My Mother didn�t talk anymore. Not the typical odd behavior she displayed around her flowers, she just stopped talking completely. It was as if my mother completely shut down on me and retreated into herself for safety. It scared me. She could barely hold her cup or chopsticks properly without trembling. I missed the mumbling over her flowers. I could at least hear her voice. This wasn�t working for me at all, but I didn�t know how to help her.

Right after Christmas, my mother stopped sleeping. She would sit there in the living room out in her daze, unresponsive. She wasn�t eating or moving. Afraid for her health, I walked down the road in the snow to the doctor�s house. I peeked in the window to see if he was sleeping or drinking. I wiped the glass, but I couldn�t get a clear view. He had the window covered with rice paper at the time to keep out the heat and cold in his house. I moved back over to the door and gave it a hard knock.

�Coming!� a voice grumbled. I paced around before the door slid open. Come on! Come on! Mother needs you now! I looked up at him with big eyes.

�Hi�� I mumbled. Doctor Akai rolled his eyes.

�Is it your mom again?� the doctor asked. �What is it now?�

�She hasn�t been sleeping or eating,� I said. �I�m really worried about her. Please help me!� Doctor Akai didn�t speak, he raced past me down the road. I ran after him like his shadow. For an old man, he can sure move fast.

The appointment didn�t take long. He talked to her for like ten minutes, gave her a sleeping remedy, and left. She�s been a little better ever since. Mother took her medication every night and goes to bed. She was eating a little bit more within a month, but she still wanted to tell me something. I could see it in her eyes when she stared at me. She fought with herself, but the words refused to come out.

�I�ll be ready when you can tell me the truth,� I whispered to her one day. She didn�t respond in the living room. I kissed her on the head and left for school. Mother will say something when she is ready.