Some of you are probably wondering where this random story came from. Well it is not random, but a series I started out in 2016 and never ended.
So here is the concluding part!
I truly hope you enjoy it and leave me a comment. Catch up on part 1-3 here.
Check out Part 3 of my current series The Man, The Shadow: Diary of a Lost Soul 3
The struggle to be honest with myself was beginning to overwhelm me.
Yes, there were secrets that were out but if the words never reached the right person, then the lies remain.
With everything that had happened with my sister, my dad, and even Cole, I needed to find a new balance.
A new equilibrium.
I wanted to pack my bags and leave.
Cole was being so good to me, I felt completely undeserving of his love and patience.
Maybe this was my cross to bear. I was beginning to feel guilt that Cole, a man who just wanted to love me, was dragged into this.
So that Saturday afternoon, I packed my bags and I was headed out.
My plan was to Uber to the car rental pickup, get a car and head to the facility my mom was being held at.
I was dragging the bigger suitcase with my right hand, my backpack on my back and my laptop case in my left hand.
Standing in front of the elevator on the 5th floor, I waited for the car to reach me. As it dinged, the door flung open and my damn luck, Cole was standing there.
Covered in sweat and returning from the gym, he looked confused.
“Where you going Zuliha?”
I couldn’t run back and to get into the elevator, I had to get past him.
“Cole, please just let me go”
“What do you mean?”
He asked as he stepped out and stood right between the carriage doors.
I ran around him and into the elevator.
He followed me in as I tried to force my bags in. I didn’t realize it but I slumped to the floor and began to cry.
Cole put his gym bag down and sat down next to me.
He didn’t say anything but he put his hands around me and held me close. I just sat there and sobbed.
A few minutes had gone by and someone had called the elevator, the doors opened. It was an older lady.
She saw me crying with Cole holding me, and she quietly backed away and left.
He finally spoke and said
“Zuliha, I am totally fine sitting right here with you but I want to make sure you are okay.
Is there anything I can do?”
The pureness of this love towards me actually made me uncomfortable.
I tried to wriggle out of his hold and he clutched me tighter.
He kissed my head and said
“I am not letting you go”
I kept my head down and continued crying as I said
“Cole, before I leave here there is something you should know”
“What is it?”
I sobbed some more and said
“I am just afraid to tell you now because you will leave me but you are the best thing that has ever happened to me”
I could almost hear him smiling. He kissed my head again and said
“Nothing is going to make me leave you. I love you.
And if you are worried about what happened between you and your sister’s husband, I am not here to judge you for that.”
I jumped out of his hold and said
how did you know that? How could you possible know that???”
He looked up at me in this cramped elevator and said
“Your father told me a while back. I guess in an attempt to keep me away from you”
I couldn’t believe it but most importantly, I couldn’t believe how calm he was being.
He got up and gave me a hug.
The last thing he said on the issue was
“I got you”
And it was true.
As we drove towards the facility, I tried to stay awake but it was around 4 am.
We had a few hours to cover and I hadn’t gotten enough sleep before we left.
I had been so anxious.
I imagined what she would smell like. I hoped she would smell nice.
Like flowers on a hillside as the blossomed.
I imagined what her voice would sound like.
Would I sound like her?
Or would she have a rasp in her voice that I found so sexy?
I wanted answers and I think the thoughts racing through my mind, weakened my body.
I eventually knocked out.
As I startled out of sleep, Cole was still driving. I looked out the window to my right as I cleaned the drool off the corner of my mouth with my left hand, I couldn’t tell where we were.
“Babe, how long was I out for?”
I asked as I tried to plot our geographical Location but assessing the distance we had covered.
“Over an hour babe”
It was closer to two hours and I know he was just being modest.
“How you feeling babe?”
He asked before I could even compose my next sentence.
The day was brightening up and the sun was rising on the horizon.
I felt my heart palpitate and I caught myself as I responded to Cole
“I think I’m fine but I’m not sure. Maybe a bit nervous but mostly just excited”
He reached out his hand and I placed it in his.
I thought I was going to stay awake again but I fell asleep again.
I woke up as we pulled up to the facility.
As I opened my eyes, I caught Cole smiling again. It looked like we had been parked for a few minutes.
I smiled again as he leaned forward and kissed my forehead,
He said into my hair
I didn’t respond but gently nodded my head.
We stepped out and headed into the facility. The security seemed tighter than the last place.
I still wished I had answers to why she was here but I was just going to settle with knowing who she was.
As they checked us in, Cole asked if they had her there and they said
That was more than enough but just the tip of the iceberg. I now wanted more.
We couldn’t go through security fast enough.
They finally led us into a waiting room.
Cole sat down but I couldn’t sit still. I stood up and paced the room.
“Babe, we already here. Sit down.
She’ll be out in a second”
He tried to calm me down. I was so nervous.
“I just don’t know babe. What is she doesn’t know me?
What if she has forgotten me?”
He leaned back in his seat and said
“I don’t know a lot about motherhood but one thing I know is that a mother always remembers her own”
He was so smart and those words temporarily soothed me.
But then 12 minutes had passed and she had not shown up.
I was pacing the room faster now.
“She’s not coming Cole.
I’m so stupid. How would I think she would come to see me?”
I was so overwhelmed and I bent down and began to cry when I heard a gentle voice behind me.
And in that moment, I felt my throat dry up and I swallowed hard.
I finally got the words out and said
She began walking towards me and outstretched her hands.
I swear I had never heard something so random, soothe me like those words.
She pulled me in and I melted in her arms.
There were a few minutes where we just sat there with Cole just watching.
Nothing was being said.
She was mom and her eyes scanned me like a TSA machine, making sure she didn’t miss any details.
“You’re so grown”
I smiled shyly as she continued to look at me.
I was glad to see her and feel her but I had so many questions. My eyes were scanning her so quickly and I wasn’t surprised when she said
“I bet you have many questions..”
I looked down at my fingers that I had been fiddling with. A tick I had whenever I became uncomfortable.
“I just want to know what happened”
my voice shook like a child asking a parent to go and play outside without their chores being complete.
She smiled and said
“There is a lot that happened that I don’t want to rehash but I will tell you this, there is nothing that happens that doesn’t happen for a reason”
I think she knew that I wouldn’t be content with that answer.
As she finished her sentence, I was about to speak when she continued and said
“I know you want to know how things happened with your father. But Zuliha, I will invite you to focus on the future. Don’t you think it is Interesting how one of the keys to a fulfilling future is to balance our past with the present?
I will never ask you to let go of all that happened but I want you to know that holding on to the past will never get you anywhere”
I was now upset and snarled back
“What do you mean?
He put you here! He put a baby inside Irene! He repeatedly threatened my life.
How are you asking me to let that go?”
She never moved in her seat or changed her posture. Even though Cole was visibly nervous in the corner.
“Zuliha, I am who I am because of you and your father. People don’t always see it but your identity can hinge on certain people coming or leaving your life.
I made a mistake being with him. I picked the wrong man.
And he was so overwhelming that I drowned, I wish I had no children for him but you are a blessing.
…Ending up here is irrelevant. I had demons that I had to deal with aside from being a mother. Things I never sorted out as a young woman.
Do not spend time searching for a part of yourself that you lose who you already are.
The love you think you will find in people will never be enough…like your sister’s husband. You have to fill yourself with your own self-love and navigate the world as such.”
By the time she stopped talking, I was crying
She rose and came to sit next to me. she said
“Don’t cry. Life is meant to be a rollercoaster. You don’t know how you get on it but you know eventually it will slow down and it will stop.
Make the best of the ride”
Struggling to speak underneath the tears, I replied and said
“I want that but I am just so sad that I missed most of my life with you. So much time has gone by.
I feel like my life would have been different if I had you in it all this time”
She chuckled and replied
“Or it could have been worse. There are men and women in the world today that are silently watching the lives of their loved ones fall apart with no ability to save them.
We have now. You know where I am and I am getting the help I always needed. Let us make good use of our time going forward.
I at least want to be alive to watch you marry this fine young man sitting here…”
We all smiled as Cole looked the most assured and uncomfortable in the same breath.
We chatted for a few more minutes as we caught up on each other’s lives.
Then as we were about to leave, she pulled me back and said
“I know he is not your favorite person but he is going to need you.
Lung cancer. It’s really bad.”
I sighed and nodded.
There was a smile in my heart. Even though I know it wasn’t a good thing to think.
It had now been 3 years since my father passed. It was mere months after my mother had told me had cancer.
We talked once before he died. I tried to get him to take responsibility for what he did but he was stubborn and unapologetic.
I did not attend his funeral and I am frankly glad that chapter closed forever.
Every second Sunday of the month, Cole and I would drive up with David, our son to see my mother.
She was getting worse but giving so much love. She was still unhappy that Cole and I had David out of wedlock.
But this particular Sunday, we had news.
As we sat watching a movie together, I leaned over to her and flashed a ring!
She jumped out of her seat and squealed, startling a laser focus Cole and a napping David.
She hugged me and said
“I am so happy!”
We danced briefly and she beamed the rest of the evening.
She would not attend my wedding to Cole a year later.
She passed in her sleep that night.
And she was right about time, the short amount we had was priceless.
She met David and I, while she gave her blessing to marry Cole.
I shed a tear because I selfishly wanted to keep her longer but I was grateful that I found and loved my mother.
Thank you for reading and commenting. You are highly appreciated.
© 2017 #WhatTheHeckMan
One thought on “Zuliha 4”
Wow…I truly got something out of this. Zuliha is so relatable. Felt like I was looking into a mirror while reading this. Much needed. Sigh, the Wordsmith strikes again.