A Short Family Story!
Are You Our Mother?
The door bell rang continuously and incessantly. Trust these things to happen always to you in more than one of the ten cases, as soon as you enter the shower or bath the bell would ring! These are one of the unexplainable things in life, it never rings before you get into the bath or shower, nor soon after you have finished! The person who was ringing the bell must be desperate, or he or she just wanted to make a nuisance of oneself. Some have this bad nasty habit – they will keep the bell pressed till the door is opened or they will let the phone ring on and on till someone answers it. It is okay if it is at home, but at the office too?
Tried to ignore it or let it ring, so what! Ring! Ring! Simply she had to get out of the shower and open the door. She was about to give the person outside ‘a piece of her mind’ when she saw who was ringing the bell – and that made her winch with shame and guilt. The girl was hardly twelve, but she looked tired, worn out and much older. Life’s experiences and troubles makes one mature fast – and get older quicker too in the process. She was clutching the hand of what looked like her younger brother – hardly five or six himself.
The girl was very polite. I am sorry to take you out of your bath – but we are new here. We come from the village from the Interior. We are afraid we may have got lost. Our mother is waiting in the car with our uncle some blocks from here – and we had to cross the street to come here. I am sorry – the girl apologised again. Looked sad and distraught with her sad big innocent almost crying eyes. All the time she was holding tight the hand of his brother – as if he would run away and play truant – and put her in great trouble with her mother.
So what can I do for you? – The wet dripping woman in her big white towel asked. I am sorry – the girl said again – she was trying her best to be understood in her broken poor English. Do you speak Arabic? – the girl finally implored the woman. The woman looked young – she must be in her early thirties. Looked like the age of her eldest sister or like her young aunty. No, our mother told us not to get into the house. Can you get our father for us? No, I do not speak Arabic – I come from a non-Arabic speaking country. Sorry! But I understand you – go ahead– the woman calmly said.
Your father? – The woman quizzed, puzzled and confused. Your father? She repeated herself the question. Are you sure you came to the right house, my dears? With the word dears, the girl started to cry! The young brother consoled and comforted. Do not cry sister, lets be brave and courageous, sis! I do not understand – the woman implored – what is this all about, and why are you poor girl crying? Tell me dear – why are you crying? What is wrong?
Are you my new mother? – The girl finally had the courage to ask. Are you my new mother? Is our father here? And who is your father? – The woman asked the girl. My father is *RAR – he is our father! We want to see our father – we want to talk to him and ask him some questions. We want him to answer us! It is a family thing – we want to talk and ask questions to our father – please!
Your father is * RAR? How is that possible? He told me he did not have any young children. Are you sure RAR is your father? You are not trying to hoodwink me with your scam? The girl cried again – this time loudly and profusely. There, there, the woman comforted her – please, please do not cry! You are also making me cry, see? And the woman was crying with the girl together. She could not control herself – the shock, the anguish and the pain – all of a sudden too – that was too much. She did not want to hurt anyone – especially these poor innocent young children at her door. She had never wanted or dreamed to become in her life as a second wife. Her fears were now haunting her!
Our father – the boy was now speaking – finally. He had left us at home in the village. He does not come home in the weekend any more; he spends all his time in the town now with you. Are you our new mother? Yes – the woman said – but I did not know your father had young children. He told me that all his children were grown up and had left the cuckoo’s nest. Our father does not look after us anymore – he does not like us anymore. Do we have another small baby brother or sister? You know mother – the boy calmly said – we have not even food in the house. Our mother is sick, and cannot work. Only our aunties and uncles are looking after us – but our mother is proud, she wants dad to be responsible for us. Not others!
No, I have no baby – the woman responded. And I do not think I ever will with him anyway – with the way he has treated you. No way! I am returning home – this man tells too many lies. I am sorry – please forgive me. No, no – it is not your fault – both the children said together. It is not your fault. It is our father who is at wrong – not you. We do not mind him marrying you – but why has he forgotten us completely? Why? Did we do anything wrong?
Images – For Demonstration Purposes Only!
What is this? – The man said as he entered the house – who brought you here? The children were drinking hot milk with some cakes and biscuits. They looked hungry – as if they have not had some food for quite some time. Hello Dear – the man said to the wife – Do not dear me! – The woman was shouting and screaming at the top of her voice – you always tell lies and fibs RAR. You are never to be trusted! You always let down peoples! I want nothing more to do with you now! Please get me my ticket – I am going home! I want my divorce – the woman screamed and threw things around at the place and at the direction of the man. You always have lied to me – the woman screamed again at the top of her voice.
See what you have done – the father reprimanded the children. Your mother is at the bottom of this again! She never wants me to be happy; I deserve some happiness in my life, at least now. The children were cowering – their own mother never did these things to their father ever before. And they had never seen their father ever so angry before! He looked so distant and sad – tired and worn out.
The bell rang again incessantly. Nobody bothered. The boy got some courage and got up to open the door, with all the going-on around the place. It was his mother and uncle at the door!! They were tired waiting outside. As the boy had feared, a bigger scene was now coming into the place! All Hell was going to be let loose now! As it soon did!
Majid Said Nasser Al-Suleimany