Tiffany Blum-Deckler


As she paced up and down the waiting area, her anticipation grew. Stopping for a second, she saw her husband talking to the clerk at the counter. A minute later he came over and told her the airplane had just landed and would be there in about ten minutes. Walking over to the window, she looked out at the end of the jetway.


Standing there staring out, she thought about all they had gone through over the last fifteen months. All the interviews, the red tape with the embassy, and then the wait for the phone call that finally came seemed to pass in an instant compared to the one-sixth of an hour she was standing there. Finally, the plane pulled up and she soon saw people departing. Rushing from the window back into the waiting area, she stared intently at each person coming through the door. Eventually she saw a woman come out with a bundle in her arms. Now that the moment had come, she found her nerves had frozen her in her tracks.


The lady carrying the bundle immediately knew who she was looking for. Even if she hadn’t seen a photo of them she had done this enough to identify adoptive parents immediately. Walking over to the couple, she said, “Mr. and Mrs. Blum-Deckler?”


Both nodded. Smiling, the woman turned the bundle toward them and moved the blanket. “Here she is.”


As the woman stared at the small face framed by a ring of black hair, she started crying.


“Oh, she’s beautiful.” Looking at the agent, she asked, “May I?”


The lady smiled and handed her the baby. “Of course.”


Taking the little girl in her arms, the woman looked at her husband. Nothing had to be said. Looking the their daughter, he put his arm around his wife and kissed her cheek.


The lady hated to break up the emotional moment but she had another plane to catch very soon. After a giving them a few more seconds, she spoke up.


“Mr. and Mrs. Blum-Deckler, I hate to bother you but I need to catch my next flight very soon and we need to take care of some documents to make things legal.”


Nodding, the pair said they understood and all four left to find a place where they could finish everything in private.


Because the bar had not yet opened, the manager was more than happy to let the young couple finish their happy business at one of the tables. As all four sat there, the lady handed them several documents. Each time she did she explained its purpose and where they should sign. Finally, she came to the last document.


“One more question and everything will be complete. I need to know what name to put on the documents for your daughter.”


The pair looked at each other and then at the agent. Smiling, the woman said, “Her name is Tiffany.”


Taking her pen, the woman wrote the name down. Handing them several of the documents, she said after returning to the office she would complete everything and send them the remaining papers in a few days. Standing up, she congratulated them and shook their hands. The last time they ever saw her was when she walked down the corridor to her departure gate.


Looking at his wife, he noticed she hadn’t taken her eyes of their new daughter. Smiling, he said, “Come on Mom. Let’s take our little girl home.”


Sitting at the desk paying bills, she heard a familiar voice.




Turning to look at her daughter, she said, “Yes Dear?”


Tiffany looked at her mother. “I’m thirsty.”


Smiling she asked, “Well what would you like?”


Tucking her head slightly into her shoulders she gazed up and said, “Apple juice?”


Getting up, she took Tiffany’s hand. “Well then, let’s go get you some.”


As they went down the hallway, she noticed her little girl seemed to be walking slower than normal.


When they got to the kitchen she understood why. The place was a complete mess. There were paper towels everywhere and an open bottle was lying on its side on the floor. After surveying the scene, she turned and looked down at Tiffany.


“What happened here?”


Tiffany looked up at her mom and shrugged. “I don’t know.”


Kneeling down, she looked Tiffany in the eyes. “Now don’t lie to me. If you made this mess that’s fine, just don’t lie to me. Did you make this mess?”


Tiffany bowed her head. “Yes.”




Looking at her mom she said, “I wanted to pour my own juice but spilled the bottle.”


“Why did you do that?”


Tiffany was almost in tears. “Last week you said now that I was three I was really becoming a big girl. I saw you were in your room and decidedded to pour my own juice. The bottle turned over and it all poured out. I’m sorry. Are you mad?”


How could she be mad? Hugging her daughter, she said, “No dear. I’m not mad. You’re just still a little too small for that job. You’ll be soon big enough to pour your own drink, until then don’t be afraid to ask for help.”


Standing up, she looked at Tiffany. “Now let’s clean this mess up.” Walking over, she picked up the now empty bottle. “Go to the closet and get me the mop. I’ll start picking up the towels.”


Tiffany smiled and said. “Okay.” then ran into the laundry room.


Cradling the receiver on her shoulder, the woman said, “Hello Mr. Morrison. I apologize for not being able to come in. I appreciate you letting me call you instead.”


The voice on the other end said, “It’s alright Mrs. Blum-Deckler. I completely understand.”


“Thank you. Now what did you want to discuss?”


“Very well. Your daughter is having problems in my class.”


This got her attention. “Is she misbehaving?”


Mr. Morrison chuckled. “No, not at all. In fact she’s one of my best behaved students.”


“Then what’s the problem?”


“Well her math and reading skills are far behind most of my students. By the time they get to second grade most of my students are reading the basic readers with no problem. Tiffany is having trouble with even the most common words.”


“I see. You said something about her math skills?”


“Yes. She seems to be having difficulty with even simple arithmetic problems. I’ve tried to help her but with so many children in my classroom I can’t devote as much time as I would like to help get her up to the level of my other students.”


Nodding, she said, “I understand. What do you suggest we do?”


For the next several minutes they discussed options and soon came to a decision regarding what they should do. After the discussion was over, Mr. Morrison said, “Mrs. Blum Deckler, I appreciate you calling. It’s a relief to talk to a concerned parent willing help their child like you are, especially in your condition. I’ll have everything ready for your husband to pick up tomorrow when he drops Tiffany off.”


“Thank you.”


“You’re more than welcome. I hope we can help Tiffany. She’s a bright girl who can go far with a little help. She’s one of my favorite students. I know with a little help she can do well.”


“Thank you.” She said, and hung up the phone.


Sitting in the bed, she wondered if she would really be able to help her daughter. Things had gotten rough recently and that had to be part of the reason for Tiffany’s difficulties. Could she now help her little girl get back on track?


Later that afternoon, Tiffany came into the bedroom.


“Momma? You wanted to see me?”


Smiling, she patted the bed for her daughter to come over. After Tiffany got on the bed, she looked at her mom. “What did you need?”


“Mr. Morrison called today.”


This worried Tiffany. “He did?”


Nodding, she said, “Yes. He said you were having a little trouble in class.”


Tiffany closed her eyes and nodded. “I can’t read a good as the others.”


“That’s why he called. He wants me to help you with your reading and math.”


Looking up at her mom she was relieved she wasn’t angry. “He does?”


Smiling, she said, “Yes he does. Tomorrow afternoon when you get home I want you to come in here. We’ll do your homework together. Then I’ll try to help you some more with your reading.”


She was amazed. Looking at her mom she said, “Then you aren’t mad at me?”


Raising her hand, she stroked her daughter’s hair. Pulling her close for a hug, she spoke.


“Of course not. You’re my little girl. I love you and want to help you.”


Closing her eyes, Tiffany smiled and hugged her mom back. 


A few weeks later Mr. Morrison called again.


“Mrs. Blum-Deckler, I won’t keep you very long. I just wanted to let you know how much better Tiffany is doing. She’s almost caught up with the other students. Your afternoon study sessions with her have made all the difference.”


“Thank you. I appreciate you taking such concern in my little girl’s learning.”


“Well not every parent takes as much interest in their child’s education. It makes my job easier when they do.” Pausing for a second, he said, “Before I go I just wanted you to know we’re all praying that you will recover soon. We hope to see you out and about soon.”


“Thank you.” She said. “I appreciate your concern. I’m sure things will get better soon. Goodbye Mr. Morrison”




The next afternoon, she and Tiffany were sitting on the bed going over vocabulary.


“No dear. You spell that with two e’s” Holding up the book, she pointed to the word. “See, right here.”


Tiffany looked at the word. “Oh I see.” Turning to look at her mom she reached up and rubbed the edge of the turban.




“Yes dear?”


“I really miss seeing your hair. When will it grow back?”


Looking at her daughter she said, “Soon.”


Taking her hand away from the turban, she crossed her arms. “When it grows back will you not be sick any more?”


Slowly shaking her head, she closed her eyes and said, “I don’t know Dear. I hope so.”


Opening her eyes, she looked at her little girl then at the paper. “Now you got this one right.”


Looking up at her mom, Tiffany gave her a proud smile.


Her hair did grow back. Sadly her health didn’t return with her red locks. One summer morning Tiffany got up and went to her parent’s room to say good morning to her mom. Not finding her there, she figured Momma was downstairs. When she got to the living room Tiffany saw Mrs. Ferguson sitting in a chair. Mrs. Ferguson lived next door and often sat Tiffany when her parents were out. She wondered if her parents had gone somewhere again.


Walking over to her, Tiffany asked, “Mrs. Ferguson?”


Looking down at the dark eyes staring back at her, she said, “Good morning Tiffany.”


“Are you sitting me today?”


Smiling at her, she said, “Yes dear.”


Tiffany cocked her head slightly and asked, “Did Momma and Daddy go somewhere?”


Nodding, Mrs. Ferguson said, “Yes.”




Mrs. Ferguson swallowed, took a deep breath, and spoke. “They went to the hospital last night.”


Looking at Tiffany, she saw no sign of understanding in her expression. “She got sick again and they had to go see a doctor.”


Tiffany nodded slightly. “Oh. When will they come back?”


Bowing her head, Mrs. Ferguson closed her eyes. “I don’t know dear. She’s going to be there a few days.”


Realizing this was not the conversation to have right then, she stood up and looked at Tiffany. “But you just got up. I’m sure you’re hungry. How about I make you some cereal?”


Smiling, Tiffany said, “Okay.”


Taking Tiffany’s hand, they went into the kitchen to make some breakfast.


Those few days stretched into several weeks. Tiffany was allowed in to see her mom a few times but one day her visit was cancelled. The next several days Mrs. Ferguson stayed with her constantly as all her family came through the house. She wondered what was going on and when she was going to see her mom again. While she was pleased that all her relatives were being so nice, she wasn’t sure why there were so many there. In spite of her efforts nobody would explain what was happening.


A couple of days later, after everyone had left, her father and Mrs. Ferguson sat her down and told her the sad truth. It took several times for them to properly explain that her mom was gone. When the truth finally sank in Tiffany was so upset she ran upstairs and locked herself in her room. After a few hours had passed, she finally let Mrs. Ferguson in to see her.


As the two cried together, Mrs. Ferguson held Tiffany in her arms and rocked her slowly. Eventually they calmed down enough that she decided it was time to give Tiffany the gift her mom left her. Turning to look at her, Mrs. Ferguson spoke.


“Tiffany dear?”


Looking up at her, Tiffany wiped her nose on her sleeve. “Yes Maam?”


“The last time I saw your momma she asked me to tell you she loved you very much.”


“She did?”


Nodding, Mrs. Ferguson continued. “Yes she did. She said it was her love for you that kept her going as long as she did. She called you her precious gift. She didn’t want to let you go or leave you.”


Tearing up, Tiffany asked, “Then why did she die?”


“She didn’t want to dear. She was very sick. So sick she couldn’t take it anymore. While she didn’t want to go, she’s not hurting anymore.”


“I guess that’s a good thing but I wish she hadn’t died. I miss her.”


“I know dear.” Reaching into her pocket, Mrs. Ferguson pulled something out. “That’s why your momma wanted me to give this to you to help you remember her.”


Wiping her nose again, she sniffled and said, “What?”




Holding her hand out, Mrs. Ferguson gave Tiffany a small lock of hair tied in such a way that it resembled a small shaving brush.


As Tiffany looked at it, she asked, “What is it?”


 Mrs. Ferguson smiled, “Your momma knew you liked her hair. Before she died she cut off a lock and asked me to make this for you so part of her would always be with you. She wanted you to know that no matter where either of you are she’ll always love you.”


Tiffany held the lock tightly in her hand and started crying again. A second later, she hugged Mrs. Ferguson once more. As she did, Mrs. Ferguson hugged back and said, “It’s okay Dear. Cry all you want.”  


Her dad tried to fill in the void Tiffany suddenly had but he was grieving as much as his daughter. Not knowing what to say or do he slowly let his pocketbook fill his daughter’s empty spot and work cover his. Before he knew it he only saw his daughter briefly each evening as she kissed him goodnight before going to bed.


School soon started back. While her mom wasn’t around to help her with her studies, Mrs. Ferguson took on the challenge and helped her each afternoon. As time progressed, she grew closer to this lady who seemed more like her grandmother than her sitter. One day, about halfway into the fall semester, her dad told her he had accepted a new job in another town. They would be moving in a few weeks. Tiffany was fine with the idea until she learned she would once again be taken away from the only woman in her life.


Her dad said to be brave, she would find new friends in Lawndale and life would be okay soon. She would have a chance to say goodbye to everybody before they left. This move would be a good thing for both of them.


A few weeks later, Tiffany was standing up in front of a class of strange faces. After the teacher introduced her she was assigned a desk and began the task of learning without her helping hand. Lunch that day was a lonely experience. Being the new kid, she sat alone wondering if she would ever make a friend here. When classes let out, she stood at the sidewalk waiting for her dad to pick her up. As she waited, she saw two girls pointing at her and giggling. Without knowing she was doing it, she walked over and spoke.




The girl with the headband looked at her. “Can I help you?”


Taken back by the response, Tiffany blinked a few times. “I thought you were looking at me.” Pausing for a second, she continued, “Were you?”


The second girl, the one in pigtails, nodded and said, “Well yea.”


The other girl turned her head quickly and glared at her.




Tucking her head into her shoulders, Stacy looked meekly at Sandi.




Tiffany looked at the pair. “Why where you looking at me?”


Sandi turned her attention to Tiffany.


“We were wondering who told you those were the shoes to wear with that pair of overalls.”


Looking down at her shoes for a second, she turned her attention back to Sandi.


“Nobody. Is that wrong.”


“Only if you don’t care what you look like.” Sandi said.


Embarrassed, Tiffany blushed and looked at Sandi.


“Oh. Sorry. I didn’t know. Can you help me not do it again?”


Sandi thought about it for a second. She quickly came to a decision. Looking at Tiffany, she asked. “What’s your name?”




“Very well. Tiffany, what are you planning on wearing tomorrow?”


Tiffany shrugged. “I don’t know.”


Stacy’s eyes got very big. “You don’t?”


Looking at her, Tiffany asked. “Is that wrong?”


Before Stacy could reply, Sandi interrupted, “You should always plan what you are going to wear. If you don’t things could get ugly.”


Nodding slightly, Tiffany said, “Oh.”


“What do you think you will wear tomorrow?” Sandi asked.


Tiffany described her favorite outfit to the pair. After taking all the information in Sandi asked what she had to go with it and made suggestions about what would likely be best. After relaying that information, Sandi said that was the best she could do until she saw Tiffany’s closet. She then suggested they get together that weekend so she could review the situation and suggest remedies.


Just then, Mr. Blum-Deckler pulled up. Before she got in the car, Tiffany turned to look at the pair again. “Thanks.”


“You’re welcome.” Stacy said.


Turning to look at Sandi, she asked one more question. “Oh yea. What’s your name?”


The next day she showed up wearing what Sandi had suggested. As she carried her tray to the lunch table, she was cut off by Stacy who invited her to sit with her and Sandi. This made her feel better about her new school. It was only her second day there and she had already made some friends.


That weekend, Sandi and Stacy slept over. Sure enough, Sandi reviewed her clothes and made numerous suggestions. It quickly became clear to Tiffany that this was a person she should listen to. Sandi knew things and she needed someone who could teach her.


As the years progressed, the three became their own group. Occasionally there was a fourth but for the most part it was a trio. Then, one day, early in their freshman year, she and Stacy were sitting in the lunchroom not eating their salads when Tiffany noticed Sandi escorting a girl with red hair just like her mom’s to their table.


Clearing her throat, Sandi spoke. “My fellow fashion clubbers. I would like to introduce Quinn Morgendorffer. After an interview I have decided that she’s it the right recruit to fill the position of vice-president after Lana had to be removed from our ranks.”


Looking at Sandi, Stacy said, “But Lana’s family moved to Denver. She didn’t really have a choice.”


Sandi’s glare was enough to shut Stacy up. Once more tucking her head into her shoulders she said, “Eep. Sorry.”


“Quinn has the right qualifications. She has consented to take the position if you agree. Do you have any questions before we vote?”


Tiffany and Stacy looked at each other. Turning to look at Sandi, both shook their heads and said, “No.”


Looking at the pair, Sandi asked, “Then you agree? Quinn is our new vice-president?”


Tiffany knew Stacy wouldn’t disagree with Sandi. However, she wondered if the group really needed another member. Slowly she reached into her purse and opened the small inside pouch. Looking at the tiny lock of hair she felt that this was a good sign. She looked at Stacy and smiled. They both had their answer. Looking at Sandi, the two nodded in agreement.


As Tiffany grew to know Quinn she really began to like her. At first the attraction was merely because her hair reminded her of her mom. Soon though it became obvious she was different than Sandi in many ways. She was definitely nicer than Sandi. Perhaps this was the person to be her new mentor. In spite of these feelings, she wasn’t sure she could abandon Sandi outright. After all, she was the first one who befriended her when she moved here. How could she just walk away from her oldest friend? Eventually she decided to be best friends with whichever one she was with at the moment. She just wasn’t sure what she should do if they were all together. Eventually, she decided that was something that would have to be dealt with when the situation arose.


That was almost two years ago. Sitting there, as she saw her two best friends argue, she wondered if she had done the right thing not choosing a best friend. As the heated debate progressed she feared the moment that would soon come. A minute later, Sandi and Quinn looked at her.


“Tiffany dear.” Sandi said. “What do you think?”


Not wanting to upset either of them, Tiffany decided to go with her most reliable response.


“What was the question?”


The End

As always, Daria and all related characters belong to MTV. This was written for my own amusement.