Original Works

How Much More?

How Much More?

Sometimes, I wonder how much more of this I can take. How much more physical pain and mental abuse? How much more tears? How much more fears and uncertainties? How much… more?

When my wife was pregnant, I thought I was going to be the best father to my perfect child. I will bear with his late night cries and smelly diapers,  I would teach him to kick a ball and to swim when he got old enough,  and I would share experiences of girls, college, and marriage as he grows up. I had all of these planned out and I was looking forward to it. But then something happened… and everything changed.

The day my son came into the world was the same day my wife left the world. The feeling of shock, horror and grief are still so fresh within me. The first time I held my boy in my arms, I asked myself if I really wanted him. He was not as innocent as everyone claimed him to be. After all, his mother died bringing him into the world. It took me a while before I saw my wife’s death as a sacrifice that should not end up for nothing. And when I accepted him as my son, I did all I could as a father.

I would wake up in the middle of the night to dry his tears, and then return to an empty bed with no one to dry mine. I would feed him and put him to sleep, and then eat my dinner alone with an empty chair in front of me. I still grief for my wife now, but back then, it was worse. I didn’t know how I was going to raise this child on my own, and yet I knew I had no other choice. There were nights where I would dream of giving him up, but the memory of my excitement when I fixed his crib and painted his room walls made me change my mind.

After months of struggling as a single parent, I soon began to learn the ropes of parenting. I began to truly feel for this boy, and the love I could not give my wife, I gave him. He became the most important person to me, and the thought of losing him terrified me. I was also finally able to feel a pinch of happiness again, but it did not last long.

When my boy was one year old, something out of my nightmares happened. My boy fell ill, seriously ill, that he needed to be admitted to a hospital with tubes attached to his body. At the sight of him in such a state, there was a wrenching pain in my chest; one that sent my mind spiraling down an endless tunnel of thoughts. When the doctor tried to explain my boy’s condition, his words were inaudible but his face said enough.

The day I brought my boy home was the day I became a father to a different child. This child was not going to kick a ball or swim, he was not going to school or college, and no one would want to marry him. Even his smile was not the same.

As I stood over his crib where he looked up at me gleefully, I realized life was not going to get easier. I had to feed him, cloth him, and bathe him for the rest of his life… literally. But strangely, I slowly grew numb to that confliction in my heart.

I found myself wanting to do everything for him. Yes, he would not be able to kick a ball as he would be stuck in a wheelchair for the rest of his life, but I would still teach him to kick and swim. I would teach him all I know, and try to get him into schools. I will show him what love is, love that he will never need to receive from anyone else.

If he wants to be an athlete, I’ll train him. If he wants to be a speaker, I’ll speak for him. If he wants to see the world, I’ll show him.

No, life was not getting easier. My boy will never be a normal child, and the perfection I hoped for is scarred. But I was not going to deprive the happiness he deserves. Yes, I admit questioning my actions and wondering if I could take one more day as such.

“How much more?” I constantly asked myself.

But, “So much more,” would always be my reply.

I don’t know if my boy will ever understand me or my intentions. I don’t know if he would love me in return, or if he appreciates my hard work. All I know is my feelings towards him are real, and there are no limitations to it.

As I watched him sleep, still young and fragile, I whispered, “Tommy, daddy loves you. And daddy would do anything for you.”

Till the day I draw my last breath, everything I do would be for him; the boy I truly, truly love.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

True love is not mere words or fairy tale endings. True love is sacrifice, suffering and hardship. True love has no limitations or conditions. It’s more than sweet moments and laughter, its the bitter experiences and tears too. True love is a strong emotion, so strong its like a hurricane sweeping you off your feet and a tidal wave crashing down on you.

And true love… should move you to tears just by thinking about it.

Today, the word ‘love’ has been so diluted that it’s used too casually. The reason why we are never able to fully grasps and understand the real idea of love is because we have never truly experienced it. I hope that one day, everyone would be able to experience true love for themselves; true love that dives into the soul, and breathes new life into it.

Well, I hope you enjoyed my short story. Please leave a comment and let me know what you think!

© 2013 Jeyna Grace

(For more short stories, click HERE)

Original Works

I Hated Her

I Hated Her

I hated her. It is undeniably true. When I needed her the most, she wasn’t there. She was a useless woman who couldn’t care less about me. And it got easier and easier to despise her as I grew up.

When I was 7, I was chosen to represent the school for a football game. I was so excited, I came home with a big smile on my face. But when I told her about it, she said she was too busy to watch my game. She did not even look at me when she handed me a few dollars for my bus ride to school the next day. So I went for the game myself, and we lost. No point telling her, cause she didn’t even ask about it.

When I was 12, I made it to the top of the class. She never once bothered with my report card, but I couldn’t help but share the happiness I had when I finally had gotten number 1. As I handed her the paper, she stared at it so long, I thought she was going to praise me. But I was wrong, all she did was nod. Was it so hard for her to just spit out a few words to her son? I guess she found no reason to.

When I was 15, I won the heart of a girl I liked in school. I wanted to start our relationship right and I was looking for the perfect gift. She found me in my room one day, browsing through online stores and magazines for a gift… but she didn’t say anything. She just told me to take out the trash and left me after that. I really wanted her advice, but I didn’t bother to ask as she didn’t even care. When I was finally so desperate, I called over my best friend and after he left, I found a box with a pretty jewel necklace in it. Even he cared enough to bring something over to spare me the failure of courting a girl.

When I was 18, I graduated as a valedictorian. She never came to my graduation, and she never heard my speech. I made it a point to thank everyone except her, because she did nothing for me. When I looked at all the faces in the hall and did not see her’s, I made up my mind to stop thinking about her and carry on with life.

Immediately after graduation, I got a letter from Harvard with a full scholarship. I was ecstatic! I told everyone, except her. One afternoon, I purposely left the letter with the other mail. But when she picked it up, she said nothing. She just handed it back to and told me not to leave things lying around. That was the last straw. I left for UK shortly after and I never bothered to call home or visit during holidays. Even during my graduation, I didn’t care enough to inform her, after all, she was not going to come anyways.

I stayed in the UK for a few years after graduation, and I was working for a pretty big company. I was finally able to let her go and pretend she never existed, until I got a call from a lawyer who said I was mentioned in her will. I was confused for a moment and the lawyer awkwardly told me she had passed away a week ago. He knew more of her illness than I did, and yet I felt nothing. Call me cruel or in-filial, I didn’t care. Who was she to me anyways; the woman who did nothing but nod.

Since my name was in her will, I decided to come home for a visit. I caught up with my buddies who knew well not to ask of her, and then I saw the lawyer. He read her will and I laughed. It was the stupidest thing I’ve heard and yet I was not surprised. The will stated that the house, car and all her savings were to be given to charity. The only thing she left me was a book, a small book that was not even worth five bucks. Honestly, I laughed so hard the lawyer thought I was insane.

When I told him I didn’t want the book he insisted I took it, so I did and chucked it in my bag. I have never touched that bag until now. Out of curiosity I wanted to see what cooking recipes she left me, and after three years I finally read the contents of that brown, creased book.

July 7, 1992

My dear Tristan,

I’m sorry I couldn’t make it to your football game. I really wanted to but I am struggling right now. I didn’t want to tell you this because I didn’t want you to worry, but if you must know… we are in a lot of debt. Your father left us with loan sharks and bank loans that I can’t seem to pay off. I know that is not an excuse to miss your game and it hurts me to see you walk away looking upset, but I promised myself to keep a roof over your head and I just didn’t have time for you. I know… I know you would have preferred me to be by your side, but I couldn’t imagine you homeless and hungry. I just couldn’t. I’m sorry Tristan, I’m sorry for missing your big game. Forgive me?

Love, mum.

December 12, 1997

My dear Tristan,

I am so proud of you. I really am! I knew you were a smart boy, and I know you would do great things in the future. When I saw your results, I was so happy! And I know you were waiting for me to say something, a praise of some sort, but I didn’t. I regret that now, and I wish I had fought the spinning in my head to just utter a few words. I didn’t want to tell you this, but working two jobs and settling all these debts has given me bad migraines. Sometimes, I don’t say anything because I just can’t. The pain in my head is so unbearable, I’m constantly struggling to hide it from you. I don’t want you to worry, but I know I have disappointed you. I just want you to know I’m so proud, and that I’m sorry I never said it. I wish I did. Forgive me?

Love, mum.

January 15, 2000

My dear Tristan,

I know you are dating that sweet girl from across the street. You really know how to pick them! I also saw you searching for a gift for her, and you seem to be a little confused. I would have given you some advice but I knew you didn’t want any from the way you looked at me. I understand how you feel towards me, and your silence has made it clear. But I still wanted to help, so I left the necklace my mother gave to me on your table. I just noticed it is gone, and I’m glad you have given it to her. I hope both of you would last, and I know it sounds strange coming from me, but I hope you find the love you need from her. I seem to have been failing at giving you any, and I’m sorry for that. Forgive me?

Love, mum.

August 18, 2003

My dear Tristan,

I got a call from your school this afternoon, asking if I was going to attend your graduation on the coming weekend. It pained me to say I wouldn’t be there. It is not that I don’t want to, but I just can’t. I’m a selfish person, I know. I have been seeing the doctor for my migraine, and he has asked me to do a full medical check up. I can change the date of my appointment, but I don’t want to. I don’t want to because I don’t want you to ask questions. Yes, I know this reason does not stand well with you and it only makes it seem like I’m making excuses, but I want you to know that I am sincerely thinking about you. I don’t want you to worry Tristan, you have a full life ahead of you and you are already on the right track. I don’t want to be your detour. I’m really sorry for missing your graduation, would you forgive me?

Oh, I also submitted an application to Harvard, Oxford, and Cambridge for you. I hope you get it! I really don’t have enough money to send you to the best university, but I can try my best to get you into one.

Love, mum.

February 22, 2007

My dear Tristan,

I know what day today is. I’ve checked with the school and have gotten all the information I needed. I planned on surprising you, but my doctor said I shouldn’t leave the country in my state. I’m not getting any better and I regret not being at your graduation today. I really thought I could fly, and I’ve even saved up enough so that you didn’t have to pay for my expenses, but I didn’t know that my doctor would not give in even when I pleaded. I’m so sorry Tristan, I know this is a big day for you. I feel so horrid that I can’t even look at myself in the mirror, because all I see is your disappointed face staring back at me.

I’ve missed you so much, and I understand why you don’t call or visit. Every time I pass by your bedroom, I imagine you in it, and as crazy as it sounds I would stop to say hi. You would probably laugh if you read this because I sound like a crazy person, but my imagination of you is all I have left. I’m sorry I have not been a good mother, but I’ve never stopped trying. If you could, please forgive me for being a failure in your life.

Love, mum.

May 25, 2010

My dear Tristan,

I hope you’re reading this, I really do. My days are numbered and this is the last thing I can say to you. I didn’t want to call you because I was afraid you would reject me in this horrible time of my life. It would break my heart to know you do not care, and I’m too scared to face the truth. Death seems more comforting than knowing I have no place in your heart.

I don’t expect you to love me, or feel sorry for me. I know what I have done, and  wouldn’t forgive myself if I were you. I’ve read through all my past entries and I realize how stupid I was for asking for your forgiveness. I know I don’t deserve it, so please don’t feel like you have to forgive me.

Tristan, you are probably angry at me for a lot of things and my will might have angered you more. I know the house and the car could have patched up some of the holes I have created in your heart, but I also know it would not do much. So, I have decided to give all my earthly treasures to create a fund under your name. This is the last thing I can do for you.

People will now know who you truly are, the man who is making a difference in many lives. This small investment I’ve made cannot make up for all the wrong I’ve done, but I hope it will help you in your future.

I’m sorry for all the birthday presents I’ve failed to get you, for all the events I’ve missed, for the times I never spoke when I should have, and for all the hate I have caused you to feel. You don’t have to forgive me Tristan, I don’t deserve it. I just want you to know that I love you and I have never stopped.

Love, mum.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

I have decided to write something other than horror this time, cause I wanted to test my skill in a different genre. And since Mother’s day has just passed and Father’s day is arriving, I wanted to write a short story that would show a parent’s love towards their child. It is hard to understand how a parent feels until we become one, but I hope this short story carries enough volume of love.

It’s also my mum’s birthday today, so happy birthday mum!

It’s crucial for you to let me know what you think, because I need to know if I can actually write this genre. There’s a comment box below, so hurry up and leave a comment! 😀

© 2013 Jeyna Grace

(For more short stories, click HERE)