The boy listened from the back yard. His mother and his sister were arguing again.

“I’m 25 years old mother! I want to get married and have my own family!”

“You’ve got a son already, you need to raise him.”

The boy was confused, his sister didn’t have children, did she?

“Mother! You promised you’d never mention that! How dare you! He’s 11 years old now, and you said I could marry after he reached 10 years. I’ve waited longer than we agreed.”

“He’s only just 11 years old, and I’m too old to be raising him any longer. You need to stay.”

“No! I’m leaving today, and I’m getting married in two weeks. And you can not – and will not stop me! Do you hear me Mother? You can not stop me!”

The boy looked towards the house to see his sister rapidly coming towards him, and in that second he realized that he knew exactly who the argument had been about. Him. He was the son. He had turned 11 years old just yesterday.

She was his mother, not his sister.

She embraced the boy tightly, tears streaming down her face.

“It’s ok Mother,” he said gently, and as he said that word, mother, he felt in his heart that it was the right thing to say. He also felt his sister’s sobs, no, his mother’s sobs, get stronger and harder.

“I love you son,” came the whispered reply, “I always have, and I always will.”

A follow up to Fast Fiction – What now?