Cupcakes Aren’t Tragic, Right?
Forget everything you ever knew about cupcakes. They are evil, disgusting, terrible things. The nickname isn’t even remotely good. Just avoid them whenever possible. “But whyyyyyy? Cupcakes are so good!!” Yeah sure, keep telling yourself that. But let me tell you my story. I’ll bet you won’t like them after this.
I was poisoned. When I was six years old. With a cupcake at my own birthday party. Oh, and did I mention that it was my own mother that tried to kill me? Yeah, my mom-who is supposed to love me no matter what!- tried to murder me when I was six and still innocent. “You’re not my child!” she screamed at me as I was lying on the floor, trying not to pass out.
You’re probably confused, so let me back up. It started off normal, I had a bunch of friends over for my party. I got a purple narwhal as a present from my mom. Once the party was over, my mom invited me to her room for a “special present.” I was so excited! I’d never had a special present before. I went to her room and sat on the bed, watching her go to the kitchen and bring out a cupcake. I remember it down to the last detail. The cupcake itself was a dark pink, the frosting was bright blue, and there was a boatload of chocolate sprinkles on top. My mom had a number six candle on top and it was brightly lit. I was so happy that I got a cupcake that I didn’t even notice that my mom was watching me like a hawk, and that it had filling until I bit into it.
“MMMMMM this is so good!!” I managed to say with my mouth full of food.
“I’m glad you like it, honey.” Mom said, smiling. “Make sure you finish it. I don’t want any leftovers taking up fridge space.” I grinned and ate every last crumb, licking the filling off my fingers.
“What did you use for filling, Mom? It was really sweet.”
“Oh, I used a ton of sugar. That’s why it was so sweet. It’s to cover up the bitterness of the poison.” By now, the room was spinning and I was having trouble breathing.
“P-poison?” I stammered.
“Uh huh. That’s what you use when you need to get rid of someone quickly and quietly.” I fell off the bed and landed on the floor. “You see, Kasey,” she started, “I don’t know who you are. You came to me at the hospital, but you’re not my child. You’re not mine!” Her voice kept rising and she was almost yelling. I blacked out for a couple seconds, but quickly came to again. “You were born to a different family and my child is out in the world somewhere! My husband left me because he thought I was crazy! He thought that I was being unreasonable, ‘cause I told him that you weren’t ours! I don’t know who the hell you are, but you’re not my child!” She screamed that last part at me, then broke down sobbing. “Oh my baby, my baby.” Mom kept saying over and over. I thought she was talking about her biological child, but then she scooted over to me, sitting on the floor, and held me in her arms, rocking back and forth. “This isn’t right. This isn’t okay. Why? Why did I do this to you? Of course you’re my child! What am I saying?”
“Mom, it’s okay. It’s okay.” I tried to talk to her, calm her down, but she pushed me away.
“No, it’s not okay. It will never be okay. Nothing can change my mind. I’m a horrible mother. I’m sorry, Kat.” When I heard her use my nickname, I broke down too, sobbing with her.
“Mom, that’s not true! You’re great, please don’t say that. I love you Mom, no matter what.”
“I know you do, and I love you too Kat. I’m sorry, but it has to be this way or I could hurt you again. I love you and don’t you ever forget that.” Those were the last words I ever heard from my mother. I passed out and didn’t wake up until I was on an operating table. The doctors told me that they found me lying outside the hospital and were about to try using a defibrillator to bring me back when I woke up. I asked them a lot of questions, despite being groggy from just waking up and having a killer headache, like ‘did you see anyone leaving?’ and ‘was there anyone waiting outside?’ All the answers I got made me heartbroken and crying. My mom abandoned me. At least she left you outside a hospital, one side of my brain said. Yeah, so that you could live and always remember what happened to you. So that you can be tortured because you’ll probably never see her again, said the other side. I should mention that I was extremely mature for being barely six years old. So when I realized that I was never going to see my mother again, I went around asking everyone who was on duty that night just to make absolutely sure that my mom wasn’t seen there. A little over a week later, I had almost given up hope when a nurse walked up to me. “Can I help you?” I asked him. He just stared at me for a minute. “If you don’t need anything, I’d like to go down and get some food.”
“No!” he exclaimed, making me back away. He quickly lowered his voice and talked in a gentler tone. “No, please don’t go. I’m sorry for scaring you, it’s just that…I’ve heard stories about you.”
I raised one eyebrow. I’d perfected that expression in the weeks that I’d been at the hospital; I had a lot of free time on my hands. “Oh? What kind of stories? All good, I hope.” He laughed, a deep, rich sound. I wished that he laughed more. I liked his laugh.
“Yes, all good. Mostly about how mature you are, considering that you’re only six. But I came to tell you about…that night.”
“You mean that night that my mom abandoned me here, and nobody seems to be able to track her down.”
“Er, yes, that. Um, I wanted to talk to you privately. If that’s okay.”
“Yeah, sorry. No can do. I don’t know if you’re secretly an ax murderer or something.” He laughed again and it made me smile. Keep in mind that I hadn’t smiled in a couple weeks, and this totally random nurse made me grin. It might have helped that he looked like a dork, and pretty new, but I felt at ease with him.
“I promise I’m not an ax murderer. Can we at least move to the side of the hallway?”
“Yeah, that’s okay.” He guided me about five steps to the left and looked me straight in the eye.
“Kasey, I saw your mom that night. At least, I think I did.”
“What? You saw her??” I was hoping beyond hope that he was right.
“Yeah, she looked a lot like you, just older, and was wearing all black.”
“Yeah, that sounds like my mom. Did you see her leave? Did she stay?”
“I saw her as soon as I stepped outside and watched her just to make sure that she wasn’t a creepy stalker or something. She watched as we got you onto a stretcher, then nodded and left when you were inside. She looked like she had been crying because her eyes were all puffy and red.” I burst into tears; my mom hadn’t just left me, she waited to make sure that I would be taken care of. I ran to my room, no longer hungry, and when the doctor came, I asked her if they could do a DNA test on me. She looked concerned and did the eyebrow raise thing that I did all the time, but she took my DNA and ran it through a bunch of tests. My mom’s name was Monique (sounds like Moe-neek.), so when the test said that my mom was Jessie, I was miserable. I didn’t cry, mostly because I was done crying and didn’t want to, but also because I expected it. You see, my mom has an identical twin. Monique and Jessie, twin sisters, and they both got pregnant around the same time. My mom-Monique, I mean-was ecstatic. She and her sister did everything together, so when it came out that they were both pregnant, she was super happy. Well, turns out that they were due within a week of each other, and they both went into labor early on February 9th. Me and my cousin were born on the same day, in the same hospital, and could have been twins ourselves. I suspect that we got switched at birth, with a mislabel or something. As Elizabeth and I grew up, we looked even more similar and were super close. I heard Auntie J say to Mom that “they could be twins! That must be what we looked like growing up.”
As shocked as I was, I also wasn’t actually that surprised. I always felt a deeper connection to Auntie J than I did Mom. and Elizabeth told me the same thing happened with her; she felt closer to my mom than Auntie J. I don’t remember when it came up, but we started talking about it one day. Of course, we just thought that “your mommy is better” because we were five, but looking back on it, we were way too mature to only be five, like we had some past-life wisdom or something.
I’m now thirteen as I’m writing this. After my mom- I guess she’s my aunt now- left me at the hospital, I was placed under the care of my real mom. I still call her Auntie J though. Elizabeth is the best sister I ever had, but she transgendered (is that a word?) and he goes by Elijah now. I call him Eli because it is wonderfully gender-neutral and I’m still trying to get used to calling Eli a ‘he’.
I’ve been looking for Mom (Monique) for about six years now. I’d nearly given up hope before that one nurse had said that he saw my mom, but even then, there was no contact from her until my seventh birthday. I got a card from her in the mail and it had $20 in it. I cried so hard; I thought I would never hear from her again, so when she contacted me, I wept with joy. I mean, I also cried because I couldn’t see her, but you know…yeah. I got a card from her every year on every holiday, including halloween. As I got older and smarter, I looked at the return address and started writing letters to her. She would respond most of the time, but when she didn’t, I knew it wasn’t a big deal. She would always write back as soon as she could, saying “oh I’m so sorry, I was busy with work and forgot,” or “I’m sorry, I didn’t get your letter until (however many days ago it was)”. I’m planning to visit her soon, although I haven’t told her yet. We’ve been slowly rebuilding our relationship together despite the fact that she hasn’t really seen me. I’ve sent her my school pictures, but that doesn’t really suffice.
I just hope she still loves me.