“Joanne James…” Joey had silently whispered to herself.
Joey had repeated the name multiple times, hoping that she’d recognize the name–but she didn’t. She went ahead assuming that Joanne James was a distant relative that her mother had never mentioned. Joey packed up the worn and dirty boxes, and continued about her search for pictures. A few hours had passed, and she had come to the discovery that there were no pictures of her childhood.
Joey’s childhood had gone undocumented.
A wave of panic had swallowed Joey whole, why was there no pictures of her as a child? The only pictures she found that represented a childhood was of Joanne James, and she didn’t even know who that was!
“Mom?! Mom!” Joey yelled out as if she was yelling for help, someone to ease her fears.
As Joey ran down the steps from the attic, her mother came out of her bedroom quickly as possible.
Wrapped in a towel, Molly had been startled by the tone of Joey’s voice.
“Honey! What is it? Are you okay?” Molly asked as she stroked Joey’s face out of love.
“THERE’S NO PHOTOS OF ME!”
Molly’s face froze and she quickly and carefully thought about her next move. Whatever Molly was going to say, she couldn’t give away too much to Joey. This didn’t hide the fact that Molly was furious that Joey looked for the photos after she sternly told her not to.
With a sigh of frustration, Molly asked, “I thought I told you not to look for photos?”
She was secretly hoping that her excuse for this slip up would steer Joey in an opposite direction.
Looking around the hallway, avoiding eye contact, Joey was hesitant to answer. Yes, her mother told her to not look for the photos, but she really didn’t think it’d be such a big ordeal. She really wanted to avoid her mother having a temper tantrum like she had the other day.
“Mom, I really didn’t think you were serious. It’s just pictures! But my question is, why isn’t there any photos of me?! It’s like I never existed! And who is Joanne anyways?!”
As that question slipped out of Joey’s mouth, she saw her mother’s face freeze with eyes that could turn your soul cold.
“What do you mean? Joanne James?” Her mother slowly asked.
Joey stepped closer to her mom, as if they were all of a sudden two enemies ready to battle.
With her voice low, Joey repeated, “Who is Joanne James?”
Molly stared at her daughter, realizing that she had been caught. So, she simply walked away and didn’t answer her daughter.
Joey and her mother had avoided each other for most of the day, and after an awkwardly quiet dinner, Joey called Mya to let her in on the drama that had unfolded.
“What do you mean there’s no photos of you?” Mya had asked.
“I mean what I say, Mya I looked everywhere, there are no photos of me! It’s as if my childhood never happened.”
“Joey, are you sure you’re not overreacting? There could be photos someplace else that you missed.”
Joey was frustrated. She was sure that no photos existed, and needed Mya to believe her.
“Mya! I’m sure! Something isn’t right!”
After Joey had a moment of snapping at Mya, an eerie silence had replaced their conversation. When a few minutes had passed, Mya spoke up.
“Joey…I need to tell you something.”
A few more seconds of silence took place instead of a conversation.
“Mya?” Joey had thought Mya had hung up.
Without thinking about it, Mya blurted out: