The dining room was filled with a deafening silence and a vast emptiness of loneliness. She recalled the memories, though difficult as they were. It was 15 years ago since the day they had all been detached, living their own lives away from each other.
Her eldest sister did not want to take part in any responsibility. She left for the city, to pursue her eternal dream of being a Senior Editor for a well-known fashion magazine. What does she know about taking care of anyone but herself? The selfish bitch!
Her elder brother, the second among them, already had a family. He had much familial priorities; more of the latter family than of the former. He declared that the youngest could handle it herself. She, the youngest, was the only one left to care for their sick mother.
Oftentimes the two would sit at the large dining table; close, and yet so far.
Her mother would peer strangely towards her. "Who are you?" she would often ask.
"Jane, Mother. Your youngest?" Jane would reply.
"Nonsense! I don't have any children!" or "You're not one of them!" She would then look away in disgust.
Jane would only bow her head in dismay.
It definitely was a tedious task; everyday of the same conversations, and of the growing loneliness within that house. Yet, she had much patience, even when her mother had grown extremely difficult to bear with.
One morning, while they ate breakfast at the dining table, her mother beckoned her over. She walked towards her and noticed that her mother looked very different; she was getting weaker by the minute. However, she was beaming. She was her old self again.
"The waffles were nice, Jane. No one cooks them better than you." she smiled.
Surprised, Jane let out a sigh and relaxed a bit.
"Take my hand, please, I have something important to say." Her mother extended her hand.
Jane gently held her hand, and sat next to her.
"You know that I never treated you well..." her mother started.
"Yes I know that, Mother," Jane interrupted, "but it's okay, I understand that you were going through a lot."
"No, no, my dear, no. Please, let me explain. I-I am really sorry, I never showed you much appreciation. It was never your fault. I shouldn't have had taken it out on you. I-I despised the woman who bore you; she and your wretched father whom I once loved truly as a husband! They left you in my care, and I had treated you as an unwanted child. I'm sorry, oh please forgive me!" her mother was in tears.
"Mother, please don't cry. I'm alright. That's in the past now, don't fret much over it." she firmly grasped her mothers hand.
"Thank you though. Thank you for staying by my side, and for taking care of me. I understand this must be hard for you. You, of all whom I've treated the worst, still chose to stay behind, and that is the most precious gift I've ever had..." she paused, leaned comfortably in her chair and closed her eyes, "...the waffles were nice." And with that her hand went limp. She was gone.
The deafening silence was unbearable, but she was free; free from the bonds that trampled over her self-esteem, and free from the lifelong cruelty she endured from her mother. And yet she was deeply saddened by her loss. She had forgiven her, a long time ago, but now she could finally move on. One last glance at the dining room, then she left. She locked the doors and handed the key to the new owners. She headed towards her flat and sank within the comfort of her couch. Alone but alive; single but content. She liked it that way.
© Julimel Gottschall, 2017. All rights reserved.