“Why didn’t you come today at Prize Ceremony in my school?” Angelina growled while opening a Prague style iron wrought gate.
Struggling to keep herself balanced, Mrs. Khan lurched towards her daughter and replied “Sorry dear! I was....”
“Drunk? Huh? This is what you want to say?” Her face flushed red “Mom it was my big day! I waited for you so long but you didn’t come as usual! It is my fault. If I would not have expected you to come, I would not have been hurt”
The tears from her almond shaped eyes burst forth and she ran with all speed to her room. The more she tried to hold them, the more they flowed. She hit the wall and tried to scream but no sound came out of her mouth.
Drying her tears, Angelina saw herself in the large circular mirror embedded on the golden painted wall with black roses on it. It was a beautiful antique intricately framed hanging wall mirror that was found by her in store, covered in dust. The only reason why she hung that mirror in her room was that she felt that they both were somehow same, both worthless and unimportant. She has not seen herself with such concentration for months. Her face lacked liveliness now, she looked wan and tired. It is true that eyes are windows of the soul. Agony as well as gentleness can be seen in them. She did not know which pain was bigger, the sudden death of her father or seeing her mother dying slowly.
She felt as if she was the only guardian of the house. There was too much burden on her as she was the only child of her parents. She had to be strong enough to deal with the problems even though she felt powerless and fed up. Removing her eyes from mirror, she displaced her trophy on the shelve and then went to sleep.
“Angelina! Angelina! Open the door! Your mother is burning up with fever!” someone cried at the door while tapping it loudly. With state of confusion, she woke up immediately and opened the door. It was her granny, weeping bitterly. “Your mom is in her room. She has high fever. Please take her to the hospital. My old bones don’t allow me to take her to the hospital alone”
Angelina ran to her mother’s room, lifted her up and made her sit on the back seat of the Taxi that was called already by her granny. Mrs. Khan laid her head on Angelina’s lap and started murmuring something which Angelina couldn’t hear nor she wanted to. “You have eyes of your father. Ah! He loved me a lot...” Mrs. Khan said with slurred words and a loud voice, while gazing her daughter lovingly. However, Angelina had an odd feeling upon hearing this. She has not heard this type of compliment from her mother before. A part of her was happy after hearing this compliment whereas a part of her felt sorrowful about her mother’s condition. She looked fixedly on her mother. Her mother was a complete stranger to her now in every way. She has lost a lot of weight in a few period of time and her blood vessels had become spider-like. It was all beautiful 7 and half years ago, Angelina thought to herself.
Doctors and nurses were all surrounding Mrs. Khan’s hospital bed, attaching IV drips into her veins. Seeing the room, Angelina immediately understood why people take flowers to the hospitals. Despite the technological advancements, there is something in our nature that requires natural beauty for healing process. The hospital’s room was all white. From curtains to tiles and from patient’s gown to doctors’, nothing had colors. It felt as if some sort of vacuum was used which had drained all the colors. The doctors handed Angelina a chart who at that time was sitting on a chair, her face facing the floor.
Name: Lora Khan
Admittance: 4 p.m.
Cause of admittance: jaundice due to cirrhosis of liver
Angelina’s hands trembled as she read the report. Adrenaline flooded her system. Several thoughts filled her mind. Is it how she was going to lose her mother? It was a moment when the world wheeled chaotically about and she suddenly realized, 'I'm still here...', but things will never be the same again. She descended the stairs of hospital with full speed, took a Taxi and ran to her mother’s room speedily. Looking around with watery eyes, she was standing in the middle of the room. Everything was in order and organized. As she was taking a closer look of room, her mother’s favorite sweater caught her eyes. It was black in color with white beads and buttons. Inching her nose a little nearer to the sweater, Angelina breathed in her mother’s scent which smelt heavenly. She had deprived herself of this fragrance for so many years. Emotional pain flowed out of her every pore. It felt as if her mind has been shredded from inside. How cruel she has become? She is the one who has done injustice to her mother as well as to herself. Her head now ached too much. Is death the only solution? Are all going to be happy if I die? She grabbed the chair so that her hysterical crying would not cause her to fall to the ground. Her mind had become numb.
“Dear Mom and Granny,
I know I am the horrible daughter.
I am not even a second choice.
I am not the clever one.
I am not the prettier one.
I am not the talented one.
I am the one you people are not proud of.
I am the “Why are you even here?” one.
Sorry for everything and I want to tell you people that I LOVE YOU BOTH EVEN THOUGH I DO NOT SHOW” she said in a loud voice.
Listening to her crying, Granny came and tried to hold her back, even though her eyes had become transparent too with tears but Angelina was too wild to handle. “Granny!” Angelina screamed while hugging her, “Am I that bad that you people hate me? Am I the reason of this condition of Mama?”
“My love! Stop crying. You are not the reason. Nor she hates you.”
“Then why doesn’t she attend and enjoy my success?’’
“Dear!” she replied with a sigh “she loves you more than you think. The only reason why she does not attend your ceremonies is that she does not like you to be ashamed in front of everyone. Remember once you said her ‘Mom! Look at my friend’s mother. How perfectly she maintains herself while you! You are such an old fashioned calf. You make me feel embarrassed. I have a reputation too in school that you ruin effortlessly.’ She was broken from inside. From that day onward, she started drinking and made herself reserved. The house is like a tomb now for her, she keeps everything to herself, nursing her wounds and thinking of your father. Even then there is not a single day she didn’t come to your room at night and didn’t smile while looking at you, sleeping.”
Her heart skipped a beat after listening these words. “I am the worst kid a mother can have!” she wailed.
“Honey! Don’t cry. Remember, as long as you are breathing. It is never too late to start a new beginning.”