As the evening drew in, Esther wanted to be alone. There was a party in town and her lover had worded an invitation, so she called and turned him down. She lied that she had an errand to run, that her mother depended on her for it. And when she heard her friend’s buzz on the phone, inquiring on her absence at the girls’ dinner downtown, she was apt to top her lie to the crown. She said there was a fever bringing her down, and she would need the evening to recline.

Thus from all but her mother she contrived a reason to be away on her own. Then she stole across the lawn and went for a walk in the night, forlorn, whispering solemn wishes to the moon, and letting her mind wander into the unknown. Her heart beat for a world other than this one. This cruel one that wanted her to drown. This one with weights that pulled her down. This one where she had a thousand reasons to mourn. This one that bade the tears rain from her eyes and punctuated each waking moment with pain.

When she felt numbed enough to return, she trekked back the three miles she had gone, in which time most noises had died down, and as she approached home she thought of how to explain her glaring absence with a lie and a grin. But her mother stood with arms crossed on the lawn. When she saw her, she opened her arms and drew her daughter in. She did not utter a word.

Out there in the night they did yet remain, locked in a tight embrace with heart in between. Their breaths heaved in unison. Their tears were drawn on their faces, flowing onto each other’s shoulders. They were rills on the rolling plains of affliction, and yet streams of affection — a reminder that she was not alone; that here she did belong. That she would always have her cornerstone: her mother, with her gift to discern.

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
7 months ago

Hi, Daniel. It is so relatable. But I wonder why Esther wants to be alone? Why did she lie to her lover and friends? On the other hand, the mother is really our partner and sympathizer in any failure, pain, loss, or whatever we go through. Our mother is always there for us extending her love and care. That no matter what happens, we always belong to our mother. Great story.

Julie Harris
Julie Harris(@julie-harris)
Reply to  Daniel Onchoka
7 months ago

In response to Lotchie’s comment, I don’t think any particular events had to lead up to Esther’s sorrow. Any sensitive person on this planet can feel the pain of the world, whether or not we experience it ourselves, and most of us do experience it in varying degrees. Daniel, you wrote the story extremely well.

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Daniel Onchoka
7 months ago

Hello, Daniel. Thank you for sharing about the common dictum in writing. I learn a lot from you. I can’t wait for your more stories here. 

Last edited 7 months ago by Lotchie Carmelo
Margarida Brei
Margarida Brei(@margarida-brei)
7 months ago

Glad that the protagonist did not drown, but felt her sense of belonging in her mother’s presence!

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Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
7 months ago

I love the way you picture the unhappy girl’s need to be by herself, Daniel, her feelings of sadness and yearning for something different; a world, “other than this one.” It’s very well described, as is the reuniting of mother and daughter in the late night. Great writing!

kepha osoro
kepha osoro(@kepha-osoro)
7 months ago

What an interesting story.
You are able to capture and hold my interest to the end.
Once more congratulations for such a good work.

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Julie Harris
Julie Harris(@julie-harris)
7 months ago

This is a lovely, sensitive story, Daniel. I suspect that most of us can relate with the idea of wanting to be alone, to be with our own thoughts, to feel the pain of humanity. At least all of us who are introverts are very familiar with Esther’s feelings. The beauty of her mother’s understanding brought me to tears. You understand the human condition very well, and are especially in touch with the hearts of women. You will make a spectacular doctor.

Bonaventure Ogeto
Bonaventure Ogeto(@bonaventure-ogeto)
7 months ago

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Thompson Emate
Thompson Emate(@thompson-emate)
7 months ago

Daniel, this is a well-written story, a touching one too. A deserved 5-star rating. Your choice and play with words is extraordinaire. I learnt some new phrases like, “stole across the lawn”. The last paragraph is so enriching. I must admit that you are indeed a creative writer.

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