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Love Potion #9 - Lovesick

“How is she?”

Sitting beside her mother’s hospital bed, Sonia looked up to see Peter hovering in the doorway. “She’s awake, but it won’t be long now.” Although she had his colouring and his hazel eyes, Sonia felt nothing for the dark-haired man with the café au lait skin. “Didn’t think you’d come.”

“I was surprised you called. Sonia, I’m not sure how to explain.” Peter shuffled into the room, his gaze avoiding the beeping, hissing machines and monitors…and the bedridden woman whose eyes, though clouded with pain, latched onto him. He turned to fill a glass from the pitcher Sonia had placed on a rolling tray and she saw his hands shake.

“Talk to my mother. She’s the one who left me with my grandmother so she could chase you half way around the world. Can’t you see you’re the one she wants, even now?” Sonia walked over to the window in the far corner of the room.

“It’s complicated,” she heard Peter say weakly.

She jerked around, saw him drink from the glass and wondered how much of the concoction it would take for the truth to spill out. The serum she’d purchased online had guaranteed to induce confessions of love. Wouldn’t that make her mother’s heart sing?

“You used a woman’s love to satisfy your own selfish needs. Then you left.”

“You don’t understand,” Peter protested, dropping into the chair she’d vacated. “With the recession in Trinidad, I thought Canada was my chance for a better life, even if it did mean hiding out in basements and working under the table.”

“And in the thirty years since you found that better life, did you once think of the woman and child you abandoned? The woman you claimed to love but didn’t have the decency to marry”

Sonia saw the change in him then, like a stone wall crumbling. “I loved your mother more than anything. But we were so young.” Weeping, he reached out to grasp the withered hand laying so still on the white sheets and finally addressed the dying woman. “Marla, I hoped you’d find happiness with someone else.” Sonia watched tears leak from her mother’s eyes. Peter continued. “When – when you found me in Toronto all those years ago, I had a wife and baby, a business – too much to lose.”

And my mother didn’t mention me to you, Sonia thought bitterly. Didn’t bother to say that she left your daughter behind thousands of miles away.

Sonia saw her mother’s eyelids flutter closed, watched a shudder ripple through her frail body. The heart monitor flatlined, the insistent beep echoing the ringing in Sonia’s ears. “All she ever wanted,” she whispered, looking down at her mother, “was To hear you say you loved her. Now you can go.”

“Sonia – “ Peter implored.

“Get out,” Sonia snapped, turning back to the window. “I never needed either of you.”


(c) Kristy Kassie, 2017


Love Potion #9

If you had a love potion, what would you do with it?

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