The Best Present

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"Hey are you all right?"

Sam has joined me in bed for his midnight visit. He does care for me in his own way. Shortly after he left he sent Victor one of his security guards outside. Victor was directed to make sure that I reach my room safely.

"Yes I am all right."

"At least don't lie to me. Ok I shouldn't have thrown away your clothes like that. But it's just old clothes. No big deal. We will get you some more."

"I have some bad memories that's all. One day mom had a fight with her boyfriend at the time. She dragged me out of the apartment with just the clothes on my back. I lost everything including my favourite doll."

"All right then we will get you a new doll while we are at it."

I start laughing at this through my tears. "Sam you are just impossible. Can't you take anything seriously."

"At least I made you a laugh didn't I? I don't like to see you crying. Tell me about your mother."

"There is nothing to tell really. She was impulsive woman with constant mood swings. She would go in doldrums and refuse to get out of the bed for days on end. Then her frame of mind would change to extreme elation. She would talk a lot, start fights, spend heaps of money. She even flirted with boys in my class. Then she would get the credit card bill or eviction notice from the landlord and the cycle would repeat.

The melancholy I could manage or ignore. I became scared when she looked happy. I stayed away from home during that time as much as possible. At one time I was practically living at Mel's and going home when I had to."

"Do you think your mother had some psychological problems?"

"I read a bit about it. I think she might be suffering from Bipolar. If she was it went undetected and was left untreated. What she needed was help. I wasn't there for her when she needed me. Instead I spent all my time with Mel. I left her all alone and came here. In the end she lost the battle with her inner demons and took her own life."

"Don't blame yourself like that. You were just a child. Tell me everything."

So I tell him everything that has happened in my small life. My mother's mood changes and her unpredictable nature. Her constant ups and downs. Once started the trip down the memory lane cannot be stopped. I have never told some of the things to anybody else. Sam keeps on embracing me and giving me the sympathetic ear. I start crying and he soothes me.

At last I stop my narrative. Sam wipes my tears and gives me extra big hug "Poor baby you have been through a lot haven't you?"

"My poor mom. Suffering from Bipolar like that and having no help. Bipolar is bit heredity you know. Sometimes I am afraid that I will have the same problem as my mother did."

"Sweetheart you are mostly sane except when you make me look for your clothes in the dumpster."

"That was bit idiotic wasn't it? Still you shouldn't have thrown away all my clothes like that."

"What are you talking about? I didn't throw all your clothes away."

"Yes I saw the underwear you kept in the drawer but I don't have anything else. Now what am I going to wear for school tomorrow?"

"But I didn't throw all your clothes away. I am not complete imbecile. I only threw the ones which were really frayed and old looking."

"What do you mean?"

"I know how you hate throwing things. I just packed them away so that you could give it to charity if you wanted."

I bounce out of the bed. "Where are they then?"

"I put them in a plastic bag on the floor of your wardrobe."

"Why didn't you tell me this earlier?"

"I thought you already saw the bag and wanted the rest of your clothes back."

"Yes there they are. Oh I found them. Including the dress I thought I had lost. What was it that we saw earlier. Well it doesn't matter. I got most of my clothes back. Sam you are the best. This is the best present ever."

The rest of my happiness cannot be expressed in words so I shower him with many kisses. I am so happy that I am dancing, bouncing, laughing and kissing Sam at the same time.

"Mmmm! Alice not that I am complaining about you kissing me but will you please settle down?"

"But I am so happy."

"You are a strange woman. I offer to give you dozen dresses and you don't like it. I give you your own old clothes back and I have given you the best present ever!"

"But that's not true you see. I very much liked the dress you helped me buy. Would you like to see?"

"By all means if you are going to wear it in front of me and I get to take it off."

"Sorry I don't want to ruin it."

"Then you are denying me my present."

"Oh that reminds me. Your present. Where did I keep it?"

"Come back to bed. You can look for it later."

"Yes right here in the bedside table. Here you go your present."

Sam just keeps it aside and totally ignores it.

"Aren't you going to open it"

"Later. Come here."

"You got to open it."

"I don't have lot of time. Oh all right tell me what it is?"

"It's a state of the art digital dictaphone. It's durable, reliable, operates in noisy environment. It has the latest speech to text technology with multi language support and PIN protection for security. Now you don't have to spend so much time typing things."

"It's a very thoughtful gift."

"Is it the best gift you ever got?"

"It's the only meaningful gift I have received so far."

"But tell me is it the best?"

"I already got my best present when you stopped crying and started smiling. Just keep smiling Alice and I wouldn't want anything else."

Come to think of it I got my best present today when Sam listened to me while I was telling him about my mother.

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