The Question of Forgiveness
Short Story by: Shadow Summit
Most people look upon moving like it’s a step forward. It’s scary, exciting and challenging all at the same time. It’s an adventure because you are moving on to a new section of your life. It is sure to bring new friends, new discoveries and new things to allow into your life.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case for Lacy Kisa. She hated the move, loathed it. For her it wasn’t going to be new and exciting. For her, she felt like she was moving back in time to her miserable existence when she was a teenager. Lacy had moved outside the city to escape and now she found herself forced to go back. Of course she was only moving back for a couple of weeks… or months, but she still hated it.
It had shocked her to find the letter from her uncle sitting tattered in her mailbox only a few weeks earlier. She hadn’t wanted to read it at first, she had been tempted to burn it and erase any existence of it from her mind. However, unluckily for her, Lacy had always been curious. Curious or foolish, Lacy could never seem to see the difference between the two. Her curiosity usually led her into trouble and this time seemed no exception.
Belinda has fallen ill. She’s been admitted into the hospital for a month now and the doctors have realized there is little chance of her pulling through. She’s been requesting your presence and it has come to the point where we can no longer ignore her final requests.
Your old room is still free for you to use and we beg you to return so that Belinda can pass in peace from this world, knowing that you’ve forgiven her.
“Knowing that you’ve forgiven her…” The written words of the letter had left a sick feeling in the pit of her stomach. To return there to satisfy the wishes of a dying woman was one thing. But to forgive her… to forgive a mother for betraying her daughter’s trust? That she couldn’t promise.
Belinda was Lacy’s mother and when Lacy had needed her the most she had kicked her out of her life. Lacy was scarred from then, she’d faced enough troubles to last a life time and she didn’t care if her unforgiving attitude made her seem bitter. Belinda didn’t deserve the title of mother, nor could her dying breathes rectify that.
The journey to the city was hot, humid and all-together uncomfortable. Then the arrival at the hospital did nothing to make her feel any more comfortable, with the sickly smell of chemicals dragging up more than a few bad memories.
Lacy had almost felt sorry for them, when she spotted her uncle in one of the hospital chairs, his head in his hands. His eyes had been dark from lack of sleep and his face was pale and Lacy had to wonder if he should be admitted to have treatment too. It looked as if a weight had lifted from her uncles back when he spotted her in the hallway.
Lacy avoided his outstretched arms as he went to hug her and her icy stance was meant to leave no doubt as to her feeling about coming to the city. She wasn’t here to make friends, she was here to say farewell to her mother.
Her mother lay in crisp white sheets, hooked up to an oxygen machine and several other tubes leading to her arms. Lacy could barely recognize Belinda. Belinda’s once healthy weight had disappeared to reveal the bones of her arms and cheeks. She coughed harshly and sucked in the oxygen as Lacy stood frozen at the door.
“Belinda, my dear, Lacy has arrived,” Lacy heard her uncle interrupt the silence.
Belinda’s eyes flickered open, her gaze looking toward the door to where Lacy stood.
“Hello, Belinda,” Lacy acknowledged, taking a step forward.
“Lacy-Anne, my love, I’m glad you came,” Belinda said huskily.
“I just go by Lacy now, Belinda,” Lacy informed pausing.
“Of course you do, you’re all grown up now,” Belinda stated before glancing behind Lacy. “Where is little Jem?”
Lacy felt anger boil in her veins and she clenched her hands by her side.
“She is at the hotel,” Lacy stated bluntly.
“You should’ve brought her here,” Belinda sighed. “I would have loved to have met her finally. It’s my right as her grandmother after all.”
“You barely have the right to call me your daughter, you definitely have no right to call her your grand-daughter,” Lacy said icily, the words exiting her mouth even as she thought it.
Lacy regretted the words the moment Belinda’s face became strained with pain. It wasn’t physical pain, but emotional as Belinda’s eyes showed the hurt she felt at her daughters harsh words.
Jem, or Jemima, was Lacy’s daughter, her only joy and also the original reason for the distance that now showed between Lacy and Belinda. Lacy had been eighteen when she had fallen pregnant with Jem and Belinda had not been happy. Lacy had hardly been ecstatic with the discovery either, however mistakes happened and she was ready to face the responsibility. Belinda hadn’t been able to forgive Lacy for her relationship with Jem’s father, nor could she forgive her for getting pregnant so young.
Anger and pride separated them, and anger and pride had kept them apart.
“How is Dan?” Belinda asked quietly.
“He’s well. Still annoyed that we had to leave for a while, but he’s well,” Lacy answered, hugging her own arms. “He adores Jem and hugged her for so long I thought he’d never let us actually leave.”
“I’m sorry for judging him too early, I really am,” Belinda stated suddenly, surprising Lacy. “He turned out to be a very responsible husband and father.”
“He always was,” Lacy replied. “When you kicked me out… he was the one who came after me to apologize and to support me and to be my family.”
There was a long silence and Lacy’s uncle excused himself from the room. Belinda was just studying her daughter, a soft look in her eyes. Lacy sat by the bedside for half an hour but they didn’t exchange another word. Belinda’s eyes gently closed and her breathing became regular as she fell asleep.
Lacy waited another twenty minutes before standing to leave. Jem was waiting at the hotel creche and Lacy had been gone long enough. As she reached the door however Belinda’s soft voice caused her to pause.
“You’ll come again soon?” Belinda asked her voice strained.
Lacy had spent years building up anger at her mother and she believed a few words wouldn’t be able to dissolve that. However if she hadn’t have left, if Belinda had been kind and accepting, Lacy wouldn’t have been so accepting of Dan. She wouldn’t have forgiven him for his initial irresponsibility. Life had turned out alright, but the pain of a wounded relationship hadn’t faded. Now she could choose to try and heal or ignore it and move forward. Both would hurt, both would cause her pain.
Lacy turned back to see her mother’s concerned eyes watching her every move. Lacy gave a tired smile but couldn’t form any words. Belinda just nodded her head slightly and Lacy knew that she understood.
It would take time, time they might not have together, but they had to at least try for both their sake.
Hey there Ryllian Recruits,
I have no idea where this story came from but I sat down and wrote it so here it is. It may not be my best piece of work but it’s writing and I believe that all writing can be used to learn more so I decided to share anyway.
I didn’t know how I wanted to end it. Whether to have a good ending or a bad ending so I ended up going neutral. You can come up with your own ending on how their relationship ended. 🙂
You guys are awesome!
~ ❤ ~ ~ ❤ ~