“Did your daughter pass away?” asked Vivian tentatively. She did not think it was an unreasonable guess.
Rachel only wept harder and shook her head. In her distress, she kept mouthing the word “No.”
Vivian did not understand what Rachel meant by “no,” so she did what she could to coax the truth out of Rachel. “Mom, the doctors have diagnosed you with leukemia, and you are in dire need of a bone marrow donor. Can you please just tell me where I can find your biological daughter?”
Vivian had assumed that Rachel’s daughter was no longer alive, based on her reaction alone. But what was Rachel refusing to tell her?
Rachel then looked at Vivian in shock. “Leukemia? How? How is this possible?”
“A while ago, the hospital called me and said that you had been diagnosed with leukemia. They said I had to find a compatible bone marrow donor so that they can operate on you as soon as possible.” Vivian sighed and took Rachel’s hand in hers. “I figured that since I am your daughter, I could be your donor instead. But I never expected to find out…”
Vivian trailed off and choked back a sob. Suddenly, words failed her.
She struggled to hold back her tears before continuing. “The reason why I kept it from you was that I didn’t want you to feel depressed. It would take a toll on your body. Your only hope now is to locate your biological daughter and ask her to be your donor. Can you tell me where to find her?”
Vivian did not expect Rachel to react that poorly after hearing her justification. Rachel shook her head and barely breathed out the words “I can’t!”
However, Rachel’s reluctance only worried Vivian further. “Mom, this is serious. Your child might be the only one who can save your life. Please tell me where she is? I’ll go look for her.”
“Vivian! You mustn’t go looking for her!” In a panic, Rachel suddenly held Vivian’s arm as tightly as she could.
“But why not?” Vivian was now certain that Rachel knew exactly where her child was but seemed reluctant to disclose her whereabouts.
Why won’t she let me go? Did something bad happen? It has to be it. Why would she abandon her own child and raise me instead?
However, the only thing on Vivian’s mind at the moment was to track down Rachel’s long-lost daughter.
“Don’t ask me anymore, please. I beg of you!”
Vivian was even more puzzled by Rachel’s actions. “If I don’t, how will we treat your illness? Your life is in danger, Mom!”
“I don’t care! I don’t need a cure! I don’t need to be cured!” Rachel cried and shook her head. “You needn’t worry anymore. Just leave me be!”
“Mom!” Vivian was dumbfounded. “I’m not your biological daughter, but you raised me. You’re still my mom, and nothing will change that. If you die, what will I do?”
Rachel then hugged Vivian close to her. “Oh, I’m sorry, Vivian… I’m so sorry!”
Patting Rachel on the back, Vivian sobbed and said, “It’s okay, Mom. You raised me, and I’m only doing what’s right. Now please tell me where she is! I can’t lose you!”
“Vivian, stop. Don’t ask me anymore. I won’t tell you.” Rachel slowly pushed Vivian away and wiped her tears. “If I’ve only got a few days left, so be it.”
“Mom, how can you think so? What is it that’s so bad that you can’t even tell me? I’m begging you.”
But Rachel still refused to let it slide. “I’m tired, Vivian. You should stop asking me about her. I… need to rest now, so maybe you should leave me alone for a bit.”
Before Vivian could say anything further, Rachel had already turned towards the other side.