‘It’s just a chair.’
I looked at my mother, her lips tightly pressed together, arching like a rainbow with no colors. She looked worried. I, her son, the reason.
‘It’s everything to me.’
My voice sounded meek, ashamed, but a bitter truth seldom evoked pride. My chair was my haven. It had held me, supporting the imbalance of my joys and sorrows.
It had been there to hold my brokenness.
She was unconvinced. Like all the other times, she had goaded me to rise and stand on my own. And step out for a taste of fresh air, a glimpse of the mid-morning sun.
But she was knocking on the wrong door. My mind was closed, its rationale out of business.
So I stayed fixed in my chair.
It was where I ate, slept, wept, the abode of endless daydreaming. Only shifting myself to the toilet bowl as and when required.
There was nothing I couldn’t do when I sat on its padded frame.
But there would be too much to conquer if I left its familiar comfort.
I was the king of my secluded domain.
But mothers are relentless. Mine was no different.
She had come with a peace offering, a tiny bribe to sway my obstinate mind, and she slipped the shiny brochure into my hand.
My eyes blurred the words, magnifying the cheerful images. My fingers traced the smiling faces, mine could be one of them.
That’s when my mother knew, she had won half the battle.
Her hand found my knee. There was only empty space beneath it.
I had lost my leg in the accident. My father had lost his life.
‘Disneyland, two months from now. Get out of this wheelchair.’
She left me with hope and a pair of crutches. I hopelessly chose both.
The Greatest Gambler was always looking for a game. He was a mind-reader, the undisputed champion.