Today I made my mum cry.

I know whatever justification that I may have, it would never validate and legalize the foolish way I acted today. But maybe I was at my weakest point. Maybe I wasn't in the right mind. Maybe I was too tempted to retaliate.

Or maybe - I was just one normal human being, flawed and bound for mistakes.

It started when I was attending to one customer at the market this morning. He asked for one kind of vege that had not been packed for sale. So I asked my mum to hurry up packing it. My mum snapped, apparently because I was rushing her. She began muttering under her breath something unintelligible, but I knew she was crossed with the way I was rushing her to pack the vege.

But I did so because the customer was rushing himself.

At first, I tried to not take it to the heart. After all, perhaps, I shouldn't have pestered her. But when my mum kept bringing it up, I lost my cool mind so that when she talked to me, I didn't talk to her back. I pretended deaf. I acted cold. I was on the verge of breaking down, but I fought back the tears. When my sister came, I walked out of the market and wandered aimlessly around the town.

I left the market. I left all the vege unattended. I left my mum.

I had no definite direction as where to go, so I just walked on. I passed by rows of shops, roads and people walking against my direction, yet I continued walking ahead. It was around 10 in the morning. I walked on. I passed by another row of shops. At first, I didn't notice it, but gradually the shops I passed by looked blurry. My sight was blurry, too.

Then I realized I was actually crying.

I came to a halt in front of a bookstore. I pushed the door open and stepped into. I had no money in my pocket - I left my wallet in my sling bag at the market. I didn't have any intention to buy books either, so I just looked around, pretending as if I was looking for one particular book and was rather disgusted for not finding it.

And while I was looking around in pretense, I saw a shelf full of bedtime stories and in that instant, I was deported back several years ago when my mum held my then small right hand and marched me into one bookstore when I was 7 years old. I can now retrieve this particular memory from the archive of my mind because I remember I had stamped my feet in childish rage, asking for one storybook like the one my friend had shown me at school the day before. Upon reaching there, I saw the same storybook that my snobbish friend had let me see and I asked my mum to buy me a copy. But she said I should get a different storybook so that I would be different. She wanted me to be different. So she picked a story about a crow who was very thirsty and badly wanted to drink from a big jar, but its beak was not long enough. In the end, the poor crow got to drink the water by dropping pebbles into the jar. I remember I asked for two storybooks, but my mum said the money was only enough for one storybook.

So my mum bought me one and I proudly showed my friends at school the next day.

Recalling this particular fraction of memory, tears began pooling around my eyes, so I quickly walked out of the bookstore. It was as though that memory was the big gallant door that led to rooms of childhood memories with my mum; and they all came to me at once. I was in severe distraught. All kinds of emotions rushed through the chamber of my befuddled mind and I was unsure which one I was feeling the most.

Yet I was sure of one thing: I was on my way back to the market.

As I headed back, I had a couple of what-ifs whispering at the back of my mind, and as I drew nearer to the market, I could hear quite clearly an ambulance siren blazing, and the sound got louder as I walked further ahead. Could it be my mum? Has she hurt herself in disappointment? Am I a few minutes too late? Will this be my biggest regret in life?

Then I saw her sitting on her old stool, tending the vege. Her routine for years to earn a decent living for us. For the ten of us. Slowly and instinctively, she glanced up at me.

I looked away and let go of the remorseful, suppressed tears.

You may also like


Adam Arshad said...

ok this is like reading a sad novel.
*teary eyes*

Aziz said...

Oh, I was stupid :(

ZieL said...

aziz..jangan lupa..syurga d bawah telapak kaki ibu..

Aziz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aziz said...

I've never forgotten, Zila. Thanks for the reminder, anyway ;)

Ibrahim Ismail said...

I'm satisfied reading your blog. Emotionally.

Ps. Can I quote the 1st part? I don't know how to start my post.