in #writing6 years ago


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I glared at the frail looking, grey-haired, wrinkled creature that was my mother. Her skeletal figure stirring from the tatters of clothing that substituted mattress in our small kerosene-lamp lit wooden shack — we prayed for light rains everyday else we be rendered homeless. Her sunken eyes brought me close to tears.

Don't chase after cars. As soon as the traffic light ......

Mother was interrupted by a violent fit of cough. I handed her a napkin which soon claimed the bloody content.

I will be fine,

I said reassuringly — I was scared to death. As I placed a large tray of detergents on my head, I caught a rueful look on her face — One I understood too well.

If only your father was alive. If this cancer .......

Once again, her body caved to the emerging episode of cough, sending me off to fetch a cup of water from the almost-discolored bucket at the far end of the room.

Rich kids, middle class kids; I had seen them all, while standing in the hot unsympathetic sun. I sometimes fantasized sitting in one of those cars fussing to the parents about how I hated the yoghurt that was bought for me. I longed to wear a school uniform and throw English around like Grace from across the street. However, I knew this was wishful thinking — the world of selling stuffs in traffic was mine and my 10 years old self had long come to terms with it.

May the good lord grant you his divine protection.

My mother's broken voice came again — Unknowingly to me, that would be the last time I hear it.

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