Continuing “Shattered”, the last part.
You can read part 1 here: https://writingwithanopenheart.wordpress.com/2019/02/20/shattered-short-story-part-1/
Part 2: https://writingwithanopenheart.wordpress.com/2019/02/21/shattered-short-story-part-2/
The bottle was my mother’s best friend and eventually my father left us. He started a new family while I fell in the cracks. Nobody was there to guide me, to explain that it was never my fault. Nobody told me that while they were busy fighting with their own demons I was missing being a kid. Instead of being outside playing, I was worried whether mum was wobbling while she walked. Instead of taking pride in my high grades, I shamefully shoved them aside.
I stare outside the window and into the neighbor’s house. An old friendly couple lived there whom I stayed in contact with over the years. The wife Elizabeth would invite me often to sit in their office and read, “Help yourself…with any book you like.” Elizabeth used to say softly in a tone of voice I wish my mother used more often. Therefore, each Friday I’d come home with a handful of books and while mum slept I’d slip into a majestic world where I could be whomever I wanted.
I take a seat at the edge of the windowpane and feel the chill seep through my jeans. On my eighteenth birthday, Elizabeth handed me a college application with a recommendation letter. It was the most selfless thing anyone had ever done for me. Since then from this window spot, I visualized my current life. From this exact spot, I promised myself I’d never be like any of my parents. Right from here, I promised I’d have a better career, I’d be a better person to the people around me.
I don’t even have the heart to go upstairs to see my room. I caress the brick walls as if saying goodbye and step towards the door taking one last look at this place. Inhaling the last time, I’d even call this home. A tear hits the floor as I close the creaky door. I walk back to the hotel slowly taking in the tall trees and the huge skies. I keep looking back towards my old home and a sense of relief overcomes me when I see it becoming tinier with each step.
I walk into the hotel room trying not to wake the twins. As I lay out their clothes for the day, I start comparing my childhood with theirs. My mother died and a lot has been un-said. Mum, you thought your words were harmless but you’re the reason I make every decision in my life meticulously. You’re the reason I think hundred times before talking to my kids because I know that every word shapes their future and affects them. You’re the reason I had a million doubts about being a good parent. You’re the reason I ran from this hometown and never looked back and the reason that I faced the world alone.
I gaze at the loves of my life as they sleep holding hands and realize the sentence my heart will be repeating today at my mother’s funeral, “My kids will never have to wonder about their self worth because I’ll never treat them like you treated me. So thank you mum for the lesson.”
The End ©ZeinaA.G
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