A Part of Her
The hallway is hectic as I stand outside the door marked 32C. I try not to fidget as I anxiously wait for them to let me in. I don't know why I am here. Marc had paged me on my Blackberry at three am and told me it was urgent and I had to come quick. But honestly, if it was really that important, why was I standing on the other side of this door? I begin to pace back and forth, my mind racing as frantic people rush past me. Screams and sobs echo and bounce off all the walls around me as people try to pass the news on. I was in the hospital.
I stop pacing for a short moment, and ask myself why I was called here? Who lies behind that forbidden door? I turn away, suddenly frightened by what I may experience once it is opened and the contents come pouring out. But could it really be that bad? Who can possibly be behind that door? Could it be my mother?
I hadn't spoken to her since my high school graduation. It couldn't be my father because he passed away years ago in a tragic car accident with me in the passenger seat. To this day, I still don't remember what had happened in the accident but I was left with a mere scar on my eye. Was I really that lucky? I couldn't be if I was standing outside this door.
"You can come in now," the nurse says as she holds the door open for me.
All of the sudden fear overcame me. Was I ready to go in? I was frozen. Unable to move. Paralyzed with anxiety and fear. It seemed like an unknown force had pushed me, as I was slowly creeping up towards the side of the bed. I could hardly make out the frail body bundled up in the covers. The nurse opens the blinds wider and it slowly begins to dawn on me who this mystery person is. At first I recognize her round face and her red hair, contrasting greatly with her now pale skin. She slowly turns her head at the sound of my footsteps and unsteady breathing, to reveal one eye. It was my mother.
I make out a faint noise coming from her as she got up, “Joel, is…..that…..you?”
I ignored her.
My mother and I have never gotten along. Ever since I was little, I have always been picked on because I had a mother with one eye. She would embarrass me all the time by saying that I was a ‘unique’ or ‘special’ boy. One time I forgot my lunch at home. She walked into my first grade class and asked for me. The second my classmates saw her, their immediate reaction was horror and disgust. How could someone have a mother with one eye? I was so ashamed of her that I never invited my friends over to my house. My classmates called me Cyclops’s son and would pick on me during recess. I was unpopular and I hated her for that.
Even as I ignore her, she continues to talk. “Joel, I have missed you… so much, where have you been… for these past years?”
“I have…been busy with school.” I don’t want her to know that I have been avoiding her.
“It’s good that you are always so… academically involved. So are you… graduating soon? ” My mom is always optimistic, but I am surprised that she doesn’t question me about my avoidance.
“What?” I was distracted by her empty eye socket.
My mother seemed to have mistaken my response for something else. “I’m so proud of you.” I can tell that her body is slowly deteriorating.
She was always proud of me, probably because I was her only child. But more so probably because I excelled at everything I did in high-school. That was when things started to turn around for me. I was superior when it came to the academics and nobody could match my marks in high school. Likewise, I shined at sports and was the captain of the volleyball team. I was popular, and eventually, people started to forget that I was ‘Cyclops’s son!’ I started to have a different perspective about the world. It was like I had brand new eyes. No one remembered my mom until the day of my high school graduation. I was valedictorian and after my speech, my mom was called up to the stage to be congratulated for raising such a wonderful child. As soon as she faced the audience, I heard astonished reactions from them. I heard whispering amongst the audience and suddenly the plaudits that filled the auditorium turned into criticism. “It’s Cyclops’s son.” I reached my breaking point. I pushed my mother aside and swiftly ran out of the auditorium and back home.
Looking back, I realize that I overreacted. I look at my pale-faced mother. Despite the pain that she is suffering through, she still manages to smile. She looks so vulnerable, so peaceful, almost angelic. How can I treat a loving person this way? My mother has always been so nice to me and always looked out for me and what have I done for her? I always put her down, always criticize her, and always ignore her and yet she remains so optimistic. My mother has one eye; I’m not going to let her condition affect my life any longer.
“She is in critical danger and I’m afraid she doesn’t have much longer to live.”
I panic. I must express my true feelings to her before she passes away. “I love you mom. I’m sorry for all I’ve done to you in the past.”
“I love you too, there’s no need to apologize to me…I don’t know how I can truly express my feelings for you,” she reaches into her pocket with the last bit of strength, “but here is a letter I wrote for you that I h…ave be…en wa…i…ting t…o give y…ou.”
I grab the letter and suddenly all was silent but the ringing of the heart rate monitor.
Tears flow down my cheeks as I am overwhelmed with remorse. Regardless, I have to read this letter. My mother always wanted to give me this letter ever since that graduation incident, but I never wanted to read it or talk to her.
I open the letter. I start to read it. As I read more of the letter, I get more and more overwhelmed. My mother had done something so selfless for me when I was young. I feel the scar on my eyelid. I start to cry tears of regret. Then my one eye starts to illuminate from the morning sunrise. I put my hand over my eye and realize that I must not cry because my mother will always be a part of me.
I want to add a lot more metaphors and similes and hyperboles but I don't know where to add them!:(
also, can someone edit my tenses too? Present tense is used for the present events and past tense is used for his flashbacks
and also, is the ending okay? is it obvious that the character got the eye from his mother?
Thanks so much to whoever edits this short story:)
Student or Learner