My mother looked at the cat on my lap purring as if he had not seen me for days. “Cats know your mood before you know it yourself,” she said. I looked down at my lap and, as usual, smiled, happy to have this ball of fur with me.  I loved his soft fur and the cute pink nose sticking out of his grey face.

“What is it?,” she asked.

“Nothing, I am my usual self,” I said, keep stroking my cat.

She shook her head, piercing me with her eyes, trying to find an opening to my soul. She used to succeed, but since the quarrel last year, I learned to keep my soul shut. Our relationship is fine, on the surface, but the warmth was gone. She knew it, but she was not ready to apologize. Did I need it at all, from her? I grabbed my phone, ignoring my mother, and googled instead the meaning of freedom, letting the rift among us become larger.

“Well, if you don’t want to tell me, you are free to do so. But then I don’t need to stay here.” She got up and brought the used teacups back in the kitchen. Still sitting at the table, I heard her put on her coat and close the door behind her.

The small flat became silent, the cat silent as well. No more purring, no more human being eager to snatch the depth of me. I was free, and alone.


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