Wake up. Lie still. It’s a school day. Complain about a non-existent stomach ache. Get admonished by mom’s coaxing smile (how can you say no to anything so honest?). Climb the stool to reach the sink. Press the end of the toothpaste tube, just like mom said. Out it comes, the bright blue paste onto the brush. Such promise, the brand new tube has! The day starts with a promise of abundance. Yesterday’s struggle to squeeze the tube is forgotten. Today, I am rich.
Twenty years later. In a new, strange country, the brand new toothpaste is scary. Mom had packed it, like the other stuff before I left. The smile was still radiant, but openly flaunted the tinge of sadness and despair, which we both felt (how can you not smile with someone so honest?). And now this brand new toothpaste poses a challenge. How many will I have to go through, alone? When will I be with her again? (how can you stay away, from someone so dear?)