I awoke to the poking and prodding of my, well, mum. She pretends to be but I know deep down, she'd rather have someone else. My heart goes out to real mum, my unfit mum (from what I've been told), my mother. Upon my awakening, I winced at the stabbing pain in my neck, consistent with routine. Eat, sleep, wake up with a killing neck. I blame my mother, I have the worst nightmares about her, reliving the vague but horrid memories: the time I was locked in my room for a week, the starvation, I was only a child... The sheer thought of it made me well up but I couldn't show my weakness. I never show my weakness. To blink away the tears and roll my eyes up was my only escape, only after that did I say:
"Good morning, mu-Louise."
I saw the brief look of sadness flash upon her olive-skinned face, which disappeared as soon as it appeared, and soon morphed into an artificial smile. She was pleased for a split second, I could tell. Her dream of being accepted as my mother may have been made a reality, until I brought her right back down to earth.
"It's okay, Iris. You can call me whatever you like, we're still getting used to things. I'm not expecting anything from you, darling."
Eight months is hardly a period of time long enough to lose the foster in foster mum. A small smirk crossed my face, which she must have wrongly interpreted, as she started laughing and leaned in for a hug. Then abruptly stopped. She'd seen a solitary tear trickle down my face. I was oblivious to the fact I was crying until she made it obvious. I couldn't hide it: not this time.
I guess you could say I'm lucky, to have a mum, or at least a mother figure. But, the connection is non-existent, make-belief. Our relationship isn't personal, it's just what we forged to satisfy our social worker. It's like we had a random number generator in the lottery draw, and my magic number was Louise. You can hardly call her magical. I know she tries her best and I like her, but the difference between like and love is much bigger than two letters. We talk on a daily basis, but I can't share my innermost thoughts with her, my questions, my queries, myself. Sometimes, if not all the time, I feel alone, closed up, unable to say what I want, unable to do what I want. I feel hindered every single day. But I don't blame my Mother, I blame myself, I let things get to me but I don't show it - hide-and-seek was my favourite game as a kid, could you guess?
Got my mum in a right mood though...
Louise, she's... she's good to me, she cares, she worries, she smiles, she loves, but she isn't my Mother, and frankly she never will be. The thing is, how do I tell her that?
"Thanks for the 20 quid, oh yeah, you will never be good enough, I want to find my real mum."
That would break her heart, and her reaction will shatter mine. Just because I don't consider her a mum to me, it doesn't mean I want to see her sad.
Whilst I was watching the Vampire Diaries she walked through the door, scrunched her nose at the peculiar musk hanging in the air. Still captivated by Damon's blue eyes, I simply smiled, trying to decipher the expression on her face; it was an expression torn between sadness, anger and disappointment.
"I saw what you wrote on your blog, last night," she whispered softly.
"You... HAD NO RIGHT! YOU KNOW IT'S PRIVATE, HOW DID YOU EVEN GET ON IT', my mood changed, weirdly calm, 'You know what, don't even answer. You snooped, just like the others. You were even waiting for me to get off my laptop. Who the f-", I looked away, not wanting to swear, exhaled and resumed, "DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?"
I felt the rushing blood collect in my cheeks, I felt bad, yet exhilarated. Privacy means a whole lot to me - only a minute amount of people had access to it, Louise wasn't one. My entire life was on that blog, it was my personal record and my story. I didn't show the world all my feelings, as I'd rather keep them hidden from it. So why on earth would I want Louise to see? The thought of her rummaging through my room made me see red, I'd already erupted, now my lava was ready to flow.
"Iris, I thought I was your foster mum, or maybe even more, until I read what you wrote yesterday..." she calmly replied, but I couldn't help but hear the crack in her voice.
"Well you're not, and you never will be. All you'll be is the bitch that thought she could attempt to be in my life," I spat out, unable to comprehend the true meaning of the words before they escaped my lips.
The words stung her heart and eyes. I could sense the tears in Louise's eyes and in mine, but none of us had the courage to let them flow. I was stubborn and she was hurt. I had undone our relationship in a matter of seconds. All possibilities of love turned into pain in an instant.
And she left.
The next few days were torture, like I could feel the tension mounting and every sense of compassion and friendship deteriorating; only hostility remained. Things have gone from worse to worst, I've been thinking to contact my social worker and imagining what knock-on effects there will be. For some reason, every path ends in finding my biological mum. I don't know if it's true, or logic, or me just trying to justify a future stupid decision.
Lately, all my decisions have been either stupid, regrettable, not thought out, or all of the above.
Since the incident with Louise, we've stayed out of each other's way, and to be honest, if anyone calls my social worker, it will be her. I decided to go to bed, my head was throbbing. Once again, I contorted myself into an impossible position, then fell asleep there and then.
Hours later, I woke disorientated, trying to figure out whether I'd slept through the night or not. After attempting to salvage enough energy to move, I (disgracefully) sauntered to the window; still a dark blue sky, with clusters of stars scattered on the navy canvas. I stomped some more, to the immaculate bathroom, decided to mess stuff up just to piss Louise off. Another one of my stupid, regrettable, not thought out decisions.
An air of regret surrounded me when I went back to bed. And it wasn't going to clear any time soon.
At breakfast, not a single word was exchanged between her and me. Just silence with a side of cornflakes and toast.
YOU ARE READING
A life without a Mother isn't a life at all, but what if you're still looking for her? Iris doesn't know who or where her mum is, and she is determined to find out. She needs answers. She needs closure.