Looking at the old house at the far end of the city with floral curtains blowing in the breeze, something told Jacob that this was the right address. This is where the woman with the pink chipped nails would be living. He waited below looking at the half open window. But he didn’t know what he would say to her.
You’ve been dealing with words for far too long son, just smile and she’ll know. Trust me, said the woman in his head.
But he couldn’t trust her. This strange voice in his head. After all aren’t the voices in your head the ones that tell you jump off a bridge? But it was too late to turn around. He had to meet her and he wanted to. He wanted to know who wrote this story. The story of a woman who loved words but whose words never found purpose.
Practising few introductory lines, Jacob made his way upstairs and cleared his throat before knocking on the door. A long wait later, as Jacob is waiting to turn around, the door flings open and he finds her standing there looking as perplexed as ever. Suddenly all of Jacobs command over his language seems useless as he doesn’t know what to say.
What am I doing here? What did I expect from this meeting? He thinks to himself as she stares right back at him with pretty much the same questions in her mind. Finally after a much needed yet much despised pause, Jacob says – Hi with a smile to go with it. Trusting his instincts, he manages to say that he’s from the publishing house who is going ahead with her book. Jacob catches a faint fleeting smile and the whole situation turns around right in front of him.
She invites him inside and over tea explains how it was her mother, Leah, who wrote the book when she was a 19 year old girl and when she was pregnant with her brother. Jacob, impatient as ever, says he can’t wait to meet her. At the mention of meeting her, Briana (the girl with chipped nails) broke down and started to sob. Kicking himself for making her cry, Jacob wraps his arms around her and tries to calm her down and she does. They sit there together holding each other for a long while before Briana looks up and Jacob looks directly into her big hazel eyes. And with that one look he is transported to the feeling of the woman in his mind. The feeling is so overpowering that he pushes her away.
Almost reading his mind, Briana jumps to her feet and says the single most excruciating truth of Jacob’s life.
“She’s your mother Jacob. She’s our mother. She wrote this book as a means to get back to you when you’d grow up. She knew you’d find your way back to her, to us. She knew…”
Jacob freezes on the spot. Unable to fathom this truth. But somewhere he always knew. Why else would he chase this woman? Why else did this book move him so much? Why else would he leave everything behind to come find his purpose? This was the purpose right from the beginning. Collapsing on the ground and burying his head in his hands, Jacob finally surrenders to the truth of his life. To have found his mother and along with her, his sister who’s known all about him and has waited patiently believing in him, a total stranger.
The rest of the day is spent catching up over the years of being away and the day ends with them making their way to their mother’s grave. Looking at her tomb stone Jacob smiles, and says “This has to be her”. Briana smiles knowing what he means and clasps her hand tightly around his.
The woman in his mind, his mother’s says what’s written on her tombstone, “And with that truth, you’ll surrender to life and where it takes you…”