“Wake up! It is time for you to go to school.” This didn’t make the 10 year old move a bit. It was a routine for Tyler. His mom called from the hallway so he got dressed and into the school bus on time.
“Are you going to listen to me?
This is the last warning.”
These words did have an impact as he stirred among the bed sheets from the bed post to the other side. Sleeping, like any other child of the world was dear to Tyler. He was not lazy, but just not looking forward to school today. They were about to be graded on their math paper and the numbers had some sort of enmity with Tyler. He was dreading the day and the jeers from his classmates peeking into his paper.
Hazel eyes and a mop of red hair with some freckles across the face, this was just like any other fifth grader. He had braces fixed across a set of crooked teeth. With haste he finished his routine to be on the table for breakfast. This was his favorite time of the day!
He could smell them right from the stairs. Although he lived alone with his mom, she never made him feel like he missed anything in life. ‘Dad’ is the word he never really cared about. He loved his mother more than anything in the world and displeasing her meant another day without her ‘magical hugs’. That is what she called them, right from the time he was a baby Tyler got a hug at the beginning of the day and one at the end.
He looked forward to the warm and fulfilling hug from his mother. It begun from one odd experience, the day his mom dreads even now.
Shopping in a mall with a mere two year old Tyler she entered Sears’s store. It was the holiday season and clearance sales were common. There were hundreds of shoppers around the Centre, but only one mommy for Tyler. They were looking for Bugs Bunny that Tyler loved. Mom found the best bunny out there, almost full size. She put Tyler down to hold the soft toy and there is a mad rush of people around her.
Suddenly she looks besides and there is no baby to be seen. Gun shots are heard and all she can think of is her innocent toddler. Panic stricken mother did not even think about the safety measures she had to follow during such events. She looked all around the place, all through the kids section. Two men announce that it is a robbery and they are supposed to lie down and quiet. She was behind a pillar that saved her from being seen directly by the men. Two trolleys full of toys kept her view blocked as well.
Heart beating fast and sweat beads appear on her forehead. Young Tyler is all she has got in life, idea to find and save her child is all she could think of. She did follow the orders and lay down, but only to get a
good close look at her son’s whereabouts.
Her heart was pulsating and just felt like it may come out any moment, all the world crumbling down in front of her. She suddenly panicked thinking about the gunshots. What if one of them hit her baby? Still a mother’s heart never gives up on hopes of finding her child hale and hearty. It was then at the moment when the world came to an end for her when she saw him cringing to the cash counter close to her left.
Astounded by the fact that the people just came in to rob the store, she is cold thinking about her son. He just stood few steps away from the masked man clad in black with a revolver in his hand. Any move and he could be dead in seconds. Suddenly she remembered about her mobile in the side pocket. It had emergency contacts. Slowly she moved her hand to the pocket to quietly send an SOS to the emergency number. Meanwhile she dialed the number of the telephone booth at the end of the store. Hoping the men will go away from the cash counter due to the distraction. Her trick worked and they were annoyed by the constant ringing of the phone.
As the men moved, she crawled down to her son and squeezed him to safety. It was not possible to step out of the place as they were surrounded from every side. All she did was pray for the authorities to receive her message and rescue them from these misanthropists. In no time there were more gun shots and crime control department got everyone out of the building safe and sound.
Since that day Tyler gets a tight hug from his mother each dusk and dawn.
‘Mom, will you get mad at me if I score badly at the assignment?’
‘I will never get mad at you my cherub. Just make sure you put in your 100% in whatever you do!’
‘Hmm’ He wonders if he actually had put in efforts or the digits just created a haze in his mind.
‘Eat your pancakes now; the bus will be coming anytime now’.
‘I don’t want you late for school again.’
‘I got to go mom! Have a good day. ’
He had rushed out of the door by the time she called him, forgetting all about the hug that he was looking forward to. This gesture stirred mixed emotions in his mom. She was sure Tyler had a lot on his mind, but she just wanted him to enjoy the childhood. The period of her life she doesn’t cherish often.
TO BE CONTINUED