Karma – Part 2

My stupid greedy thoughts got me here, I kept thinking, it’s fair punishment. So I did the right thing, I went to my parents and told them everything. Fortunately my aunt was there too and she was of a great support. They didn’t scold me or yell at me but dad did tell me to go wash my sins at church, this makes me smile every time, he’s such a righteous man. They told me not to worry about the money, they could afford half the tuition, they said to make amends with myself and keep doing everything right, someday along the road, I would see the results. I was glad, dinner was lively but mom and dad looked tired though so my aunt told them to go get some rest and that she’d take care of the dishes, naturally I offered my help. I was wiping the plates when she asked me if I saw something unusual about my parents. They looked the same to me although mom seemed a bit pale and dad tired. You have a good eye, she said while smiling. She then explained to me that mom contracted some really strong virus and that she was weakening. Soon, she’ll have to quit her job because she’s less able to withstand normal activities, the doctors are worried, her immune system shut down. She then said that dad had been taking good care of her but it took a lot of his time and he got downgraded at work because of it, apparently his supervisor is thinking of making him retire early. I was pretty shocked. So shocked and confused that the plate slipped but auntie got it in time. She brought me to the nearest chair and made me sit. She kissed my forehead. You must have figured that to raise the money of your tuition would literally kill them, she then added. She looked at my teary eyes and said it was normal to make mistakes in life, that my parents current situation had nothing to do with me nor my actions but that unfortunately I could not count on them this time. I will have to gather that money by myself, she said. She told me not to worry, she’ll take good care of my mother so my father can work properly while he still have a job, that’s the reason why she’s here. She told me that my parents were about to tell me but they kept it for themselves when I confessed all my problems.
I understood that I should keep my mouth shut about our little discussion. I stood up and told her not to worry, I would do what I have to so I wouldn’t be a burden to my dear parents. She smiled at me then said “I know… Think carefully about what you have to do. You will make friends all along life but you’ll never get other parents. The path split in two from now on, will you choose to get a good degree and help providing for your family or will you be grateful to some people you just met?”
I looked suddenly at her, was she saying that I have to… doublecross the girl? She didn’t say more and went out saying she was getting smokes.
I was too confused to cry, I started thinking of the many ways I could help but I could only think of one. It’s like she had poisoned my mind. My head was pounding, so I went to get some pain killers. While walking by my parents’ room, I felt the urge to see them. Luckily the door was half closed, I could see them without them noticing me. My mother was laying in bed, pale, breathing hardly. My father on the other hand was watching over her, fighting not to sleep, eventually nature won and he fell asleep aside her. I entered the room, stood by my mother’s side and just like that as the first tear dropped on her cheek, my eyes started overflowing. I sat down and cried and cried silently. I gently wiped my mother’s cheek, it was a bit cold. As I was about to turn away, her hand gripped my shirt, she was smiling at me, her eyes telling me not worry. I wiped my eyes, kissed her cheek and smiled back. I hold her hand until she fell back asleep. I put it gently on the bed and got out of the room.
Her smile… I’ve decided, I don’t ever want her to stop smiling. I don’t want her to not be able to smile again. Never do I want to look at her straight face on a coffin. She mustn’t worry. I will take care of her too.
I’ve decided. I’ll choose my parents no matter what!
I went to my room and wrote them a long letter on how they didn’t need to worry about me, I’d raise money for my tuition somehow. I’m determined. I will graduate, I’ll work hard, I’ll come back as much as I can. I won’t let you down. I will make you proud. Keep taking good care of yourselves. I didn’t even spend the night. I immediately went back. I asked my supervisor for more work time which he agreed on. I put my heart on my studies. For the next three months, I spent my days and most of my nights between work and studying hard. My grades went up, my work was well done but I, on the other side, was slowly dying. I was spent. I had not one ounce of energy left but I had to keep going, the tuition money was hard to complete. My roommate was really worried but she didn’t say a word. I could see it in her eyes. One day she offered me a load of money, money she was saving to buy a home for her new family. I couldn’t accept, I replied. I can’t take your money. I don’t want to owe you. [As if I knew…] She smiled and said she understood, she never brought it up again. The next morning, I was called in my supervisor’s office, he told me that my roommate and him were really concerned about my health. He asked me what was going on. I told him I needed to work to pay my tuition. He asked about my parents. I briefly informed him about my mom’s situation. He nodded then told me he would talk about it with the manager, maybe they could come up with something to help me. I thanked him and out of the blue started crying. Tears were dropping without my consent, I was so relieved. He offered me a tissue and told me not to overwork myself too much from now on.
The next morning, I got called at the Dean’s office. He was glad to see I had achieved my goals, they will still keep me on a half scholarship for next semester but if I keep the same pace, I would eventually get it all back. He apologized for his ruthlessness the last time and asked if my issues got resolved well. After a pep talk on life, he congratulated me and encouraged me. I was so glad, I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. My phone started buzzing, my aunt was calling. My mom was hospitalized. I rushed back home after leaving a note for my roommate. When I got to the hospital, I ran to my father, crying in his arms. He hold me tight. Not saying a word either. The doctor came and suggested a bone marrow transplant. We all got tested and only I got a positive match. Unfortunately my unhealthy lifestyle caused a severe anemia and I was therefore unable to donate for a couple days. It didn’t matter though because I was able to save mother. I went back home that night, ate well and went to sleep early, I wanted to get well soon. First thing, tomorrow morning I went back to the hospital. Mom wasn’t in her room and I couldn’t find dad and my aunt. I had to ask the nurse at the reception.
Ah, the patient in that room. Her body gave up last night. The doctors couldn’t save her. She was moved to the morgue. I’m sorry for your l… ” I lost consciousness. I woke up in my mother’s room. My father sighed of happiness. My aunt was restraining from smoking on the corner. I couldn’t talk, I cried. My father hugged me and my aunt was already crying. The funerals were simple, we didn’t exposed the body, my father couldn’t stand to see her dead face. He got her cremated. My aunt put that beautiful picture of my dad and her holding me in the hospital room at my birth. She said that’s what mom wanted. Halfway through the ceremony though, my father started sweating, as mother one week ago, he collapsed. Also as her, he’d never come back, the heart attack took him away. I lived the second funerals as a fogged memory. I just stood, sat and talked when I had to. People were talking about how I was the reason my parents overworked themselves, how I was probably the one who dug their graves. My aunt stood by me strong and comforting, her arm always around my shoulders. She took me home and made me sit in the living room. She lighted up a cigarette but couldn’t smoke it. Her hands were shaking so much. I guess it was really though on her too. We made small talk, she said how nice it was of my roommate, my supervisor and my friends of college to have come to both the funerals. She offered a strong drink, sighed loudly then put a big load of envelopes on the table. I looked at her. Her gaze was dark and cold. I’m sorry, she said.
I tried to help, but as an independent artist, I can do as much. Those are all bills and debts your father took to help pay your mother’s treatments. His work will be sending the money soon but it will barely cover a fifth of them. You should use it to pay back the mortgages though, your father took one unaware that your mother had already taken one. I hope it will suffice. As for the rest, you should definitely get advice from a lawyer and pay a visit to the bank. I can’t be here for you. I have a lot of events to attend back home, my finances depend on those. I’m really sorry.”
She then took her coat, disregarded her pack of smokes and left the house. This would be the last time I’ve ever saw her.

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