The Wishing Star
The Wishing Star7 mins 11.3K 7 mins 11.3K
The Wishing Star
The wind ruffled his shaggy brown hair with its cold clammy fingers. His eyes stared at the distant sky, decorated with a multitude of stars.
There were no hindering clouds disrupting the view of the beautiful stars. It looked like there was a carnival happening up there in the sky today. He giggled breezily at that thought. His small eyes crinkled at the side as he did so.
He loved the night and especially the stars. They were, to him, a magic; created by the God. He didn’t believe in wonders anymore; or in girly-tales. After all, he was 8, and he was a grown up, according to him.
‘I even have facial hair, dad.’ He’d say indignantly whenever his dad called him ‘Kid.’
Kid- he wasn’t a kid; he could bath himself and eat on his own; he got ready for school all by himself and he did his homework alone. So he wasn’t a kid. Not in the least bit.
But he still hoped that he was wrong; that miracle did happen and sometimes wonders would reach you. That somewhere out there, God was looking down at him and was waiting for him to wish for something. Anything.
He never wished, though. He was afraid to face the disappointment and the pain that'd accompany it, when and if his wishes didn’t come true.
The wind mellowed and it was gentle like the fingers of a mother, touching her newborn child, without hurting it. It was tender. He shivered.
‘Close your eyes.’
He did. The voice was so soothing; alluring. It almost sounded like his mother’s voice. Gentle and full of love. It caressed the back of his neck and the hair stood erect on his forearms.
He could feel his mother behind him; her lavender scent and her soft hands. He imagined her curly black hair tied together at the back of her neck; her kind brown eyes gazing at his back with love.
He felt her; it was almost otherworldly. A gentle wind pushed him lightly and it felt like his mother’s touch.
‘Wish for something. There is that shooting star’
He opened his eyes in time to see the burning stars, shooting into the atmosphere, one after the other; like beautiful firecrackers.
His little fingers trembled, as he clutched them together for strength.
He closed his eyes again, as he wished with all his heart. His clasped hand shivered as he lowered them, and as if it was too much, his little legs carried him downstairs in a frenzied rush.
He reached the living room, his heart thudding a violent beat. There was a woman in his living room – a stranger that he had never met. She looked kind and beautiful. Her lips were full with a fond smile.
Her eyes were not brown like his mother’s, but it was a shining blue; and at the depth of her eyes, he found the same kindness with which his mother would look at – when she was alive.
Two long years had passed since she had left him; dad said she was happy in the heaven- but he wanted his mom back. He was sure that she’d be more joyous by him.
As time passed, he realized his mom wouldn’t come back. Not even for him.
Now all he had of her was memories. Memories of her feeding him; reading a bedtime story; kissing him good-night; saying I love you, baby.' He missed it all. And more.
Sometimes he fell asleep with tears, wondering whether she did truly love him or not. She'd not have left him alone, if she did. But his Dad said she loved him more than anything, and she couldn't come back, even if she wished. He believed his dad. Deep-down, he knew his mother loved him more than anything.
“So kid, this is Maria. My co-worker; Maria, this is Mac, my wonderful son.”
“Dad, I’m not a kid. How many times I have to say that?” He asked with a grumpy scowl. His dad ruffled his hair with an “Okay kid, whatever you say!”
The little boy sulked. His big eyes popped out as he glared at his dad.
The woman smiled at him; her eyes shone, as she did. He stared at her in wonder, and flushed a cute pink, when she caught him staring.
“Hey champ, what were you doing in the upstairs?” His father asked as he handed the woman a glass of juice.
“I was wishing on a shooting star.”
He said with a shy look at the woman and smiled hesitantly. She smiled back without hesitation. Her smile was full and he wanted to look at her, smiling, always.
“What did you wish for?”
“Dad, it won’t come true if I disclose it to anyone. You don’t know the rules?” The boy asked with a small shake of his head.
The woman laughed wholeheartedly and he joined with her. It was involuntary. He wanted to smile with her.
He sat next to the woman in the cushion and she asked him about anything and everything. He answered eagerly.
“I’ve two best friends. The boy is Carl and we play football together. The girl is Lilly; she’s whiny, and girly. She reads only a fairy tale, and she pesters Carl and me to play with her Barbie. God, we are men.” He finished huffily.
“I enjoy reading; not a fairy tale. Classics. Carl calls me a nerd. But I prefer the term brainy.” The boy said, puffing his chest out proudly like a soldier.
His father studied them with a small, genuine smile; for the first time his son was talking to someone else other than him, about his hobbies, friends and collections. He loved watching it – watching his son happy.
“Will you come upstairs? I’ll show my Pokémon collections and books.” He asked with so much enthusiasm that she smiled again and nodded. His eyes glittered as she nodded.
The boy grasped her hand in his gentle hold and almost ran to his room, dragging her along. She laughed at his fervor, her voice loving and kind.
When they were alone in the room, the woman sat in his bed as he collected his cards and displayed it in front of her with a proud grin. He looked adorable, and happy.
“My family was dead in the fire accident happened three years ago in our home.” He stopped his descriptions about the cards and looked at her. His eyes widened for a moment as he stared at her.
Thank God, she didn’t look like she was crying. He sighed relieved. He didn’t know what to do with crying girls. Carl and he would run away whenever Lilly started crying.
“I saw that shooting star through the windows too; you know what I wished for?” She asked with a small smile. He nodded eagerly, but then protested, saying that it won’t come true if you said it out loud.
She just smiled; she was so much like his mother, and he liked her. No one could replace his mother and her beautiful smile, but…
“I wished for a son; a family, again,” her voice was barely a whisper, “I hate this loneliness. I want to be happy with a family.”
He didn’t say anything to that, instead placed his little hands around her shoulder in an embrace, with an innocence that only the young children had.
They talked and she cooked for him – an elaborate meal; completed with a chocolate cake. Though his dad had initially rejected the offer, she said she’d do it.
“For Mac. I know he wants to eat a good food. He said so.” Maria smiled and his dad had glared at Mac.
“Thanks kid. I know you hate my food.” His dad had a grumpy scowl, but his eyes smiled. The boy shrugged, “I love you, dad. But you know you are n’t a great cook.” Maria laughed and ruffled Mac’s hair.
Later that night, when she left for home, she kissed him on his forehead. He clutched her hand tightly, afraid to let her go. Afraid to lose yet another woman in his life.
He was scared that if he let her go, she wouldn’t come back, just like his mom. She’d go away and forget him. His little lips quivered. “Promise you’ll come back?” He asked as his father tried to remove his hand from hers.
“I will, darling. I will come back and we’ll have more of our good time, together.” She said as she kissed his cheeks again and again. He kissed her, back.
As she walked away, he whispered silently to the wind,
“I wished for a mom.”
A single tear dripped down his cheek.