I realize now, looking back, it was hope that drove me to sit there and wait.
It was hope that led to my death.
Hope that she still loved me, had always loved me. Hope that she'd come back for me as a mother is always supposed to do; because I was her child. And a mother would do anything to protect her child.
If I hadn't felt that hope in the depths of my soul maybe I would have moved. Gotten up from where I'd been left and continued on until I was far away from her, from him. From everyone.
Maybe I would have let the hate that should have burned in the depths of my being drive me. Let it warm my limbs and ease the soreness of my muscles as I walked over the patches of ice and through the drifts of snow.
But underneath all of the emotions I'd felt, it'd been there. Telling me to stay.
Telling me she'd come.
And as I sat there and waited and the snow began to fall as the sun dipped below the horizon and the stars welcomed the moon I prayed she'd come soon. I prayed that she wouldn't let herself forget about me, wouldn't allow herself to let me go.
As my feet began to go numb I began fiddling with the threads of the sweater she'd given me that morning. "My love to keep you warm," she'd smiled –in hindsight rather sadly-as she kissed me on the forehead before I'd left with Otousan.
We'd walked for what seemed like hours until I'd begun to lag behind and he'd had to carry me the rest of the way. He eventually set me down and I'd thought maybe he'd grown tired. It'd been months since he'd really looked at me let alone carried me but he began to walk away, leaving me.
When I called after him he told me to wait there. So I sat there because if Otousan told you to do something you did it.
And I waited....and waited and waited for her to come just as she had the last time.
Because a mother would never abandon her child.
Never leave her child to freeze alone in the middle of no where.
I didn't want to admit that she'd finally worked up the nerve-strength maybe- to leave me. But even so, suddenly the sweater seemed mournfully thin and the cold started to bleed into the fabric that encased my small body.
But she'd come.
At the last moment she'd realize her mistake and come for me like before. She had to.
I breathed into my hands to try and warm them but nothing seemed to work as the snow started to cover my legs. Maybe if I'd given up on her I would have stood, found a place to hide away from the storm. But I thought she'd come and find me where she knew Otousan had left me again. I hoped she'd come.
Deep down even then...I knew I was wrong. But I was a stubborn. A boy who childishly believed in the never ending love and compassion of a mother.
I believed in her.
I believed that a mother would always love her child. No matter what the other villagers said about him being a jinx. About him being born under a bad star. A mother wouldn't care when people spat at her door because of her son or when they glared as they passed in the streets. I thought she'd always love me.
I lay back in the snow and stared up into the sky wondering when I'd hear her calling my name, when she'd run up and brush the snow from my small shoulders and carry me home.
I waited until I couldn't see the blue of my sweater through the white of the snow that had gathered on me.
I waited until I was sure my hair must have looked pitch white and my lips blue.
I waited until I stopped shivering and I couldn't find the strength to open my eyes anymore.
I waited until I couldn't hear anything; not even the howling of the wind.
I waited because I knew she'd come.
She just had to.
Thanks for reading,