His Mother's Eyes
He sometimes wonders why his skin is not white like his parents'.
Some kids mock him over about it.
"That's not your mum," Raymond sneered, when Mummy dropped him off at day care. "Your parents don't care about you."
He knows this is a lie, though. Mummy and Daddy love him, so much it sometimes scares him- Daddy, in particular, seems almost hungry. And anyway, he has studied himself in a mirror, and he knows he looks like Daddy. Everyone is always telling him he has Daddy's nose, Daddy's smile, Daddy's forehead.
So why is he then different? His eyes- they are nothing like Mummy's or Daddy's. And this confuses him the most, because Daddy always tells him he has his mother's eyes. Daddy's own eyes will be filled with an odd sort of urgency and longing when he says this, and Daddy will then reach out and stroke his face, gently, like Tam is a leaf about to blow away in a heartbeat, or a porcelain figure poised on the edge of a shelf.
"You have her eyes," Daddy tells him over and over, voice trembling slightly. "You have your mother's eyes."
He then sweeps Tam into an enormous, crushing hug; Tam's nose knocking against Daddy's impeccably ironed collar.
But he doesn't have Mummy's eyes. Mummy has lighter eyes, slightly differently shaped eyes.
Mummy has sad eyes.
This makes him sad, too, and when no one else is looking, he climbs onto Mummy's lap and clings to her neck. He likes the way she holds him- gently, but not like he's about to fall and shatter into a thousand pieces. Sometimes she even buries her face in his hair and he can feel her breathe. Sometimes she shakes, and he thinks she might cry, so he plasters kisses on her cheek.
This makes her laugh, but it is an odd sort of laugh, and once or twice, there has been a sob hidden inside.
He doesn't like it that Mummy's sad.
One afternoon when he climbs on her lap, she even pulls away. He sees her dash a tear away. In his mind's eyes, he sees a delicate porcelain figure, like the ones Mummy keeps by the kitchen window, falling- falling through the air.
"I'm sorry," he says, worried that he has done something wrong. "I'm sorry, Mummy."
She gives a hoarse laugh and shakes her head. Her brown hair moves like a sheet through the wind.
(That's another thing that is different; his hair is nearly black, not like Mummy's or Daddy's.)
"You have nothing to be sorry for," she whispers, almost harshly, but Tam somehow knows she isn't angry with him. "You have nothing to be sorry for, Tam." Her voice breaks a little as she continues. "I'm not your Mummy, though. I- I..." She falters. "I'm the reason you don't have a mother."
This confuses Tam thoroughly.
"But you are Mummy," he insists, reaching out and shaking her arm. "Mummy- Mummy- don't you want me?"
Mummy really starts sobbing at that. She reaches out and clutches Tam tightly, enfolding him into a hug that is almost as desperate as one of Daddy's.
"Oh Tam," she says fervently, "of course I want you. Of course I love you."
Tam lets her rock him in her lap (though he thinks that maybe she needs the comfort more.)
As he closes her eyes, he has an odd sort of flash. He sees a woman with dark hair, and eyes like his, singing softly in a dusty room. She gently strokes his cheek and whispers something he can't hear, then she pulls back, fading away into the darkness. Like the breath of the wind, or a leaf, dancing by on a breeze, she is gone.
But no, this is Mummy, the woman holding him and rocking him and telling him she loves him.
So he pulls back slightly to look her in the eye.
"I love you, Mummy," he says solemnly, and wonders why she silently cries.
A/N: Wow, so I finally wrote this fic. I suppose I must thank my dad for giving me access to his iTunes account, as I finally purchased the 'Miss Saigon' soundtrack and have been listening to 'Now that I've Seen Her' on repeat. I hope you enjoyed this!
p.s. fledge, consider this as a sort of gift fic. I'm working on Ray's perspective from 'Missing Susie' right this moment.
p.p.s. I know this is set in America but I have retained the British spelling for 'Mum' and 'Mummy'. Hope you don't find it too jarring...