Short Story Press presents "Her Mother's Child", by Jasmine Bowen.
Once upon a time, he was a heartthrob, on top of the world, finally with the woman he loved. Ever since he saw Joy across the street at 15, he couldn’t take his eyes off her. Their fiery passion and attitude were a match for each other.
The hotel became a second home, a place of fights but also of discovery, of personality clashes that turned into friendships, of a fantasy life free from the stresses of the world. They may have fell in love in Queens, but they stayed in love in Hotel Gaelon.
One day, hotel staff opened the paper to find Joy was dead and buried across the world at only 26, her widow beside her grave at 23. At that age, if you were lucky enough to find the love of your life by then, you were supposed to living life up to the fullest, romance, flowers, late-night clubs, easy living. Your whole life was in front of you. The things you weren't supposed to be doing were the things Todd did, essentially. Bury your love, become a widower and a parent, with a child he would likely one day bury as well.
When a grieving Todd brings Veronica, the secret daughter of Joy, to the hotel and introduces her to the world in the same spot he introduced her mother, they can’t help but be shocked. As their visit goes on, the staff feels like it's seeing ghosts, transported back to a time five years ago when Joy was alive. Veronica’s looks, movements, and actions imitate Joy’s so much, it sends shivers down their spine. She truly is her mother’s child.
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