A/N I have edited this, so it's a bit different.
I remember, the day it happened. I had just got back from swimming lessons and you were at the kitchen table, drumming your fingers on the table.
"Hi, Ma!" I said to you. You didn't reply, you were so buried in your thoughts. "Ma?"
Even then, you didn't say 'how was swimming?' the way you usually do. Instead, you looked up, a troubled expression on your face. "Avani . . . " you trailed off, and I got a funny feeling in my stomach, the same one I got the day Pa died.
"Avani, I went to the store today." Such a normal sentence, yet it seemed so morbid.
Your eyes stared at me, empty. "There - there wasn't any food. Oh god, the world has finally run out of resources." The last part was not meant for my ears, I could tell.
I imagined me, a year later, a skeleton sitting at the kitchen table, my soul finally reunited with Pa. Even though I'd expected it since forever, it sounded like it was from a dream. Everybody knew one day we'd run out. And one day had come.
"But . . ."
"Avani, there's nothing we can do about it." You sounded so defeated, unlike I'd ever seen you.
"But, the garden?" I asked.
"You can't live off a balcony garden, hon. It's just not possible." Your voice was interwoven with a bitter vein. That was the end of the discussion.
Dinner, that night, was silent except for forced small talk. You made me eat a whole bowl of chili, even though I felt bloated on worry. I didn't understand how you could act so . . . okay.
Later, I came to say goodnight. You replied to me as though you had not a worry in the world, "Sleep well."
You knew as well as me, though, that that wasn't going to happen. As I turned to go to my room, I met the eyes of Pa's portrait. They stared back at me, echoing my own dismal thoughts.
In bed, I couldn't sleep for a stomach ache, not from gas, but from fear. You seem to have a sixth sense, though, perhaps one only mothers have, and you came to my room and sat on the edge of my bed.
"Avani," you said, "You only live once. It's your choice; live happily, or live buried in worry. And, as your mother, I'm asking you to live it happily. Nobody your age should have a worry. Except if you crush loves you." You sounded not sad, but nostalgic. "Can you live happily for me?"
I nodded, and even though it was dark, I know you understood.
It's funny, you know, how you said not to worry, yet the last sound I heard that night was the drumming of your fingers on the kitchen table.
I remember. Oh, I remember it all. I'll never forget you, Ma.