She was weeping because he had done it again. He drank, got high, called her up only to smother her with every ugly word that he could imagine. She cried and begged till he calmed down. Then she kept the phone down and started at me who was sitting there emotionless at this daily drama. She screamed in anger and agony at the same time. She blamed her fate, her parents, her younger self and him for what has become of her life. I asked her, “Why don’t you speak to him like this?”. Her reply came “You are his daughter. Nobody loves me”.
That struck me hard. I am and will always be her daughter first. But no words came out of my mouth. I walked upto my room and stayed up till she came to bed and listened to her weeping herself to sleep. Then I gave a kiss on her forehead and dozed off for a while. Then came her shrilling voice, “Go to school. You lazy child! Don’t you want to grow up and be independent?” I got ready. But while having breakfast, I noticed my mom’s puffed eyes and swollen face. My little heart felt as if it got split when she served me more curry. I asked her softly,”Amma why don’t you ask him to be nice to you? Can’t you leave once and for all?”
Her shocked response was,”No moley. You shouldn’t even think such things. He was just angry. He works very hard daily and he does that for us. He has only us.”
I wondered why and how my mother loved him and despised him all at the same time. I left for school to be INDEPENDENT. When I came back, she was happy. She told me,”Let him be. We are happy. I have you”. I smiled. Yes. She has ME. But I still wonder how it was like for her when I left for school and left her at the house he got for her. Did she cry all day while I laughed with my friends, while he worked hard for us? She always talked about how she could have done things differently. But she ended up choosing whatever brought her to that moment again and again.
Story by – Aiswarya Babu