Story 47

She stood on the porch watching her son playing on the swing. Her heart ready to leap out of her chest if he went too high. They lived in the middle of nowhere so he did not have friends to play with. The only time he got the chance to play with other kids was when they visited her sister and his father who were now happily married.

She had tried her best to let it go; to put it behind her back but she could not. Despite her sincere efforts she could not get the thoughts out of her head that her husband cheated on her with her own sister. It had been going on for a while before she had found them red-handed in her bedroom. She was supposed to be running errands and did not know that her sister was visiting.

Of all the things, what really bothered her was they were making love in her bedroom, while her son slept in the adjacent room – how could they do it to him? It took a while for her to fully understand what it meant to her. It took a while for her to recognize the devastating effect it was about to have on her life. Since the house was in her name, she kicked out her husband who willingly left with his sister-in-law, hand in hand towards the new future. He stayed with his sister-in-law in her apartment for a while before buying a house of their own.

A few months later she received an envelope with divorce papers. He was not fighting for the custody of their son. On one hand she was overjoyed for being saved of the trouble of custody battle but on the other hand this was the second most painful thing for her. It hurt to know that her ex-husband did not want any part in the life of the son they had sired together. It was as if he was discarding every part of her identity. What about her sister, then? She had wondered. He had willingly accepted the presence of her twin sister in his life.

“Mom” the sound of her son calling brought her out of the reverie. She almost ran towards him fearing that he had lost his balance. But, he was already off the swing and staring at her.
“I am hungry” he said. She smiled and waved him in.
She made a sandwich and a chocolate milkshake for him. She stared at him as he ate the sandwich.
“It’s creepy, how you stare at me all the time.” He said and picking up his plate and glass he walked towards the living room where he switched on the television and finished eating.

It hurt her sometimes, to hear him talk to her like this. ‘He’s growing up; give him a break.’ Said her ex-husband who had abandoned him years ago and was now seeing him only because she had asked him to be a part of his life. She had never wanted to involve him in the upbringing of her son, but she did not have a choice. She had to involve him and his second wife into this because it would soon be time for her to walk out of the picture – God had made sure of that.

The chemo helped for a while but things soon turned bad to worse to worst. It was only after her doctors told her that she had couple of months to live did she call her ex and told him about her cancer. She had the option of getting married again but she did not. If she could not trust her ex-husband with her son; how could she possibly bring another man into the life of her son?

“When is dad coming to pick me up?” her son asked yet again pulling her out of her thoughts.
“He should be here soon.” She replied
She had just finished replying when they heard the sound of gravel as a car stopped in the driveway.
“He’s here!” her son exclaimed and got up from the couch. He rushed towards the door with his backpack to welcome his dad.
“Pick up your plate.” She told her son; slightly jealous that her son was so eager to get out of the house to be with his dad. Her son made a face and walked back to pick up his plate. He washed the plate and glass and wiped them dry before keeping them in the drawer. By the time he finished washing the plate, his aunt had walked in the house.

“How are you?” her sister asked and immediately regretted asking
“I am fine; just dying of cancer, that’s all.” She replied sarcastically and immediately turned around to check whether her son had overheard what she had said. He had not.
The awkward silence was broken by her son who said “let’s go” to his aunt and walked towards the door. He picked up his backpack and walked out of the door without looking back at her.

She rushed towards the door and saw him get into the car with his aunt. Her ex was driving the car but he had not bothered coming inside the house. She waited for her son to wave at her as the car turned in the driveway. When her son did not wave her goodbye she waved at the car, which was moving away from the house at high speed. She walked back inside the house and suddenly felt uneasy. Her head started to spin and she tasted vomit at the back of her throat. She rushed to the bathroom and threw up in the commode. She began sweating profusely and felt radiating pain in her left arm.

“Not now” she told herself as she walked out of the bathroom. She did not want to miss the chance to say goodbye to her son. She did not want him to regret, for the rest of his life, that he did not say goodbye to his mother. She rushed towards the phone with an unsteady gait and dialled 911, however, before the call was answered she collapsed on the floor.

“Hello 911, what’s the emergency? Hello … hello … is anyone there?” the sound came out of the receiver of the phone, sadly there was no living person to hear it.

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silent whispers

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