She felt the sun ray over her face , another morning had come , it was not her last night. She couldn't believe that three months have passed since her husband's death. Every night she went to sleep, she thought it would be the last .Sadness and agony were beyond what she could handle , her eyes were no longer able to cry , and many wrinkles found their way into her beautiful face in no time.
She heard a knock on her door .
"Mom " , she yelled , " I do not want to have breakfast , I just want to sleep "
"It is me " , the voice behind the door said , calmly and quietly.
The moment she heard the voice , she jumped out off the bed and ran into the door to open it . Her mother-in-law was standing .
"Good morning , mother" , she said .
"Please , don't call me mother now . Have you made a decision? "
"Don't call you 'mother' ? Why?"
"You were married to my son , you were like a daughter to me , but not anymore, if you want to call me mother , and to have the relationship that we had , you know what to do "
"To go back ?!!! since when has our relationship stopped ?"
"Since my son died , and you were no longer a part of this family ."
"What are you saying ? no matter what , you will always be the mother that did not give birth to me . "
"Let's not waste our time , have you made a decision ?"
"You mean a decision to destroy the life of a whole family ??" she answered.
"I mean the decision that will save a whole family from being destroyed" her mother-in-law answered firmly.
She was silent , went and sat on her bed , her eyes were opened but she was not looking at anything , she was starring at nothing.
Her mother-in-law came and sat by her side , put her hands around her shoulders and said to her :" This is the best decision to be made, your husband is dead , and you are no longer a part of the family and…."
"Who said I am no longer a part of the family ?" she yelled.
"Traditions said that " her mom answered in a very strict way , and then she continued " you have three beautiful children , what do you want them to do ? to be apart of their father's family , and what about us ? you said that you consider me a mother …. "
When she heard that sentence , she turned her head to face her mom , and
the dried tears found their ways to her eyes and started falling
"I said it and I mean it , you have always been there for me . In every difficult situation , you were there , holding my hands and leading me to the right path . For every problem I faced , you were the one I went to for advice . In my happy moments, you were the tender smile encouraging me to love my life"
"And now I am asking you to marry your dead husband's brother . "
She jumped out of the bed before her mom finished her sentence .
"This is the craziest thing ever !!!"
"It is the most rational thing ever . This way , you will live with us , the children will be with their father's family that loves them more than anything in the world. "
"And why cannot they be with you without me marrying Khaled ?"
"Because then ,it will be only visits in the holidays , and when they grow up , and the children will be in our custody , you will be visiting them as a stranger , is that what you want ? is that the future you see for your children
and yourself and us ?"
"Don't put all of this on me , we can still be a family no matter what ."
"That is what you are saying now , but what if you got married to another man , will he want your kids to be a part of your life? Will he want us to be a part of your life? I just want the best for all of you ."
"You just thought about the best thing for you , mom "
"Don't call me mom ! and what do you mean , what will I get out of all of this other than your happiness ?"
"Happiness !! Marrying khaled is happiness !!! he is a brother to me , I raised him , in my eyes he is a baby "
"He is a MAN "
"He is SEVENTEEN years old , you want him to marry a woman who is thirteen years older than him !! a woman that he calls 'his big sister' ? Can you do this to your own son ?"
"It will be a little difficult for him at the beginning ,but then he will get used to it "
"Get used to what ? to his life being taken from him ? to the huge responsibilities he will have to deal with ? And what will happen when he goes to college and falls in love with a girl his age ? "
"He can marry her " her mom said very simply .
"And do you think the girl will agree ? And if she does , will her parents do ?"
"You are assuming things that might never happen , this is the best thing to be done "
They paused for a while , both of them exhausted from the battle going on between them .
"Don't you want a happy life ? " the mom asked .
"I don't know if I want to live anymore . And even if I do , this is not going to be a happy life at all."
Another long pause followed.
"What will happen if I said no ?" she asked.
"Nothing , only visits on holidays , there will be no shared memories between us any more , and all the stories that are left in your mind will be only memories , our house will be a house that you once lived in , we will
be just a family that once you were a part of it and…."
She stopped for a while , went to the door , stood there and looked at her , and said before she left:
"And I will be the mother of your dead husband that you once called mother "