” You will behave in front of everyone. No tantrums Philip, do you hear me?” The firmness in her voice sent a chill down on my spine.
A thirteen-year-old me nods in affirmation to avoid more talks from her. I have to say she was starting to irritate me. I had been called to the principal’s office when a fight broke out two hours before mother came. Why couldn’t she ask me what happened? I thought she was my mother? Why couldn’t she assure me that it was going to be alright like other mothers do to their kids? Why couldn’t she hug me? I haven’t seen her for weeks, and this is what I get from her?
Father had just died, and she has had to take over the three companies at that time. She barely saw me, and I barely saw my mother. Fate was a torn of rose in our lives. I had broken into a fight to have her attention, and this is what I get, a firm promise to behave? I was thirteen, who had just lost his dad, lonely and wanted attention!
Right after I apologise to the kid at the principal’s office, we both left, and when we got home, I had contemplated suicide. Thankfully, Nana’s love was what changed my mind. Nana has been with the family before my birth and dad ‘s birth. She had been grandpa’s friend. Although, saw more than friendship within them but figure they were content just having each other around.
” Why stay in such a hell where my mother wouldn’t ask me how I feel? Why do I need to be her child when I had lost her to herself?” I had thought we would be much closer after dad passed on, but she drifted and became strict with me. I had to walk on an eggshell in the house. ” I lamented over a cup of milk and fresh baked cookies that Nana had served me in the kitchen.
She held me in a bear hug and sighed. ” Philip dear, your mum is hurting too. She misses your father and the best way to show it is to toughen you up.”
” Well, she could have asked me about the fight.” I held back the tears that were about to fall off.
” Candice has a weird way of showing her emotions. You must be strong for both of you as times goes on” she wipes off my tears with her hands. “Candice loves you. She has always loved you. Don’t ever forget that”
Sixteen years later, I am still trying to understand my mother’s uncanny love for me. I pushed the thought away to spend more time with Anna before my mother lands in Greece.
I drew her closer to cuddle more. I m going to miss the feel of her with me every day. My heart won’t take it if mother sends out her cold chill to Anna. I can condone all the strict and mean treatment from her but won’t take it when she lashes on Anna.
Mother’s uncanny love is the strangest that I have ever come across in my lifetime. And it’s funny when she doesn’t treat her stepchildren the same way she does with me.
A kiss on my lips jolts me back to reality.
” I lost you for a moment. ” emotions swell up in her eyes. I grabbed her to kiss her more, anything to forget this feeling while the dread lingers.
” I am sorry. Did you ask me anything?”
“What’s she like?” She beams her smile up at me.
” who?” I smirk and laugh.
” Your mom? Tell me about her?”
I raked my hair back and forth while I tried to find a good description of my mom. Then sighed ” shes mother, you know a typical English bred.” I smiled. The funny look on Anna’s face made me laugh out.
” Why am I having a feeling of contempt towards her? Should I?”
” Oh, no.” I held her hands to mine. ” mother is not like that. She’s graceful and has an incredulous way of showing her interest in someone or anything.”
” Sounds like a proper English woman” grins “I like her already.”
I gave a worried smile as I looked at my beautiful girlfriend, who knows nothing about the woman she is about to meet in an hour. In silence, I prayed for less conflict between mother and me to get through the night in one peace.
” where do you think you’re are going with your bag packed?” I turned to see mother’s angry face bark at me. ..
” Anywhere but here,” I shouted. It was summer break, and I had brought friends over on the weekend to party in the hope that I was alone because my so-called family were on vacation in Paris. But she came back for a board meeting to a noisy home.
” Philip, you would do no such thing. Now get back inside and tidy up your mess.”
” Nana and the staff will take care of it. Like they always do.”I snapped.
Ever since that day at the principal’s office, I had resolved to keep my distance and respond my agitation whenever I couldn’t keep up with the heat.
” You don’t speak like that to Nana,. ” she warned,
” and why do you care?”
No expecting a response from her.
” You would leave without saying hi to your grandfather.what have you learnt over the years.”
I raked my hand into my hair in frustration. Did I tell you mother is manipulative? Yes, she is … She knows what to say to get under my skin… Grandpa. She knew he was my favourite after dad and I would do anything for him.
“whatever, I dropped my bag at the door and took a walk in the garden to vent off my anger.
A sound from my phone jolts me back to reality. As I looked at Anna, fetch herself water from the mini fridge, I smiled at her beautiful form.
This woman makes me happy; she brings so much out of me, and I would make the world a better place with her love, care and kindness. …. But not so much with mum.
She turned to stare at me, then smiled.
” do you want some?” She offered with a grin
” Yes, please. I am perched” perched from thinking about mother…
I love Anna, and I want to show her the best in me. I want her to meet a kind, caring and funny side of my mum… Not that I have seen much after dad’s death… But I want mother to love her as every mother should… Not her unusual way.
” Here, ” hands me the bottled water.
” You’re welcome” she brushed her lips on mine, a mixture of chocolate and water. Gosh, how I love how she tastes.
“If I didn’t know any better, I would say this is not you distracting me ”
” I figured you need the distraction. San”
” You don’t say?”
” Please” she rolls her eyes at me ” ever since you got the call about your mum you have been agitated and lost in thoughts” Yes Anna, I have been … How do I tell you my mum can be obnoxious and sometimes condescending? This is not how want you two to meet.
” I am sorry, I should be spending quality time with you. not brooding ”
“It’s okay. that’s why you are my distraction. ”
She settles herself on my laps, then touched my hair.
” I am here whenever you need to talk ” she kissed me.
“Thanks, babe.” I smiled and kissed her back.”We might have to stay the night if you don’t mind.”
She smirks and nods her head. ” I love you.” I cringe at her unexpected words. Oh, Anna, I love you… I have loved you the very day I opened that door.
She repeated it. “I love you.”
” I love you. Baby ” kissed her on her forehead, down her cheekbone, face and lips… While we were at a soft knock comes through the door. Anna moans as I tried to disengage from our kiss.
” I have to get the door” came my raspy voice. She stood up from my lap and brushed her hair back. I wait for her to be ready before I unlock the door.
Cheeks clenched as I stare at the beautiful form in immaculate gown glazing my sight…
“Mother” the word came out in a whisper.