Jeevika came home tired from work, but knew that tiredness would fade away seeing that beautiful face waiting at home. She made her way through her tiny apartment trying to find the reason for her existence. She found her asleep on the couch with her jacket covering her as she slept innocently. Her face was becoming noticeably smaller and the color of her face become paler and paler. She picked up her daughter with ease, a sign that Riva was truly loosing weight quickly. As Jeevika carried her ten year old daughter to their room her heart was pacing faster and faster. Feeling her daughter close to her heart she could tell she wasn't well, but she also knew her daughter wouldn't tell her anything. All she cared about was her mother getting stressed.
Riva slowly opened her big beautiful eyes that resembled Jeevika's perfectly! Everything about her actually was a mirror to Jeevika. Her smile, her nose, her lips, and most of all her personality. She was as positive as her mother and content with the life and minimal things included in it.
j - "Riva are you okay?"
r - "What would happen to me?"
j - "You don't look so good"
r - "I'm fine now Mom. How was your day? Busy at work?"
j - "Very. Riva tell me honestly is everything okay?"
r - "Well I had a little bit of a fever today, but don't worry Nurse Ellis gave me medicine. She even dropped me home and picked up some food for me"
j - "Riva why didn't you call me?"
r - "I did mom but someone picked up your phone and said that you were in a meeting with your boss"
j - "Did you tell them to give me a message?"
r - "I forgot. Plus I knew I was okay. It wasn't that big of a deal"
j - "Riva it is to me. I'm such a horrible mother. You're the only responsibility I have and I can't even do that clearly"
r - "No you have much more on your shoulders than you would think. You have to work, cook, take care of me and you. Now that you're home can you just hold me tight"
j - "How about you go take a cold shower. It helps your fevers"
r - "Mom do you know how tormenting that is?"
j - "I know but it helps doesn't it?"
r - "Fine' You know I can never say no to you. Why do I even bother sometimes" she said getting up and making Jeevika laugh.
Riva though only ten acted as if she were twenty. She was her partner and the only person she could call family in this world. The ones that mattered left her for above years ago and the wretched man whom the word "father" wasn't even coined was living his own posh life with his new family and new kids. How he hated that man, but would always be grateful for one thing. The gift in disguise, Riva. She was the purest soul to exist and nothing in this world mattered to her, but her mother. She took care of her like she was her mother instead. By the time Riva came out the bathroom she could smell the aroma coming from the kitchen. She went to their tiny little kitchen and saw her mom cooking.
r - "I'm soo hungry mom. I want you to feed me today. I really missed you"
j - "Who else is going to feed my love besides me? she said looking at her frail face.
r - "Mom I'm really tired. Maybe I should just sleep"
j - "Not before you eat and take your medication" she said holding her hand and taking her to the couch with a plate of food.
Jeevika sat there with her daughter next to her and fed her bite by bite. Then Riva took the spoon and fed Jeevika knowing she wouldn't eat and would be worried and monitoring her fever all night long. For the two their life started and ended with each other. They were best friends as well as having the special relationship of a mother and daughter though sometimes Jeevika would get confused on who the daughter was. Riva just put the plate aside and lay her head in her moms lap. She started crying in her lap quietly and this made Jeevika scared.
j - "Riva I'm not leaving you anywhere now till you're better. I promise"
r - "Mom can I ask you something?"
j - "Yeah"
r - "Why did he leave us? Did he not love me?"
j - "Riva he didn't love me. He had a problem with me. You are the most perfect thing in this world, you know that right. There's no reason why no one would ever want to love you"
r - "Then why does he never call? Not even meet me once. Are we really that bad?"
j - "You can never say that. You are the best. It's just that you are the most special gift I've gotten in my life and I'm selfish. I can't afford to even share you with anyone, let alone him. You are mine and only mine"
Jeevika's heart broke when she saw her perfect daughter in this shape. She knew she had breakdowns every once in a while, but she never really confronted her mom about it. Jeevika had managed her life as a single-mother without any help or any partner. But she knew that presence of a father made a difference to her daughter. She wanted someone to get mad at her when she did bad on her test. She wanted someone to keep an eye on her when she talked to boys. She wanted someone to carry her and pamper her. No matter how much love Jeevika gave to her daughter, it could never replace the gap or the space a father had in a daughters life.
The cries were finally stopping and breaths becoming less apparent. Riva cried herself to sleep in her moms lap. No mother could see that' their child crying in her lap feeling she is wrong, feeling that she doesn't have a place in this world. Jeevika took a deep breath but unknowingly tears came out her eyes while doing so. She took her daughter inside their room and placed her gently on the bed. She lay down next to her' more like their heads touching each other and they went off to sleep.
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