For whom are you going to buy milk? Short story
It is written by Rachid Khouya is a teacher of English in Es Smara city, south of Morocco.
His relation to his mother is a special one. He often jokes with her and tells her: “all what makes you a special woman for me is the milk you made me d
rink when I was a baby. Now, that I am old enough, I am going to buy you a bottle of milk every night. This way, I will pay you back all what I owe you.”
The mother likes to listen to her son joking with her. She asks him to take sweets and cakes to his students and treat them well. She laughs a lot when he tells her: “I am really in a predicament. I don’t know who I should follow, your instructions or the minister’s…the minister says that more than half of the students have to fail and that the others should repeat and you want every student to succeed.”
It is here that she says: “listen to what I say, son. When you are sick, no minister comes to ask about you…when you spent your first year of teaching with no salary, no minister asked about what you would eat and where you should live…When you were jobless, no minister asked about what you were doing and how you were feeling… and when you will retire, no minister will come and ask about you…Listen to me dear son, you should love those kids.”
She looked at the teacher in the eyes and continues on saying: “Remember that they all have mothers like you. They will all live what you have lived so far. You do not teach the children of the minister…and no one of your students will ever be a minister…So help those kids succeed and think of yourself when you teach them…Think of al the teachers who have taught you. Where are they now? What are they doing? What kind of life are they living now?…look at Si Ahmed who taught you, he is now sick and no minister comes to ask about him…”
The teacher knelt on his knees and applauded to his mother as the Greek do for their idols. With a feeling of happiness and pride, She said:”is this enough or shall I tell you more?”
The teacher held her and kissed her on the forehead. He said: “that’s enough Lovely mother, I will always be following what you say…this is enough Dear.”
That night, while on his way back home, the teacher found that the shop is closed. There was another shop that opens at night. But it was too far. He stopped for a while thinking about going there to buy some milk for his mother and then after hesitation, he decided to go home:”let’s do without milk tonight. Tomorrow, I will buy her more”.
When he went to bed, he slept immediately. On his sleep; he dreamt that his mother was dying. But before she died she looked at him and asked him a question he will never forget.
The mother looked at him in the eyes and said:”and now that I am dying, for whom are you going to buy milk? For whom are you going to buy milk?”
The teacher woke up and went to his mother‘s bed. He found her awake praying. Then he thanked God and was reassured that it was just a frightening nightmare. He could not go back to bed as the question’s echo was still being repeated in his mind and inside his ears.
He attempted to find a convincing answer, but the question was just beginning to raise many questions in his head:”Yes, if our parents die, for who are we going to buy milk…For whom are we going to be good and obedient?
Thinking deeply about the question made the teacher understands that life is only a chance and an opportunity we are given to do good things for our parents, family, friends and all humans. Once the needy are dead, there is no need to try to be good. The living people need our help and our care more than the dead.