I Love You | Short Story
A Creative Writing Submission
By Shruti Verma
I Love You.
I have come across several social media posts over the years praising mothers, long paragraphs, poems, and stories acknowledging the many sacrifices that they have made for their families and more importantly for their children. Attached to these posts are often affectionate pictures of mother and their children. It made me wonder if I have any such pictures. As I ravaged through my gallery, I could come across only a handful.
I never really thought too deeply about these posts. I would sometimes briefly consider everything my mother has done for me over the years but that’s that. These posts would often end with an ‘I love you Mom’ something I’m not used to saying to my mother. In fact, I’ve never said I love you to my mom and neither has she to me. It’s just now how you communicate in an Indian household. But the more I think about it the more I realize that there have been other ways through which she conveys her love. She may not directly say it but now that I am seven thousand miles away from home, I feel the love when she asks me if I ate anything today or had a good night’s sleep. When she sent her parcel full of love all the way from India consisting of all my favourite snacks without me having to ask her. I remember coming home from University one day and right in front of the main door was a huge card box with an Indian address. It was a matter of seconds before I found myself on the floor, crying my eyes out. As I went through the box, I found a few family pictures, my favourite blanket, all the snacks I was missing, and a big box of homemade sweets my mom must have made with so much love. There was a short letter too. As I opened it I saw a note in my mom’s handwriting, “Please eat on time, take care of your health, and study hard.”
Even though she did not know much about technology, she learned a lot before I left home so that she could communicate with me. She has stayed up numerous nights in a row, patiently waiting for me to come back home from my part-time job and to let her know that I was home, safe and sound. On these video calls she appeared half asleep, sitting on our living room couch. Despite the sleep taking over, she tried hard to keep her eyes open and asked me about my day. She always asked if my work was too hard or if I was having a hard time. She would always end the conversation with, ‘You don’t have to work so hard. We are here for you.’ I am amazed at how quickly she understands that I might be going through a difficult time without me letting her know.
Coming from a middle-class family it wasn’t easy for my parents to send me all the way to the UK to fulfill my dreams, but they somehow miraculously managed. On my arrival here when I got a little too homesick she did not think twice before telling me, “Come back home. If you don’t like it just come back. Nothing is more important than your happiness.”
After giving it a thought, I realized that we often don’t have to say I love you to let someone know that we in fact love them.