Loving Her
By Manogyna
Date: January 10, 2023
Ch. 2Chapter 2

Coming out of the washroom I dress myself and tie my chestnut hair into a neat pony.
I reach the kitchen where I always find my mom preparing breakfast for me with a cheerful smile on her face. Her smile never faltered even in our darkest period. She has always been my cheer leader in my most ill-lit days.

I share a special relationship with my mom. We are more like friends gossiping about everything under the sun starting from the current affairs to my friend's crush over a boy in our class. Though I am almost nine years old with just a month ahead to celebrate my birthday my mom still reads bedtime stories for me.

But today the ambience felt different. The house felt dark and gloomy. My mom was no longer working in the kitchen. Yesterday night she fell more sick than usual. Mom had been taking treatment for her cough since more than two years from a hospital nearby. She felt a relief after taking the initial medication but subsequently her sickness returned. Her eyes felt no longer lively like before though her bright smile never wavered.

She continued to work as the waitress in one of the night clubs nearby. She did three jobs a day and sometimes worked overtime to sponsor my education. Her health kept on deteriorating over the passage of time but she did not quit going to work just to fund my education and to fill in the dishes on our dining table.

My dad was never a part of our family. My mom left him when I was an infant learning about his mafia connections and till date he never made an attempt to contact us. My mom hardly spoke anything about him and I did not initiate the conversation as I understood him as a grey area of her past.

Recently around two months back my mom had to quit two of her jobs because of her growing illness. Her employers no longer required her. Her applications were turned down when she applied for new jobs.

Our pending bills were supposed to be rising but luckily my mom's past employer was generous enough to support us. He transferred a huge sum of money to my mom's account which has been taking care of the medical cum household expenses.

An alarm raised in my mind when I did not see my mom in the kitchen. I rush to her room in panic. Opening the door I find her in the washroom vomiting. A smile was back on her rims as soon as she notices me. "I am sorry princess I could not make breakfast for you as I overslept today." She quickly masks her dim face with a sparkling twinkle adorning her pale dry lips. I wasn't an immature toddler unable to grasp the situation. My mom was hiding her sickness to jaunt me up which she had been doing since the beginning.

She opens the closet and takes out some dollars from her purse. "Buy something to eat at the nearby café and go to school." She tells me with lively smile on her worn out face but I did not miss the blood stain on the corner of her lip when she was handing me the cash. Was she vomiting blood?

I did not know what to do. My life felt empty and gloomy all of a sudden. I was going to step out of the room as I did not want her to see my tears. My mother always taught me to be tough. She always up skilled me to never lose the positivity in life but today I was letting my weakness win over me. I did not want her to see me fall. I did not want her to see me break down in front of her but the fate had something else to offer us.

I hear her cough ones again and I turn back to comfort her just to meet her welling eyes. She was going breathless with each passing moment because of the endless cough. I reach her and move my hand slowly on her back to ease her of her suffering. After some time her coughing subsides and she pats the place besides her putting a hand on her chest to arrest the growing pain in her heart.

Looking into my eyes she understands everything like a mother indeed that she is. She wipes away my tears and shakes her head disapproving my thinning persona. Pulling out an envelope hidden under her pillow she reveals the picture of a young man. After a few seconds she starts to speak about the man she never spoke about.

"Princess this is the picture of your dad. I swaggered of my abilities and thought I would never require him but I think the day had already arrived." She sighs in defeat but continues. "He was not a bad man to his family. He loved and cared for us. He adored you so much. He gave us an affluent living and always kept us safe and happy. But I could not accept him after I learnt about the veracity." She stopped for a while taking a staggered breath to recoup off the pensive state.

"He hid the truth from me. Indulging himself in many illegal businesses, he killed a lot innocent people to win bread and butter for us. He was a mafia leader. Guilt consumed me. I felt I was leading a life of pleasure constructed on the tomb of many innocent lives. I couldn't accept him any more in my life. Though he pleaded me to stay, I left him taking a promise that he would never re-enter our lives. Till date he had been keeping his promise but I know he had always been behind watching us like a shadow in caring and protecting us."

Digesting everything my mom just reveled about our family I went to the kitchen to get her a glass of water.

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