A Heartfelt Gift
“1… 2… 3” Monika counted until the last one. “There are fifty roses. That’s enough, I think. Mama will be happy to see this,” Monika said while returning home from the flower boutique.
A year ago, her mother had to be sent to a hospital in a nearby city. Though she didn’t quite understand what sickness her mother had, she understood it was something serious. It had scared her so much that she cried for two whole days until her father explained that her mother would be fine and return home in a few months.
Since then, she had been waiting and praying for her mother to return safely. Now all her prayers have been answered. God has cured her mother! When she heard the news from her father, she was ecstatic but was immediately disappointed to know that she wouldn’t be going to the hospital to bring her mother home.
“Wouldn’t it be nice to prepare a welcome gift for your mother while you are at home?” her father said to Monika. That’s why she had gone to the flower boutique to buy roses, her mother’s favourite flower.
*Ting* *Ting* *Tong*
A slight tug and ringing sound brought Monika back from her thoughts.
“Huh?” she said as she turned to see who was tugging at her cloth. She saw it was a cow. The ringing sound came from a cowbell it wore. Seeing the huge creature up close and tugging at her dress scared her. She shrieked in fear and tugged at her dress to free herself. After a couple of tugs with her feeble arms, she freed herself. But in the process, she fell. Without looking back, she ran, fearing the cow would return.
“Monika, look who is back!” Monika’s father said, opening the door of the house. He was met with only silence. “Strange. Where did the girl go?” he said.
“What happened?” her mother asked as she entered the house behind her husband.
“Monika stayed back to prepare a gift. But now, she is nowhere to be found. Where did the girl go? Has she gotten herself into another trouble?” her father said, worrying about his little mischief-maker.
But her mother smiled and replied, “Don’t worry. I am sure Monika is fine.”
After escaping the cow, Monika had raced towards her home. But on reaching her lane, she realized that she had dropped the flowers when she had fallen earlier. Though she wanted to go and search for the flowers, she was scared of the cow coming again. In the end, she decided to go to the flower boutique again to buy new flowers.
“Sorry, dear, we do not have the roses anymore,” the old woman in the flower boutique replied when Monika asked for roses. “Why don’t you take the tulips? I have tulips of different colours.”
“No. My mother only likes roses.” Monika said tearfully.
The old woman thought for some time before replying, “How about this? I will teach you how to make roses, so stop crying, ok?”
“Ok,” Monika said, nodding and wiping her tears.
“Where were you?” her mother asked, getting up from the sofa after hearing her daughter enter the house.
“I… I had gone to get you a gift,” Monika replied, holding a paper flower up while looking down in embarrassment. “I… I am sorry I couldn’t…”
“Wow!” her mother exclaimed. “Did you make this for me?”
“Y… Yes,” she replied, looking up at her mother. “The old lady in the flower boutique taught me how to.”
“It is so pretty. Thank you,” Monika’s mother said, taking the flower and hugging Monika. “I missed you, Momo.” Calling Monika by her nickname.
“I missed… hic… you too, Mummy,” she said, tears welling up in her eyes.
“Sorry to disturb the mother and child reunion,” Monika’s father said as he came into the room holding a guitar in his arms, “but I have gotten everything ready in the garden. So, let us hurry before the food gets cold.”
The rest of the day until the night fell, the family enjoyed themselves eating, singing and filling each other with stories of the past year. As night fell, Monika looked up at the starry sky and made a final wish before heading back inside.
“I hope we can always be like this.”
This story was inspired by this writing prompt, These Three Things, from the “Promptly Written” Publication.
Thanks, Christine Graves for the Amazing prompt!