Mrs. Jane Stepson sold her house to help her grandson and then disappeared without a trace. One day her stepdaughter,, Anna, received a call from the hospital that Jane had been found in critical condition in the street.
Jane sat in the living room and looked at Anna. “Is that all you have for me, Anna? Do you really think a cake with cottage cheese cream and cheap tea would be enough of a gift for me? All that doesn’t cost more than a few dollars!”
“I’m sorry, Mother,” Anna said. “I’ve been having financial difficulties this month. I promise I’ll buy you something nice next month.”
“You better!” – Jane said, before continuing. “Look at your stepsister, Leslie. She bought me a beautiful dress this time. Oh, she has a great sense of style! But you should know that it’s not your fault. Leslie is my daughter, after all.”
“You’re right, Mother,” Anna added. “Leslie is good at everything.”
“Oh, she’s terrific!” said Jane, “There’s no one better than Leslie!”
“So where’s Daddy, Mommy?” – asked Anna, who wanted to move the conversation to something else because she was tired of Jane talking about Leslie all the time.
“I’m here, honey!” – Josh Stepson replied, entering the room. “Oh, you bought cream cakes? They’re my favorite!” He rushed excitedly toward the table, but stopped when Jane threw him a stern look. “Aren’t you too happy, Josh? There’s nothing special about these cakes!”
“Oh, honey, you’re right,” he agreed, to avoid the stern look on his wife’s face. “Don’t you have plans to go to the market today?”
“Yes, I’m going right now. I’m going to make Leslie’s favorite pie, so I need special ingredients. Enjoy the cottage cheese cream cakes! Only you can love them!” She got up and left, once again mocking Anna.
“Don’t get upset about what she says, honey,” Josh said when his wife left. “She’s worried about Leslie these days and can’t accept the fact that her perfect daughter is breaking up with her husband!”
“What? Leslie and Harry are breaking up?”
“Yes, dear. In fact, they are living apart, and their poor son Thomas is living with his father now, but in the future he will have to choose between his mother and his father.”
“I really had no idea about any of this,” Anna said. “Now I understand why Mom was acting this way again. She’s been very kind to me these past few months. However, now I feel sorry for Thomas.”
Anna’s biological mother died when she was only ten years old. Then her father met Jane at a professional conference, fell in love with her, and married her.
Jane was a widow and a single mother, and Josh happily accepted responsibility for Leslie. But all that changed after Jane took on the responsibility of raising Anna. She barely accomplished the bare minimum of what was required and didn’t care much for her.
She only cared for Leslie when they were children, and that didn’t change when they grew up. In fact, the little interest she had shown in her disappeared when little Thomas was born. Perhaps that was why Anna rarely visited her mother. Eventually, she, too, got tired of the constant taunts.
A few months later, Leslie divorced, and Thomas decided to live with his mother. It was difficult to care for the child alone, but Jane often helped Leslie and looked after Thomas.
Several years went by like that. Thomas turned 18 and moved to another city to attend university. Meanwhile, Anna had created a beautiful family with her husband Dave, whom she had met on the Internet.
Soon after their marriage, they had a beautiful daughter, but Jane never cared for her the way she cared for Thomas when he was a child. She envied the fact that Dave and Anna had a wonderful family and her daughter Leslie had an incomplete one.
Meanwhile, Josh’s health began to deteriorate, and no treatment seemed to help. Dave and Anna took him to the best doctors they could find and sought help from doctor friends overseas. But none of the medications or treatments helped. Josh struggled with his deteriorating health for almost four years until he died.
After Josh’s death, Dave and Anna often visited Jane and cared for her. But Leslie was too wrapped up in her own life. She met a rich man in another city a few years after Thomas left for university and never returned to care for her mother. In fact, the only time she returned was to attend Thomas’s wedding.
One day Thomas visited Jane and made a “request” of her. “Grandma,” he said. “Let’s sell this house and buy a new apartment where we can all live happily ever after! You’re all alone in this big house, and nobody takes care of you.”
“But, honey, this house holds all your memories. I don’t want to sell it,” Jane said, skeptical of her grandson’s sudden request to sell the house. “Why don’t you live with me?”
“But Grandma, this place has nothing to offer. Mom doesn’t care about you, and Aunt Anna is a different story,” Thomas insisted. “Besides, selling the house will help me with the business. I need the money, and I hope you won’t turn me down.”
By this time, Jane had realized why Thomas had always persuaded her to sell the house. The old woman was adamant against it. But then she thought about her lonely life and decided that moving in with Thomas and his wife wasn’t such a bad idea. But she didn’t realize the worst was yet to come.
Meanwhile, Anna was very busy with her life and her new child, and she could not see Jane often. When she came to their house one day, she found out that Jane had moved out a long time ago.
She asked her sister Leslie where Jane was, but she said she had no idea. When Anna called Thomas, he said he hadn’t seen her in a month.
Anna went around the neighborhood, door to door, asking about Jane, but no one knew anything. She decided to file a missing person’s report, but at that moment the phone rang. “Am I speaking to Mrs. Anna Collins?” – The voice on the other end of the line asked.
“Yes, who is it?”
“I’m calling from the hospital, ma’am. It’s about your mother, Jane Stepson. She was brought here last night. She’s finally regained consciousness and has asked us to contact you.”
“What?! Send me the address as soon as possible. I’ll be right there!” Anna hopped in a cab and drove to the hospital.
It turned out that, after receiving all the proceeds from the sale of the house, Thomas evicted Jane from her home. The poor woman had not a penny with her, and she wandered the streets like a homeless person until her body became weak and she fainted.
When Anna visited her in the hospital, Jane could not stop weeping. “I’m so sorry I’ve treated you so badly all my life, honey. I’m a terrible mother!”
Anna had a huge heart. She forgave Jane and took her home after she was released from the hospital. Jane became a loving grandmother to Anna’s daughter and lived happily with them until she went to heaven.