‘I have never seen Inam this serious.’ I thought.
Something was seriously wrong.
His thick black eyebrows narrowed, jaws stiffened and fair skin turned red.
‘What is wrong, sweetheart?’
He didn’t seem to hear me as his fingers went fast on the grey keypad on his table.
I called him again.
‘Inam, what is wrong?’
He shook his head. In dismay, I assumed.
My mind paced between wanting to nag him further and leave him alone in his own space.
I chose the latter and got back to completing my chores.
Isn’t that what mothers do when they have children who are living their lives on Twitter and Instagram?
I don’t make such comments out loud. It annoys my son.
There’s slow music from my room. My high school sweetheart listening to 90s.
A spark of nostalgia starts flaming through my nerves, bringing in the repeated pictures of memories that will only die with me. I don’t stop. I continue sweeping and arranging, making sure I get the contentment of having done my favorite job well for the day.
Inam had stopped typing. His face looked normal but I could still feel the heat around him.
‘You had another twitter argument, baby?’ I joked.
Turning to face me, he rolled his eyes.‘His beard will never look even. Ever!’, I told myself.
‘She has found another guy, ma’.
Taking the chair beside him, I smiled.
‘Be happy for her.’
I knew he refrained filth because I was his mother but I could see from his looks that he was flaring up with words.
Kissing his forehead, I brushed his uneven beard with my fingers.
That is my biggest concern of all.
‘So, you don’t love her anymore?’
I expected him to say he doesn’t but his silence scared me.
‘I love her. I always will.’
I saw him shaking his head again. I held it and turned it to where my room was.
‘You see that guy in that room? Your dad? I am not his first love and he is not mine.’
‘We both share similar stories about our past relationships’, I confessed.
It was something I had anyway wanted to do. So, I did it, taking that as the right time.
Inam’s eyebrows narrowed again.
This time, in doubt, I assumed.
‘Unrequited love. Deep, deep, unrequited love. Pain and memories that we cannot let go of,’
I knew the smile on my face faded but I made sure I did not cry.
Because, for my son, I am the strongest woman he’ll ever see.
‘We had our own stories before we met each other. How then we fell in love, how then we got married and had you or your sister are questions to which we have only one answer.’
I pulled a smile back and held his chin.
‘Sometimes, the love we go in search of and the love that comes to us when we least expect, are from two different people. For me, your dad’s love was like rain after a pertained drought.’
‘When your dad and I opened up to each other the night before our wedding, he said, ‘I cannot promise to love you exactly as I loved her. It was different, what we had. But I promise you today, that I’ll never make you for a second feel less loved until our last breath.’
I felt each and every word of his like they were my own emotions falling out from a male voice. I believed, I trusted and I loved him for the sincerity in his words, the genuineness in his feelings.
‘The love you seek from someone is seeking you from a different angle. We are not all so lucky to end up receiving love from the same person we seek it from, but remember one thing; we are all not lucky too to receive genuine love from someone, especially when we least expect it.’
‘If she has sought love from another, be happy for her. After all, isn’t that what love is all about? To see their happiness as our own?’
I saw Inam break out into a smile.
‘You talk like these mushy writers on Twitter, ma. Are you sure you are not from there?’
‘Oh, you don’t say!’
Laughed a little longer together, until he broke into tears and took my shoulder for rest.
Resting my palm on his cheek, I rested my head on his.
“It’s the toughest thing to do, Inam. To let go of that one person you thought you have a lifetime with. But you’ve got to be tougher. That’s how you survive pain, that’s how you grow. I know you are strong. I know you’ll grow.”
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A teacher by profession and an ardent writer. She is in the process of completing a collection of poetry and short stories.