Don't Look Back 1/2

By Drum Digital
26 December 2013

"MOM, I'll be okay!" Busi threw her arms around her mother. "After all, you've prepared me well for the big bad world. I'm more than capable of looking after myself." Esther smiled and shook her head as Busi knew she would. She loved to see her mom smile because lately she had not had much to feel happy about.

"You know your father would have been here if it was at all possible," said Esther. They had driven up from their home in Queenstown to Port Elizabeth where Busi was going to study journalism at PE University.

"Mom, it's okay." Busi rolled her eyes. "You don't have to make excuses for him. He could have been here if he really wanted to. He chose not to come."

Esther opened her mouth to defend Tefo then just as quickly changed her mind. There was no point in lecturing Busi about her father. She had never known anybody as honest and outspoken as her daughter. There was just no way you were going to pull the wool over Busi's eyes, she thought. Esther was going to miss her terribly.

Busi hugged her Mom again and said, "I hope you're going to be okay, mom. I hate to think of you all alone in that big, old house. You should sell it, you know."

Esther grimaced. "Your father wouldn't hear of it. And besides, it's always there for you and your sister and brother to come home to."

"It's only bricks and mortar," said Busi, not unkindly. "You need something else to do but clean that old house and maintain the garden the way you do, mom. You should channel that energy into something more positive."

Esther laughed out loud at her daughter's remarks. "I'm going to miss you so much, darling. But I'll think about what you said."

Busi looked at her mom and said, "Cool. I love you, mom. I promise I'll be a good student and study really, really hard. I'll make you proud."

Sometimes she was so grown up for her age it frightened Esther. Lately she had be- gun to wonder who was mothering whom.

"All I want is for you to be happy, darling. Have fun and go to parties. Make lots of friends."

"Now that's a turn up for the books," Busi teased. "Can I have that on record, mom? Of course I'll have fun and party too. I'm excited and terrified at the same time. Am I normal?"

For a second Esther caught a glimpse of her daughter as a baby. She had an over- whelming urge to take Busi into her arms and run away with her. Her baby was going out into the world and whatever mistakes she made would be hers. She wanted to protect and nurture her all over again but it was too late now.

Busi gave her mom a final hug and they parted. "See you soon, darling." Esther was so choked up she could barely talk.

"I'll phone you tonight," Busi promised as she disappeared behind a huge glass door.

To be continued...

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