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Horse made of glass - Part 9 Horse made of glass - Part 9
by Katerina Charisi
2017-07-16 11:51:18
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When she opened the door the boy lifted his head and screamed out of joy and ran towards her. Her mother in law pulled him by his sleeve and the boy froze.

“Come back here, young man. Your mother needs to rest. The baby needs all of her strength and attention now. You’re comin’ with me as we have already talked, okay? Go get your shoes. Your father is waiting.”

She felt rage boiling inside her and panic bouncing on her temples and the boy dropped his head like he just found out it wasn’t part of his body.

“What the hell are you talking about?”

vint01_400_01She found nothing else to say. The scene caught her totally unprepared. Thousands of thoughts crossed her mind in a second. She had left her boy with him and his mother and god knows what they had told him. They turned him against her and told him things and he didn’t love her anymore. They made their own plans and left her out. Panic felt rising again inside her. She remembered when his mother used to talk to them about their future all the time. How she insisted they should make children soon. She remembered her husband telling his mother they were not ready and she always replied “I’ll raise the child for you” and only then she came to realize that her mother in law was the kind of woman who needed someone to take care of or else they felt dead inside.

She looked at the mess in the house. Toys scattered on the floor; clothes and shoes and old drawings torn in pieces; apple cores turned brown in a plate in the corner. She walked in the boy’s room and held her breath to ease the pain in her womb as she bent to put the baby in the crib. He wailed when he felt his mother’s arms leaving him. She sighed. She closed her eyes again and clenched her teeth. She took him back in her arms.

She stepped over clothes and sheets and more toys and puzzle pieces and went to the kitchen, a strong smell of urine coming from the half open bathroom’s door. She saw the sink full of dirty dishes, a sour odor of spoiled food in the air. She tried to ignore it all. I’ll do everything in time, she thought. She heard the door closing and her husband’s mumblings. She looked at the baby in her arms like trying to decide what she was supposed to do with it. The boy never cried when she put him down. He trusted her. He knew she wouldn’t leave him for too long. She asked for a glass of water but got no reply.

“I need a glass of water. Please.”

She only heard her mother in law giving instructions to the boy and her son and then the tv turned on. She forced herself to remain calm. She looked at the mess on the table and pulled a chair and gently put the baby on it. The baby screamed.

With her eyes fixed on the baby she opened the cupboard looking for a glass but found nothing. She turned the faucet and cupped her hands and drank. She wiped her hands on her shirt and took the baby back in her arms, his screams sharp blades in her head. He stopped.

She left the kitchen and with her elbow pushed the bathroom’s door open. A stronger smell of urine burned her nostrils. Her husband’s dirty clothes on the floor, the laundry basket full.

She saw her mother in law opening the front door and pulling the boy’s hand. The boy searched for his mother turning around his head, but said nothing to protest. He obeyed the small woman next to him. They all do, she thought. That was enough. This is ridiculous.

“What are you doing?” she asked her and felt the baby’s tiny body stiffening as her sudden loud voice startled him.

The woman turned around slowly.

“Takin’ the boy with me, what am I doin’?”

She straightened her back and bit her tongue to the sharp pain and walked towards her.

“Who told you to do that?”

The old woman’s eyes narrowed. Her lips pursed in a thin line.

“I’m here to help. You can’t take care all three of them. The boy needs attention and you can’t give any to him. I raised three children; I know.”

“The boy stays right here. This is his home.”

“You can’t take care of them all.”

She looked at her husband. His eyes were fixed on the tv. By the look in his face and the way he sat on the sofa, she knew he didn’t even pretend he wasn’t listening. He didn’t. He didn’t care. For the first time she felt she hated him.

“Why don’t you ever say anything?”

He slowly turned his head and looked at her and she couldn’t figure out what he was thinking behind his cold and tired look. He turned back to the tv.

The boy was just standing there. She felt angry with him too. Why he didn’t protest? Why didn’t pull and scream and run to his mother?

“Who told you I can’t take care of my family?” She asked her mother in law eventually. “Who told you I want the boy to leave?” And then she turned to her husband again. “Did you plan this for some reason? What the hell is going on?” The baby wailed. She was screaming.

Her husband hit the table with in front of him with the remote.

“Don’t be paranoid, damn it. She just wants to help. She said the baby is too small to understand anything else except the nipple in his mouth and his mother scent and she’s probably right. The boy needs more attention than what you can give him. Why do you always have to protest against everything people tell you? You can’t know it all, you know?”

“And you know it’s the right thing to send your son away from his home, away from me? Is he getting the attention he needs this way? By whom? By his grandmother? The boy has a father too! At least he should have.”

“I have to work!”

“You don’t work now, god damn it. And instead of doing anything else around here you just turn on the tv. You could do a lot if you wanted to. You just don’t want to do anything.”

“Mother said the boy would feel much better with her for a while. Only until you manage to get some routine around here. She said--“

“Oh, just listen to yourself. Listen to what you’re telling me. I don’t give a damn what she said and what she thinks. This is my family, my son! He is not going through that door. I will not allow it.”

The old woman dropped the boy’s hand. For a moment he seemed confused and then ran to his mother. She felt the joy of this little victory and she saw her mother in law saw it too.

“Well, thank you for nothin’! I left my own house and my husband all alone to come here and help you and this is what you give back to me. I took care of your family when you couldn’t do it!”

“What the hell are you talking about? Just listen to yourself! I went to give birth! And what exactly did you do around here to take care of my family when I couldn’t? Don’t you even look around you? All this mess?”

Her mother in law turned her back and walked out the door.

“I gave the boy the attention he needs. This was more important. Son, don’t ever ask for my help again. Remember this day you old mother came to your house for the last time. From now on, if you want to see me, you’ll have to visit me. Alone.”

Her husband scraped the sofa as he stood up.

“Wait, goddamit, come here. You ain’t just walkin’ all the way to your house for christ’s sake.”

“Oh, I can walk those miles just fine. Don’t you worry. You stay here with your family.”

He gave her a look that made her hold her breath but didn’t lower her eyes.

“Jesus. I’ll drive you home. Wait a second.”

He left behind his mother. She noticed that he hadn’t even look at his newborn son.

 *********************************************

Horse made of glass – Part 1 -Part 2 -Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5 - Part 6Part 7 - Part 8 -Part 9 -


   
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