Hey guys! It's been like two months since I started this one-shot, and only finished it some days ago because I felt like I should finish it. I first wanted to write about Raphaël wanting to give his mother a Mother's day present, as children do in France when this day comes (and maybe in the whole world, but I must confess I don't know what other people do for this day xD).
So that's a shot one-shot, kinda crappy, but well, if you want to read it, enjoy yourselves!
As I'm not an English native, there might be mistakes. I found an online spellchecker, but I don't know if that's enough. Anyway, if you find any mistake, please tell me so I can correct it! :D
Edit: thanks to oRpheusB20 and The Mocking J for pointing out some mistakes I made. I hope there are no more left. x)
I remember the last time I had seen my father smile.
At this time, we used to be happy, all together. We lived happy lives, I didn't know about the sadness of the loss of the closest relatives I could have. Well, life came by, as if it wanted me to stop being content in my pretty little world. I didn't care, we still were together, we were peaceful, it was pleasant.
But it seems like happy things don't last forever.
I soon learned about it.
"Okay children, you know which day today is!"
"Wednesday!" A choir of pupils shouted happily.
"And what do we do on Wednesday?"
They were all excited about the projects they had to do this particular day. It was nearly the last week of May, which meant the arrival of Mother's Day. All the children tried their best, so they could make a special gift, for their special mother. The plan for the day was to draw a card for the kids' mothers; every class in preschool would do this activity.
The teacher, a young lady in her early thirties, told the children to sit at their tables, and to think about what they wanted to draw and write on the cards. Many of them wanted their cards to be in the shape of a heart, and to write "I love you mom" on the inside. A little girl wanted to draw a big and colorful butterfly. A little boy retorted that butterflies were ugly.
"If you want to draw a butterfly, you can, and if you don't want to, you can not to draw one. Okay?"
Her soft voice calmed down the noisy pupils, who then listened to her. She told them to take a blank sheet of paper, and to draft their ideas on it. Then they would raise their hands and call her so she can see their works.
Like she expected things to be, a lot of the rough works of her students looked alike. But she said again and again that what really mattered was the fact that they were the ones to do it, so each gift would be special for each kid's mother.
But one kid took quite a time to call her. She knew he was reserved, but it wasn't about talking with the other kids this time...
"Raphaël?" She called. "Can I see what you want to do?"
He shyly hid his paper under his arm.
"Show me, please." She insisted, and stretched her arm towards his, so she could see what he was drawing. "I can maybe help you..."
He groaned softly, but finally allowed her to take the paper. It was a rough sketch, but there was some ideas behind all the lines and strokes of the wood pencil he used.
"I wanted to write her a song, so she could dance on it." He shrugged. "But I don't know how to write songs."
So he had approximately drawn the silhouette of a ballerina, and somehow thought to imitate the fluffy skirt with crepe paper. For sure he was a clever boy.
"Do you want me to help you drawing more precisely?" He nodded; he wanted his gift to be the very best. "What paper do you want?"
His face turned upside-down; a grin appeared, and didn't leave. He stood up, and grabbed two sheets of paper, a white and a black. He gave his teacher the black one, and asked her to cut the ballerina out of it, while he was folding in two the other sheet, giving it the look of a typical card.
Then he asked her to glue the well cut silhouette on the front page of the card. It looked like the shadow of a dancing woman, projected on a wall by some light.
"Thank you," Raphaël whispered as she gave him his work back. "Mom will love it!"
She went to see her other pupils. She didn't neglect any of them. But in a way, she couldn't help thinking about the red-haired boy, who was trying to draw a straight line where he would write his message for his mother.
"Mom will love it, I'm sure about it!" A big smile appeared on Raphaël's face as he contemplated his finished work. His writing was bad, but thanks to his teacher, it wasn't as bad as it could have been without her.
The bell rang, telling class was over. The parents were waiting outside for the kids to come out. Raphaël took his time, as always, to put his pencils in his bag, without forgetting the card. He grabbed his coat, kept it in his hand―the sun was shining in the sky; it was a beautiful day. In the courtyard, he could hear birds happily singing in the trees. He couldn't wait to get back home and tell his father about the surprise he had prepared.
He looked for the familiar reddish hair of his father's, hidden in the crowd of parents and children.
"Raphaël!" He heard a voice calling his name. "I'm here!"
He finally saw his father, waving not so far from him. The kid started running towards him; his father took him in his arms, laughing.
"How did it go?"
"I made a surprise for mom!"
"Oh, for Sunday?"
The child nodded. His hazel eyes shone with excitement.
"I can't wait to see it!"
His father's big voice rumbled all around them. His laugh made Raphaël laugh too, as they walked back home.
It was a Saturday evening, nothing more common than that.
Raphaël's mother had a performance this evening. Isaac had to stay at home, as nobody could come and look after Raphaël, who was too tired to come and see his mother dancing. His father had let him sleep in the parents' bed, for the child's great happiness. He had jumped on the soft mattress and rolled himself in the duvet, before quickly falling asleep.
When he woke up the next morning, he was still in the big bed of his parents'. It wasn't normal, they should have carried him back to his room when it was time for them to go to sleep. If they didn't move him, then where did they sleep?
He got out of the sheets, and went to his room. Maybe they were waiting in the living room. He wanted to do a surprise to his mother when she would see him coming with the card he did for her, so he sneaked in his own room, where he took the folded paper. Then he walked in the main room of the apartment.
Only his father was there, asleep on the couch. Raphaël's mother was nowhere to be found.
"Dad, wake up." Raphaël's tiny call made his father open his eyes. "Where is mom?"
Isaac glanced at him; he looked really tired, as if he didn't sleep at all. There were some awful dark rings under his light blue eyes. He sighed and stayed silent for one minute or maybe two. He asked his son to sit right next to him.
He paused. He was looking for the right words to use.
"Mom won't come back home."
"What do you mean?" Raphaël's eyes widened in fear. "Not today?"
He saw his father biting his lips. It was more difficult than what he thought it would be.
"Not today, not tomorrow... Never."
He saw tears overflow from the child's hazelnut eyes and fell down his face. He quickly held him against his chest, and tighten him in his arms.
"Shh, it's okay," he whispered as Raphaël cried, his whining muffled by his father's sweater. "It's gonna be okay."
He slowly swung to lull his son.
"We are going to be fine, for her, okay? We'll go through this, for her."
He buried his face in Raphaël's hair, and tried to hold back his own tears.
"We'll be forever together, Raphaël."