D is for Dependant – #AtoZ2018


‘Sonny! Get me an Aspirin, will you? This blasted headache is killing me.’ The old woman sighed and took a sip of her lemonade, ‘and get me last Thursday’s newspaper. I missed the comic strips.’

‘Two minutes, ma.’

She loved her son. He was her rock. He did the cooking, and the washing, and the cleaning, and the gardening. She used to do all those chores when she was still married, and happy, and well. Then, her husband left her for some hotsy-totsy, and she had collapsed – internally and externally.

She had varicose veins that made walking difficult and acute diabetes that forced her to visit the bathroom often. Arthritis decided to join the cornucopia of the ailments in her body as well. One day, she couldn’t make the ten feet trek to the bathroom and had urinated in the hall.

Her son had scolded her. Not for urinating, but for not calling him for assistance. That very day, he resigned his day job and stayed at home for her. At first, she was embarrassed, but her son insisted and now she didn’t feel any different. She was proud of her son.

She was about to holler again when her son came in with the newspaper and aspirin. He’d bought orange juice to wash it down with. Without her asking, he sat down and started massaging her calves.

‘Ma! I’ll be gone a few hours tonight. Will you be ok?’

She didn’t answer and instead turned her attention onto the newspaper.

‘Ma! I’ll leave by eight and be back by eleven. That’s your usual nap time, right?’

‘Are you going out with that bitch again?’

He paused for a second, ‘Don’t call her a bitch, Ma! I happen to like her.’

‘Pah! Evil bitch is trying to steal you from me.’ She went back to her newspaper, ‘What if I have an emergency?’

He scratched his jaw. His four-day stubble had a generous amount of white interspersed within. ‘Ma, why are you being so difficult? It’s just couple of hours.’

‘Fine, then. Go! Go be with that witch. Forget about your poor, sick mother who is in this state because of you. Now, don’t you stare at me, you ungrateful boy. Your useless father dumped you on my head and ran away with some bimbo. Now you are doing the same. You’ll be fucking your bimbo while your mother will be lying on the bed, hoping you’d come soon just so that she could take a piss.’

Her son stood up abruptly, ‘I’m sorry, Ma. I won’t go out tonight. I’m sorry you are in pain. I’m sorry that Dad left you and I’m sorry that you were burdened with the task of bringing me up. But you need to realize that now, you are a burden to me. I don’t complain. I quit my job to help you, not because I felt it was my responsibility.’

He picked her up and laid her on her bed.

‘That was because I love you.’

He removed the covers of her pillows and put fresh ones on them.

‘It’s been fifteen years now, Ma. In another life, I’d have had a family of my own. But you don’t seem to realize that. You feel that I have an obligation to cater to your whims. How many pillows?’

She showed two fingers. He fluffed them and kept a pillow gently below her head.

She muttered, ‘I said two.’

‘In a minute, Ma.’ He placed the other pillow over her face and pressed gently, ‘I’m sorry, Ma. But this is the only solution.’

He increased the pressure and sobbed softly over her stifled gasps.



  1. Experienced a lot of emotions so quickly. First I felt sorry for his mom, then I felt bad for her son because she quickly turned from seemingly grateful to controlling. He finally got to a breaking point.
    I’m really enjoying your stories!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! I didn’t see that one coming! What a twist!

    Your writing style reminds me of another blogger I admire…Pallav from fubar69.blogspot.in

    All the best for the Challenge. Blogrolling you.

    Do drop by mine.



  3. That one twisted in the middle. I felt sorry for her and then her treatment of her son was so abominable that I wanted him to put the pillow over her face and lo, behold, he did. As a writer I can make that comment without seeming awful, right? haha 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Her words to him were very harsh, words like that and ones said often could leave a mark. I wasn’t expecting his reaction thought. Great piece.

    I am reminded of a book I read by Alice Sebold (The Almost Moon), and the first sentence reads “”When all is said and done, killing my mother came easily.”

    Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. she’s unbearable but this ending? didn’t see that coming, I don’t see murder a solution at all. he could have hire someone to take care of her, should have try that first.

    have a lovely day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Should’ve could’ve would’ve, right? Who knew what influenced his decision all those years ago? Thanks for commenting, Lissa. Have a great day.


    1. ‘If only!’ The world would have been a much, much better place ‘if only’ things had happened differently, wouldn’t it? Unfortunately things happen for no rhyme or reason or rationale. Thanks for commenting, Anagha


  6. She drove him to it. It’s a pity how some parents can get selfish, don’t know what it is circumstantial or plain insecurity. I have seen a few such cases. It can drive the child to the wall, and in some cases to drastic measures like these.

    You have perfected the art of story telling Varad. Get that book going soon.


    April Anecdotes
    Destinys Child

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comment and kind words, Natasha. 🙂 The reasons you’ve mentioned are correct. It can be a combination of various things, but unfortunately leads to tragic ends.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Situations can ask you to do the inevitable. However, I so wish, with all the love, that this had taken another turn. Really well written 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Reality can often be much more weirder than fiction, Shweta. Unfortunately such is the world we live in. Thanks for the comment.


  8. Varad, this story struck a raw nerve with me. Parents with age do get selfish and clingy. they often forget that their kids also have a life. This problem is greater in single parents who become too complaining. This is such a true story for many you won’t imagine.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The life of a caregiver is not easy and giving up 15 years of your life to care for someone selflessly is tough. The mother refused to understand that her son needed a life of his own. I find his actions justified

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We can stand on the sidelines and judge their actions. Unfortunately, without being in their shoes we’d never know. Thanks for the comment, Akshata

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Nice Varad. I’m a big fan of unexpected twists. In this one there is deep rooted regret over a life lost in caring while letting his own vaporise. Digs into that puschology thing. Right and wrong smear and frustration wins out. Good piece again.


  11. By all means i go speechless unable to decode the twist, today too. U brilliantly put the ailments the mom has.. I actually pitied the son and lo.. U deceived me again.. C is for Change.. Yet to be commented and D is for Dare to Dream.. Do have your say on my posts too. Have a nice day 🙂


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