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Words I Must Trust
She sits there, anxiously twisting a lock of her hair. She fretfully glances at the clock once more, and sighs.
“Your nerves are getting to you,” I tell my mother, and she tenderly smiles, her finger still tangled in her burgundy hair. There are a few silver strands flowing like small creeks through the rich russet, though; I never noticed them before.
“You’re right, Danielle.” She unlocks her grip on her hair and puts her hand gently on my shoulder. I notice her nails have been bitten down almost all the way to the root. “Dad will be alright…”
I smile weakly. “You don’t have to convince me of that, mom.”
She nods and looks again frantically at the clock. I know what she’s thinking: the surgery was supposed to end an hour and a half ago.
Her face looks gaunt and tired, wrinkles run worriedly by her brow. It looks like she is the sick one rather than my father.
I am incapable of telling her everything is going to be alright, because no matter what, it’s like she doesn’t trust my words. My mother never trusts the words she is told: if my aunt says she looks great in an outfit, she thinks she is just saying that to spare her feelings. If someone apologizes, she doesn’t accept: she needs facts, not words. She needs action.
Regardless, I try, “You do know that Dad will be okay, don’t you?”
She looks at me and heaves a deep breath. “I can’t believe it until it’s true. You know that, Danielle.” I sigh and become silent, knowing that it is worthless to continue. Her fingers reach for another piece of hair when a stout man waddles in. He introduces himself as Dr. Kuschac.
“I helped Dr. Finski in Mr. Adamowitz’s surgery,” he explains.
He continues talking, and the cold words he says don’t penetrate my mind; they bounce around in my skull until they lose so much energy that they just fall into oblivion. I stare blankly at Dr. Kuschac, and it’s as if the world is on mute, because I can tell he is speaking, but now I no longer hear anything.
I wish that, like my mother, I can’t trust the words for a moment. I can deny, but the facts are all there.
I turn frigidly to my poor mother. Her hand is clutched desperately to her chest, as if she is holding the last fragments of her broken heart together. She slinks to the floor, her eyes filled with anguish… the type of horrible anguish you never want your worst enemy to feel, let alone your mother. She violently sobs choking, tearless sobs.
And I cry, too.