The grieving mother had just returned from her teenage son’s funeral. Death had prematurely claimed both father and son, and left her alone to face life. Tears rolled down her cheeks, as she recalled all the testing times she had been through.
Her marital bliss was cut short by an accident, and the young widow was looking for love.
The untimely death of her husband, and the subsequent legal battle for her toddler’s share in the family estate, had left her exhausted. The inheritance came with a tag, that the natural guardian will hold the money, but could not remarry till the child turned eighteen, and claimed his share.
She met Him on the day she sold the property. She needed liquid assets to bring up the child. He was a Sales Officer in the real estate company – young and charming with an enviable zest for life. He had lost his father early, and seen his mother make sacrifices to bring him up. He could relate to her struggle, and offered support at every step. At that stage in her emotionally shattered life, he was just the medicine she needed.
They lived together, and he saw success in all walks of life. Having seen poverty in the early years, he was driven by a passion for money, and all that it could buy. He never tired of calling her his lucky charm, and the source of all happiness in his life.
They had to combat the social stigma of ‘living in sin’. Wedding anniversaries were celebrated on a fictitious date. He was the much admired ‘feminist’ in hallowed social circles – espousing a woman’s right to keep her maiden name, and not be bound by shackles of any kind. Together, they put up a good show of being a happy couple, hopelessly in love.
Privately, she knew that all was not well. The fact that she was older than him, and he had a glad eye for young women, continually fed her insecurity. She heard stories about his infidelity. The son’s inheritance had multiplied manifold, and was inducing defiant behaviour in his teenage years. She painfully watched the uncomfortable relationship between her son and paramour. She insisted on shared parenthood to deepen the bond, and they had two lovely kids. Though not exactly happy, she could never muster the courage to leave. She was emotionally invested in him.
Then, she faced the most trying time of her life. Her son had turned eighteen, and she was free to legalize the marriage. The rebellious teenager had a row with his stepfather, and left the house.
The ringing phone broke the eerie silence of the night. Disaster had struck. Her eldest son was the victim of a ‘hit-and-run’ case, and was found dead on the highway.
Back from the funeral, he broached the topic, that would surface all the simmering tension between them.
“Despite you, I made it in life, and do not need your ex-husband’s wealth. But now that the legal claimant is no more, it needs to be invested in the future of our kids.”
Her thoughts revolved around the recent tragedy being an accident or murder. The retort was uncharacteristically sharp.
“Despite you, I saved it for their future. Just that they are my kids, not ours. You were not the only one having a good time.”
Written for Weekly Writing Challenge #65 of secretkeeper.net
5 words for the writing prompt
STAGE | SHORT | YOUNG | TEST | LIVE |