Whenever I walk down the road, I see a million girls holding their mother’s hand, pulling so hard as if they’ll dislodge it from the body. And they, pulling their children near them so that their warmth could be reached and her child would feel safe. With me though, it was always different. It was me who pulled my mother closer to me so that we’d be always together. Always. I remember getting up every day in the morning, finding mom by my side. She’d be there always there to wake me up on time for school. She’d say “Good morning precious, time for your morning bath!” I’d reply by saying “Good morning madam, ready to carry me off?”
The bond between me and my mother was one no person could break. Ours was a ‘family of two’ in this big world. I never knew my father, and it didn’t feel right to ask mom about it. She was both a father and a mother to me. Taking me to school, teaching me karate, playing baseball- she’d take care of all these things. Things fathers were supposed to care of.
But, I never complained, and she never gave me the reason to. It was because of her that I had to go to school every day. I’d tell her “I don’t want to go to school. I want to stay here. Stay with you.”
“My precious gem, if you don’t go to school, then who will dear? Just imagine, what would Math say, or Science? How much your teachers will miss your being. You ought to have pity on them, no?”
Then she’d laugh her heart out. That was the best thing about her. She’d always make me feel as if everything will not function if I don’t put forward a step! As if I’m special. But whenever Ms. Isaac came to visit me at home, she would always ask me “How are you Jane? Are you able to cope up with your life? Is everything going easy for you?”
I don’t actually know why she’d say so. I was a matured 12 year old, with my mother taking care of me. Even then, she’d never ask about how or where my mother was. I was always curious. But as always I let it drift away.
I remember, few years ago, I used to accompany mom to the family doctor every Sunday. I would wait outside the chamber, sitting alone, sometimes reading the health magazines kept on the table beside it but not understanding a single word in it. After an hour or so, she’d come out looking all gloomy and sulking. “What’s the matter mom? Is something wrong?” I would ask. “Nothing my dear. Just a little stomach-ache. Let’s go home, shall we?”
We’d reach home, change into our PJ’s and watch America’s Next Top Model. I would comment on some funky-looking model, while she would agree. She always told me that I could become The Next Top Model if I started eating fewer cookies and more celery. I would always hush her up. Then she would laugh. Her laugh was the prettiest thing in the world. Everything seemed to pause for a second when she would do so. And her long hair was a golden flowing river. If god created an angel, it was her.
She would be the flower, I would be the stem. She would be the key to my lock. That was how much I cared for her. Without her I was nothing. But people would give me dirty looks when we would walk down the road. They would pretend as if I walked alone. As if no one was there beside me. But, only I knew mom was there. Only I could feel her, you know. She was sent by god especially for me and I had no issues with it. Time went way quickly.
Today, I walk back home from school. Alone. I have only one thought going on in my mind- “Where is mom?” I reach my porch and find two minors riding their tricycles on it. I smile at the fact that they’re so happy. I climb the stone steps to my brown-teak door and use the rusted key to open it. It makes a slight creak as it opens. Everything inside is arranged neatly. I keep my bag down on the sofa, and remove the curtains. Sunlight fills the whole room in a sepia colour. I take out a carton of milk out of the fridge.
“Mom! You there?” No response. I walk towards the wall facing the main entrance door where all the photos are put up while quenching my thirst with this whole-fats milk. Mom’s favourite. I search through the pictures for one certain thing, and I find it. Mom’s post-mortem report. Today marks the fifth death-anniversary of mom after she passed away due to cancer in 2011. She never told me she had cancer until the day before she died. All I remember was my mother’s gloomy face in the clinic. Little did I know it was all about this. Tears come up in my eyes. “Honey, you’re home?”
I look up to see mom standing on the stairs. “Yeah, school was boring.”
“Uh-oh… and the drama starts!”
I laugh, the tears of pain changing into tears of joy. She smiles that beautiful smile again, and I think to myself, my mother is beyond infinity. No one knew what I did. My mother was standing before me, even though she’d already died five years ago. Call it magic or an apparition. Ghost would be better. But when she’s here, there are no more distractions. There’s no one to notice. It’s just mom and me.