She was alone.
That’s how she started each day, and ended each evening. An empty spot at the dinner table, the empty space in bed, those were her stark reminders. Mother, as she called her, had died some time ago. And, while she desperately tried to hold onto the memories – her childhood, her adulthood – they soon faded. The fading memories making her loneliness even greater. Nothing to cling to, but the present.
Mother had told her to live her life, to be her own woman, and never rely on a man to provide anything to and for her. ‘The only thing you need from a man,‘ Mother would say, ‘is his seed.’ ‘He plants the seed, but you feed it, you nourish it, you protect it. You are the one who gives it life. In your belly.’
She did need him at one point. That’s why she called.
She first saw him on the train platform. Tall, with skin so dark, so dark chocolate brown, it shown a blue tint. His auburn eyes. Standing upright, standing so proud. She stared, he ignored. That moment gone. Sometime later, she saw him again, on the same train platform. She stared. He smiled. He talked. She listened. She talked. He listened. Six months later, the seed was planted. Four months later, she left, having decicded that she wanted to tend to the garden on her own. Mother was happy she, her only daughter, had wisely heeded her advice.
Mother could not prepare her for what would happen next.
She was preparing for life, not death. You don’t nourish, tend and protect with the intention that your garden will die. Her grief, beyond her explanation, beyond her expression. Silence. Mother too – swallowing her grief (and disappointment) – stayed quiet. What advice can one give on death, yet on the death of a baby? It would take a year before their silence was fully broken.
Mother was gone three years later. Loneliness descended into her life. ‘Mr Wolf,’ she cried out.
She saw him again on a train platform. Still tall, still so dark, with skin so chocolate, so dark brown, it had a blue tint. His auburn eyes. He stood upright. He stood so proud. She stared. He saw, he ignored. He stood proud. She stared. He looked. She smiled. He stood proud. She talked. He listened. She talked more. He listened. Months later, the seed was planted.
She thought the time had passed for new life to grow in her belly. Yet, something did. It started as a low, low hum. A warmth. A glow. When he held her in his arms, when he kissed her, when they made love, when he talked, when he listened, when he argued. When he touched her. When she longed for him to touch. She felt a new life growing inside her.
She was reborn
She had called for him. ‘Mr Wolf,’ she cried out, but she never thought he would come.