When I was little, I thought all the moms were made on the Mother’s Day and all the babies were made on the birthdays. I wonder why all the moms were made on the same day and the babies were made throughout the year. Probably so that children might have different ages. There are bigger children that were born in the beginning of the year. They were bigger and they bullied us, the younger children, they took our toys, and pushed us to the ground. There were children from the middle of the year, like me and my friends. We were afraid of the older babies, but most of the time, we were the happiest ones, playing together, running around the green grass, smelling the spring. There were younger babies from the end of the year. They were very small. They didn’t know how to walk or talk. Moms hold them in their hands, rocking them when they cried. I wonder why they were crying because they looked so comfortable in the hands of the moms.
I was born in the middle of the year. My sister was born in the end of the year. My sister was very little, red and fragile. We were in the living room. I was playing with my red car. She was inside her baby basket. I was staring at her from a distance. She stared back. The cracking sound of the front door distracted me from her. I looked to the door, then looked away because the light from outside hurt my eyes. Mom came in with a person behind her; a big tall person, with short hair. I had seen one of this kind before.
“Come here, Andy!” Mom called. I ran to her and hugged her leg. She touched my head and brushed my hair with her fingers gently. She picked me up.
“Andy, this is Daddy,” she said, pointing to the big tall person next to her. I starred at that person anxiously. I turned to Mom and hugged her tight. She rubbed my back gently, “it’s alright, Andy. It’s Daddy.”
“Hi, Andy,” the person greeted. His voice very deep and heavy, very different from Mom’s warm soft voice. It scared me, I cried. Mom rocked me in her arms, walking down the corridor to my bedroom, and then put me down on my bed. I believed she tried to calm me down, but I couldn’t remember what she was saying because I was crying so hard. I stopped crying after a while, tired. I was sobbing, staring at Mom beside me, rubbing my forehead with her warm hand with thick and tough skin.
“Is he okay?” I could her that person’s voice, whispering.
“He just needs some time,” Mom replied.
My mobile vibrates in my pocket. I pick it up.
“Andy.” It was Dad.
“It’s the Mother’s Day.”
“Yes, I noticed. Everyone’s so happy about it.”
He laughed awkwardly. “Have you called your Mom?”
“Do I have to?”
“Please, Andy, call her. She misses you.”
I sighed. “Alright. I will.”
A couple minutes of silence.
“How’s Jenny?” I asked.
“She’s fine. She’s doing great at school. She just won a writing competition.”
“Yeah, but I think she’s been dating a boy from her class.”
“Wow! That’s great!”
“No! That boy has tattoos and piercings all over his body!”
“Oh, c’mon, Dad!”
“No, don’t ‘c’mon’ me! Talk to your sister. She won’t listen to me.”
I laughed a little bit. “Sure. I will.”
“Great. Remember, call your Mom.”
“Okay, Dad. I gotta go.”
My friends were waiting for me to have lunch together, so I decided to call later on that day.
I got home late at night, 11 o’clock, after a busy day. My phone rang. It was Dad again.
“You haven’t called Mom.”
“Sorry. I just got home. I’ll call her now.”
“Okay. Be nice to her.”
“Okay, Dad. Bye.”
I looked for Grandma’s number in my phone book and dialled straight away.
“Nana, it’s Andy.”
“Hi, Andy. Mom’s been waiting for your call.”
She handed away the phone right away to Mom. I could hear Mom sobbing before she finally gathered up her voice to say, “hi, Andy.”
“Hi, Mom. How’ve you been?”
She was sobbing again. “I’ve been great, Andy. Thank you for calling.” I could hear trembling in her voice. “How are you, honey?”
“I’m fine, Mom. Thanks.”
She sobbed for another 10 minutes, I was listening. She finally hung up.
I sat for a while on the floor before going to the shower, taking my pills, and going to bed.
One day, I was crawling on the floor. I picked up a white plastic stick and chewed it, watching Mom crying in front of me. I heard the door bell rang. Mom got up and opened the door. A person came in. That person looked like Mom, only slimmer and with blonde hair. Mom took away the stick from me to show it to that person. “I’m pregnant,” she said.
“It’s not his.”
“Oh, no, no, no. Is it that guy you’ve been talking about? I knew it!”
A few months later, a big tall person came. He saw Mom’s big belly. He was furious. He didn’t unpack his belongings; he left, leaving Mom crying on the floor.
When Jenny was born in the end of the year, Mom stopped crying. A few months after, she found another big tall person. His name is Daddy. Mom never cried again, until one day, she decided that she wasn’t good for all of us. Daddy spent months convincing her that she was the greatest Mom in the world. She wouldn’t listen. One morning, Daddy was away for work, Mom packed up. I came to her and said “Mom, I love you. Please, stay with us.”
“I love you too, Andy. That’s why I have to go,” she said, with tears all over her red face. The door bell rang. She fixed up her face so quickly. Dry, pretty, with a warm smile. She walked to the door, welcoming our lovely neighbour, an elderly woman.
“I’m sorry to trouble you,” Mom apologised sweetly.
“Not at all, sweety. It’s my pleasure to look after these lovely kids,” she smiled dearly.
“Thank you, Maddy. I’ve made breakfast. Please, have some.”
Maddy laughed happily, “I’d love to.”
Mom picked up her luggage and walked out the door.
“Why are you bringing such a large bag for grocery?” the old lady asked.
“Oh,” Mom laughed sweetly, “it’s the stuffs we got from Brunei. I got one for everyone. This is one for you.”
Mom took out a key chain and handed it to the lady. They all looked happy.
“Mom, don’t go!” I begged and cried.
“It’s alright, sweety. Mom’s just going for a grocery shopping. She’ll be back in no time,” said the old lady. I kept on sobbing. The old lady held my hand and took me to the kitchen, where she re-prepared the breakfast.
That day, Mom really did give away souvenirs we got from our trip to Brunei to all the neighbours. Then she disappeared. No one knew where or why.
The night after the Mother’s Day, Mom called me. She never called before. She called to apologise for walking away from us. What annoyed me was that she was still so persistent that it was best for everyone, that everything would have been worse otherwise.
I went to Grandma’s house the next day to visit Mom. Grandma told me that Mom’s gone to visit Dad and Jenny. So I went to Dad’s apartment. They haven’t heard of her. That day, she disappeared again and no one has ever found her.
The time we realised that she was gone, I looked to Dad. He looked broken, but calm. No one understood Mom better than he did.