EDITOR’S NOTE: This piece is written in honor of Mother’s Day.

IT was already dark and Maria still could not find a ride home.

Maria spent the whole day walking around, aimlessly finding a place that would accept her. Her employer had just fired her after she started coughing profusely and getting headaches.

She tried to reason with them that she could not go back to her province even if she wanted to. Thinking back, she should have appealed for some compassion as she had just given birth.

She had gone tired and weary, still not finding a place to stay. Clutching her son, she found a mall and sat on the nearby sidewalk. Her son stopped crying. It was way past his feeding time and they had just finished the last formula they had yesterday.

Her heartbeat quickened as she thought about what to do when her child could no longer bear the hunger. “I should not have come here,” she thought to herself as she stared at the mall longingly.

A couple of buyers carrying groceries exited and it made her more miserable. She squeezed her son in frustration as a hot pit of anger swelled in her stomach.

“This is so unfair,” she whimpered. “I am a mother too.”

Tears started streaming down her face as she remembered her own mother. Her heart started to hurt and her son was close to waking, ready to cry a fresh batch of tears. She stood up from where she was sitting, ready to leave, but remembered that she had nowhere else to go. F ISABELL ANDREA M. PINE

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