Short Story Section: The Parent-Teacher Meeting

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“Sorry Pandu (as my parents lovingly call me), I won’t be able to make it to your Parent-Teacher Meeting today,” my mom said in the morning of the day it was scheduled. She saw the disappointment in my eyes and it hurt her. “Sorry… I am really sorry. I will make up for it,” she promised as she kissed me on my forehead and hurried to work.

I had informed my mother about the PTM a week in advance. She had sorted her leave from work and everything was hunky dory till this morning. And now, she wasn’t going to make it. Instead, my dad had managed to get leave at the last minute and was going to cover for mom.

“NO!” I thought to myself. This isn’t happening! I had to do something. I ran up to my brother’s bedroom. “Wake up! Wake up!” I shook him hard to wake him up. “Go away! Let me sleep,” he said sleepily. “Wake up or I’ll throw water on you,” I said.

My brother didn’t take threats well. “I would love to see you do that…” he said and sat up with an evil smile.

GOOD! I had managed to wake him up, albeit with possible unpleasant repercussions. “Mom isn’t going to make it to the PTM. Dad is coming instead” I complained to him in the hope that he could do something about the situation. He was the older one, they listened to him.

His response was completely unexpected, and it shocked me. “That’s awesome! Dad won’t ask many questions so I can come back early and go play soccer. Besides, I have been going late to school for the past few days. Mom would have made a big deal about it, but Dad’s chilled out. He won’t fuss about it,” he said happily.

I just stared at him with my mouth open. Did this guy have any emotions whatsoever? “You have a heart of stone!” I told him and ran out of his bedroom. And that’s what I believed throughout my childhood, but as we grew up, I realized it was just the opposite. He has a heart of gold. He was always the mature one, and I, the emotional one.

As my brother had guessed, we came back from the PTM quite early. My brother, delighted, went to play soccer and my dad made the most out of an unexpected holiday by watching TV. I, on the other hand, sat in my bedroom waiting for mom to get back from work so I could give her a piece of my mind.

Finally, mom arrived from work. I noticed she had come prepared. She had brought a Dairy Milk chocolate bar with her. Chocolate has the strength to evaporate 50% of my anger but there was still the other 50% left. She came up to me, put the bar in my right palm and apologized. “A ten year old girl, the same age as you, was operated on today. It was an emergency and that is the reason they called me. It went well, she is doing well. I know you are hurt but all I want you to know is, I couldn’t come to your PTM because I was saving a life.”

I was so ashamed that I couldn’t look her in the eye. “I am sorry,” was all I could say.

“That’s ok. I’ve taken Friday off to make up for today. It’s going to be just you and me, mom-daughter time,” she said. “Yay!” I exclaimed and went to give her a bear hug.

It had turned out to be a win-win situation all around, thanks to my mother.




Suchitra Yerukonda, a Software Engineer, currently lives in the USA with her husband. A bubbly girl whose life revolves around her family and friends, Suchitra's hobbies include reading, dancing, singing, traveling and trying out different cuisines. She's passionate about cooking and follows Dalai Lama’s instructions for life: “Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon”. Writing happened to her recently and Suchitra continues to explore it.

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