Without A Word


The door slams. I close my eyes as I hear muffled cries from down below. They replaced the screams I had heard 5 minutes ago. I put my book down and listen. Sobs are now coming from the kitchen. I sigh; not again.

The crying ceases and is replaced by loud moans of pain and anguish. I wince at the sound, turning away from the cries. Then, a new noise comes from outside. I get up from my bed and peep out from my window. I see our van roar away into the night. I press my head to the cool glass and watch it fade farther into the distance until I cannot see it anymore. I pull myself away, but my hand lingers there for a moment. When I pull away, all that is left is a small, foggy handprint that soon fades away.

I turn to my door and hear the horrible crying again. I walk up to it, but hesitate to bring my hand to the knob. I listen again to the cries. They soon turn to whimpering, then into hoarse coughs. I wince again.

The knob slowly turned and the door creaked opened. I walked quietly over to my brothers' room and peek in. Sound asleep. I close their door gently. Then I softly make my way down the stairs and into the hall. Movement can be heard from the kitchen. I walk in cautiously, fearful of what I may find. I look in the kitchen, where I found my mother, softy whimpering, sitting on the floor.

Her hair is a golden mess, mascara running down her face in black tears. Her green eyes are unfocused and blurry, as if she is in another world. Tanned arms glitter with dozens of bracelets and are wrapped around her, as she rocks back and forth. She is staring at the floor, not noticing I'm even in the room. This frightens me.

I stand here, uncomfortably, shifting from one foot to another. Startled by my movement, my mother's pained eyes lifted up to see me. She looked at me if she was seeing me for the first time. Maybe she was. I looked back at the woman that was supposed to be my mother, but I did not recognize her. Then all of a sudden, she moved her arms to me, lifting them as if her they were rusted.

I backed up one step, and at the moment, a stream of memories hit me. I saw the time when she wouldn't put together my dollhouse because she had to run out and go to a party. Another one, where I looked out to the stands during my champion soccer game and finding I could not see her anywhere. Then a more recent memory, where she called me a bitch for not coming home on time. All those memories came flooding back as my mother's outstretched arms beckoned to me.

All I do is just look at her, as she pleads to me with her eyes. I sit down in a chair near her and she drops her arms to her sides. Bloodshot eyes look at me with so much pain. I lower my gaze and scramble to look at anything but her. My eyes land on the phone. A lone memory came to me.

It was fall and I was sitting on my bed doing homework. It was late when I got a call from my boyfriend. He said it was over between us. Devastated, I cried on my pillow when I heard a soft tap on my door. I wiped away my tears and asked them to leave me alone. The door opened, and in walked my mother. She took one look at me and came over and embraced me. I didn't have to even say a word. My mother just held me in her arms as I cried. She knew exactly what I needed.

I turn to my mom, and look back at her. Her eyes meet mine. Without out a word, I wrap my arms around her and hold her. And then she cried.