Mom, are you seeing this?

Submitted into Contest #54 in response to: Write a story about a TV show called "Second Chances."... view prompt

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General

I prop myself with one elbow. 


My mother fancied binge-watching live television shows—especially the ones featuring Michael Landon from the all-time cowboy series, Bonanza. Though, it was mostly rewatching the same episode of Joe kicking things around, or laughing cordially for a joke that he said himself, Mrs. Summers, my mother, enjoyed every nuke of it.


Me, I never did. But today was different.


I twist and turn the Tamagotchi chain I was gifted with, on my twelfth birthday. A mini version—to be precise, it is roughly half the size of the older model. Though I don’t play with toys, Tamagotchi is everything.


For people who lived and endured the 90s, lifestyle was all about “how cool you can be” unlike now, when people talk about “how cool you are” Nostalgia hits hard like a wave of tsunami drive testing tide—artificially created—as elder talk about the gone days, which is precisely thirty years back. Everything was so unprecedented and mostly bizarre—that it’s natural to revere the whole decade. 


Maybe, things were easier back then, when blockbusters were the main production of gossip standards, when denim wears had been common too far, or maybe constantly testing out with candies a little too much, and when people first had access to the internet—limited, yet lifting the veil was a thing. Albeit, favoring with the 90s phenomenon was only an abstract idea in my lexicon, bidding goodbye was not easy.


“I am sorry, Kaya,” The guy—perhaps, a sixteen-year-old teenager, who comes under the category of punks in the adults’ dictionary, sustaining solemn peer pressure on an intense emotional basis, say. “Just give me one more chance. I’ll live up to your standards.”


Of course. One more chance.


If I had that one feasibility, it would be to go back in time, excluding all those comments that had been tossed out of judgemental portals, retrieving a thing or two about how time travel affects the future present, in an expedition to explore the past, just to see my cat—Big Bang—who died out of a mysterious disease, that started off really futile to recovery, encompassing his grey eyes in mist. 


“No,” A plain, blunt, reply. 


“Please,” He tried again, as I followed his obstinate hair bangs, layering just above his eyes, covering those twitching brows. “I can do whatever you want me to. I can climb the ladder, to make our way to the treehouse you made for us. Or, even buy the caramel dessert you wanted so bad. I-”


“No,” A harsh iciness stroking the word. “I am done.”


Click.


The call is over.


He staggers to his knees, his eyes gazing somewhere deep down beneath the layers that cover the floor, penetrating through all the mixed emotions he had within him, pointing out the culprits who mocked his endeared, a single tear sliding down his puffed-up cheeks.


He was done too.


Lightning flashed in the area, contrasted to the sweltering heat that reflected the mirrored windows, blinding my eyes, the previous day. Raindrops dripped down the sumptuous walls of the mansion—adorned with cynosure graffiti and rich nebulae illustration—dissipating into empty, as I viewed another drop attainting the place of the vanished. 


“Please take a seat, James,” A lady, with a clear ornate voice, which I didn’t appreciate a bit, say. “Here, let me help you.” 


“I…” His voice, a beautiful melody to them, lingers off. “I can’t…”


“It’s okay,” She encourages. “Everything happens for a reason.”


“Not this,” He denies. “I…”


“What is it, James?”


“I am done.” 


I adjust the hem of my tank top, stifling a yawn. How long has it been? An hour? Or two? 


The crowd was murmuring, some alight with glee, some witnessing another heartbreak. With the help of the extended hand, James—the sixteen-year-old, gets up. Slowly, shaking his head absent-minded, millions of thought tangling themselves and unnerving all the negative anticipations, could be delicately traced in his appearance. 


Mom, I silently say Are you seeing this?


Of course. Watching high above from the parallel dimension—as I call it—giving away, sympathetic looks filled with emphatic sentiments.


“What exactly happened between you guys?,” The lady asks with a smile. An unsatisfactory smile, a tang of bitterness in them.


“She wanted me to do what she preferred,” He sniffs. “I did...whatever I am liable to. But she complained.”


“Why is that?” Words laced with tension.


“She needed more.” Another sniff. “She wasn’t satisfied.”


Clearly, the lady took that as an opening.


“It’s okay,” She repeats.


“What is.” Not a question, a hopeless desperation.


“Everything.”


James, nods. 


Of course. But his youthful life is currently fragmenting to a point, where revival doesn’t seem like an elective anymore. Harsher than he would have ever imagined, pain striking all the delicate spots, his cognize assisting him with negative thoughts. 


Just the way I felt when my mom died.


“So, what are you feeling right now?” The voice manifested with sadness. 


“Nothing.” He bluntly answers. “Just...nothing.”


“Anything at all?” She insists. “How about Kaya? Was she beautiful?”


“She is.” A small smile creeps into his face.


“What made her so special?” 


“Her eyes.” He replies, the interest blooming. “They were amber.”


“Wow, that’s pretty.” She makes a shocked face. “Pretty as mine, or…”


That earns a laugh from the crowd, and I scrunch my nose in disgust. This is not funny, it’s his life.


Another rumble rebounds outside, shattering a few delicate plant pots. I pull the blanket closer to my chest, nothing expressive in me—to be precise, and watch. 


“Alrighty,” She continues, trying to lighten up the atmosphere. “Have you dated anyone else?”


“No…” A lie, perhaps. But I buy it, anyway. “Kaya is the first…”

How cute. Sounds like me, when mom was around.


“That’s beautiful…” She trails off, stirring folks to glance at each other. “From my personal experience, James, I assure you that: All is good. And forget about how you want to repent, and try the magic of impression.”


“I…”


It’s getting annoying. He is saying that for too long. 


“Life provides the best result in the hard way. So please, have more faith in yourself.”


Don’t you get it? It’s hopeless.


“Maybe this is all for the best…” She goes on. “Maybe...just maybe...she is ready to accept. But now, certainly is not the time.”


You are not helping. At all.


James’s face, lits with a new kind of instant premonition, masking the true feelings latent from revealing. 


“Right,” He says. “You are right.”


I throw the remote control on the floor. Maybe the force and impact of it was really minute, so it doesn’t break apart. Instead, it lays there. 


“Exactly,” She exclaims, not enough to earn an exclamation mark. “So...now, what are you feeling?”


“Fine...I guess.” 


I guess?


“That’s great to know.” Another bonker words. “How do you feel about Kaya now…?”


Not the right question.


“I…” He sighs. Not one of those exasperated ones—deep, measured breath.


“What is it, James?” An eager, precisely.


“I still love her.”


A flash of lightning flickers across and it inspires me to pull the covers even closer, that it reaches my neck.


“Well…” Not the answer she expected. Not the feelings that she could have ever guessed. “That sounds...wow, you are so sweet. That’s-”


The main phone—that is connected to the speakers—ring.


Strange enough. Though I have never heard of a broken phone call, ring again, I decided to unravel the mystery by itself. 


The lady picks the phone abruptly. “Hello?” A passion stinging in them, as if she knew the person beforehand. “This is Gala. May I know who is on the other side?”


“It’s Kaya.” The sad voice—earlier bleached with iciness—says. 


James looks up. His face displaying emotions I never knew in subsistence. Was it joy? Or sadness? Why, it can be upset, alright.


“Miss Kaya,” Gala says. “Pleasure talking to you again-”


“I need to talk to James.” She says, slowly. “James.”


May sound like an order, but it wasn’t. She was here to say sorry.


“Yes,” His reaction was quick. Almost like a cat. “Kaya…”


“You have one minute.” 


A pause.


“Convince me. Then I may think about not looking back again.”


The crowd was awestruck at the new profound twist. Mothers pet their kids to keep them silent, while fathers sat simply, arms crossed, keeping a grim face. 


Me, I was still the same.


“I…” James starts.


“Fifty-nine...Fifty-eight…”


“I...I can do everything you want me to.” He attempts, and it essentially looked like he was crying. “Persuade my mom to be with you.”


“No..no, no, no.” Another pause. “Not that, James.”


“Mom is going to be happy to have you back.” He insists. “I know that.”


“She treated me like how you treat a puzzle piece.” She says, her words coated with deep hurt. “Interested in the beginning, but later too tired to find the solution to the portrait.”


“She changed. I assure you that, she definitely did.”


“Thirty-seven...Thirty-six…”


“I…” What can he possibly say? His mom is no good, in any way. Albeit she reminds you of your sweet nan, she is hiding her authentic appearance inside. “You can sit with your friends. I won’t despise that...I was envious, I’ll admit. But you mean the world to me…”


“Twenty-three...Twenty-two…”


“You are all I have...you mean the absolute world to me, just like how Lisa does. I can’t live without either of you…”


Lisa, his five-year-old sister. Not working. He should go even deeper, tell something from his heart. Not the classy lines of cliche films.


“Sixteen...Fifteen…”


“I can go to the same college as you, like how you wanted. I can shift my major to literature and be with you…”


“Ten...Nine…”


“I…” Tear after tear squeezes out of his sea-green eyes, his puny head revolving around different solicitudes.


“Five...Four…” Her voice breaks. She counts slower.


“Kaya…”


“Three...Two…”


“Please…”


A pause. A long one—unlike earlier.


“One.” She breathes.

“No...please…”


“That’s it...time over.” Is she crying too? “Bye...James…”


“NO!” He screams, at the top of his lungs. Startling Gala, the crowd, and...me. “DON’T YOU SEE THAT I LOVE YOU? CAN’T YOU SEE THAT I AM TRYING?”


She lets out a small cry, from the other side.


“ALL I ASKED FOR WAS A SECOND CHANCE…” His voice dawdles off, throat raw from screaming.


“I…” Now, it’s her turn to linger off, halfway.


“James…” The lady tries. But he waves her off.


“Kaya…” He slows down. “I like you with all my heart. Please...understand.”


Muffled cries reverberate through the speakers, which turns on the crowd to cry the same.


“Alright,” Gala sighs. She takes a look at the main camera, and it almost seemed like she was looking directly at me. “This is the end of the first episode. To see part two, subscribe earlier, so you won’t miss the live show.”


She gives a small wink—which didn’t come out so great, that it looked like she twitched. The background music of the show plays and is immediately replaced by a soap opera ad. 


I twist and turn the Tamagotchi chain, listening to the now low rumble of thunder. As the clouds give way for the moon, it’s light sneaks its way on the mellow icy floor, the vague luscious splendor displaying an origin that lit the ghostly dim room, the chilly night air permeated with depths of calm ballast, caressing my pastel cheeks, I couldn’t hold the dismal ambiance and cruises off to profound slumber.


Mom, are you seeing this?

August 10, 2020 09:18

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6 comments

Yolanda Wu
08:57 Sep 15, 2020

The way you portray emotion. I cannot. I just came here from your other story and I am amazed. Your emotions are written in a dramatic way, but reading it, it doesn't feel dramatic or unrealistic because I'm so immersed in what the characters are feeling. The dialogue and exchanges were also written really well. And oof, that last line was perfect. Looking forward to reading more of your works in the future!

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Abigail Slimzy
21:48 Aug 19, 2020

👍nice one.

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Coco De Rose
16:59 Sep 04, 2020

Thank you! That means a lot! :"D

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Nandan Prasad
07:29 Aug 17, 2020

Wow. Just wow. I loved it! I loved the emotion, the ending, everything! One thing I noticed, you switched to past tense during the first phone call and sometimes you used say with singular nouns. That should be says. Otherwise, very good and keep writing!

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Coco De Rose
16:58 Sep 04, 2020

Hey! Thank you so much! This comment just made my day! :"D And of course, why, you are absolutely correct! I had some technical difficulties writing it and I couldn't focus well enough on the content, which led to this kind of presentative! But thank you!

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Nandan Prasad
17:00 Sep 04, 2020

You are welcome :-)

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