Mother’s Day by T. J. Emerson EPUB & PDF – eBook Details Online
- Status: Available for Free Download
- Author: T. J. Emerson
- Language: English
- Genre: Domestic Thrillers
- Format: PDF / EPUB
- Size: 2 MB
- Price: Free
Friday 15 September, Royal Edinburgh Hospital
What would she say if she were with me? I imagine it sometimes – the
two of us together. A reckless delusion, but I can’t help myself. My image of
her is never a clear one. How could it be? Sometimes she has my dark hair
and brown eyes; sometimes she is a stranger.
In this fantasy, we are sitting together at a kitchen table. The heart of
any home. In this fantasy, she is calm and willing to listen. I try to explain
why I did what I did to her. I describe the circumstances, give her my
After a while, she holds up her hand. Her reproachful silence is a
demand for truth. No more excuses.
I confess. I tell her that I had to survive. I say that in the end it was
either her or me.
I chose me.
September, twenty years later
I am abandoning her. Leaving her to the care of strangers. Leaving her
here in this tiny room, the last space she will ever inhabit.
I have no choice. I have no choice and this is the best place for her.
These are the facts, but the facts don’t stop me feeling guilty.
She is sitting upright in the narrow single bed, held captive by the
television fixed to the wall opposite. News 24 is on mute, white headlines
tacking along the screen as soldiers in green uniforms dodge the smoking
entrails of burnt-out cars.
‘You’ve got a perfect view of the TV there,’ I say.
She glances at me, bewildered.
‘We’re at Birch Grove Care Home,’ I explain. ‘You moved here from
the hospital this morning.’
‘I know, Grace. I know where I am.’ Her wavering voice suggests
otherwise. The effort of birthing the words leaves her wheezing, her tired
lungs struggling to do what she once took for granted.
This woman is my mother, but sometimes I hardly recognise her. She no
longer looks like an older version of herself; she just looks old. White
wispy curls have replaced her black hair. Withered breasts hang defeated
beneath her yellow nightgown. Only her dark brown eyes have remained
unchanged. We still have those in common.
‘I hope you like what I’ve done with the room,’ I say. ‘I wanted it to
feel homely.’ Mum’s gaze doesn’t budge from the screen. ‘It’s very cosy in
here,’ I add.
The ground-floor room is stifling. An overheated pharaoh’s tomb, a
stopgap between worlds, crammed with treasured possessions – family
photographs, a collection of Neil Diamond CDs, a wooden crucifix hanging
above the bed.
I rearrange the framed photographs on the sideboard. Mum and Dad’s
wedding portrait, my graduation picture, an assortment of holiday snaps of
the three of us. I can barely recognise myself in my graduation picture. My
face was much fuller then, and my hair reached down to my waist. A year
later, I had it shorn into a pixie cut, a style I have kept ever since.
‘Why aren’t you at school?’ Mum says. Is she in the present, asking
why I’m not teaching, or does she think I’m a child again? She keeps
travelling in time, random leaps that make me anxious. No telling where
she might end up.
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