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Remember The Name
It was an ordinary day in the middle of January, freezing cold, 28 degrees Fahrenheit. In beautiful New York City. Well, not so beautiful for Dolores Acheros. On a Tuesday, in the middle of the night, she passed out. She woke up in the hospital. She had just given birth. Don’t ask her how she got there.
Most women stay in the hospital for around two days after giving birth, but Dolores was suffering from too much pain, so she had to stay an extra day. Thankfully, she got better and was able to go home. She set all her belongings on the ground. An empty white mug she got from a stranger two weeks prior, and a scratched, old, gray watch that she found in a trash can months before. After a long day, she went back to sleep, on the cold pavement of Boulevard Avenue.
The ’90s were undeniably the best years for the Sarid family. Marcus Sarid was a renowned producer in New York City, working with the biggest names of hip-hop week in and week out. His small frame, white hair, and shy demeanor could deceive, but, at his best, Marcus was making millions of dollars per year. Diana Sarid, Marcus’ wife was a lawyer, but not just an average one, she had one of the most significant cases of the decade, and as a result, made a name for herself, and a lot of money. Although money can buy many things in life, it can’t buy happiness. Unfortunately for the Sarid family, Marcus and Diana tried for more than ten years, unfruitfully, to do what would be their biggest and most important wealth in their lives: bring life into the world. No amount of money can buy that.
Their marriage was deteriorating every day that passed, the couple felt like something was missing, a decision had to be made.
On a quite peculiar February day in NYC, when the sun was out, and the weather was great, Marcus and Diana Sarid went to Reverent Mother Orphanage, renowned for being the top orphanage in the city in the 1980s. They entered the orphanage and walked two steps forward, when Diana heard a strange noise to her left, she looked back and laid eyes with a little baby, his fine strands of brown hair, his bright hazel eyes, and a silly and adorable laugh, made Diana walk towards him, almost in slow motion, amazed by the connection she felt straight away with that little human, who could possibly save the marriage of one of the most famous and powerful couples in New York City.
That baby was the youngest in the room, he was yet to turn two months old. He had left the hospital about two weeks prior to that day, he didn’t have a name, or actually, he was registered under “No Name”.
No Name’s mother was Dolores, but almost no one knew that, the only time she saw her son was right after he came out of her wound. Even then, No Name’s destiny was already set, and Dolores knew it, he would be sent straight away to Reverent Mother, just like all the other kids of homeless women. As always, Dolores suffered alone, she thought of her boy every day of her life, wishing she could have turned her life around before it was too late, she lived every day of her life with a big feeling of regret.
Dolores Acheros was born in Spain, in the 1960s. Her family was one of the richest and most dangerous in the country, Pablo Acheros was one of the most famous drug dealers in Madrid, and it showed, as he was killed when Dolores was just a seven-year-old girl. She and her mother had to flee the country to stay alive, so they moved to Panama. Dolores’ mother was able to keep most of the savings Pablo made while alive, so they were able to live a pretty good life in Panama City. That is until another tragedy occurred when Dolores was 18, and her mother was found dead, drowned on the beach. After that day, Dolores started suffering from depression and anxiety; as a result, she developed an addiction to drinking and betting. It was the only way she could forget about her heartache. She made a lot of money with betting at the start, and moved to New York City when she was 29, but the addiction uncontrollably grew on her, and she lost it all at 32 years old. She had no choice but to live on the streets, and find a way to survive every day of her life. So she stayed at Boulevard Avenue, along with dozens of other homeless people. After about two or three months of living with no roof, Dolores started to feel dizzy and ill more often than usual, she realized she was pregnant after a friend of hers noticed her belly starting to bump. Several months later, she gave birth to her first child.
Diana and Marcus Sarid adopted No Name, the price tag was a hefty one, but Marcus didn’t even hesitate when it was time to pay, they left the orphanage, put No Name in the blue and white stroller they bought, and joyfully walked around New York City.
The first few weeks were extremely celebrated, No Name got to know his new grandparents, cousins, and uncles, at a huge party they organized for his first-month birthday party.
The couple’s relationship seemed to have been saved, they noticed minor details such as waking up and smiling at each other, Marcus cooking breakfast for Diana, and an improvement in Diana’s overall attitude towards Marcus had improved majorly since the arrival of the baby.
No Name grew up a happy child, he went to a nice school, had a lot of friends, and had very good grades, he didn’t have anything to complain about. His family did a very good job of teaching him core values, especially humility, and showing him that he would have to work hard for anything in life. Coming from a family with a fortune, it would be easy for No Name to become a spoiled kid, but he was a hard worker, from a very young age, No Name excelled on the basketball court, as a middle schooler, his big frame and upside gave him a huge advantage over his smaller opponents, and his craftiness and agility made him very hard to guard on 1v1s. Can’t forget about his shooting, which had always been above average.
No Name knew he was adopted, every major news source made sure to talk about the Sarid’s freakish athletic adopted kid, nevertheless, he did not understand what being adopted was.
It was the 90s. No Name was in 9th grade, taking over high school basketball as a freshman. His adoptive parents were around 50 years old, and the thought of losing one of them was never prominent in his head, they had everything, what could go wrong?
Diana called No Name into his room, they needed to have a serious conversation.
It was about Dolores, she wasn’t doing well, she was at the hospital, and didn’t have much time left. No Name, confused, then asked, “Ok. What does this have to do with me?” Sobbing, Diana stuttered “She is your mother, yo - your real mother.”
No Name was in a mix of confusion and worry,
“Mom, mom, explain to -”
“Son, I am sorry we never had this conversation.”
Diana went on to call Marcus and explain to No Name what he was, who he was.
After a long 3 hours of talk, he needed a couple of hours to process everything he learned. His head hurt, his stomach rumbled, his hands were shaking, and his eyes, those beautiful hazel eyes, the eyes he could only have inherited from one person and one person only, his mother, those eyes were bawling as they had never done before.
After a sleepless night, No Name didn’t go to the bus stop to go to school, instead, he asked his adoptive parents for a favor: he wanted to visit his biological mother.
In less than 30 minutes, Marcus, Diana, and No Name were in the car, ready to go to the hospital where No Name would get to know Dolores, No Name was nervous, he was scared, how would she look like? Would she want him there? Is she still alive? Many questions came and went throughout the drive. Five, ten, twenty, thirty, fifty minutes in the car, No Name was sweating, it felt like they would never get there, where is this hospital? Where is she?
They finally made it to Bladen Rose Hospital after almost two hours in the car. No Name had fallen asleep, Marcus had to calmly wake him up. He felt ready, he never wanted anything so much in his life other than get to know his mother, it was his only option.
The hospital was full and chaotic, a man was hit by a car, his body was covered with blood; a tree fell over a woman’s head, she was unconscious; a kid deeply cut his knee, after hitting it on a glass. The noise, the blood, the disorder made No Name feel dizzy once again, and he fell to the ground, unconscious.
He woke up in a hurry, about one hour later, he saw his mother, but couldn’t hear what she said, she was talking to a doctor. No Name had wires connected to his body, at this point, he was hospitalized. He panicked, he just wanted to see his mom, he couldn’t waste time, she could go at any minute. No Name unplugged all the wires, and in less than a minute was jogging in the hallways of the hospital, asking every living soul “Where is my mother?” He got the same response from doctors willing to help multiple times: “Who is your mother, son?” No Name never asked his adoptive parents what was his mother’s name. He felt helpless, out of options, so he laid down on his back and started crying, he didn’t cry as much as the day before, this time his cry was one of someone that failed and gave up.
No Name was laying in an empty hallway, it had been ten minutes since he had seen anyone until a nurse opened the door and left one of the rooms, she had blonde hair and blue eyes, No Name thought she was an angel. The nurse immediately got close to No Name and asked the boy,
“What’s your name?”
“I don’t know.” Said the boy, defeated. “I’m looking for my mom, she’s dying.”
Immediately, something clicked for the nurse.
“What’s her name?”
“I don’t know.”
“Come here!” The nurse looked at the boy’s eyes, those beautiful, hazel eyes, the eyes he could only have inherited from one person and one person only, his mother. She told the boy her mom was in the room she just left, No Name quickly got up and ran inside.
“Mom. Is that you?”
With difficulty, Dolores said “Son! Come here, baby.” She didn’t have much time, at this point, she had been homeless for more than fifteen years, and the health problems started catching up to her.
“Mom. I wish I could have helped earlier. I’m sorry.”
“No, son, don’t be sorry. I’m sorry for failing you, I was never worth having you. I’m sorry.”
They both started crying, No Name hugged her, he felt guilty about what was happening, he knew she was gone.
“Son, please, listen to me, I have suffered all my life, and nothing ever worked out, everyone I’ve ever loved either left or died.” She gasped, “I suffered all my life and never had anyone next to me, you are the only person that ever stood by my side, I love you. Please, don’t let people forget my name, please.”
Anxiously, he asked, “What is your name?!”
“Dolores, son, Dolores Acheros.” Dolores closed her eyes, and did not open them anymore.
No Name’s hands slipped down Dolores’ face, slowly, until her head hit the pillow, and his tears, fell onto her face. The nurse consoled a devastated No Name, followed by Marcus and Diana, who had been looking for No Name for at least thirty minutes.
They went back home, and No Name’s life continued, but he was very grateful for having known his real mother, even if it was for less than five minutes. No Name kept on going strong on the basketball court, having dozens of astonishing games. Every point he scored, he dedicated to the person that brought him into the world, he couldn’t stop thinking about her, about the five minutes they spent together, he wanted to give her the world, but couldn’t.
What he could do, however, was to pay tribute to her. He didn’t even have to think about how. A 5-star-recruit, No Name committed to powerhouse Duke University during his Junior year. His commitment live stream was being watched by more than one hundred thousand people. That was the start of an incredibly successful NBA career, under a new identity. During his live stream, he said,
“I’m very excited to further my education and career at Duke University. But now, I do have a name: Dolores Acheros. That is my name.”