Talking with a Mother – Short Story

Homeless MotherWhile they seat in their big houses, I’m wondering how to tell my children that we must move out of our tiny flat, and that I don’t know where we’re going to…

–    ‘Must we leave our friends? Must we change our school?’

They ask, and I feel like running away, but they have only me, so I have to stay.

I go to the powers that be and ask them for help. They don’t look in my eyes. They glance… Their head holds a PC inside, rather than a mind, never mind a human heart. They hand me a number to ring. And I do, so I can be lied to… I sense that their words might be far from the truth, so I start my own search online. The computer, seemingly a little more humane, tells me part of what’s to know. “You are on the waiting list – number 334. So, I go back to the ‘people’, and ask:

–      “Does this mean that you’ll help us move house?”

–     “No.” They say. “Don’t leave there – stay. When you’re on the streets – come back. Then, we’ll have a chat. There are many like you. You are not the only one.” Fine! I leave. “Next one, please!” I hear them yell. I feel like I’ll lose my mind if I stay. From now on, I’ll send letters or I’ll e-mail them.

I will work, at the same time, as hard as I can. Though, to rent a new small flat this job won’t provide. What else will I do? I will cry, sometimes. Not too much. I don’t want to drown… in tears. Then, I’ll work again just to pay the bills. I feel really tired – I’ve been lacking sleep… I can’t let them kill me though! I’m going to live! Yet, I bottle these fears and the pain. There’s a bottle of wine in my hand.

– “Why?” The interviewer asks.

– “Why wine? I’m cutting my chocolate down.”

– “No. Why bottle the pain? Why not talk to someone?” He smiles.

– “Oh…” She sighs.

Those who are comfortable want to stay comfortable. They say that they pray for me and my family while they seat in their big houses comfortably. Meanwhile, I wonder how to tell my children that we have to move, again… And, I cannot tell them where we’re going to… I don’t know… God knows. Oh… {She pauses} That’s right. He does. ‘Oh, thank you for listening’, she adds.

The interviewer smiles.

 “I will put this wine away. I’m going to pray.”

She gets up and goes… Where to? Well… God knows.

Happy Mother's Day

Dedicated to all mothers - especially those forced to persevere 
a lot more than others. You are amazing! Happy Mother's Day!

Published by

Monika Ribeiro (writer/poet)

I write because I have to & love to… Writing helps me organize thoughts, understand life & address vital matters in a constructive way. I hope this blog satisfies your intellect & your soul at the same. Be inspired...

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