Jenny wrote her speech two weeks ago for the annual Mother’s Day event her company has for their employees. Having 80 percent women on staff, it started as an employee relations builder. It’s the first year Jenny won’t have her mother here for this day, and that inspired her speech. Her heart is heavy as she approaches the podium. She swallows hard to clear the lump in her throat.
“Good afternoon everyone and welcome to our annual Mother’s Day luncheon. Why do moms get their day of appreciation? Well, we should appreciate them daily, but this day is for going the extra mile. Why?
She loved you before you were born.
She loves you more than herself.
She wants you to have a better life than her.
She sacrifices for her child starting with pregnancy, altering the body; birth, traumatizing the body; sleepless days and nights caring for the infant, and making sure the needs of her child are met before her own. That love is non-ceasing. We have some of your kids who have prepared something special for you.”
Jenny takes deep breathes, choking back tears as she steps to the side where her seating is. She halts in front of the chair where her mom was supposed to sit. Someone stupidly added her mom’s name tag to a seat, and Jenny lost it, crying uncontrollably.
Dana is exhausted. Her back and neck aches, and her right foot feels numb. Driving nonstop for six hours on an endless, dark road is tough. This spontaneous road trip was thought through with careful detail. As careful as ten minutes notice can be. She saw her chance to leave, so she took it without hesitation.
Dana knew a trip of this magnitude would be difficult, to say the least, but the surmounting issues are taxing. She’s sweating from every pore in her body. Her underarms smell like onions. Her breath tastes like rotten eggs. Her crotch area smells very…unpleasant. It still was a good plan not to use the air conditioner to reserve gas. Dana looks down at the gas gauge, which is close to empty. Now it’s confirmed how bad her car runs on gas.
She pulled an apple out of her food bag, and took a bite. She put the apple back in the bag because her cheek is sore and her face hurts whenever she opens her mouth. She hadn’t spoke to her family in years, but she hoping they will welcome her back. With any hope, her parents are okay and still live in the house she grew up in.
As Dana travels eastward, she has a front row seat in witnessing nature’s beauty. She is in awe of the sunrise. The sun rays beam through the windshield, and the entire inside of the car glowed. It gave her a serene feeling. Dana sees a rest stop is coming in a few miles, and she knows it’s time. Time to stop and ask for help. It is time for a new day.
Lina’s shaking hand reaches for her purse. Everything aches as she pulls her cellphone out of her purse. She swipes the cracked screen for the emergency call button and cuts her thumb in the process.
“911, what’s your emergency?”
“Ple, please… help me.”
“What is your emergency?”
“What is your location?”
“I’m…I’m in the parking lot…stairwell at 1900 Bridewater Street. Somebody…pushed…me down a flight of stairs.”
“Did you say you were pushed down the stairs? Is your attacker still there?”
“I don’t know.” Lina starts to weep. “Please help.”
“Help is on the way.”
“I can’t feel my legs.”
Three days later, Lina is laying in a hospital bed bruised up. Her sister, Jazmine walks in. She taken aback by Lina’s injuries.
“Oh my god, Lina, you should have called me right away.” Jazmine cups her chest. “Are you in pain?”
“No. I’m on enough drugs. I didn’t call because I was ashamed of our argument, and I didn’t feel right reaching out for help. Can you forgive me?”
“Of course. I’m happy to help.”
“I know you didn’t want to move in to be my nurse.”
“Well, this way, we can help each other out. I only needed to stay three months.”
“I should be good after one month, but you can stay for three.”
“Did the police find out who pushed you down the stairs?”
“No. The person hid their face the whole time.”
“Wow. I know cops hate hoodies.”
“Who said anything about a hoodie?”