The doorbell rang. Shyla was busy reading the latest from Harry Potter series and didn’t like the interruption. She looked at the wall clock and it was 4.30 in the evening.
Being a bookworm she often read her storybooks at this time. She reluctantly opened the door to find Carol. “Hey Carol, what a nice surprise? I didn’t expect you to be here at this time,” saying this Shyla hugged her friend.
Carol was Shyla’s next-door neighbour and both of them were great friends. They went to different schools but shared many things in common. And one of them was story books. Carol's parents would often buy her books and Shyla would enjoy them to her hearts content.
“Shyla, look I have got another book for you, Carol said with a smile.” Oh wow, Shyla exclaimed. I must say I am indeed blessed to have a friend like you who is so generous.
“Thank you so much,” saying this Shyla started flipping the pages of the book. She had almost forgotten Carol when her mother called. Shyla, who’s at the door? She quickly replied: “It’s Carol, mum.”
She continued: “I am sorry Carol, I really got carried away and didn't remember you. But tell me something, what’s the matter with you? Why do you look so sad?” Carol smiled at Shyla and assured that nothing was wrong with her. For the next two hours the two got busy playing. Shyla's mum peeped into her room and affectionately asked Carol: “Would you like to eat something?”
“Thank you aunty, but I don’t want anything, she said.” Shyla’s mum knew Carol was a shy little girl and she would never say yes. She quickly went to the kitchen and made some sandwiches for the kids.
As the kids nibbled their sandwiches Carol suddenly remarked: “You are so lucky Shyla, wish God had blessed me with your kind of luck.” Shyla’s mum, who was busy serving the kids, was taken aback hearing Carol’s words. She didn't know what made her feel that God was not kind enough.
Something must be surely wrong with Carol, she thought. She decided to talk to her later about this. “My dear Carol, wouldn’t you tell me what’s the matter? Shyla’s mum seemed to be a little worried.
Carol said: “Nothing aunty, but I think Shyla is lucky because you are always there at home for her whereas my mum is never there. I really wish my mum had never gone for work.”
Shyla’s mum stared at Carol in astonishment. She didn’t expect this from her. Carol’s mother was the general manager of some company and was indeed a busy woman. But everyone in their apartment admired Carol’s mum at the way she managed home and office so well. She thought Carol was simply missing her mum.
But it was not right to say such things. Before she could say anything Carol continued: “See aunty, how nicely you make sandwiches for Shyla, play with her and talk to her. But my mum has no time at all. She is always late from office. If you can stay at home why can't my mother?” Carol was almost in tears. Shyla’s mother hugged Carol and comforted her.
She continued: “Carol, I think you are one of the luckiest daughters in this world for having such a wonderful mother. Everybody cannot go for work that’s why I don’t. Your mother is so well educated. “Won’t you work when you grow up? Also, she takes care of you so well. One day you will surely understand that.”
Carol didn’t seem to agree to what Shyla’s mum said. But she kept quiet and returned home.
Somehow she felt that her mother was not doing enough. At times she would even tell all this to her friends at school.
Few days later an elocution competition was held at Carol’s school and Carol was participating in it. Most of her friends’ mothers had come and Carol knew her mother would never be able to come. So she didn’t even bother to inform her. When it was Carol’s turn she went on stage with confidence and was surprised to see her mother sitting right in the first row.
How come mum got to know about this, she thought. Carol recited her poem well and when the winners’ names were announced she was thrilled to hear her name being called. But when the chief guest was called on stage Carol was stunned. It was non other than her mother. Slowly she went on to the stage to receive the prize. Her mother smiled at her.
People in the auditorium clapped loudly. In his vote of thanks the principal praised Carol’s mother for all her achievements. “Oh Carol, you are so lucky to have such a wonderful mother,” her friends said later in the day.
Carol felt strange. She felt happy, proud and sad all at the same time - happy for winning the competition, proud to have such a wonderful mother and sad for not understanding her importance.
In the evening when she returned home she found her mother waiting with her freshly baked strawberry cake. Carol ran and hugged her mother. She knew her mother was the best. [email protected]