I'm playing mother tonight. Or is it doctor, or nurse? Whatever role I am playing, it's not my own. I'm sure.
I'm the kind of person you meet for the first time and then nickname “Ice Queen”. I am always cool and composed. You can never tell how I am feeling or what I am thinking. Letting people know of my emotions is to give an important part of me away. It makes me vulnerable, and I hate that feeling. I have never kept a diary, not even as a child; mainly for fear of someone reading my thoughts. I never talk about my problems with anyone.
I can pretend to be cold hearted. So cold that if a person drops dead in front of my eyes, I will neither shed a tear nor will I panic. I'll simply stay calm. Why am I a rock with no heart? I don't know.
When my mother asked me to sleep in her bed tonight, I simply shrugged and said, “Why should I?”
She explained that she was having trouble breathing and was hoping I could keep an eye on her in case (God Forbid) something was to happen. I just stared back at her. I was shocked and wanted to cry. But, of course, I didn't. I picked up my pillow and went to her side.
In my mind I thought of every possible worst-case scenario, and the things I would have to do. I kept the telephone and car keys right next to me, just in case. I never took my eyes off her chest, to watch it rise and fall. I thanked God for her every breath, and then prayed for the next.
When she suddenly wakes up, I turn my face. I pretend I'm just writing (writing this). I didn't want her to think I was worried, or that I haven't slept a wink so I could watch her breath. I don't want her to know I'm scared of losing her. I'm not just scared; I'm petrified.
I am talking about my mother! The only person in the world who would do anything for me, and I for her. So why don't I want her to know that I, too, care?
I'm trying very hard to search my memory for a time when I told her the words “I love you”. I failed. It finally hits me like a slap in the face: I am truly a coward, a cold-hearted coward.
Isn't it an unspoken rule that all mothers love their children and all children love their mothers? If she had never told me, “Midooni cheghadr dooset daram?”, would I now know that she does? I can't help but wonder.
She must know. How can you raise someone for so long and doubt his or her love? Does she know that I love her? Does she know that I would gladly give my limbs, my organs, my heart and my life, just so I wouldn't have to see her suffer? Or so I wouldn't have to ever live without her.
Does she know that I pray for her safety, health and happiness every waking minute? Does she know that I miss her when she's away, even if I don't say anything and never call?
I pray she knows that I love her. And I hope that someday I get the courage to tell her all these things. I hope I get that chance before it's too late. If I don't, I will never forgive myself.
But right now, I'm still a coward. All I can do is sit here, pretending to be wide-awake and very busy writing (even though I am having trouble keeping my eyes open). I will watch her all night. I will watch the continuous rise and fall. I will listen carefully to hear her breath. And I will pray to God to keep her safe.
Maybe someday, before it's too late, I'll have the courage to tell her how feel. I would tell my mother that I love her more than words can ever express, and more than she can ever imagine.