Mummy, do you love me?

I banged the door behind me. There were noises in the house, arguments, from the kitchen. The door to the kitchen was closed. Someone yelled. A woman’s voice. And soon it was replaced by the sound bashing and hitting. Within the darkness, I waited, in the sitting room. But through the slits of the door, light of the kitchen reached out to the dark. Occasionally the light was blocked by the shadows. It looked like an old film reel spinning in the cinema. The fluidity of the motion picture was interrupted from time to time.

After a while, silence took over and I heard the bang of a door. Cautiously I stepped towards the kitchen door, and turned the knob. The door was pushed opened gradually. I saw mother sitting on the floor. Her nose was bleeding.

“Go and do your homework,” she said coldly.

“Did dad-“

She slapped me. “Go and do your homework!”

And I retreated to my room upstairs. It was kind of a routine to me and my mother. She got beaten up by my dad, while I got to see or hear she getting beaten up. She never complained it in front of me. In fact we did not talk much. Just the day before I told her I wanted to have spaghetti. She did not say a word, but walked into the kitchen quietly and started boiling a pot of water over the stove.

My mother was a very good cook. I sucked the pasta in. The moisture of the olive oil and the fragrance of the tomato sauce wipped on my lips. They always carved a delicious memory into my brain. I smiled to my mother, ” Yummy!” But her face was emotionless, and her eyes were red and her black eye hung ghastly under the dim light. I continued chewing on my meal. I knew it was her way to show me love. How could she not love me, if she made all these lovely food for me?

Sometimes I would stay in the youth centre to do my homework. With all the noises, I could not concentrate. And I really did not want to see my dad. There was also this lovely lady there at the centre always giving sweets to me. Of course I never said a word about mum getting hit. What if they separate me and my mother apart? I had some friends who ended up in foster homes. No I could not leave my mother. But still I told that lady a lot about my mother, especially how brilliantly she cooked. “You should show your mother you love her too,” the lady said, “you should do something for her. Something that can make her happy.”

Yes! That was good advice! I should do something for her. That evening I was pondering on what to do for my mum while I was walking back home. I heard arguments and yelling again at the doorstep. I walked into the house and saw dad pulling on my mother’s hair.

He roared at mother. His spits were sprayed on my mother’s face. My mother clenched her teeth. It seemed they had not noticed me. I realized there was a pistol on the side table. “I should do something for her, and make her happy.”

“Let mother go!” My trembling hands pointed the gun at my dad. I had loaded the gun. Information about how to shoot a gun isn’t hard to find on the internet.

“Oh so you have balls now? Shoot! You piece of shi-“

The sound of the shot resonated with the spark. The shock bursted through the room. The recoil pushed me backward. Dad collapsed to the ground.

There was silence for a short while. Mum stared at the body of dad and suddenly she turned to me. She threw me on to the ground. My shoulder was hit hard. I felt as if the bone had been crushed.

“Why did you do that?” She asked in a calm voice..

“Because I love you, mother,” I wailed.

“Love me?” Her laughter turned into a hoarse roar. “I never love you! I can always have another son. You are just another meat popped out of my virgina!”

I didn’t cry. I didn’t yelled. The cold steel simply rested motionless in my palm.

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