• “My darling Daughter . . .”

    “But, Mother, I swear—“

    “Do not swear the God’s name in vain!”

    Daughter looked down, heat rushing to her cheeks. Mother sighed, taking in her vulnerable daughter.

    “Darling, love is a precious thing which must be mutual to—“

    “But it is!”


    Frustrated, Daughter groaned, trying not to narrow her eyes at her mother. “Why will you not believe me? I have told you my love for him is a blossoming source! It will continue to grow and strengthen without much speech!”

    Mother stayed silent, feeling her own cheeks flush at her exaggerated daughter, but she was willing to listen. She needed to listen before another Romeo and Juliet develop.

    Daughter continued after seeing the reluctance of her mother, softened her voice. “I am a young woman. And as a young woman I am meant to experience, receive and deliver love to my significant other. We are old enough to know what is too much and what we can expand upon.”

    “We?” Mother mumbled, unsure as to if her tale is correct.

    Daughter nodded. “Yes, Mother.”

    She took a breath, wanting her mother to understand that she was no child. That she was trying to hold herself to standards she believed were appropriate for her age.

    “You are only . . . And he is older than you.”

    “Only by a year.”

    “Yes, but that still contributes to maturity . . .”

    “If it is responsibility and maturity you are worried about . . .” Daughter smiled weakly. “Alas, Mother, I sure do pass his mental state.”

    Mother was not able to return the gesture wholeheartedly. She took a breath. “What about his parents?”

    Daughter frowned. “Not pleased. Far from being remotely understanding as you are trying. He got yelled at, questions and skepticism thrown from here and from there.” She lowered her eyes, not able to look at her mother anymore. “Because I am number one, they do not want to believe he can feel this.”

    Mother stood and embraced her daughter. Immense guilt and sorrow filling her as Daughter clung to her. “We are only trying to protect you too from hurt and misgivings. We want the best for our youth,” she whispered.

    “But we are not Romeo and Juliet,” she whispered back. “We will not die. Our love will flourish.”

    Mother squeezed her.

    “We are better and more forever than Romeo and Juliet.”

    Another squeeze.

    “We will survive.”

    Tears spilled from Mother.