Casey always thought that having a six year old in her apartment every Saturday was interesting. Saturdays were the only days Casey could have her niece over because surprisingly, she received her job at SVU back. Apparently, Kim Greyleck wasn't going a great job being a prosecutor. When Casey unpacked her things in her old office, she couldn't help but laugh and think "I guess Danielle is looking out for me if I got my job back."
Casey brought Liz to the Bronx Zoo. They saw all of the different types of animals. Casey tried to make Liz's visits educational, but once in awhile Casey would try to teach Liz how to play softball.
When they were walking around the zoo, Liz wasn't just curious about the animals, she was curious about where her mother was too.
"Caser, where's my mommy?"
Casey stopped walking and looked down at Liz. The kid had an innocent smile on her face, but Casey didn't know what to say. She didn't know what to say because Danielle never asked where her mother was.
"She's uh...why don't we look at the monkeys?"
"I want my mommy!" the six year old screamed. People around them looked as the six year started getting upset. Casey picked her up and started walking away.
"Liz, if you stop screaming, would you like some ice cream?" Casey asked
"I'll stop screaming, but I want my mommy."
Casey has never seen a child so upset. The only time Casey saw a child more upset was when Danielle didn't want to leave New York City after they helped Casey unpack for college. She looked at Liz and told her that they were going home. As Casey walked with Liz in her arms, she only wished that Danielle was there to make everything better.
As the years progressed, Liz's behavior only got worst. She wanted answers, but she never got any. Not only her behavior at home was terrible, but her behavior at the middle school was even worse. She would scream at anyone that made her upset or angry. She even punched a kid in the face when he was making fun of her. When Valerie told her this over the phone, Casey tried not to laugh. She wanted to laugh because Danielle would have done the same thing if someone bothered her in college.
The next time Liz stayed over Casey, she didn't expect her twelve year old niece to have such a sour face. They were eating at the kitchen table when Casey started to converse.
"So how's school?" Casey asked.
"It sucks" Liz mumbled
"Oh...how is it at home?"
"That sucks too. I don't even know why you're trying to make conversation with me."
"I'm trying to talk to you because you're my niece and I love you."
Suddenly, Liz got up and gave Casey a nasty look.
"How can you say that you love me?" Liz shouted "My own parents don't love me! And when I mean parents, I mean my real mother and father...not the adoptive parents that I'm forced to live with!"
"Liz, sit down. We need to talk."
"What is there to talk about?"
"I think you need to know the truth about your parents" Casey said quietly "Your adoptive parents may not like the fact that I'm talking about this, but I think this talk might help you cope with your pain."
"So now you're a psychologist?"
"You know, your mom wanted to be a psychologist."
"I don't believe you..."
"You need to believe me Liz" Casey said "You have two choices: You can sit here and listen to me, or you can be angry at everyone around you for the rest of your life."
Liz sat down in her chair. Casey couldn't help but think about all the times she tried talking to Danielle, and she realized that Liz was just like her mother in so many ways.
"So...where are my parents?" Liz asked quietly.
"Your father is somewhere away from here after being in jail for seven years."
"Why was he in jail?"
"He was in jail because he hurt your mother."
"Oh...how old were they when my mom had me?"
"They were eighteen" Casey said.
"So they gave me away. That's great" Liz said sarcastically.
"Your father was already in prison when you were born, and your mother wanted to keep you but she couldn't. Besides, I think it was a good decision."
"Why? Where is she now?"
"She's dead, Liz."
Liz stopped eating her food and froze. Liz always thought her parents were deadbeat drug addicts that didn't care about their daughter, but then when she heard Casey said that her mom was dead, she started to cry.
"Why...Why did she die? When did she die?"
"She died when you were only one year old" Casey explained "The last time she ever saw you was eleven years old during Christmas."
"That's where that pink bike with training wheels came from. It wasn't just your gift...it was my mother's gift as well...how did she die?"
"Your father got her sick with HIV and it went to AIDS a few weeks later when she found out."
"She didn't want treatment?"
"Liz, I should also mention that your mother also had depression. And when she found out about her sickness, she didn't want to live anymore."
Liz shook her head as she wiped the tears with her hands. She couldn't believe what she was hearing, but I guess it was better to hear it now than in a few more years.
"Casey, what was my mom like?"
"I'd thought you'd never ask."
Casey got up from her seat and walked away. Liz didn't know what Casey was doing until her aunt came back with a photo album. Casey placed the album in front of Liz while Casey sat back down in her seat. Liz opened the album and saw a picture of a toddler and a teenager.
"Who's who?" Liz asked as she looked at the first pictures.
"Danielle was three and I was sixteen" Casey said
"I didn't know you had brown hair"
"You never knew because I never liked my brown hair" Casey said with a chuckle "Danielle loved her hair and never wanted to dye it like I do."
"If my mom had brown hair, then why do I have blonde hair?"
"You have your father's hair" Casey replied "But other than the hair, you look exactly like your mother."
Liz gave a small smile as she continued to look through the photo album. Casey started to look too, and she secretly thought about when the pictures were taken in her head. Liz was at the last page at the photo album and saw Danielle with a baby. Liz looked up at Casey.
"Who's the baby?" Liz asked.
"That's you when we went to visit during Christmas" Casey said.
"Geez, my mother looks sick."
"She wasn't at sick as she was after Christmas."
"Maybe it was a good thing she didn't visit after that" Liz said as she shut the photo album and gave it to Casey.
"Liz, you may think that your mother was a bad person but she was the exact opposite" Casey explained "She loved you and only wanted the best for you. And I know for a fact that she would be disappointed in how you're acting."
"How do you know?"
"Even though there was a big age difference between us, we were close ever since her first visit here when she was fifteen. And believe me; she would most likely yell at you for acting this way. She's watching you, you know."
"Let me guess..."
"She's here by spirit" Casey said "That's what she told me before she died."
"Do you think she would be laughing if he found out that I punched a boy?" Liz asked
"She would be angry, but she would be secretly laughing about it."
"So I'm just like her" Liz said.
"You're exactly like your mother, with the exception of that blonde hair."