:: My Mom ::
She sees me; she smiles and bursts into her little exuberant self.
Everytime I appear at her salon.
I have an unusual relationship with my momma.
Having separated since I was one, we were only briefly reunited during my secondary schools days.
When my step-ma wanted to file for a divorce and located her to take care of me.
And so we met, for a few hours each time.
And that was about once in a few months.
Or in a few years.
My mom, subjected to an emotionally and physically draining relationship my late father, filed for divorce after my birth.
She never remarried.
Since we have never lived together under the same roof, our relationship manifests in the form of my occasional visits to her salon.
I would also bring my friends to visit her.
She would burst into her usual chipper self and talk to my friends about anything under the sun.
She was a conversationalist and always made everyone felt at ease.
She would also introduce me to her customers.
"My younger brother," she'll joke and then burst into her usual boisterousness.
These visits and sessions went on as if it will go on forever.
And then, during the last visit, I suddenly realised.
It has been already fifteen years since she started the salon.
My mother has aged.
Slowly but surely.
I spotted the wrinkles around her eyes
Which she tried to hide under a heavy coat of make-up.
A feeling arose within me; it was an indescribable feeling.
I took out my digital camera to take a photo together with her.
She squealed, and rushed into the shadows of the salon.
"It's darker inside; it'll make my wrinkles look less," she said unabashedly.
Even as the physical shell of hers weather with time
She still is, and will always be shiny beacon of positivity, effusing her joviality to all around her.
Because she chose to be this way, and that, hopefully, is what I have inherited from her.
"Ah boy! Guo lai yi xia," she hollered.
She is my mom.