Story

“Never Let Me Go”

I used to be daddy’s little princess. My life used to be perfect until I made a couple of mistakes that totally turned my life upside down. My first mistake, I made a boyfriend when I was 16. I guess making a boyfriend wasn’t that big a mistake as was sleeping with him. He always said he loved me and would never let me go. I was always comforted by those words which is why I didn’t mind going to bed with him. But then I got pregnant and that is when my life took a huge turn. My daddy stopped treating me like a princess. My boyfriend simply disappeared from my life and suddenly had nothing to do with me. So much for “never let me go” crap. I decided to keep the baby and that is when everyone I was close to in my life started to freak out. They all told me it was a bad idea and that I knew nothing about raising a child. They were right, I didn’t. I grew up without a mother so I literally had no idea what being a mother was all about. But I had made up my mind and there was no way I was going to turn back. My decision didn’t go too well with my father. He had a heart attack. He survived it but I realized I did not want to be a burden on him. So I left the house. Alone and scared, I had no idea what to do and where to go. It’s quite fascinating how in times like these all your so called true friends are nowhere to be found.

My second mistake, I moved to a new town. And not just any town, it was one of those places that people called “bad neighborhood”. I couldn’t help it though. It was the only kind of place that I could afford to live in. I met this woman named Samantha, my new roommate. She could have been anywhere between 40 and 60. The wrinkles on her face did not agree with her make up. Her eyes and her lips never smiled together. I lived with her for a few months before I realized that she was a hooker. I somehow did not judge her for that. Every crazy person has a sad story, just like I do. She took good care of me during my pregnancy. She got me food, took care of my rent and even accompanied during my regular clinical checkups. I was happy. I found an elder sister I never had. She was there clutching my hand real tight when my baby was being born. She was the first one to hold him. I named him “Sam”, after her own name Samantha.

I used to feel tired and restless a lot. Taking care of a baby was no joke. The feeding, the bathing, the pooping and above all the crying. Thank God I had Samantha otherwise I would have gone nuts. Sam was 2 when he started walking. I remember how happy we were. Our little boy was growing up. I realized that may be that was the right time for me to get a job and put Sam in a day care center. I wanted to help Samantha for all that she had done for me, for us. I applied to like a thousand jobs but sadly I did not have the right skills or qualification for any of them. Little did I know that darkness was around the corner and my life was going to take another plunge in a pile of shit. Samantha got sick, very sick. When I admitted her to the hospital I had made up my mind I would not let anything happen to her after all that she had done for me. She was hospitalized most of the time and I had to figure out a way to pay for those medical bills as well as for the nanny that I hired to watch Sam while I was in hospital. The bills were starting to pile up and there was still no luck with the job search. I knew well enough even if I did get one of those ordinary jobs, there was no way I could manage the expenses with that kind of salary. Finally that moment came where I had to take a stand to choose between the people I love or my self-esteem. I chose love. I looked into Samantha’s old mobile phone to find a few contacts from her workplace who could help me out. And they did.

I started making a lot of money. I was working all night, every night. While I was spending my nights with disgusting drunk freaks with breaths that smelled like dead rats, all I could think about was how could I leave my baby alone in the middle of the night like that while he was asleep? What if he has a nightmare and wakes up looking for me? What if he is hungry? What if someone breaks into the house? But I had to do it for him, and for Samantha. I had to swallow my guilt and do it for them. It was all for them. Then one day, the time came when Samantha’s body gave up fighting her disease. I never told her about my job. She never asked either. I thanked her for all that she ever did for me. Before she started walking towards her stairway to heaven she made me make a promise. She told me to move out of town to a new place. A place that would be more appropriate for Sam. I already had that in mind. There was no way on earth I was going to raise my child in that hell hole of a neighborhood.

After Samantha passed away, I took Sam and shifted to a new town. A town which was safe and filled with good people. I had raised enough money to pay for Sam’s new school (I got him into the best one). His education was always one of my top priorities. I got a decent job as a cashier at a supermarket and finally started living the dignified life I always dreamed of. Whatever money I had saved from that old rotten town, I put it in Sam’s college fund account for when he would grow older. When Sam entered his teens, we became good friends. I had to play good cop/bad cop to ensure that he doesn’t make the same mistakes that many teenagers tend to make and at the same time doesn’t distant himself from me either. I think overall I was an ok mother. When Sam turned 18 and was ready to leave for college, he asked me a question that I always dreaded he would ask. Where did all that money come from? I looked him right in the eye. I was a good liar but not to him, he always caught me. I told him the truth. Everything. About Samantha, the old town, everything. He looked at me like I was some kind of a criminal. He was furious. I thought I would get a slightly sympathetic reaction but it didn’t go down like that. He grabbed his luggage and stormed out of the house without saying goodbye. His last few words before he left were “How could you live with yourself? How could you stoop so low?”

I guess I had failed to explain him that I could not let the woman, who gave us everything she had, die like that. I did it for her. She was the angel who was there for me when all doors had closed on me. I did it for him too. I had to raise a baby all by myself when Samantha got sick. And I did it. I am not proud of how I raised the money but if I had to do it all over again for him and Samantha, I would do it with a smile on my face. My son is mad at me. I cannot blame him. Any normal person would be repulsed by me, including him… if only he knew what I had truly been through.

The doorbell rang. I opened the door. It was Sam. He dropped his luggage on the floor and rushed towards me. He hugged me so tight that this time I actually felt the words even though neither of us said them – “never let me go”. We both wept like never before. He softly whispered in my ear “I love you, mum”. That was the longest and the best hug I ever had. All my pains are history now just because of that one giant hug. What kind of life did I live, you ask? I would say the one with the happy ending.

~KK

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Story

The Usual

Every day I walk out of my apartment at seven o’clock in the morning for a walk. I love walks, I sometimes even walk to my college. One day I walked all the way to the next town to my favorite burger shop…but that’s a story for some other day.

It’s always the usual here at Simiville. The usual weather, the usual beggar at the end of my street, the usual grey buildings stranger to me than the colorful and not-so-strange people living in them, the usual black street dog that greets me when I walk out of my apartment all year long. The dog plays with me till the end of the street I live at, just a few blocks away. I named the dog Jack, we play and play till we are both sweating. Takes almost half an hour out of my schedule, but I don’t mind it at all.

Yes, I am a very outgoing person. I meet and greet people all day long so it’s not inappropriate if you see people hi-fiving me and talk to me even if I am in the next town

Well, where was I going with this? This isn’t why I wrote to you!

From all the things I was used to, change was the most inconsistent thing in my life, so if something like what happened that day, happened to you…you might not even be surprised. Or will you be?

As usual I went out of my apartment at 7’o clock, expecting to be pounced upon by Jack.
I stop for a moment and look around, no Jack. I started walking towards my usual route.
At the end of the street I see Jack. For a moment, out of excitement I pace towards him, but stop right in my tracks the next moment.

Looking at him had always made my pulse race…but today the reason behind the quickening of my breath and the sweat on my palms was much different.

He was drenched and trembling. Drenched in a red liquid, didn’t take me much to recognize it as blood. He was trebling with fear and not moving from his place.

I…didn’t know how to react, probably because something like that had never happened with me, probably because Jack was alive and didn’t have a single cut on his body, as much as I could make out from seeing him. Probably.

Jack was alright…he didn’t have a single cut on his body. Then whose blood was it?

That’s when it struck me like lightning, the emotion. It surged within my body, filling me to the brim… making my hair rise out of their sockets, the only emotion I could feel at that time, fear.

I looked at my hands, they were trembling and red.

Red? My hands were red? Blood? Whose blood? Mine?

Before I could answer all that, my brain did the only sensible thing it could do at the moment.

I screamed and ran backwards as fast as I could, only to be hindered in the process by an object and falling on the ground. I turn around to see what it is.

It’s the arm of the beggar. I panicked and threw it away, stood up while running and stumbling, but I regained my balance and ran again.

I locked my apartment’s door and closed the windows. Tried calling the police but the line was dead.

The line was dead.

This isn’t how my day was supposed to go. As I was trying to hide, trembling and denying any possibility of further changes in my schedule, I heard a knock on the door.

More than a knock, it was a constant bang of the fist on my door. It came every few seconds, I slowly realized it was eerily periodic.

I went to the door and looked through the hole to see who it is, I saw no one at the door. But I could still hear the constant knock.
It was all too suspicious, but thoughtlessly I still opened the door.

Opening that door might have been the biggest mistake I made in my short life.

 

(To be Continued)

~A