers bouncing on the keyboard while she looked at her monitor. When she saw I was watching her, she smiled at me again. "Could I get you some tea or coffee Mr..."

"I don't care how you do it, get him to sell the property!" A deep male voice yelled.

Quickly getting up, I turned towards the sound. Coming towards me was a tall man, well-dressed in a black designer suit. Following him not more than a metre behind, were two close protection bodyguards. Marching across the office, walking out onto the street, the last guard slamming the door behind him. Turning towards the secretary, she was still sitting down. She wasn't smiling anymore, she was as white as a ghost, with fear written all over her face.

"Mr Ward."

Turning my head, standing there was a gentleman, who I presumed was Robert Clark. He was in his early sixties, short man, in a grey suit. Bald in the middle of the crown of his head, some grey hairs on the sides. He reminded me of the actor Danny DeVito. "Would you like to come in my office, Mr Ward?" Once I was inside his office, he motioned me to take a seat in front of a large oak desk, walking around the desk himself to sit behind the desk.

"Thank you for taking the time to come down here. I hope your journey was pleasant? Can I offer you a beverage? Maybe some tea or coffee?"

"Look, Mr Clark, this isn't a social trip. I was on the road for four hours yesterday in traffic, stayed in a hotel overnight. With the staff being at my call 24/7. All expenses paid. But the cherry on top of the cake was the cheque for £200 for my expenses down here." Taking the cheque out of my pocket, I slammed it on the desk. "Tell me what's going on, so I can get back to my business?"

Staring at me for a moment, he then looked at a brown folder on his desk. Flipping the cover open, in front of him was a pile of documents. Sitting on top was a picture, 7x5 size, the print size you get at a photo developing booth. Picking up the picture, he handed it over to me. It was a picture of my mother when she was young. She was in her early twenties, the same age as me now.

"You show me a picture of my mother when she was young? That doesn't explain anything!" I yelled.

Looking at me, he opened his mouth to say something but changed his mind. Getting up, he walked across the room to the window. He just stood there gazing outside.

"Just tell him, Robert!" Turning to see who spoke, it was the secretary standing at the entrance of the office.

"Tell me what?" I shouted looking at her, then turning towards Robert, with his back still turned.

The secretary walked to his desk, rummaging through the documents in the folder. Pulling out a small beige envelope, between the many documents. Looking at it for a moment before she stretched her arm out to give it to me. With the envelope in my hand, I looked at it then I looked at her. Handwritten on the front was my name 'Jason'. Ripping the top of the envelope open, I pulled out a folded sheet of paper. Unfolding it, I started to read.

Dear Jason,

If you are reading this letter, that means I have passed away. What I have to say to you, I should have said when I was alive. Face to face, but I choose the coward's way out, by writing a letter.

You won't remember me, as you were only a year old when we separated with your mother. She was pregnant with a second child. Into her sixth month of pregnancy, I had lost my job. Unable to find a job, I turned to alcohol. With the alcohol and frustration of being unemployed I started being abusive towards your mother. A week before she gave birth, she told me she wanted me out of her life. She didn't want to bring up two children with an alcoholic and abusive husband.

I had left that same day, with so much hate and anger. With a nurse who was a family member. She arranged the birth to be a stillbirth. Meaning the baby had died at birth. With a newly born little girl called Jennifer and a fake birth certificate for her, I moved to London. Leaving you and your mother to mourn her death.

I did all this in anger. After realising what I had done, it was too late to come back. So many times, I wanted to return, but I was too scared. I swore to myself that alcohol would never touch my lips again. I made sure your sister had a proper upbringing.

I want to say sorry for this atrocious crime I have committed, to you and your mother. I ask for your forgiveness. If you cannot find it in your heart to forgive me, I understand.

Whatever I put in my will, you have an equal share with your sister. Do not blame Jennifer for what I have done, all these years she was clueless. She received a similar letter after my death. She is in the same position you are in at this moment in time. Try and find a way to bring her close to you. Look after her, all she has is you.

I love you both.

Martin Jenkins

I was so angry my hands started to shake. Looking up at the secretary, a look of daggers, I took a deep breath before I spoke. "Is this your idea of a joke." Dropping the letter on the desk, I quickly got up making my way out of the building. Leaning against a tree, feeling my tears run down my cheeks, wondering if it was true, what I had just read.

Feeling a hand grasp my arm, I look up to see the driver. Shaking my head, I yelled. "Let me go!" He tightened his grip on me. With the tone of my voice louder, I repeated myself, "Let me go. I don't want to hurt you!" Feeling his hand closing on my arm, I twisted my body, bringing myself behind him. Taking his arm and turning it, kicking the back of his knee, he dropped to the ground. With his arm locked in that position, I had my other hand ready to defend myself.

When I looked around, all I saw was pedestrians just standing there frozen in shock. The secretary was at the entrance of the solicitors watching me, with her hand over her mouth. Letting the driver go I started to walk away, not knowing where I was going. Eventually finding a mini cab office, I returned to the hotel.

Chapter 2

Pacing up and down my room, shaking from anger. In my mind, the same thoughts running through my head. "Is it true? Do I have a sister? How do I know they are not lying? What if it's some scam? What if it's true?" I was confused. A part of me was angry, how could someone do something like that, run away with their child. Another part of me was happy that I had a sister. That is if this was all true. With all these thoughts spinning in my head, I decided to have a little lie down before my drive back to Birmingham. Lying there I felt my eyes get heavy, closing my eyes I drifted off to sleep.

Knock, Knock, Knock.

Waking up all groggy, it took me a few moments to realise where I was.

Knock, Knock, Knock.

"Ok, ok, I'm coming, give me a minute." Looking out the window, it was dark outside. I must have fallen asleep. Checking my watch, it was seven in the evening. I slowly made my way to the door. Swinging it open, the bright light in the corridor made my eyes squint. Once my sight cleared from the light, in front of me was the secretary. Standing behind her was the driver, his arm in a shoulder sling.

"Hey, have you come to tell me more lies?" I angrily yelled at her. My anger started to build up again, making my hands shake.

"Look I know the news took you by surprise." she replied in a calm voice.

"You took me by surprise alright!" Banging my hand on the door, making her jump.

"Is everything ok Mrs Jenkins?" The Driver worriedly said.

"Yes, Randolph, everything is fine. Can you wait for me in the car?"

"Ok, Mrs Jenkins," Turning around, he limped down the corridor.

"Now I meet my father's wife. From no family. Now I have a sister and a stepmom. What's next, any stepbrothers or stepsisters? I shouted at her. Taking a deep breath, I started to close the door.

"Wait, Jason. I am not expecting you to call me mum. But that young lady is your sister. You said it yourself when you thought it was your mum on the photo. Don't you see the resemblance?" In her hand was the picture from the solicitors. She turned the photo over, for me to read, 'Your sister Jennifer', written in the same handwriting as the letter my father left me. "If you're not satisfied, you can both have a DNA test tomorrow." Pushing the picture in my hand, she turned around and walked away.

Putting my things back in my overnight bag, I started to make my way to the reception so I could check-out. The manager tried to talk me into staying until morning. I told him I had to be back at work early tomorrow. Something which wasn't true.

Since finishing my service in the army six months ago, I haven't looked into getting back into employment. With the money, I had saved in the military and the studio flat I received from the council, I would be ok for a while till I see what I wanted to do next.

When I got back, it was ten in the evening. With my khaki backpack on my shoulder, I started to make my way to my flat. Once I reached the tower block where I lived, I pressed the lift button to call it.

"Hello, Jason."

I recognised the voice straight away. It was a neighbour of mine from next door. "Hey, Samantha, how are you?" She was standing there with two Tesco bags in each hand. "I see you've purchased all the discounted items for the day?" Noticing all the yellow price tags Tesco stickers. Labels Tesco put on groceries they have to take off the shelves due to expiration dates.

"You know how it is Jason when you have three mouths to feed. By the way, the lift is out of order. The kids vandalised it again." Taking the shopping bags from her, we started to make our way up the stairs, to the twenty-fourth floor.

"Thank you, Jason, come in I'll make us a cup of tea? You can say hello to mum. She's been babysitting for me tonight."


Six months ago.

Samantha, is a twenty-five-year-old single parent mother, struggling on her own to bring up two children. Tina who is four years old and William is three. She hasn't seen the children's father for two years now. He moved to Scotland for work. They had contact with each other for six months. He would call her every other day, sending her money, when he got paid. As time passed, the calls became less, and the money stopped coming. The only person she has is her mother. Her father passed away a few years ago. Her mother wants her to move back with her, but Sammy wants her independence.

It was the first week I had moved into the tower block. Coming out of the flat one morning, I felt something grasp my leg tightly. Looking down, it was a little blonde girl. With both her arms around my leg, looking up she asked me, "Are you, my daddy?" Coming to my aid, was her mother, Samantha. Pulling the child off my leg, she started to apologise, "I am so sorry about that. Whenever she sees someone for the first time, she presumes it's her father." That is how Samantha and I met. The short time we have known each other, we bonded like brother and sister. When she had a problem, I was there for her. A shoulder to cry on. When I needed someone to speak to, she would always listen.

She had a two-bedroom flat, it was the council's property. On moving in, the government gave her some money to decorate it. She was living with her partner then, he would say to her, "I'll start painting next week." Next week never came, until the money ran out on necessities for the children. With nothing to do, one day I turned up at her front door with a ten litre can of paint by my feet.

With two brushes in my hand, I knocked on the front door. "Let's freshen up the place." Shocked, she stepped forward embracing me in a hug, not letting me go.


Present day.

Samantha always kept her flat spotless and tidy, considering she has two children. Entering I took off my shoes, putting them on the shoe shelf. Walking into the living room, Mrs Cooper her mother was sitting on the couch, with one leg tucked under the other. With her face buried in a copy of 'Hello' magazine.

"I'm back mum!" Samantha called out to get her attention.

Lifting her head up, she was startled seeing me standing there, next to Samantha.

"Hello Jason, how are you?"

"I'm fine Mrs Cooper, what about yourself?"

"Fine thank you."

Turning to Samantha, she explained, "Honey, the children are fast asleep. Love to stay and chat, but the ladies are waiting for me for our poker night." Saying that she quickly got up, putting on her coat and shoes. Before we could say good night, we heard the front door close.

Turning to me, Samantha rolled her eyes. "Let's have some tea."

Sitting opposite each other, at the kitchen table. With my hands around my cup of tea. Enjoying the warm porcelain on my palms, while sipping on my hot beverage. For the next hour, I told my best friend about the trip to London. The letter I received from my father's solicitor. When he passed away, the solicitor had specific instructions to find me. Pulling out of my pocket the letter and photo. I handed them over to Samantha.

Looking at the picture, she responded, "Your mum was young here." She knew what my mother looked like, as I had shown her pictures of her before.

"It looks like her, but it isn't my mother. Read the letter?"

Sitting there, she read the letter, while I waited in anticipation to see what her reaction would be. What advice will she give me? When she finished she had one hand over her mouth, while holding the letter in the other.

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