7 months ago
‘Tring! tring!' the phone rang from the living room and I hurried to pick it up. I was anxious to know if it was from the person I hoped it was from. As the receiver reached my ear, my heart beat increased by ten folds. It was him! That husky beautiful voice sent ripples down my stomach. It was only a word “Hi”. But at that moment it felt like the most beautiful thing ever said on Earth’s entire existence.
“Can I talk to Meghan, please? We study in the same class”, he said in that carefree way making me smile. If only, he knew how much I wanted to hold him then. My thoughts were dismissed by the clearing of throat on the other end. He was getting impatient. Fearing that he might hang up, I managed to say, “Well, I am her nanny. She hasn’t come back from school yet.” “Oh”, was his reply. Was it relief that I heard in his voice or was it disappointment? I couldn't figure it out. Probably because just hearing him breathing at the other end was all that my heart could register at the moment. He was breathing. My boy was breathing. I nearly dropped the receiver as images rushed through my mind. My mind replayed the memories of the first time I became aware of his existence, the very first time my eyes took in the dark brown color of his eyes and the last time he clung to me before being taken away by his father. I knew all of this was my fault. I believed his father despite him telling me that I didn’t deserve someone like him. It was all the result of my incompetency.
And just like that, the guilt settled in. The same guilt that had stopped me from running to him the moment I realized he was back in the town. Two weeks had passed by since I last saw him for the first time in many years. I still hadn’t done anything to reach him. The only string that holds us together now, was Meghan. The clock ticked once, twice and soon a whole minute had passed away and the only sound exchanged was that of breathing. He hadn’t hung up. It took me a moment to realize that. But he hadn’t said anything either. The only thing that assured me that he was still there was the sound of dead air in our conversation. “I miss you”, I wanted to tell him. “I'm sorry and I love you so, so much”, I wanted to shout at the top of my lungs but nothing came out of my mouth. Instead of words, all that escaped my mouth were gasps and hiccups.
My hands rushed to cover my mouth and my shirt's sleeve was soon drenched in tears. I was scared of what might happen next. He could hang up and never call again. I could lose him forever this time. But what my ears carried to my brain was something so out of the blue and completely unexpected that it almost knocked me away. “I missed you”, he whispered. I was too busy wiping my own tears that I hadn’t realized the heavy breathing and hiccups coming from the other end. And what followed next was the one and only thing I had prayed to hear my entire life. “Mom”, said his beautiful voice, a little louder this time, melting my heart. “Mom”, he said again. “Baby, I am so sorry. I love you”, was all I could say as I pressed the receiver closer to my ear, eager to hear every word it carried to me. This was my second chance. I hope you get yours too.
- by Rajeeb Shrestha
- by Moin Uddin