A tiny little voice cried out in pain, “I didn’t mean to mumma.” 
Barely did she finish the sentence that her mother looked at her with disappointment.
Caught in an impending storm of tears the little one looked at her mother, imploring her to forgive.
Daisy knew she had upset her mother by dropping her favourite vase, but nothing in this world could explain the completely alien emotion she saw on her mother’s face.
Escaping this situation was not something she had learnt to do at the tender age of 7, and that broke her.
Faith was livid as she turned to look at the crystal that lay on the floor.
Going through the day had taken enough courage.
Half a day more and it would be a year since she lost the only parent she had ever known.
It was devastating now to have to pick bits of the vase her mother had gifted her on her 30th birthday.
Just as this thought crossed her mind, she saw a flicker of terror in Daisy's eyes.
Keeping the broken pieces of glass aside, she knelt down and squared her shoulders.
Leniency wasn’t a stance she preferred, especially considering how naughty Daisy had grown up to be.
Minutes passed before Daisy looked at her, with her pale bluish-green eyes that she got from her nana.
Not melting wasn’t an option so her expression softened and she looked at Daisy with whatever love she could muster.
Of course, that only served to worsen matters because the tears now flowed without restraint.
Pushing her hurt to the back of her mind Faith sighed, “You know how much mumma loved that vase; it was a gift from nana, remember?”
Quivering with emotion, Daisy's  parched lips parted to reply but couldn’t say much.
Running into her mother’s arms, she sobbed.
Snot and tears mixed with her words as she tried to talk.
Tucking her tiny curls behind her ears, Faith cleaned Daisy's face with a handkerchief.
Upset as she was, Faith muttered softly “It was the most precious gift ever Daisy; don’t you understand?”
Visibly disturbed, Daisy looked down at the little bits of glass strewn on the floor
When she looked back at her, Faith felt like she was looking into her own mother’s eyes  – not from when she was young but from a more recent time.
Xerosis had taken the cheerful twinkle from her mother’s eyes, just as tears had from Daisy’s.
Yes mumma, I do, and I am sorry” Daisy's feeble voice finally found words, “but tell me mumma – are my eyes not your most precious gift from nana?”
Zapping back to the room, Faith stood stunned for a few seconds; it slowly dawning on her just how close she came to forgetting what matters and how far she had travelled from reality.
 
This short story was originally published on www.tintusaleem.com for an Indian audience and has been suitably edited for publishing here.

Published by Tintu Saleem