I am Loren, the daughter of Samantha who decided to leave her five years ago with her husband. I didn't expect to be back or that I will be summoned by my mother to come home. In the years that passed, I could only count in my finger the few times that we talked over the phone. That was because she was trying to call me, and I was trying to avoid her at all cost.
Now, here I am at the place where I have grown, the place that I left for a long time.
The moment my feet touched the ground, the instant surge of emotion came. Everything in this place speaks of memories. The happy family I had, the childhood filled with love, my first attempts at doing the household chores, the first time I learned to read and write, just everything.
I looked at the swing at the right side of our house and remembered how my father used to play with me there. My father - the first man I have loved, my inspiration, my strength. When I was younger, he would always stoop down to talk with me and look me in the eye. He would always hold my hand and tell me that I’m a very intelligent girl, and then urge me to continue with whatever I love doing for as long as it can make me happy. Sadly though, he died a year before I left my mom.
And then I saw the hand-painted drawing I and my mom had worked on at my playhouse, the place where we used to talk for hours, dream our wildest dreams, and escape the realities of life for a while. If I consider my dad as my inspiration and strength, I look at my mom as my rock and foundation. I am a better person because of her and I would always owe her that.
And then there’s Damian. My happy memories get clouded by the mere thought of him. He’s the man who married my mom after my father’s death. I have developed the instant dislike for him. Well, he’s the main reason why I left after all. I doubted his intentions and I sensed that he was taking advantage of my mom’s vulnerability. I wouldn’t know that for sure though, as I left the moment he lived with my mom.
My memories were interrupted by the eerie silence. I realized I’ve been standing for too long outside our house. I walked the short path that finally leads to our main door. I’m feeling nervous, excited, and weary about this first meeting with my mom in years.
“Take a deep breath, you can do this, don’t be a coward,” I talked to myself.
I knocked for a couple of times but it seems that nobody’s answering. So, I just entered and saw how the gloomy the place looks. It looks pretty much the same before I left, but it sure feels much gloomier.
I slowly walked into my mother’s room and found her there in the middle of the bed, looking wasted and twice as old as her age. I felt a sudden pang of guilt and pity. I have been away for 5 long years and I didn’t know how she was doing. I was too consumed by my anger and selfishness. I was too immature and didn’t let her explain.
I walked few steps towards her and noticed that she was sleeping. I took the moment to look at her worn features and eventually sat down at the only chair in her room. How I missed her and longed to see her here.
She opened her eyes and told me in a weak voice, “Have you been here for long?”
“No mom, I just arrived, where’s Damian? Who stays here with you?” I said in a quivering voice.
“She left Loren, a year after you,” she confided. “Why didn’t you tell me, Mom? All these years I thought he lived with you,” I asked her.
“I didn’t want to bother you Loren, and I’m sorry for all the pain that I caused you. I think that was enough punishment for me, you know I love you, I really do Loren” she said with teary eyes.
“Oh, I know Mom, I know, and I love you too,” I replied. I hugged her, hoping that it could make up for all the years we’ve been apart.
“Why did you ask for me to come just now?” I asked her. She looked hesitant to answer. “Mom, is there something you want to tell me?” I asked her again.
“I don’t have much time to live Loren, I was diagnosed with end-stage stomach cancer,” she told me. I felt like I was splashed with ice, too cold, and too numb to be able to feel anything. A tear trickled in my eye, more tears, until I was crying very hard and ended sobbing. The whole time that I cried she didn’t, she was too brave.
“I’m sorry mom, if only I knew,” I said to her.
“Don’t be, you’re here now, and I’m here for you too,” she told me and then she kissed my forehead.
I know we don’t have long, but we’ll make the most out of that time. We may not mend the past, but we’ll create new memories for the future, may we be together or apart.