“Mom! Enough is enough! Why do you keep treating me like a kid!” yelled Robin, a 16 year old teenager, acting ruthlessly, walking down the stairs, totally overtaken by his changing hormones! “I will study when I want to. I know I have exams. Can’t I go out and refresh my brain!
“You have been refreshing yourself browsing over net since three hours son!” said mom, Martha.
Robin: mom I wasn’t wasting time over there! I was searching for practice papers! You won’t get this!
Mom: come back soon son.
And the mother went to the kitchen to cook for supper. She was disturbed lately. Robin’s dad James has been behaving weird since a month now, they had hardly any conversation in past few weeks and she was being swallowed by insecurity. Robin’s dad was a business man and had to go to various places for meetings and work. He used to meet hundreds of people every day.
One morning he suddenly got up to a phone call and immediately jumped out of bed and went rushing towards the main door. He picked up his keys and drove out of the garage. Martha was following him through the entire course of catch his sprint and kept asking what happened. The only words he uttered were “it is something official, you won’t understand. I will get back by the evening.” Martha sighed and came inside the house.
That day after preparing the supper, she thought of making James’s favorite caramel custard for him. It might relax him and relieve from all the tensions of the workplace, even for some time. She did all the preparations and kept the custard in the fridge. She was dead tired and her ankle was paining badly. She had got hurt the day before while trying to fix Robin’s cycle. Martha stood at the window gazing out at the road in search of James’s car. Half an hour passed and robin went to bed. It was late at night and the clock struck 12. Martha was very sleepy now. She pulled the chair and sat down to take a nap. She could not keep her eyes open.
Then suddenly she woke up to the shrilling tone of the alarm clock. She got up and found it was 8 a.m. in the morning. She ran towards her bedroom but James was not back yet. Pain and sorrow gushed into her heart and she could no longer resist crying. She broke into tears and hid her head in the pillow.
Robin came running to Martha, “mom, where is my breakfast! Don’t you remember, I have to go for basketball practice! I don’t understand what you do at home all day!”
Martha looked up wiping her tears, her eyes were red, but Robin turned away and while walking to his room, he shouted, please do it fast, I have many other things to do! I am not a housewife!
Martha was still aggrieved with all what was going on in her family. She was hardly respected. She went in the bathroom to wash her face and looked at her reflection. She could see streaks of white hair and wrinkles around her chin and forehead. Her hands were getting dry and freckled. She felt defeated, as if all she had done her entire life was a waste. She was in the middle of this self analysis when she heard the horn. James was back. She went up to the door and opened it. James came inside all tired and fell on the couch.
“Please give me some water Martha” he said.
Martha went inside the kitchen and brought a glass of water and a bowl of caramel custard.
“James I made this for you. I hope you will like it, eat this and then drink water” said Martha.
James took a spoon of the custard and ate it. He immediately threw away the bowl.
“What the hell is this? If you can’t make it, don’t! But just don’t spoil my mood, I am very tired. I have been working all night and back home what I get is tasteless stupid custard. Don’t waste my money, you don’t earn any as it is” yelled James and went into his bedroom.
Martha cleaned the mess and sat down at the dining table reflecting on her past.
She used to be a bright student, a very active girl in school and college. Then one day James, her friend proposed her and she said yes. They both got married and were very happy. It was like a dream come true. Martha used to work at a hospital. She was a doctor. After two years of marriage, Robin took birth and James asked Martha to give a break to her job and look after their son. She happily agreed and thought she would join back her work as soon as Robin is big enough to be left on his own.
When robin turned 8, she asked James if she can join the hospital but he refused. His argument was that Robin should not be sent for tuitions and Martha should teach him the basic subjects. Martha agreed to this too. She always succumbed to the demands of her son and husband. She sacrificed her entire life for them. Her career, her parents, her friends, her dreams and her desires! And it was definitely not to see this day in her life. James treated her bad, he no more loved her, brought her flowers or pastries. They never went out for dinner since god knows when. And James feels embarrassed taking her to his official parties. Robin doesn’t value her as well. She taught her everything, how to walk, run, eat and the course and subjects too. James was nowhere to be found when Robin was growing up. But he is still valued more because he brings money to the family, he gives pocket money to Robin and he is a super dad. And what I am, a loser.
While thinking all this, Martha decided that it is enough now, she went to the store room, searched for all her degrees, certificates and documents, took the keys of her car and drove off. That was the day James and Robin saw her for the last time in person. They now see her on televisions and newspapers as she has grown as an amazing medical practitioner. Everyone respects her and kids dream to be like her one fine day. And Martha, after her reincarnation…never looked back since then…