Twenty Eleven: The Year of Suffering (Part Two)

Writing 101, Day Thirteen: Write about finding something and use it as the second instalment for Day Four’s post.

Parts: One| Two| ThreeFour|


11.11.11

It was a day that held the promise of hope for many – closing their eyes and making secret wishes. Somehow, the world had it in their heads that the repeated numerals had a magical potency that could defy logic. He was one of them. His naiveté, however, got expunged when the doctor called the time of death. His Mimmi was gone – and so was the promise of hope.

The rest of the night was all almost a blur. He could only recall things in flashbacks, with little consideration for the concept of time.

++

He traces the lines on her aged countenance. She still feels warm to the touch. He recognises the silvery-grey of her pupils. They are open – wide and moist. Pain emanates from his chest and sears through him as he realises that her passing was not peaceful.

He finds his tears again; those that eluded him for the past 6 years. He breaks free from the shackles of self-control and bawls. Grief escapes his mouth, in sobs, as he stays rooted by her side.

++

Through the deluge of tears, he makes out a figure rushing towards him – Mommy. He finds a moment of comfort in his mother’s embrace. She is less than half his size, but she holds his immense frame and reassuringly pats his back.

She is the strongest person he knows. He has nothing but love and respect for this woman. She had shown up in the hospital, albeit divorced from his father’s side of the family for almost a decade. She had broken down at the sight of Mimmi’s body too – but here she is, disregarding her own whimpers and trying to piece her son back together.

++

“…but she was fine in the afternoon,” he says. “How can this happen just like that?”

“Sometimes things just happen,” she says, “her time was up.” She pulls back her fringe. “But at least she’s in a better place now.”

“How is this fair?” he questions.

“It isn’t,” she says.

He contemplates what his mother has just said. It does not bring him the solace he was hoping for – so he finds it elsewhere. He gets up from his bed and walks towards his dresser. He opens the first drawer and retrieves a cigarette. He lights the stick and sucks in a deep breath. He instantaneously relaxes – physically and mentally. The night’s occurrences had suppressed his nicotine cravings for the past few hours. The kick from the first puff, thus, overwhelms him. Sweet relief.

He looks up. He internally admonishes himself for forgetting his mother’s presence in that moment. A look of disapproval washes across her face, but she holds back what she wants to say. Reprieve. 

He turns away from her and takes a few more wonderful drags. “Aren’t you going home?” he asks through the smoke escaping his breath.

“No, I’ll stay the night. I have to help with the funeral,” she offers in explanation. They sit in comfortable silence for a full minute before she breaks it again. “What are you going to do about your A-Level exams?”

He flicks his cigarette out the window and desperately searches for another.

++

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