The suitcase stood just inside the main door of the house. It had a push and pull mechanism. It was pink in colour with bright yellow flowers embossed on it, a present for herself on her twenty fifth birthday. Though it didn’t look it, it was quite roomy inside and her rather substantial wardrobe had fit in very well. As for her, she wore a short violet dress, the one that skimmed her figure just so and made her look and feel like a million bucks. After all, just because she was going on a long trip didn’t mean she had to look bedraggled. If that made her vain, then so be it.
She walked down the hall to look in on Mavis, her baby. She lay there in her crib, one small hand curled up under her chin, dead to the world in her sleep, as if all was right in her world. To her, it probably was. I mean what did she know? She was only a baby, happy just to be fed and changed.
Oh my baby, she thought, why is it that after all this time, I still feel nothing when I look at you?
Growing up she’d always wanted to be a mother. She had many dolls that she practised her nurturing skills on. Many were the times she created a tea party and made mud cakes to ‘eat’ . She watched her mother with her little sister and tried to emulate. To her, children were a delight and she couldn’t wait to have her own. He or she would be loved above all others.
She met him, the man of her dreams, through a mutual friend and immediately knew her life would never be the same. They had what is known as a whirlwind romance, and before she knew it, he was her husband. She had a wonderful time playing house for real. He gave her carte blanche over the household. Maybe she didn’t see him as much as she wanted, that it was extremely rare to find them in the same room at the same time, but he had to work; ,didn’t he? How else would she get everything she desired?
Then she got pregnant, and it was the happiest day of her life. Who knew such joy was possible, that you could feel as though your smile could light up an entire solar system on its own?
It was a relatively easy time for her. It seemed like in the blink of an eye, she was beset by labour pains and it was a very fast ride to the hospital. After two hours, she held the baby in her arms and felt…
She tried. Oh, how she tried! There is no one in this world who is without sin. What kind of mother did not love her own child? Surely, that was a sin.
She had to leave. She just couldn’t take it anymore, all the pretense. The child would get another mother, someone who would feel. She lifted her right hand, as if to touch the child’s cheek, but she left it dangling in midair. Only a mother had that right. She, on the other hand, was just a woman who had given birth.
The door slid shut with a muted click as she closed that door for the last time.