A poor janitor bought an old doll for her daughter at a flea market. When she heard a crackling sound, she handed it to her daughter. What she discovered brought her to tears. “Oh, this one’s lovely!” Eve will love it,” Pauline exclaimed as she stopped by a stall where a woman was selling toys.
Pauline was a single mother to her eight-year-old daughter Eve and worked as a janitor. Her husband had died years ago due to cancer, and since then, she had been raising Eve on her own. When Pauline saw the doll at the flea market, she knew it would be the best birthday present for Eve.
Unfortunately, she didn’t have enough money to buy anything expensive, so looking for something at the flea market was her best option. When Pauline decided to buy the doll, she was so preoccupied with the thoughts of Eve that she didn’t bother to inspect it.
Two days later, when she gave it to Eve on her birthday, she heard a weird crackling sound coming from the doll. “A few days earlier, mommy,” said Eve sadly, “can you get me a doll, honey?” Pauline gently replied, “You know we’re on a tight budget this month. Mommy will buy you one next month. That’s a promise.
“But mommy,” Eve’s voice began to crack, “my birthday is in two days. Did you forget about it?” “Oh no, no sweetheart, not at all,” Pauline said, but she had actually forgotten and felt terrible about it. “Are you still not going to get me a doll? I don’t have any friends, mommy.
Nobody wants to be friends with me because we’re poor. That doll can be my best friend.” “Oh honey,” Pauline hugged Eve, “I will get you the doll. Promise. Don’t be sad, okay?
Pauline knew that the kids at Eve’s school didn’t treat her well because she wasn’t as rich as them, but there wasn’t much she could do about it. Children can be cruel at times. Present-day Pauline was delighted after buying the doll. She couldn’t wait to give it to Eve and see her beautiful smile. The doll was one of those vintage kinds holding a tiny baby in her arms, and Eve was the little girl’s joy.
Her happiness knew no bounds when Pauline showed her the doll on her birthday. “Tada! Mommy got the doll for Evie!” Pauline exclaimed, holding the doll in her hands. “Can Mommy have a kiss for that?
It’s so pretty. Thank you, Mommy!” Eve chirped as she kissed Pauline on the cheek. As Pauline handed over the doll to Eve, she suddenly heard a strange crackling sound. “What was that, Polly wondered?
She shook the doll, holding it close to her ears, and heard the crackling again. “Mommy, give it here. I want to hold my doll, please, please,” Eve said, excited to play with it. “One second, honey. I think there’s something in here.
It was then that Pauline examined the doll and found a secret pocket sewn into the doll’s outfit. She undid the loose threads around it, and a note fell from it. Eve quickly picked it up and said, “Mommy, it says ‘Happy Birthday, Mommy.’ It’s not your birthday, it’s my birthday. This is so silly.
When Pauline read the note, she noticed the message seemed like it was scribbled by a child. At that point, she thought of the woman selling the doll flash through Pauline’s mind. The next day, she returned to the flea market with the doll, and luckily, the woman’s stall was still there. “Oh, I’m glad I found you here,” Pauline said. “I bought this doll yesterday, and I found a note inside.
When the woman, Miriam, saw the note, her eyes welled up. “My daughter got this doll for me,” she said quietly. “She passed away two days before my birthday. My husband and I-” “Oh, I’m sorry,” the woman covered her face as her tears started to flow. “I’m really sorry for your loss,” Pauline said apologetically.
“I had no idea. I know I can’t take away your pain, but if it helps, I can give you a hug.” “Oh, thank you,” Miriam said. Pauline gave her a warm hug after which Miriam revealed her sad story, which brought tears to Pauline’s eyes. “My little daughter was diagnosed with cancer,” Miriam said.
“We needed money for her chemotherapy. My husband and I work at a factory. We didn’t have enough money to cover her hospital bills, so we set up a stall here to sell our old furniture and things we didn’t need. But we couldn’t save our daughter. She left us too soon.
We’re selling her toys because every time I look at them, it just makes me sad. One night, when I held my baby girl’s hand, she asked me to be happy. She had said, ‘Mama, when I’m gone, please remember me with a smile.’ So I decided to sell the toys. She had bought the doll, saying it would remind me of her.
I’m sorry. I feel like I’m oversharing with you, but my heart feels really relieved today. Thank you for listening to me.” As Miriam finished, she broke down into tears again. Pauline consoled her, and the two women talked about their lives for a while.
Pauline told her how she’d been raising Eve by herself and invited her over to spend time with them. “Eve would love to meet you,” she said, “and thank you so much for the doll. It made my daughter’s day. I’m sure your daughter is looking at you and smiling. Thank you again,” she added before she left.
A few days later, Miriam visited Eve and Pauline at the trailer where they lived. “This is an appreciation of your kind heart and patience in listening to me that day. I hope this helps you and Eve,” Miriam said, handing Pauline an envelope. When Pauline opened it, she found a couple of dollar bills inside, three thousand dollars in total. “Oh, Miriam, we can’t take this.
This is a lot.” “No, no, no. This doesn’t feel right. You can take it, Pauline,” Miriam insisted. “A mother’s heart knows how much it hurts when you can’t do enough for your child.
We made this by selling the toys. Please keep it. If not for my sake, please keep it for Eve’s sake.” Pauline cried. “Oh, Miriam, thank you.
This will help us a lot. Thanks.” From then on, Miriam and Pauline became friends, and Miriam loved and spoiled Eve too much. But the best part was that Pauline and Eve’s company helped Miriam heal and move on from her loss.