In front of mum, I stayed strong. Not shedding a tear but at night, I weep. I cry until I could not shed a single tear. What could be worse than having someone you love by your side but she is slowly disintegrating? Slowly forgetting you and there is nothing you can do about it?
I drag myself through the exams but my head was not in it. I couldn’t focus. I didn’t eat. I didn’t get much sleep either.
Then the results came out. I didn’t do well. My teachers were shocked. I failed almost all of my subjects except for Maths which was the paper I sat for before I knew about mum’s condition. Apart from me, the teacher also noticed some other students who are not performing well. Perhaps due to other factors e.g. the lack of revision, playing around, etc. Due to this, everyone in the class were given a project were we have to visualise our future and draw it on paper. The teacher call the project the Dream.
“Alisha?” Mum enters the room. I look up from my paper and wipe my tears. It’s too late. She has seen it.
“Aw, dear. Something bothering you?” She asks and hold me in her arms.
“Ummi.. I miss you. I am scared,” for once, I stopped trying to be strong. I let the tears stream down my cheek. Mum keeps quiet and locks me in her embrace. I am losing you, I thought. Sooner or later.
“I am sorry, ummi. I failed my exams. I tried. I really tried but I can’t cope. We lost dad and that was hard enough for me. And I know you are still here with me now but with this.. Sickness.. I will be losing you too.. You will forget me. Your own daughter.” I cry harder when I finish. I finally told her what I feel.
She put her hands on both sides of my face and kissed my forehead. “I am sorry. I know, my dear. I thought about it too.. My mind might fall sick and forget you. My heart might stop once it fails. But my soul.. It will always live. And it always love you,” she pause. I don’t understand what it means but it makes me feel slightly better.
“Alisha, your teacher called me. She told me about a project you are supposed to complete. She was shocked that you failed most of your papers and she told me if I can help you out with the project,” She looks at the crumpled paper on the floor and noticed that I have been trying to complete it but to no avail.
“This is the least I can do to ensure you will have a bright future. I know you will be successful. Shall we work on this?” She asks gently.
I nod and we talked about our dreams. Her dreams for me. Apparently, we share the same dreams. After what has happened to me, I now know what I want to be. A doctor. One who will try her best to find the cure to this disease that is eating her up. One who will fight to save patients because I know they are loved and dear to someone out there. We continue to list more and more dreams..
After hours of talking and drawing, mum looks at me. “Alisha, we can dream to have all kinds of wonderful things in this world but there is one ultimate dream I want to have with you and I wrote in this letter for you,” She tucks my hair behind my ear.
“But promise me. You will read this. And you will read this when I am no longer there for you.”
It pains me to hear the last part but I know death is inevitable and if this is her last wish, I would do it. I nod weakly and our promise is sealed.