Finally Free

by Yumz K

The title of the novel is 1984 and this text is written from Winston's mother's perspective on why he ran away from his family.

After Larry disappeared, I became completely lonely and spiritless. Everything became a habit, not just a task to accomplish. I cooked, cleaned, completed chores diligently, with patience. Everything was so calm and peaceful even though on the inside I was slowly withering away from life and myself. I had two beautiful children by the names of Winston and Catherine; they were both fairly new into the world at that time. Winston had always been the rebellious, independent type, constantly nagging and demanding me to give him more food. I simply told him we had no more food. Sometimes I would sit on my bed and cradle Catherine in my arms, holding her very close because I was aware the time of departure was creeping closer every second. On rare occasions would I bring Winston close to my breast and say nothing at all. I had a feeling he understood something was about to happen but surprisingly stayed quiet about it. It was as if that never mentioned thing would happen any time and we must stay ready.

                One day we were all sitting at the dinner table and I was handing out soup using a ladle. I could see the hunger in Winstons eyes as I poured him some soup. He gobbled up every last drop of it and the fierceness in his eyes had not grown less, it kind of made me afraid. He began begging and crying for more but I denied him because Catherine and I were also hungry. Abruptly, he snatched the ladle out of my hand and began pouring himself more soup. It made me sad to know my little boy was as selfish as he was, but then again he was just a little boy.

                The day that the chocolate ration was issued, Winstons true colors spilled through. It had been quite a while since the last chocolate ration had been issued. Winston had completely drowned himself in the thought of possessing the whole piece. It was as though a demon had taken control over his body and the chocolate was to him as oxygen is to humans. Winston began shouting, violently, as though this piece of chocolate was the only element needed to survive. I broke off three-quarters of the chocolate, which included my piece, and gave it to him. I gave the rest to Catherine but she wasnt too excited by it, where on the other hand Winston was ready to physically fight for this piece of chocolate. The next few moments were a blur; all of a sudden Winston snatched the piece of chocolate from Catherines hands and ran. He ran out the door into nowhere, a faraway place and little did I know I wouldnt get to see him again. I vividly remember Catherine crying for a few minutes that seemed to stretch into hours, days, I dont even remember.

After that moment, shame built up inside of me, not for myself but for Winston. I was actually ashamed that he had been my child; the once sweet and innocent little boy had grown to be so bitter, so cold. I do believe that deep down, he hadnt meant to do such a thing, but it wasnt evident in the way he acted. As Winstons mother, I know he must have felt so guilty afterwards, as guilty as one feels after getting caught doing something atrocious. The guilt that comes from being sorry for getting caught, not actually committing the sin. It was a saddening feeling, I must say, to be aware of the fact that your only son left you for a diminutive piece of chocolate.

                Winston had left and knowing that they would come soon, I huddled Catherine into my arms. Something inside me beseeched that they wouldnt, but knowing that they spare no one, I quickly pushed that feeling deeper into my heart. They came, just as I had known, and took me and Catherine. We were blindfolded and carried out like corpses are taken to a funeral, not in a calm fashion but exactly the opposite. I heard Catherines shrill cries and knew she would miss my warm arms in the days to come. I didnt even get to see my sons face for the last time, they would probably throw me in a forced labor camp, shave my head, and number me like the rest of them.

Wherever Winston is right now, I do hope for the best for him but he just never loved me enough, or maybe even not at all. I taught him to not let anyone alter his feelings externally, he was his own person, I told him that no one could change the way he thought or perceived things. Most of all, I taught him to love, to show affection and have feelings for people. It makes me feel like an irresponsible mother because Winston ran away but in the end I know I did my part when raising him as a single mother. As I write this, tears stream down my roughened face, I have a feeling Winston is breathing but not alive. It just makes me sad that my only son betrayed me and all the morals that I had laid out in front of him.

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