The Mother’s Story.
He didn’t mention me. The mother. Not because I am unimportant, but because memories of that time are raw – painful – even now. I waved him off well enough; could see his determination to leave. No point in arguing him into an even greater fervour to depart. I thought he’d soon come back.
But days passed; rains passed. The sun rose and the sun set sure enough. But no sun-up or sun-down brought him to the horizon. I felt empty – crumpled like crepe paper – not knowing where he was. If he was alive that is; not torn to shreds, ribbons of broken promise.
I prayed too, of course. For his safety, if he wasn’t to return. My husband stared wistfully out of the window, day after day, lost in his thoughts. Lost to me. My elder son became more distant; worked the fields ceaselessly in his brother’s absence. Our pain was too much for him.
And then – there he was again. Dirtier than before; tired; weary. But there – in the house. I don’t know where he went. I don’t know why he returned – or how. But I do know that my son is home.