Mehreen Ahmed is widely published and critically acclaimed by Midwest Book Review, The Wild Atlantic Book Club, DD Magazine to name a few. A winner in The Waterloo Short Story Competition, her short stories are Shortlisted in Cogito Literary Magazine Contest, a Finalist in the Fourth Adelaide Literary Award Contest, and winner in Cabinet of Heed stream-of-consciousness challenge. Her works are Three-time nominated for The Best of the Net Awards, nominated for the Pushcart Prize Award,Two-time nominated for Aurealis Awards. Her book is an announced Drunken Druid’s Editor’s Choice.
A faint sweet smell hung in the air. It was my mother’s body scent. I smelt it when I cuddled her or hugged her saris. A distinct body smell, only my mother could have had. I looked around for her. There she was. She looked young and pretty. I thought she even looked about my age. She sat by me, smiled and told me how we, her children, never really cared enough for her feelings. We cared for her, she said, but we never really tried to understand her real desires and needs.
“What did you want?” I asked.
“To be understood for who I really was. What, I really ever wanted? ”
“Mother, mother,” I screamed.
“What is it, dear?”
“I’m sorry, stay, stay a bit longer, mother, for this is the only way I can see you, touch you, be in the same space with you,” I said.
“I’ll be back, dear, when you remember me the next time, so long.”
The perfume dissipated. We had been parted by death; life was such a trifle; will I see her again, once we in the same realm? Life disappeared like magic. My parents were like magical creatures—elves and fairies. Partly, at least, who once existed in flesh and blood, now they were in our imagination. I am left only with a memory of this woman and this man who had once mothered and fathered me. In this other reality, where she stood today, a youthful, vibrant person, walking and talking away. When we were both in the same reality, I only saw an ailing old woman in bed with her eyes closed, barely breathing wishing to die. Why? Had she more life now in death than before? Or was it only my burning memory playing a cruel joke?