Girl Strolls Through Supermarket with Mom, Spots Her ‘Missing’ Photo on Milk Carton – Story of the Day

Mia is shocked to discover a milk carton bearing her photo and the word “missing” at the supermarket. Will Mia be able to save herself once she finds her true identity?

Mia, 14, opened her eyes to a nurse smiling beside her. “How are you feeling, dear? Can you tell me your name?” the woman asked.

Mia blinked. “I’m Mia…but that’s all I know,” she said.

“It’s OK,” The nurse smiled. “You’ve been in a coma for a few days. Your brain is still trying to wake up fully.” The nurse examined her, checking her pulse and examining her eyes. Mia was fine, but she would stay under observation, at least for a few days.

“Just a little longer, and you’ll be discharged. I’m going to tell your parents you are awake,” the nurse continued. “They’ve been distraught, but they’ll be so happy to see you.”

As the nurse walked away, Mia pressed her memory for details. Did she have parents who were worried for her? Would she recognize them?

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

Mia’s racing thoughts were interrupted when the door burst open.

“Oh, darling!” A woman raced toward her and hugged her tightly. “Thank God you’re alive!”

Mia didn’t remember her. She stared blankly as the woman pulled away.

“I’m sorry, but I don’t remember anyone. I woke up from a coma,” Mia told her.

“I know, sweetie. The doctors filled me in. I’m Laura, your mother,” the woman said calmly.

Mia still didn’t recognize her. “What happened to me? Why don’t I remember you?” she asked.

Laura smiled. “There was an accident. But let’s not focus on the bad things, yes? I’m here to take you home. If familiar things surround you, your memory might return soon.”

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

“When can we leave?” Mia asked.

“Now,” Laura replied too quickly. “I’ll pack your things.”

Laura began collecting Mia’s stuff, which confused the young girl. “But the nurse said I needed to stay here—”

“Well, did she say you’re well?”

“She did,” Mia nodded.

“Then it’s settled,” Laura declared. “They want to keep you here longer for the bills to swell.”

Mia believed Laura.

Mia’s things were packed, and they were about to leave the room. But as Laura opened the door, she stepped back, terrified by the flurry of activity outside.

“We’ll have to be quick, Mia. Follow me.” Instead of taking the main exit, Laura veered left toward the fire escape. She glanced at people from the corner of her eyes as if she wanted to remain unnoticed.

Mia noticed Laura’s nervous expression. “Why are we going this way?” she asked.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

“We need to get one floor down,” Laura replied, guiding Mia to the staircase that seemed to spiral down endlessly. They reached a less-traveled landing, and Laura released Mia’s hand. “Wait here; I’ll be back in two minutes.”

Laura returned with some paperwork, and then they made their way into the parking lot.

Laura’s steps were hurried, and when she heard a doctor’s voice, she ushered Mia behind a car.

“Why are we hiding?” Mia asked.

“I’m sorry, honey,” Laura’s voice trembled as she looked at Mia. “I know you might be worried about why we’re leaving like this…It breaks my heart, but I can’t afford another day here. I can’t pay your bills.”

Mia didn’t recognize Laura yet, but she sensed the pain in her voice. “It’s OK,” she whispered, giving Laura a comforting smile. When the doctor’s attention remained elsewhere, they made their way to Laura’s car.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

Mia stared out of the window throughout the drive. She noticed the buildings eventually getting replaced by lines of trees. The car finally stopped in front of a solitary house nestled among greenery. Mia still didn’t recognize any of it.

Laura led her to a room with pastel-colored walls and shelves lined with toys. Pictures of a baby, which she assumed was her, were hung on the wall. Mia felt it was odd. No 14-year-old would have such a room.

“Is this really my room?” she asked as she picked up a doll from the bed. “These photos on the wall…they’re all of a baby,” she added, facing Laura.

“We lived here when you were very young, honey,” Laura smiled. “Then we moved to the city. Our house there…it caught fire recently. We lost everything. So we came back here to your old room.”

Mia tried to jog her memory. But nothing. She listened intently as Laura narrated about her hobbies, tasks she enjoyed, and the foods that were once her favorite. But Mia didn’t recall any of it. Again, it wasn’t strange considering her condition.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

Then, one morning, Laura told her she was stepping out for some grocery shopping. Mia really wanted to accompany her, and Laura agreed.

The mom and daughter arrived at the supermarket. While Laura was shopping, a strange detail caught Mia’s attention: A milk carton had her image.

Mia approached the carton and lifted it from the shelf. She stared at the word “missing” printed below her photo.

“Remember something?” Laura’s voice made her jump. Mia turned around, pressing the carton to her chest, hiding it from Laura.

Mia knew something was off the day she arrived at Laura’s house. She couldn’t pinpoint what, but this milk carton was her first lead.

“I was…I was just looking,” Mia replied nervously.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

“Alright,” Laura nodded and turned toward the checkout. As Laura walked away, Mia memorized the phone number mentioned on the carton. Thank God, this was the only carton with her photo; otherwise, Laura would’ve noticed it, too.

During the drive home and at dinner, Mia’s mind was occupied with the carton. She wondered what her picture was doing there. She noticed Laura seemed strange since they had returned from the shopping. Her smiles no longer seemed genuine.

Laura went to work in the garden after dinner. Mia watched her through the kitchen window, and when she was sure that Laura was engrossed in gardening, the young girl took Laura’s phone and dialed the number she had memorized from the milk carton.

A few rings went through, and then a woman’s voice appeared. “Hello? Who is this?”

“Hello,” Mia replied nervously. “I saw my photo and this number on a milk carton. Can you tell me what’s going on?”

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

There was a pause, after which Mia heard the woman’s panicked voice, “Mia, is that you?”

“Yes, my name is Mia. But that’s all I remember.”

“Oh, Mia! Your father and I—we’ve been looking for you! We didn’t know what happened, where you were—You were kidnapped, sweetie! Do you know where you are? Can you recall anything, any landmarks?”

Mia explained what she remembered, but her conversation was cut short when the living room door flung open.

“Who were you talking to?” Laura demanded from the doorway.

“No one, just a wrong number,” Mia stammered.

“I see you’re lying to me, girl!” Laura approached her slowly. “It’s not nice to lie to your MOTHER!”

Before Mia could think what to do, Laura lunged for her and dragged her to the basement.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

“You’re my daughter, and I won’t give you to anyone!” Laura shouted through the door, her voice cracking.

Mia was locked inside. She pounded on the door, begging Laura to open the door. But it was futile.

As her eyes adjusted to the dimly lit surroundings, Mia searched the space for an alternative exit. But there were none.

It was then Mia noticed something in a corner. It was the stack of papers Laura was carrying at the hospital the other day. On the top was a doctor’s note dated 12.01. Mia began reading the papers.

“Patient Laura — First Visit. Presenting with acute delusional episodes. Believes in seeing her deceased daughter in various locations. Struggling with acceptance and grief.”

Mia gasped. She turned to the next note dated 25.01:

“Progress is slow. Laura continues to report sightings of her daughter. Recommended increased dosage and continued therapy to aid in acceptance and processing of her daughter’s passing.”

Mia moved on to the next sheet, dated 13.02:

“Notable progress in today’s session. Laura displayed moments of clarity, expressing guilt and grief without the compulsion to see her daughter. It’s a fragile but significant step towards acceptance. Encouraged her to maintain medication and therapy.”

Mia’s heart wasn’t prepared when she read the last one.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

“18.02 – A distressing regression today. Laura accused me of deceit, claiming that her daughter was, in fact, alive and that she had seen her in the hospital. She became agitated, her anger escalating quickly. She threw a paperweight across the room, barely missing me, and shouted that she wouldn’t be fooled by my ‘lies.’ The session ended with her storming out, leaving chaos in her wake.”

Mia’s worst suspicions were proved. Laura wasn’t her mother. Laura was a mentally ill woman who thought Mia was her dead daughter who was somehow reborn.

As the day went on, Mia didn’t know how to escape Laura’s clutches. Day turned into night, and at some point, she dozed off.

The next morning, she was awakened by footsteps near the basement door above. “Please, let me out,” she yelled, but no answer came.

Mia thought quickly and formed a plan to manipulate Laura physiologically. This time, Mia yelled, “Mom! It’s scary down here!”

The footsteps halted. Mia’s plan was working.

“Mom, remember how we planted the garden together? We were a team…I want those moments back. Please, Mom.”

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

Minutes stretched endlessly as Mia held her breath, waiting for any sign of yielding from Laura.

“Mom, I love you, I really do. I want to be with you, not locked away. Please!” she continued.

It was then she heard a faint sound—a key turning in the lock, a bolt sliding. The door creaked open. Laura came downstairs and gently wrapped her arms around her.

“I’m sorry I did this to you, honey,” she said. “I was scared you would leave. I can’t lose you again.”

“I’m here now; don’t worry,” Mia feigned concern.

Laura took her upstairs and served her some food. Mia noticed how Laura’s hands shook as she ate and how nervous she appeared. The illness in her mind was clearly visible.

Mia pretended to be a good girl and finished her meal. Laura then went to the kitchen to clean it.

“Honey, can you fetch me the rest of the dishes?” she called out from near the sink.

“Sure, Mommy!” Mia replied. This was the right time. Seizing the only opportunity to escape, Mia grabbed a plate, carefully approached Laura, and then swung the plate with all her might.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

The impact was so strong Laura crumbled to the ground, crying in pain. Mia quickly grabbed the front door keys, unlocked the door, and began running. She headed into the forest and kept going. When she glanced behind at one point, she saw Laura was following her.

Mia ran as fast as she could. But Laura managed to catch up with her and grabbed her leg. Mia fell face-first on the ground.

Laura turned her over, her hands around Mia’s neck as she choked the girl.

“Please, let me go!” Mia gasped out weakly. “I can’t…breathe!”

Mia had really thought she was going to die. But then, she heard a voice, “Release the girl now, or I’ll shoot!”

A cop, his gun drawn, emerged from the bushes. “Need backup. Female and a young girl near the river,” he reported on his radio.

When he saw Laura wasn’t listening to him, he made a split-second decision and fired—not a bullet, but a dart of electricity that arced through the air with a sharp crack. Laura’s body jolted, and her hands went slack. Air rushed into Mia’s lungs as she gulped down breath after precious breath.

The officer was quick to reassure Mia as he holstered the Taser. “Don’t worry, you’re OK now. She’s been subdued.”

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

Soon, Mia’s parents arrived with a bunch of officers. Her parents hugged her and explained how they had found her using the information from her call.

“We contacted the police immediately after you called us. You’ll finally be home, honey,” Her mother said. “Finally.”

Mia wrapped her arms around her parents and silently cried with relief. She knew the people she was hugging were her real parents. Not only did she look like them, but the comfort she felt in their arms was something she would never feel otherwise.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only | Source: Shutterstock

Tell us what you think about this story, and share it with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.

If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a woman who spots her husband taking his wedding ring off before leaving for work. She decides to follow him, only to discover something shocking.

This piece is inspired by stories from the everyday lives of our readers and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone’s life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to info@amomama.com.

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