People say the one who is weak surrenders, while I think they are the strongest person who just lost the will to stay strong.
Sometimes, surrendering means liberation. No fight, just acceptance.
Expectation fuel up the fire inside you... a fire to fight for your dreams. However, acceptance calms the chaos inside you... helping you to make peace with your situation.
That’s why I have stopped expecting things, a long time ago.
But am I truly at peace? This is the question, I ask myself every single moment of the day.
However, I can’t find its answer.
It is not that I am not satisfied with my life, I have worked hard to be where I am today. But still, there is something which is missing... I am missing. I am a happy mother, but am I a happy person? No, I am not and I know can never be.
Liam is the reason why I am happy as a mother, but Avery in me doesn’t have any reason to be happy.
One by one she has seen her happiness vanishing before her eyes. She is afraid to be happy, she is afraid to laugh... she is simply afraid of her fate.
Looking at my first picture with Liam, I smile. This moment when I held him for the first time is ingrained in my mind forever. Honestly, I have forgotten the pain, the suffering which I have gone through because all I can remember seeing his beautiful face for the first time.
This is the picture which I see every morning to remind myself, Liam is the purpose of my life... my happiness, my world.
Even after everything, I wanted to share that moment with Alec. Because a part of me was never ready to accept that he never loved me.
Giving in to that part of me is not easy, I don’t even know whether I will ever be able to give in.
When I told him, I want him to be happy I truly mean it. I want him to find someone who can bring happiness into his life. I want at least one of us to find their happy ending. And I want that one to be him.
Somewhere, it is his guilt, his regret that wanted him to make things right with me... to turn the things the way they used to be. However, once a moment has been passed it can never return. So, what is there to wish for something that is a part of the past?
When I hear the doorbell ringing, placing my laptop on the table, I cross the living room to answer the door.
Opening the door, I see Alec standing outside the door.
“Hey.” He smiles when I remove the door chain and open the door completely.
“You know, anyone can easily break this door chain?” He frowns as he looks at the door chain when I close the door after he has entered. “It is not effective or safe enough.”
“This door chain helps me to stop my kid from running outside as soon as he gets a chance since he can’t reach this door chain and also he still hasn’t figured out how to open this.” I press my lips together, “So, it is effective.”
“Where is he?” Alec asks looking around.
“He is taking a nap, you can go to his room.” I walk past him back into the living room. “And don’t scream if you step on a Lego piece. Then you have to tend an injured foot and a grumpy kid, because you have disturbed his nap, and it is not fun at all.”
He quietly chuckles and follows me to the living room.
“No, I have come to meet you actually.” He turns serious, “I have got a new assignment, and I will be going for a few days.”
My heart drops as soon as I hear these words. Because I know his work involves dealing with a lot of dangerous situations that may have unexpected outcomes.
However, no emotion leaks from my neutral expression as I silently nod my head.
“He is turning six next week.” I inform him, “What do you want me to tell him?” Biting inside of my cheeks, I stare at the blue color carpeted floor.
“Simple, that his dad will be there to celebrate his birthday with him,” he replies instantly, “I have already missed so much, Avery, I am not going to miss anything now.”
“Wow, six?” He suddenly chuckles in disbelief, “He is six already.” There is a hint of sadness hidden in his tone.
“Do you want to see his pictures when he was a baby?” I quietly ask. “I used to click his picture every single day because Pops had ordered me to send him his pictures every day.”
After a moment, he slowly nods his head.
Picking up, my laptop I open the folder which is stocked with Liam’s pictures.
Wanting him to give some alone time, I pass him the laptop and make a move to leave but he grasps my hand stopping me from leaving.
“Please, sit here with me.” He pleads, “I want to live all these memories, of our son, with you.”
He clicks on the first picture still holding my hand.
“He was so small.” His voice barely above a whisper as he looks at Liam’s picture soon after he was born.
A lone tear rolls down his cheek as he lightly brushes his fingers on his picture as if he is actually trying to touch him. He simply keeps on staring at his picture like he is trying to live that moment.
Blinking, I look away not able to see his pain.
I turn my face to look at him when I hear his faint chuckle only to find glancing at the picture of one-year-old Liam when he is stuck in his crib hanging upside down.
He keeps on watching his pictures and asking me so many questions about him about what was he like at that particular age like he wanted to relive all those moments through my memories.
Pitter patter of small footsteps, makes me looks towards the stairs as Liam walks down while scratching his head messing his already messed up hair which stands in all directions.
As usual, he crawls into my lap then he kisses my cheek and rests his head into my chest. Leaning on the couch, I rub his back gently while inhaling his sweet smell.
Liam extends his hand in Alec’s direction silently, Alec comes closer to him looking at him fondly.
Sitting up slightly straighter, Liam kisses Alec’s cheek just like he has kissed mine, and then he again slumps back in my chest.
Alec’s whole brightens up his eyes meet mine, and this is the first time I have seen him this happy since I have met him.
And I like seeing him happy, somewhere, it makes me feel good.
I am glad Liam doesn’t hate Alec, because Alec has already suffered so much he doesn’t need to suffer anymore.
Since Liam and Alec are busy doing something in the backyard, I grab this opportunity to arrange Liam’s bookshelf.
I bought some more crafts books for him because he loves to do crafts.
“No.” Liam loudly giggles as Alec carries him holding upside down inside the room. “Put me down.”
Alec walks to his bed and throws him on his bed, which makes him laugh even louder.
“Again!” He stands up and jumps in Alec’s arm.
After making Alec throw him on the bed for a few more times he lies on the bed like a starfish.
“He is such a goofball.” Alec smiles looking at him as he walks to me.
“What are you doing?” he asks as he picks up Liam’s book.
“Nothing, just arranging his stuff.” I shrug.
I watch him rubbing the back of his neck, with a helpless expression on his face as he looks at Liam then back at me.
It is not difficult to notice that he doesn’t know how to tell Liam that he is going away for a few days.
“Liam, come here,” I call him.
“Sit here.” I pat my lap and when he sits in my lap I give him a tight hug.
“Dad will be away for some time because of some work.” I kiss his temple, “He will not be able to come and meet you for a few days.”
“Why?” He speaks in a quiet tone, “I don’t want him to leave me.” Turning his head, he looks at me with a small pout.
“Sweetie, it is dad’s work, he has to go.” I smooth his hair, “But he will be back soon.” I look at Alec who looks torn up seeing Liam upset.
I hope he will be back soon.
“Alec, have you told him how awesome is your work?” I glance at Alec, “Why don’t you sit here and tell Liam?”
Alec sits in front of us, but he has a clueless expression on his face as he looks at me.
“I-” He looks at me helplessly not knowing what to say.
“Remember, how I have told you that there are many bad people in this world?” I ask Liam and he nods his head in response. “Your dad fights with those bad people.” Shifting Liam in my lap, I look at him in the eye.
“Really?” Liam looks at Alec in awe.
“Yes.” I smile and nod my head, “Isn’t it so awesome?”
“So, is he a cop?” He looks at Alec with wide curious eyes.
“No, he is not a cop, but he still fights with bad people.” Running my fingers, I push back his hair that fell on his forehead again.
“So, now if you will not let him go, then those bad people will think that Liam’s dad is weak and is afraid of them.” I slowly nod my head, “Do you want them to think that your dad is weak?”
“No, he is not weak; he is very strong.” He shakes his head angrily, “He is so powerful that he can beat all the bad people with one hand.”
Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but I will let it slide.
“So, now will you let him go?” I ask him.
“Yes,” he happily says, “Have fun beating bad people.” He looks at Alec. While Alec looks completely stunned and speechless.
“But, listen to me, you can’t tell this to anyone. Okay?” I firmly tell Liam, “It is just our secret, mom, dad, and Liam’s secret. If someone asks anything about your dad’s work, you can’t tell them all this. Because we don’t know who can be bad people’s friends, so we have to be careful, right?”
“Okay.” He seriously nods his head.
“Good boy.” I kiss his forehead and smile at him.
Suddenly Liam jumps from my lap and runs to the bathroom saying, “Pee-pee.”
“Aim at the target, soldier,” I half-yell after him hoping he will hit the target sign which I painted in the toilet bowl, “And don’t forget to wash your hands.”
“It was this simple?” he asks in disbelief.
“Yes.” I nod, “Truth is always simple, however, to hide one lie you have to build a web of lies.”
“Children are very sensible, even more than we know, we just need to learn to communicate with them. ” I shrug, “We don’t need to lie to them, we just need to tell them the correct thing in a way that their small brain can understand.”
“You never fail to surprise me, Avery.” He gives me a small smile, which drops after a moment as he turns serious, “Would this have been this simple if I had just told you the truth?”
How I wish, Alec, you would have just told me the truth. Maybe then our story would have been different.
“Maybe,” I answer him honestly, “But it is a little too late to think about that now.”