Short Essay: Mother

I have been doing short stories nowadays. I found it hard to continue my short novel after years leaving it behind. But I know my heart won't let me stop writing. Here goes another story. 


Remember those days when the folks told you that mothers are saviors, a hero behind a man? Mothers will come to you when you reach a blunt path. Mothers will hold your hand and tell you that everything is fine. Mothers will put you under a blanket and let you sleep while she fights storms and rains all alone.

Maybe, my mother was everyone’s mother. She was always there for everyone to open up a new path for them, tell them that everything is fine and fight all those who-knows-what with the media and the government on her own, as it appears on the TVs' screen. But then, here comes the problem. She never opens up a new path for me or tells me everything is okay or fights anything that I know for my sake.

My mother was the wife of the Mayor of Portland, Mayor Fred Oliver, Hana Oliver. Full red wine lips, hazel shaped eyes with sky blue shades for her delicate iris; her hair is silky in golden color that goes perfectly with her sun-tanned skin. Every day, I nearly got blinded by her beauty. Every day, I got hit by a wave of awe looking at my mother. It seems like meeting a new person every day, in the morning. Well, she is a new person every day to me, a stranger.

Mayor Fred Oliver, my father, on the other hand was fond of me. He will try to talk to me every day, even though his schedule seems to be very likely requires all his attention and energy. But then, we never talk anything personal, only some school stuffs and a small portion of my life. He might did not have much time to spend with me, but I know he makes efforts to be affectionate towards me by asking me about simple and small things. My mother, however, was a whole different story.

She never cares, not even once I feel her ‘love’ towards me. When I was younger, I asked her why she never kiss me or hug me or even hold my hands like other mothers did. She told me, with a sharp tone that she has no time to waste like other mothers because she needs to take care of my father and the whole city. She then added that I should be capable of taking care of myself.

Since the question and the reply, I shut my mouth and heart from asking other questions that equivalent to the one I have asked. Until one day, I was awake by the sound of glass clattering onto the floor. I silenced myself and listen closely. Of course, it was my parents. My father’s study was just across my bedroom and I could hear voices from the other side of the door.

If I told the maids in the house that my parents always arguing and screaming to each other, they will never believe me. My parents were so good in keeping secrets; I think they could even win the Oscar award. Private rooms were located on the top level of the house while the housekeepers’ room was at the most bottom level. My parents never argue with each other in front of anyone else, they only fight during the nights, in their rooms or my father’s study or sometimes, in my bedroom. I was the only witness of everything and yes, I played the game of keeping secrets as well and very good at it.

Slowly, I paced out of my room and crossed the wide hallway to my father’s study. I never wanted to know what they were quarrelling about, it was just that night where my curiosity secreted my adrenaline and gathered up all my courage to stick my right ear to the study’s door. I used to do this eavesdropping years ago, but then, I stopped when my father spotted me peeking through the ajar.
My mother was screaming something to my father, something that obviously has silenced my father. 

He never let her win a fight before, not that I know. But it was different that night. My mother shouted out my names repeatedly at my father and told him to stop staring at my picture. It stabbed me right away to the heart and even before my mother could tear herself and cried hysterically, I was already lying on my bed, cursing myself for doing something I shouldn’t. It wouldn’t hurt me if I know how to keep my body from taking unintelligent actions; the one that was going to rip out my organs into small pieces.

Lena Oliver

I never know my mother hated me so much that she couldn’t bear the idea of my father was looking at my picture. I cried silently into my pillows and eventually, dozed off to a dark but a safe sleep. 
The next morning, I woke up feeling hazy and tired due to the sadness that overwhelmed me last night. I met up my parents at the dining table for breakfast. My father smiled and greeted me the way he used to, every morning. I smiled and greeted him back. My mother also pushed her gaze to me and forces herself to a smile like nothing ever happened the night before. Again, I played the game as well unwillingly.

After a few minutes, my father told me that he just left a document on his study table and asked me to pick it up for him. My mother tried to object by asking one of our two maids to do it, but my father told her that he needs me to do it since the document was some kind of a very confidential government document. My mother rolled her eyes and let me, excuse myself to pick up the document.  

I saw the document directly, soon after I opened the room’s door. I walked to the strong-looking table and pick it up, forcing myself not to peek into it. Once I had in my hand, a piece of paper dropped onto the newly cleaned rug. When I touched the paper, I found out that it was not just a paper, it was a picture. I flipped the picture and stared at the woman in the picture. She looks familiar, very familiar. I tried to register her to my parents’ list of friends that I know, but I did not think that this woman is one of them.


I turned the picture and noticed a sloppy handwriting faded by time on the other side. It said:

“Dear Fred, please take good care of my daughter. I know Hana hates me, but please, I promise I will go away if you accept my daughter in your house. She is ours. Magdalena.”

Magdalena? So, my parents named me after a friend of theirs? Is she a friend or……?

“Lena!” my father burst into the room. His face was pale and all panicked. My mother followed with her face calm and smooth as if relieved with the fact that I found the picture. 

“I told you to keep her away from the room,” a smirk flashed across her face. 

“Father…?” my throat let out a strangled voice. I couldn’t get another word out anymore. My eyes started to blur and my hands were shaking the picture violently.

“Is that why you never loved me? Is that why you hated me so much, because I am not yours?” I turned my gaze to my mother – no, the woman I thought was my mother.

“No, Magdalena. You are wrong. I hated you so much all these years not because you are not mine, but because, you are hers,” her voice loud and stabbing into every inch of my skin.

I did not wait until my father says a word to explain himself. I stormed out of the study, picked up my school backpack and started to fill them with a few pieces of my clothes and some money and quickly darted out of the house to the garage to take out my bike. My father did not come to stop, not at all. I allowed the hatred feelings crawled and grasped my heart.

After a good hour of cycling, I reached my destination, the beach. A small house with faint cream color that I used to see every time I cycle to the beach was standing in front of me. I let my bicycle fell onto the curb near the house. I stepped out to reach the red door of the house. My hands were about to knock the door when suddenly, it opens itself to me, a woman appeared. The woman in the picture materialized herself into my sight.

“Magdalena? That’s your name?” I asked her, rushed. Her eyes gone wide and for a moment, I know why she looks so familiar since the first time I saw her. I resemble her so much. My dark, but see through eyes and wavy dark hair come from her. No wonder why she is so kind to me since the first time we met at the beach and how affectionate she is to me. She is my mother, all this while known as Aunt Mag to me. It make sense now.

She saw my hand and the picture that I have been holding since I first got it into my palm.

“I know I promised to leave them if they take you in. But no, I couldn’t leave you, Lena,” she whispered quietly, and the next thing I know was that I was in her arms, crying my heart out while she brushed her hands through my hair and whispered a calming chant into my ear, enclosed my cold heart with her warmth.

So, it is true. Mothers will come to you when you reach a blunt path. Mothers will hold your hand and tell you that everything is fine. Mothers will put you under a blanket and let you sleep while she fights storms and rains all alone.

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