Wednesday, July 21, 2010

She smiled sheepishly and accepted the cupcakes from where she lay. She clutched them close to her bosom like a child and nodded her thanks. Her sunken, watery eyes tried hard to hide embarrassment while she carefully wrapped them with her shawl. I gave a slight laugh and told her that it was nothing to fuss about, but she shook her head. Her kids would love the cupcakes, she told me. She used to give them cupcakes whenever she could during her youth and they'd be all too happy to have them.

I got the chance to look at her one more time. Beyond her seasoned, failing body and beyond face thickened by years of weariness, I thought she must've been beautiful once. In her eyes, I saw one that would have been afraid of seeing herself in a mirror as a had-been beauty. Time and fate has robbed what little life had given to her, and between hers and my time seemed an eternity of living. Yet, here we were, from two different worlds in an instant that we would have our paths crossed.

I looked around us. There were no children nearby and it wouldn't have made sense for her children to be so young as to find delight in cupcakes. I thought for a while if she was referring to grandchildren. Surely, it would have been more fitting. But there was nobody else that day. It was just the two of us, and the foreboding loneliness brought about the constant downpour of rain outside. Children? I asked her. She said yes, and looked at the pastries again. I waited for her to take at least one of them and eat but she had the look of somebody who's excited to give rather than receive. It pulled a heartstring to think that she would not be able to eat what I had for her, while it moved me as much at the thought that even at her condition she'd still think of others.

She looked at me and asked for one more favor. I held her fragile, earthen hands. Anything that she fancies, I'd give. She wept quietly like a lost child, brushed her tears with the back of her thumbs. I placed my hand over her whitened hair, as I would my son when he's scared. She looked at me with pleading eyes.

Her time will come soon, she tells me, and it's something she's already decided to she'd look forward to. She says this with conviction. To her it sounded like gospel truth.

I felt sorry for her, but somehow, I can see much reason in her voice. I bent closer and held her faintly whisper the one last favor she asked from me:

"When I die, please keep these beside me. I'd like my children to be happy to see their mother again in heaven."


JaBa said...

yo red! is that an original? (not that i'm doubting you) gives me goosebumps, the oh-shit!-awwww-goosebump type.


Worktime scribble :D Thanks for dropping by man.


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