Parts of this story are true. It is not my story though.
I was sitting at my desk. I guess I didn’t realize that I had fallen asleep.
A chubby little hand tugged at my leg. I looked down at my four-year old daughter, who looked exceptionally grumpy. I took a glance at the clock. It was eleven am in the morning.
“Baby….you got up…are you hungry?” I picked her up and placed her on my lap. Noreen. The only thing in my life worth living for.
“Yes, I am! I tried to open the fridge but it’s too tall for me.”
I smiled at the ‘tall’. “I’m sorry baby, mommy’s going to make it up to you soon!”
I kissed her on the cheek and walked to the washroom. I put on the switch and looked at myself in the mirror. I was startled by my appearance. I looked unwell.
Maybe that’s what a week of not eating, not sleeping and crying did to you.
Noreen was a good baby. She hardly threw a tantrum, ate everything that I made and always showered me with kisses.
So unlike her father. My soon to be ex – husband. Funny how you could marry someone and still not know them at the end of six years. What a waste. What had I been thinking?
My hands shook as I washed the dishes. I stopped and took a deep breath. This was so unlike me. I was the happy one, the life of the party, the extrovert, the one who was always on the move, the eternal agony aunt. The fact of the matter is, I could use an agony aunt myself.
I could no longer cry. Well, that was an improvement, right? I still did feel as if there was an empty hole in my chest, where my heart used to be. But the waterworks had stopped.
Lunch was a quiet affair. I made Noreen’s favorite chicken dish. What a contrast we were, she freshly bathed, tucking away her food with gusto. Me, lost in my own thoughts, picking at my food.
I looked down at her. She looked alarmed.
” Yes, munchkin?”
” Why are you crying?” Her green eyes were wide with confusion.
I blinked and touched my cheeks, cursing myself.
” It’s nothing.” I smiled, the tears blurring my sight.
” But you are crying!” She looked upset.
I took a tissue and wiped my tears. ” It’s nothing…mama’s hurt…a little hurt…but she will be fine.” I unconsciously touched myself on my chest, where my heart supposedly existed.
I kept up a steady banter to change the topic and we finished lunch in peace.
I was in her room, reading a bed-time story to her.
“…and the evil witch was banished and the prince and princess lived happily ever after.”
I shut the book.
” Mommy…I made something for you.”
Noreen had a small plastic bag in her hand.
I took it from her, surprised. I opened it and there was a small band-aid.
” What is this?” I was confused.
” It’s for you! For the pain – you hurt yourself, right? Now you just put it where it hurts and I will kiss it like you kiss me and the hurt will go away.”
I stared at my four-year old and then laughed.
She peeled off the band – aid, put it beneath my left collar-bone and kissed it. She looked into my eyes and smiled. I smiled back.
She was right. The pain was going away.