Friday, June 17, 2016

Born to Laugh

I am highlighting a short story that is featured in my book Bitter. Get a copy at your nearest book stores 

Story 2 
Title: Born To Laugh

“Mother, I never see you laugh. Why is that?”

My daughter was 10 when she asked me this question. Kissing my daughter’s forehead, I answered: “Some people are born not to laugh.” 
I lied. In the past, I loved to laugh.  Even the lamest joke could make me laugh my head off.  I have always been attracted to men who can make me laugh. I got married to a stand-up comedian. I laughed the loudest at his jokes. 
The moment my daughter was born, laughter just disappeared from my life. Motherhood has robbed me of my laughter. I could not give any rational explanation for the loss of laughter in me. No matter how hard I try, I could not bring myself to laugh. I could not even fake a laugh. I find nothing funny anymore.  
My husband said: “Your laughter was vibrant and full of life. I love the sound of your laughter. Why have you stopped laughing? I am the most unluckiest comedian alive. I can make the whole world laugh but not my wife.”
I did not have any answers for him. I could only stare at my husband blankly. Out of frustration, one night, my husband walked towards the ocean. He took off his clothes and walked into the sea. He left behind a suicide letter. All he wrote:” I do not want to be the unluckiest comedian alive anymore.” 
I never told my daughter the truth behind her father’s death. I cannot have my daughter hating me for driving the man she loved and called father to death. I told her that her father had drowned. 
“It was unfortunate accident,” I lied. 
My daughter believed every word I told her. My daughter should have known that there are some mothers you cannot trust. 

I am envious whenever I hear the sound of laughter.  They do not know how lucky they are because they are able to laugh.  Once I was eating at a restaurant, I could hear laughter from the table next to mine.  The people who were laughing were a married couple celebrating their fifth marriage anniversary. Before leaving the restaurant, I approached the couple in love and said: “Never take your laughter for granted. Cherish your laughter. You will never know when God decides to be cruel and snatch away your laughter.”
The couple was stunned and had no idea how to react to what I had said. Slowly, I walked out from the restaurant. 

Am I the only person in the world who cannot laugh anymore? Are there others like me? I wondered. Years later, I met someone who also was unable to laugh anymore. Never in a millions years did I imagine that someone would be my own daughter.  
She loves to laugh. Like me, the moment she had a child, laughter disappeared from her life. Motherhood had robbed her laughter. Her life has become a carbon copy of my life. 

“Mummy, I never see you laugh. Why is that?” 

My granddaughter was only 10 when she asked my daughter this question. Hugging my granddaughter close to her heart, my daughter said: “Some people are born not to laugh.” 
My daughter lied.