Photo: Flickr / Kris Krüg
Fiction

A woman called Mother

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It was a cold, dark night. All the girl could ever recall were some lost memories and broken images: images of her calm face, the sweetness in her voice and a real yet fake smile, soft touch of her hands and a wiggle of her fingers, wiping away tears from her face!

‘Who are you?’ the girl murmured to herself. ‘Why can’t I remember you?’ A tear rolled down her cheek.

Just then something happened. Something unusual. Something beautiful. Shivers went down her spine in seconds. She could see someone walking towards her in the shadows. She kept looking at that serene face, until it came so close that she could finally feel the freshness in her breath.
She was unable to utter a single word because of the pain this joy has given her. It was as if her forgotten past had found its way towards her.

Even though the girl remembers that face, she still inquired in a low breaking voice. ‘Who are you?’

‘You know me,’ the woman whispered. There was an indescribable pleasure in her voice.

‘Are you an entity from another planet who never gets tired of how others criticise you?’ she continued, ‘Or are you a metaphysical being with extraordinary powers to heal, or just a soul covered in flesh or maybe an angel who has been sent down to mend broken hearts?’

‘Maybe I am all these things, or maybe I am none’ she said smiling, ‘or maybe I am just a woman called Mother.’
‘Oh, are you?’ she said with an anger that had been growing inside her for years, waiting to spill out. ‘They say a Mother’s affectionate touch is beyond this physical world. If you are what you say you are then tell me this: why can’t I feel that touch anymore?’

‘Every day when you feel the sun on your skin. That’s my touch. Every day when you feel the softness of snow on your aging hands. That’s my touch.  Every day when you feel the breeze on your face. That’s my touch. Every day when you feel the wetness of tears rolling down your face. That’s my touch!’ the woman said.

‘I always thought that you were the only person who would never abandon me, for you cared so deeply. Why did you then?’ she asked.

‘I still haven’t’ the woman replied. ‘I am present in the words you write to express yourself. I am present in each and every movement of your body. I see through you. I speak through you.’

‘You can’t be present in the words I write. You know why? Because I am alone and I write in despair,’ the girl said.

‘You write in despair not because you are alone, but because you are unaware of the beautiful life that lays ahead, my sweet child,’ the woman answered with love.

‘You say your love is the purest of all, but your love has done nothing but drown me,’ she frowned with anger.

‘When you thought to lose yourself to the horrors of this world a million times, my love has stopped you. My love is in the colours you paint your pictures with,’ the woman answered.

‘Colours destroy the purity of darkness,’ she protested.

‘Colours give hope to the hopeless,’ the woman responded.

‘Such pity! You still talk of hope when this world has only pain to offer you. It has tortured you physically as well as emotionally, blackmailed you, burdened you with it’s desires. Why?’ she asked.

‘Because all I ever wanted was to savour each moment of my life in which you smiled,’ the woman replied.

‘This is so unfair. God is so unfair. Please make it stop! The pain. Make it stop!’ she cried.

‘Have a little faith,’ the woman said.

‘This faith took the only, most-precious thing I had. This faith has torn us apart. We broke you. Didn’t we? We caused you pain with all our unfair ways. Punished you for the smallest of mistakes. We took you for granted. We made you go away. Didn’t we?’ she lamented.

‘Don’t apologize for the mistakes you never made. Let go of the past. Let it go!’ the woman insisted.

‘I will avenge you,’ the girl vouchsafed.

‘My child, never lose yourself to the undignified horrors of this world. Revenge is for the weak. The idea of revenge will make you hollow,’ the woman advised.

‘Why did you leave?’ she enquired again, trying to hold back her tears.

‘I fought my fight. But then I realized it was never my fight that I was fighting. So I had to go!’ the woman said.

‘I can’t do it without you,’ she pleaded.

‘Just let me go!’ the woman begged this time.

‘Stay please!’ she sobbed.

‘I am afraid I can’t. You need to let me go! You have been holding onto your past for so long. It’s finally time to let go,’ the woman said.

‘You don’t care. Do you!’ the girl yelled with anger.

‘Don’t you think I am sad too? It was never my decision to make. I am leaving a part of me behind. I am leaving YOU behind,’ the woman said, almost in tears.

‘Will I ever see you again?’ the girl asked. ‘Whenever you’ll look into the mirror you will see me,’ the woman smiled.

‘I never got a chance to bid you goodbye… Mother’ she couldn’t hold her tears back. She cried holding her mother’s hand, not wanting to let go.

‘Now is the time then, my sweet girl’ the mother replied.

The woman disappeared like a shadow into the night. The girl stood there again, alone, pushed back deep into the abyss of her thoughts, as hollow as she had always been.  She hoped that sooner or later she would see her mother again but deep down she knew it would not be the beginning of their invisible conversations, but the final farewell.

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