Parts of this story are true. It is not my story though.

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I was sitting at my desk. I guess I didn’t realize that I had fallen asleep.

“Mooommmmmyyy!”

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.

I groaned.

“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.

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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.

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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.

” Momma?”

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.

“Okay!”

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.

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