My life was going smooth. IT was a life of insouciance, nothing to perturb that harmony.
That was, days ago. I’m the strong and intrepid man God shaped me. I’m fully grown. But right now, I am struck by an awful realization that I’m not intrepid- at all. I’m too yellow-bellied to face my past, I’m too feeble to live with it. With God, nothing’s impossible, in His own time. I’ll learn to live with it. Maybe now’s the perfect time to learn to accept the past, and stop shooing it away and use it as a stepping stone for a future with God’s plan for me guiding it.
Days ago, I actually thought I successfully tamed the monster of the past growling inside of me, now it’s right there hampering my vision. It was all a lie. Why? She’s right there, seating with her right knee crossed over the other, hands on the table, her fingers, fidgeting. She’s wearing a dark wool sweater, a bonnet with a fur ball perched on top, her glasses are tinted gold, but she merely seems, familiar. She’s waiting for someone, and that someone is me.
I’m standing right here, in a dim-lit secluded corner, in directly in front of a closed pawnshop, like a cool dude on his hood, with my knees trembling, my lower lip quivering, and my palms demanding heat from this icy temperature. I yearn for the warmth of the embrace. The hug I’m supposed to have had years ago. I act nonchalantly, my right shoulder leaning on the brick wall and scroll down my phone. I see crystal snowflakes descending from the sky, like manna in the desert. I motion my hand to grab a snowflake, it’s glistening, however I crush it. It reminds me of my frozen tears. Tears are unspoken words of sadness, anguish, joy, and pain concealed beneath the eyes.
I check the time, it’s six o’ clock. I plunge my cheap phone into my pocket and allow myself to be mesmerized by the snowflakes and the gradually pouring snow crumbs.
The monster is growling inside of me, because it’s being triggered, threatened. My brows furrow in anguish. She’s there, the person whose purpose was to nestle me in her arms, the one I could snuggle under when the fire in the fireplace is never enough, the one I could cuddle and embrace when times get tough, and the person I could lean on to and lead me because she has to, for the reason that it’s her duty to, you guessed it right- it’s my mother. Now, I figured, I don’t need her. I’ve bravely subdued challenges and adversities that came my way, without her, but with God. ‘No.’ I decided. However, something’s inclining me to her, the questions and the longings make me take a reluctant step. But something causes my steps to falter.
I’m not prepared. I do not know what to say, don’t know what to ask. Lord, I don’t know what’s the right emotion I’m supposed to feel.
Her eyes dance around and settles her gaze on me. I turn around as if I’m a random stranger, but my eyes begin to moisten. A tear crawled down my left cheek, and I’m vexed.
Memories begin to materialize solidly. It’s supposed to ask my permission but then it’s invading my thoughts, it’s colonizing them, and what am I ought to do? Stay where I am?
I remember. This is the exact same place she deserted me. Looking at her beyond the window, somehow makes my monster groan. It glares and desires a bloody attack- revenge and I’ll berate her. The soft side of me soothingly caresses my cheeks by whispering, ‘Go. Now’s the right time. Go.’
I’m such a preposterous person. I only have one mind then why am I hesitating as if I had two? I’m baffled. This is such an imbroglio. I’m divided, don’t know where to go.
MY world darkens, and the scene is played.
I was four back then. Innocent, innocuous, naïve, clueless. I see the look on my face, my eyes staring blankly and my brows raised in bewilderment. My hands were hanging near my waist, and my mother muttered something.
“I’ll be back.”
Her sole words were plausible. They were solacing despite the gloomy grey skies. I pointed at an Italian restaurant sitting across us, with a chandelier and leather chairs, and crystal counters. She promised she’ll bring be there, and I took her word for that. She rubbed my shoulder and caressed my cheek, goodbye.
She walked away in her ragged clothes. I can’t believe we were utterly destitute back then. I was wearing rags with mud spattered on my clothes. They were ripped and had holes almost everywhere. I was barely dressed.
Then, I find myself driveling at an ostentatious restaurant, reminding myself that someday, she’ll bring me there.
Every after school I’d pass by that restaurant and peek through the window, with my backpack strapped in front, and my eyes squinting, expecting she’d be there, keeping my hopes up. God told me not to give up and have faith. But every single time I saunter by this place, a grain of hope is trashed in the pitfalls of doom.
I’m standing at this very spot, God heard my prayers, but it seems like I never wanted that request at all.
I pray, squeeze my eyes shut and slide them back up. I tap my right foot to the ground and turn back. I sigh and clutch my hands to form a circle and blow in it. I rub it to produce heat and proceed cross the road. I was so mentally absent a car expressed its enragement by blowing the horn to awaken me. I stooped my head low in shame and raised my mask up.
She’s not in her table. I checked the counter and she’s not in there. Apprehension shivers down my spine and I shudder.
I have to find her. I pushed the handle of the door swiftly and trudged in with a frown marked on my face. I’m reluctant on this behalf. My eyes had no particular aim, I didn’t memorize her face 20 years ago, nor did I pay attention to what she wears. I roll my eyes and walk to the comfort room. I waited a few minutes- no sign of her.
Maybe she left.
I ward that thought off my mind. No. I thought she sought me, but then why vamoose so abruptly? I amble to the table, to see if she had left her stuff. I saw her Prada bag and a couple of keys, it was opened. I was inclined to fumble inside of the bag and know her personal information- just in case she wouldn’t come back. It was a petty bag, yellow with fake gold, or perhaps legitimate gold embellished on the side. I unzipped it, but then I heard the door rattle. It’s her!
Or is she?
I take hold of the bag and scurry out of the restaurant. “Mother!”, that’s what I called her as I holler.
Maybe it’s not her, the mask and the face shield and the wrinkles make things complicatedly obscure. I doff my face shield off, a guard whistles a warning.
I hesitate, for a moment or two. I question myself, should I actually go after her? After what she’s done to me? Should I? I have to find answers to all the lies my grannies told me, or are they lies? I do not know. How did she track me? Questions flurry in my head, they clog my thoughts. God led me to chase her with all my strength. I’m coming, momma.
I pursue jogging, the snow made me trek heavy steps. I spot her ten feet away from me. She’s nearly riding a limousine! How opulent could she be? Well, for me she looks like a woman who alienated her only child to chase after elusive dreams. She stepped her left foot inside, time’s running out. I dash as fast as I could. My eyes seized her, and no way will I’ll lose her. Time decelerates, I imagine myself in a hilarious movie running after a loved one with my cheeks wobbling, tears freezing every brisk step I stomp, and bawling, “Mama!”. I need her after all. I’m not grown up yet. I’m still the Charlie she abandoned- clueless. She must drown me in the truth, no more lies. I have to forgive her, just as Jesus did. Holding animosities would pet monsters, and, I decide to let go of them.
God led me here, no more turning back.
It’s a reconnection you want, it’s a reconnection you’ll get.
I grip her by the elbow on her right sleeve sternly, and mutter, “Let’s talk, mother.”