She knew the lyrics to some of the songs. She sang along to some. She missed her man. She’d only been separated from him for a day yet she missed him. She’d spent the week with him but had left that Friday evening to be with Angela, for their girls; night out. Angela was gone. V started to remember moments she’d had in campus. She still couldn’t believe that she was done. She took out her diary and started to revise it. Maybe that would make the evening fun. She started to read about the weird stuff she and Ali had done while together and smiled. He was the most fun she had had in years.
V stopped at one page where she’d wrote about Ara. She smiled and swallowed hard at the same time. She felt disappointed in herself. She hadn’t been the world’s best mother like she’d hoped she would be. She had her moments with her daughter. She had her memories. She had her regrets. Most importantly, she had a reason to smile. Ara was a strong beautiful girl. She was jovial and very playful. V had known from the start she wanted a daughter who was like her or better. She had hoped for a cheerful baby and had gotten just that. Whatever Ara did, she did with passion. When she cried, she was impossible to ignore. When she smiled, she was impossible to resist. When she laughed, she sounded so sweet; V would grin from ear to ear.
For her first birthday, V had made a quick night trip. All she cared about was to be with her daughter. She’d thrown a little party for Ara. It was fun. She promised herself that she would never miss her daughter’s birthday for as long as she was alive. The 18th of March was an important day in her life. She’d known pain at a whole different level, and then she’d known joy of almost the same magnitude. She’d seen someone die, and then she’d seen new life. She remembered vividly the horror she’d felt when her daughter failed to cry after birth. She remembered the doctor patting the tiny back while mumbling a sufficiently loud “come-on!” V could still remember the sting so freshly. She wasn’t about to settle for the fact that the entire nine months was all in vain. She forgot everything else around her. She barely saw the doctor with the eyes that were quickly feeling with tears.
V hadn’t shed a tear during labor. The only noise she’d produced was when she was asked to push. She was hungry and weak, and she had to gather all her might to push. She had laughed through labor. She had surprised the nurses, midwives and the other women in her situation. When she had active labor, she’d been ignored because the nurses thought that maybe she wasn’t even due. In their defense, how could a 21 year old face labor with a smile? Women were moaning all over, and she would walk up to them and laugh at them. And some of them had warned her to prepare for it. But even as her pain got intense, she told funny stories to these strangers. She was funny and she knew it. V had faced all that with a few folds on the forehead, a few tosses on her bed and a lot of laughter. But this she couldn’t take! The doctor had shown her girl to her and no one was going to take that from her.
Ara finally coughed: a slight exhausted cough. V sighed. It was around 5:57 in the morning. She smiled through the bleeding and the exhaustion. It had all been worth it! She was a mum! It was a special feeling. She decided then that this day was a day she would spend with her daughter always and asked God to help her see it through.
The first birthday had been special. She and her daughter had bonded so quickly, despite the fact that Ara barely knew her. V had gotten Ara tiny shoes for her tiny feet. Shed then tried to support her so she’d see her walk in them. Ara was a little comedian. She raised her little feet so her and dropped them down so loud before bursting into a tiny beautiful chuckle that could only be produced by a one year old. V laughed so hard. Some kind of walking that was!
She’d then made her daughter cry a little when she popped balloons so loud it got Ara all rattled. She was a scared little girl. She was frightened by motor bikes and any other sources of noise. She loved music though. V had sung to her when she was younger, it always calmed her. Whenever she got fussy, V would whisper a little song to her tiny ears and she would go quiet. V knew she was listening because Ara would get upset when the singing stopped. V wasn’t so sure but she had a feeling that her daughter was a tiny version of her and that the two of them would be great friends someday. She hoped for it. She held her breath.
The rest of the Friday had been fun. V had school work and had to leave the next day. But she was so glad she’d made it.