Love Is…..

Love Is Regrettable

”Do you have any clue as to how much you annoy me? I ask you for one thing, and you can even do that right. What sin— what crime did I commit to deserve a daughter like you…? Tell me, do you enjoy seeing me in anguish? Does it perk up your day to see me like this? I— I was just trying my hardest to be a good mother to you, since your father doesn even care for your pitiful existence. And you… You just can have that, can you?! ”

Mother slams her fists on the wall. Streams of tears run continuously down her cheeks, falling silently on the carpeted floor. Her head is hung low as she speaks.

”You once told me you didn choose to exist, remember? ”

She sounds comically amused, her eyes meet mine.

Of course, I remember. Id said that without reasoning, without considering the consequences. The look in her eyes right after Id said it told me she would forever hold it against me.

”Well, I didn choose to have you either dear. Nor your bedridden sister. ”

She gives a side-eye toward the bed, then returns her gaze to me.

”You know… When I was pregnant with you… I thought about abortion so many times. I even came close to doing it. But Alvin— I mean your grandfather, always caught me somehow. Hed always chastise me, then lock me away for it. Id find myself wondering why he wanted me to give birth to you. I didn think you would be anything special… And, unfortunately for both of us, I was right. ”

She glances at the bed again.

”And your younger sister… It was different with her you know. I actually wanted to have her. It was like I knew I would love her. She had eyes and hair like mine, she was basically a carbon copy of me! Unlike you of course… ”

Her gaze on me is scornful, but only lasts a split second as she continues with her monologue.

”I thought, maybe she could replace you. Be better than you. Make me feel like I was actually someones mom. When she was born five years later, I… I really felt it. That motherly love towards ones child, you know? ”

She gazes expectantly at me, and I nod wordlessly.

”I raised her, and she never once made me feel like an incapable mom. Even when she became a teenager, she didn rebel like my friends told me she would. She was my perfect little Isabelle. ”

Her tone grows harsh and regretful.

”But then… She got sick. After everything I did for her, she got f*cking sick! The doctors said it was a brain tumor, but I knew the truth. ”

She gives me a dreadful look, tears welling up in her eyes.

”It was just her trying to tell me that Im a horrible mother. That I didn do enough for her, and now shes gotten sick! She was trying to blame me for her pathetic illness! ”

Mothers eyes grow wide in turmoil, her fists clenching.

”I begged and begged her to stop. I begged her to return to her normal self—To return to being my perfect little girl… But she refused me. Her own mother. She stopped being my perfect Isabelle and became… Your little sister. ”

She turns and leans her back on the wall, staring at my woeful face.

”You should know that I also didn ask for this life honey. But as you know, we rarely get what we ask for, right? Like Im sure you
e asking for your sisters recovery, but we have to be realistic here dear. Its never going to happen. ”

She sighs sadly, covering her face with her hands.

My legs involuntarily walk toward her, wrapping my arm around her.

”Im sorry mother, ” I say, not quite sure what exactly Im sorry for.

”Sorry? ” She looks up at me blankly.

”For what dearie? For existing in my life or your sisters? For being a horrible daughter? A horrible sister? For making my life unbearably difficult? What is it your sorry for dear? ”

Her voice is calm but laced with contempt and disappointment.

”Everything, ” I say inaudibly, burying my face in her shoulder.

A few minutes of graveyard silence go by.

”Its alright dear. ” She holds my head in her hands, stroking my hair gently.

”I will forgive you, honey. On one condition. ” Her voice grows low and threatening.

”You have to help me get rid of your useless father. ” Malice is laced in her every word.

Suddenly, she laughs. A loud, high-pitched taunting sound that Ive become numb to by now.

”Stop taking everything so seriously my dear! ” She cackles louder.

A smile appears on my face, right on cue.

If I don smile at her incoherent joke, shell ask why. I won have an answer, and will have to spend the night in the creepy and stenchy basement.

Her expression abruptly turns severe.

”You have to understand honey. You can change your sisters bedsheets anymore. You
e wasting time and resources dear. Remember what the doctor said? Its too late for her already dearie. Shes already on her deathbed now. Theres nothing we can do but let her go. ” A grim smile appears on her face, as she continues to stroke my hair.

”And after shes gone, Im going to do everything I can to make you into a perfect daughter. My perfect daughter. ”

She holds up my face gently.

”Alright, then dearie. Ill leave you with your sister now. ” She walks to the door, but stops abruptly and turns to me.

”Please make sure not to mess anything up again, alright? ”

Her dark brown eyes are sharp on me. I shiver involuntarily.

”Yes, mother. ” Comes my meek reply.

”Thats my good girl. ” She smiles satisfactorily.

”And don forget, I love you. ”

I stop to contemplate. Shes said those words only to my sister as far as I can recall. Does she really love me now? Or had she always loved me?

If she did, her way of loving was a bit… Strange.

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