I was going to turn 18 soon. I was happy, excited and like all other semi-adults my age, badly waiting to dissociate myself from the tag ‘kid’. I was content with the life Mom and I had built for us. But something was amiss. Mom had been unconventionally pensive and tense lately. It was conspicuous on her face. I had an inkling that it had something to do with the hidden truth about me.
It had been almost a year since I had overheard a conversation between Mom and Granny. The world around me had stopped when I’d heard her saying I was adopted. Somehow I had managed to ride my wheelchair back into my room; then I’d collapsed. But like they say ‘time heals everything’, it truly did.
Finally my birthday arrived. As soon as I opened my eyes, a smile lit up my face. I got into my wheelchair and came out in the living area.
Mom looked back at me over her shoulder. ‘As much as this day makes me happy, I feel that my sin is gradually catching up with me, our life and happiness.’
I felt bad for her and considered telling her that I already knew the truth.
She turned around. ‘I know you idolize me. But I doubt I deserve any of it.’
I shook my head vehemently and opened my mouth to speak but she lifted her hand and gestured me to stop. ‘Listen to me.’
She continued, ‘that night I got a call from the hospital. It was an emergency case. A critically injured couple was brought in. I was too drunk at that moment to realize the urgency. I partied with my friends for the next two hours and then reached the hospital. The husband had passed away. And the wife was barely alive. I couldn’t save her. But by God’s grace the premature baby in her womb survived.’
She paused. A pin drop silence followed. I grasped the arms of the chair, eyes dropped, teeth gritted.
‘That was you,’ she added. ‘I’m no God. Rather I’m the holocaust…in your life.’
Written by Chirasree Bose for Sunday Writing Prompt #236 “It’s All In The Title”