‘Mumma?’ he called.
The old woman in her worn out dress and wrinkled face, turned away from the sink to look at her little son lying on the couch, staring up at the ceiling fan. Rust had settled on its corners and the slight squeaks it caused, made her cringe in distaste.
‘Yes child,’ she said as she wiped off her hands on her apron and walked to him. Dropping down on the couch, she allowed him to rest his head on her lap.
Her heart broke as she held his feeble hands and rubbed them gently.
When he did not speak, she asked again.
His eyes met hers and all they reflected was nothingness. Her son’s eyes were blank; they held no trace of emotion and she did not know whether to be happy or sad for that.
‘Mumma,’ he mumbled. His voice shook. ‘Does God love me any less?’
Almost immediately, she shook her head and looked away, blinking back her tears. The last thing she wanted to do was to cry in front of her dying son. His body felt so fragile against hers that she was afraid a slight touch would hurt him.
‘No, child, our God is beautiful,’ she told him. ‘He loves us all the same. We are all his lovely children and He loves us to death.
‘Then why does he let other children run and jump and shout while I lie here all day?’
It was difficult to swallow the lump stuck in her throat. Her temples throbbed as unwept tears threatened to spill.
‘It is because He has something special for you! He wants you to wait so that He can shower you with all the happiness in the world. He loves you, dear child, more than you can imagine,’ she aid and ran a hand through his hair. ‘Up there, He sits, watching over all of us. He picks us up when we fall. And when we cry, He is there to wipe away our tears. Each day, He presents us the most beautiful dawns to create histories. See? He is here with us. He is all around, child. And He loves you. So please, hold on.’
The doorbell rang, filling the house with a lovely tune.
She looked down at her son who was breathing quietly. His eyes were closed in blissful oblivion. She got up and opened the door.
The mailman handed her a letter.
After he took his leave, she closed the door behind her and tore open the pale yellow envelope to reveal her son’s medical reports. Her eyes glimmered with several hundred emotions as she looked frantically at the sheets.
And then, she saw it.
‘Wake up, child,’ she said as tears rolled down her cheeks. ‘Wake up! You’ll live, child! You’ll live for long!’
He remained quiet.