Note: This story is based on one of my childhood memories of my loving governess, Jasmine, who was responsible for babysitting and teaching me while I was in kindergarten. I was an accelerated child so I started reading at an earlier age.
Jasmine carried the girl in her arms who was crying like an infant after losing sight of her mother. “I want mommy. I want mommy, mommy,” she cried impotently as the governess addressed her gently while wiping tears from her small and round face. “Your bangs are so beautiful. They fall perfectly on your forehead such that you look like a princess,” she distracted the child further and kissed her left cheek as she sat on the checkered mattress. “She loves me. She is not mom, but she talks so softly. I must behave during this session,” the girl chided herself as she played with the hemline of her frock and nuzzled comfortably on Jasmine’s lap. “What do you want to do now? We should read, shouldn’t we? Which book do you want to read?” she asked the girl while pointing to her six books, which she had been eagerly carrying in her small backpack. Feeling lightened and soothed by her governess’s loving voice, the girl pointed to one book, “Let us read this one. It has pictures and description of a farm. I love farms Jasmine, love them,” she chuckled and rested her head against Jasmine’s bosom. She was a keen reader and as usual she surprised the governess by finishing the entire book in around five minutes. “Wow! You read so fast,” Jasmine exclaimed loudly as the girl played with her really long braids. “Who does your hair, Jasmine?” she asked curiously while caressing her governess’s braids. “Your braids are as thick as ropes. They are so pretty. They complement the shape of your face,” the girl cleverly returned the compliment that was issued to her a while ago. “Thanks! You are such a bright and sweet child,” Jasmine laughed as she closed the book and placed it in her backpack. “Your mom will be back soon and until then we should…,” Jasmine did not end up finishing her sentence because the girl broke down again. “I want mommy, Jasmine. Please, please…,” she cried in a rhythmic and lawless voice that echoed around the room and then wandered outdoors. “Oh! There, there. Let me clean your face. Your nose is running and your cheeks are looking so messy with tears,” Jasmine complained as she picked up the girl and ran to the washroom. She seated her near the wash basin, rinsed her clean hands with tap water, and wiped her face clean. The governess then washed her hands with soap and offered the child some water by cupping her hands. The girl drank the water from her hands like a thirsty pup and started feeling content, relaxed, and loved. “She is as caring as mommy,” she told herself as she threw herself in Jasmine’s arms and decided to nap.
Copyright © by Arzoo Zaheer. All Rights Reserved.