“Can I have both those drinks to go? Thanks.” Waseem smiled as the barista handed him the two piping hot drinks. Though on the outside he looked calm, cool and collected, on the inside he was all racing nerves and stress.
Today was the day he would tell his mother about the job offer. Depending on her reaction, only then would Waseem tell his father.
He gulped as he parked his car and made his way towards the house. Walking in, he could hear his mother busy in the kitchen.
“Home already?” She asked as he placed the Mugg & Bean cup on the counter in front of her.
“Yeah, I just had a few errands. Mummy, are you busy?” He asked, looking around. “I need to talk to you.”
She raised a brow. “Sounds serious. Is that what the coffee is for?” Layla asked, as she brought the hot liquid to her lips. “Mmm, perfection.”
Waseem rolled his eyes but smiled. His mother was a self proclaimed coffee connoisseur even though no one took her seriously.
“So, what is it you wanted to talk about?” She asked, moving away from the stove.
“Before I get into this, I just want you to know that I haven’t made any decision.”
Layla cocked her head to the side studying her son, urging him to go on.
“I’ve been offered a job. A really great, amazing job with great pay and benefits, which extend to Hasana too by the way. The only thing is, the job is not in Durban. I would have to move and I know it would be ridiculous to live away from Hasana, which is why I want her to come with me. I know this might worry you and Daddy because I have never gone solo. I’ve always had you guys and you’ve always had my back, taking care of Hasana in a way that means so much to me. But- this job is such a great opportunity, for me and for Hasana. I feel like I’m ready to fully take on the role of a single father but I don’t want to make any decisions without hearing what you have to say.”
Waseem looked at his mother intently waiting for something, anything. He needed a reaction, whether good or bad. He needed to know what she was thinking. Layla took a sip of coffee then let out a long sigh.
“Well I was not expecting that.” And after a long pause she added, “I really don’t know what to tell you Waseem.”
“Your honest opinion would be a good place to start.”
Layla pinched the bridge of her nose and closed her eyes before returning her gaze to her son.
“Look, I have never understood the passion you have for your work. I’ve never been able to wrap my head around it. To me, moving away from home for a job sounds unnecessary but as I said, you and I, we think very differently. When it comes to Hasana, I have no doubt that you have the potential to be a single father. You just haven’t had the opportunity to raise Hasana by yourself. You’ve had us. You have to understood that it will be very difficult Waseem. You won’t be able to work crazy hours because she will need you. And you can’t miss school meetings or school events. You will have to be there for her, every step of the way.”
“I know that Mummy, I know.”
A silence settled over the pair, each thinking about what the other had said.
“At the end of the day Waseem, you are her father. You have to decide what’s best for your family. As a mother, I can offer you guidance but ultimately the choice is yours.”
Layla’s words reminded Waseem of what Amaan had said weeks earlier.
This was his daughter. This was his family. This was his decision.
“Thank you Mummy. I just don’t want to move and have Hasana hate me for it.”
Layla smiled. “She could never hate you Waseem. She adores you and if you talk to her about this, I’m sure she will come around.”
“I hope so.”
“So where is this job anyway?”
The moment of truth. Waseem had intentionally left out the geographical location of his potential new job, fearing that his mother would faint when she heard it.
“Er, its in Canada.”
And just as the words left his mouth, the coffee that Layla had just sipped came gushing out onto Waseem’s face in a moment of shock.
“Mummy! You just spat on me!”
“It was a mistake, but Canada! Waseem thats- thats – thats so far away!”
Sighing he put his head in his hands. “I know Mummy, I know! But its such a great opportunity! The experience is great. The pay is great. Hasana will have a better quality of education- hey, whats wrong?”
Layla shook her head in dismay. “I can’t believe it. My grand daughter is going to have a Canadian accent. Oh goodness.”
Of all the things to be stressing over, Waseem thought to himself as he chuckled at his mother.
“So, does this mean you’d be okay if Hasana and I moved away?”
Layla looked at her son. She really looked at him and in that instant she saw every moment of his thirty two years. From birth, to his first time crawling, first bike ride, first day of school, first day of university. To the day he graduated, the day he got married, the day he became a father, a widower, a broken heart. She wished her son had seen less sorrow in his life for she couldn’t imagine the pain of losing a spouse.
Maybe thats why he was so passionate about his work, she thought to herself. Maybe it keeps him close to Aasia.
Placing her hand gently on top of Waseem’s, Layla nodded her head. “It will be hard and it will be very quiet around here, but I’ll be okay.”
Hearing his mother say those three words, Waseem felt a weight being lifted off his heavy heart. He embraced his mother, kissing her cheek, and then kissing it again.
“Although this doesn’t mean your father will feel the same way. And I will not be the one to tell him about this.”
Waseem knew exactly why his mother wouldn’t.
His father and Hasana had an unbreakable bond. There was just something about their relationship that made it unique and Waseem knew his father would not take this news lightly.
Boy oh boy was he dreading that conversation…
Hope you enjoyed this post. Thoughts? Opinion on Waseem’s talk with his mother?
Also, on an unrelated note, I miss my momma after writing this post.
Anyway, theres only a few weeks left till 2018 (still can’t wrap my head around how quickly 2017 went by) so, happy December yall!