He pushed the door open by a crack, careful not to make a noise, and peered into the crevice. The room within was illuminated with a dim, eerie glow that came from a computer screen. A figure was hunched over the computer, her beady eyes darting from left to right to left again. The light from the computer emphasized her features, highlighting the fatigue in her eyebags and the forlornness in the way her mouth drooped downwards. Rabu felt his heart ache when he saw the shell that his mother has become.
Rabu pushed open the door and nervously walked into the room. His mother barely noticed him; she was overcome with lethargy, and focused what was left of her energy on staying awake to finish her assignment by tomorrow’s deadline.
“Mom…” Rabu began.
Rabu’s mother started. “Rabu?”
“Mom, I need two hundred dollars. It’s for school.”
“It’s in my wallet inside my handbag.”
Obediently, Rabu took two hundred dollars from her purse and left the room.
The phone rang loudly, making Rabu’s mother jump for the second time that morning. Mechanically, Rabu’s mother picked up the receiver and held it to her ear.
“M’am, I need you to come down to the station. It’s your son.”
She fumbled around for words, but her enervation disabled her of speech before the line went cold.
Walking into the station was like reliving the nightmare she fought so hard not to remember. She used to visit him frequently during his work hours, despite his repeated requests for her not to disturb him at work. Nevertheless, he entertained her and his colleagues were both jealous and full of admiration of his happy marriage.
Coincidentally, it was the same officer that reported her husband’s death, who came to her that day. Rabu was following behind him, and Rabu was in handcuffs.
“Rabu!” cried his mother.
“M’am, Rabu has been found guilty of possession. I’m terribly sorry.”
The same words, she thought. ” M’am, your husband has been killed in battle. I’m terribly sorry.” The exact same words.
The thoughts were fueling her anger and she was on the brink of lashing out when Rabu spoke.
“Mom, I’m sorry.”
It was never in Rabu’s intention to hurt his mother the way he did. Ever since his father’s death, his mom buried herself in her four jobs, leaving Rabu all to himself. So Rabu got involved. While his mother occupied herself with work, Rabu occupied himself by being in a constant drug-induced haze.
His last pickup went awry, to say the least. The cops must have been staking out the pickup point for some time now. He should’ve known. He was smarter than this. Now it was all too late.
His words turned her fury into anguish. Tears blurred her vision, and her knees buckled. The police officer caught her before she fell.
“M’am? You alright, M’am?”