You have done it again. You have, in your stubborn nature, done it again. Unbelievable! Annoyingly unbelievable. But for your mother, it isn’t exactly unbelievable. All she ever said when she knew what you’ve done was, ‘What is new…’ Even so, her voice was heavy and almost cold when you told her of your crisis. You are her son after all; even when she knew how shady and irresponsible you are, she still hoped and prayed for you to change and settle down.

The last time it happened, it was three years back, when you started going after the mother of your ex fiancée. Hell broke loose. Insults were thrown. Your mother was abused right on her face. About how she hadn’t raised you well. How she had horribly failed as a mother. There were blows thrown on your face by your fiancée. Tears. A lot of tears. And of course shouting. The neighbours were all there; whispering, staring and shaking heads. A disgrace. You’ve always been a disgrace to your mother, your family and community.

You tried to protect your mother. Tried to stop both mother and daughter from dragging your mother in the mud. But your mother had always been dragged into your mud and she always cleaned it up. Maybe that was her mistake. Maybe her biggest mistake was that she hoped her son will change and that it was just the hot-youth hormones within you burning you into ashes. This too shall pass, she convinced herself. He will grow up soon. So she took it all in; the insults, the stares and being the black sheep of the family.

Everyone said it was because she is a single mother. She needed a man and you needed a father to put you in your right place. That she was weak-hearted towards you. You are her only son and her only child anyway. People said a lot of things. But you knew better. You know better. You know how your mother gave you endless pep-talks about respecting women. How she warned you not to be what your father was to her. You know how your mother struggled to bring food to the table. You know how she taught you about God. About empathy and compassion. You, better than anyone else, know how she would cry alone silently and the only thing you’d hear from the next room is her frequent sniffs. You know how she’d wake up with eyes swollen and red like ripe tomatoes, laughing nervously and blaming her allergies for it. You know. You know.

Mother and daughter broke your mother’s heart into pieces just like you had broken their relationship; their bond, their home. Who gets in between a mother and daughter anyway?

Your mother cried her heart off and begged for death. She begged for a calamity. She begged for cancer and a fire to burn her down into nothingness. She begged for the angel of death to appear. She begged. She begged a lot. That was when you promised that you’d change. You promised never to let her down again. You promised her to be a better person; a better man.

Years went by and your mother stayed by your side. Praying for you. Guiding you. Loving you. For a moment you settled. For a moment, there weren’t any scandals happening. You just stayed low key. You travelled to the Middle East to start afresh. For a moment, it was quiet. Your mother held her breath; always scared on a phone call that would inform of her of your other evil-doing or worse. But for a moment, nothing happened. For a moment, she believed you had changed and settled.

Then came the late night phone call. It was you once again, calling from the Saudi cell. You have been arrested for impregnating a minor. A 16 year old. Your mother’s silence on the other side of the phone was too loud you could hear her cry and touch her anguish. She barely said before she ended the call.

You are here now. Holding the cell bars with both your hands. Looking outside as the police officers pace back and forth as they speak in Arabic. Big macho men hovering around you. Pee stench all over the place. Guilt is chewing on your heart like sugarcane, only your heart is not as sweet. Maybe just bitter. You want your mother to speak to you. To say it’s going to be okay as she’d always done. You want her to not be angry and disappointed with you. You want to cry on her laps and ask for forgiveness. You want to tell her you deserve it; to rot in this cell in a foreign country or be beaten up to death. You want to tell her she deserves better because she is the better human being. You have a lot to tell her, but this time she wouldn’t listen. This time, she has disowned you. This time, she won’t clean your mess.

Here you are; burning inside and trapped outside.

You have done it again.

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A freelance writer, journalist, poet and blogger venturing mainly in social and community issues, study and analysis of behaviour and life, and the plight of the under-dogs in the society. 'I feed on human stories.'

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