She was the daughter of a single-mother. Independent and hard-headed, just like her Ma .

She had always had her way because her mom was too busy to notice. Between her office and her meetings, the mother hardly ever spent any time at home with her daughter.

The daughter took this as a pass to do what she wanted. Then how was this day any different?

Wearing a dress that compromised her modesty, she was about to leave at midnight. Just then her mom came home.

Mother – Where do you think you’re going? And what are you wearing?

Daughter – I’m wearing what I usually wear to parties. It’s Rohit’s party…no wait, Sameer’s. I’m not sure.  Anyway, I’m already late.

And she started to walk away.

Mother – You’re not leaving wearing that. And you’re most definitely not leaving at this hour.

Daughter – I leave at this hour every night. What’s new?

Mother – Just because I’m not here doesn’t give you the right to do as you please.

Daughter – Exactly, you were never here to stop me before. Did you suddenly remember you have a daughter?

Mother (angrily) – Go to your room. You’re grounded!

Daughter – You can’t tame me with your power. You could have tried love but I don’t think you even know what that word means.

And the mother was suddenly taken into a flashback where she had said those exact words to him.

She (in tears) – I’m carrying your child. Are you still going to leave me like this?

He – Who knows that child is mine? Anyway, don’t try to call me.

She – What about the love? Do you even know what that word means?

It had been 19 years since that day and now…? She broke down.

Mother – Love; I guess I really don’t know what it means. I thought raising you on my own as a single mother  was love. I thought becoming successful  enough to give you everything in the world was love. I thought loving you enough to compensate for a father was love. I guess I was wrong. Silly me!

Author: Zainab Haji

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