Doris was wonderful but her mood swings were polar opposites. If you were to meet her, it’s hard to tell if she would be up or down.
Doris was especially spritey that Saturday morning, humming happy tunes as she bundled her kids into the yellow taxi she hailed all the way down the street.
Even though she promised them all was well, work was great, she got a raise, and she was taking them out to the mall for a well deserved treat, they knew better than to be excited.
They slunk quietly towards the cab, careful not to upset her; seriously doubtful they would make it to the mall. Doris was like a nuke. It could explode if she got ticked off by even a hairs tickling. Doris was like a room saturated with leaking gas. You’ve got to be careful of sudden move; you’ve got to slink around, air it all out, and avoid an ignition. There’s no telling what her ignition could be, so all the kids did was just try. Hope for the best, and expect the worst.
Josi was 12 and the eldest. He had never been to the mall, but he had heard his mother tell so many stories about how huge and amazing the place was. In her words, it was like getting a taste of London.
He huddled his siblings up, and made sure the taxi was locked and secure. Keni was closest to the car door and he was fond of touching and opening everything. The car had AC.
The car engine revved as soon as Doris entered and shut the front passenger door and Josi felt a ray of hope. Maybe this one time, Momma isn’t moody and we can truly be happy. But it’s unfortunate, bi polar disorder makes you afraid of happiness. It is worse when you have no idea what you are dealing with, just like Josi and his siblings.
He looked at the twins whose broad smiles revealed they were missing their front teeth. Josi smiled back. “We are going to small London” he whispered. The driver cranked up the AC, and they shivered with glee.
“Oh wait. I forgot something” Doris said as she opened door and jet out of the cab before Josi could ask her what was going on.
“Dear old Mom” Josi muttered and shook his head. She was such a forgetful spider. Always losing things and forgetting this and that. That was usually the root cause of her mood swings. Thankfully, she has been better lately.
She was gone for more than a while. When cab driver got too impatient, he asked them all to get out of the vehicle. Josi rushed into the house to look for his mom, the little ones following him closely.
Doris was confused. All she wanted was to take the kids out to have a great day. She was feeling extra happy and she had some money to spare. All she wanted was to change her black sandals for the pink ones that matched her purse.
The mall was a nice place. Who knows? She could meet a fine man willing to care for herself and her brood. She needed to look good enough.
But she searched and searched and searched till she was frustrated.
Sweat messed up her make up, and her hair was sticking to the back of her neck. She searched under the bed for the sandals and when she rose up; her jeans were all dusty and stained. The kitchen counter top was stained too. There were flies having a party on the dirty plates. She had meant to clean them, she just happened to forget. She was feeling choked up. The room was so small, painted in an odd shade of pink. “Who paints their house pink these days?” She moaned.
“And those kids!” Doris was sweating and hyperventilating. Her nose was blocked from crying too much. She didn’t even realise she had started crying. “All I wanted was a good man, but they kept leaving me. One died, and two walked away. Four kids, three fathers, everyone thinks I’m a whore. I don’t even have friends. Nobody likes me. Oh God!”
Doris’s ramblings sent her slumping on the floor. She was tired. “Why was the universe working against her so much? All she wanted was a day out with her children. She had promised them Dori momma would never cry for no reason.”
She didn’t know when the first bead of tears trickled down her cheeks, and then the next, but her face was marred in tears, sweat and mucus.
“I can do better than this, I should do better. My children are waiting for me.What’s in a shoe? She thought to herself.
Still, she could find neither will nor strength to get up. All the memories of her sorrows and disappointments spiraled and climaxed in that single pair of shoe she couldn’t find.
By the time Josi and his siblings found Doris, her wrist was slit open, and the spot on the rug where her hand rested was deeply soaked in a thick spud of red stain. She looked just as miserable as she always felt. Josi knew this time, he couldn’t bring her back from her misery like he usually did even if he asked the twins to dance, while he did a double back hand spring. It was over, and they had no one to run to.