Updated: Jun 2
Year 2500 BC
Her face turned bright red, contrasting her white, silk satin shawl dress. As Aapo turned around slowly to face his mother’s wrath, tears had already started flowing down his cheeks and onto his green arm cuffs. In his mind he is genuinely happy that his slingshot worked and his rock hit the pile of stones, but he knows that’s no excuse for being restless and vexatious.
“How dare you ruin the pile of stones?! Do you even know what it means? Do you know how much it means to our people? I told you, if you want to play, go to the riverside. Now sit in that corner until the Sun hits the temple.”
“But mama what’s so important in-”
The boy’s mother pointed towards a small muddy place, indicating for him to go and sit there. The boy obeyed her instructions, but was still upset about being yelled at in front of everyone. An hour later, Aapo sees his mother glancing over at him l, her eyebrows caved. He turns his head over, still mad at being scolded for doing nothing wrong. Behind a few rocks, he sees a blue figure. As he tilts his head to get a clear picture of who she is, he immediately turns back around after the figure grins.
"Can someone be more creepy?" He says to himself.
"Aapo! What's wrong? Why are you crying?" His father asks with a concerned look on his face, while walking towards him.
"Ma yelled at me in front of everyone and it was very embarrassing. And I didn't even do anything wrong!" Aapo whined.
"Aw, come on. She wouldn't yell at you for no reason at all! She's your ma. She loves you. Now, tell me. What were you doing when this happened?"
"Well, I was playing with my rocks and sticks, and I accidentally hit a pile of stones. That's all!"
His father gasps quietly, but calms down after a few seconds.
"Oh Aapo! How innocent you are. You are growing up, son. You should learn more about the things around you and forget about your naive games. Become a man."
"But I don't know how!"
"Aapo. Son. That small building you just knocked over isn't random. It belongs to our ancestors. We keep them in memory of their spirits, and we believe if we do so, they will always be with us. Through every crisis, through every change and through every happy moment. That's why ma yelled at you. Not because she doesn't like you, but because she wants good things to happen to you in the future, son. Every time the sun hits the tip of the stone tower, it reflects back to our ancestors in the sky. And whoever wishes for something right at that time, their wish will come true. It is why your mother prays every day. She prays for you to get better. To be braver. Smarter. Do you understand, son?"
"Yes, father! Thank you! I will try to be more of a man in the future. I'm sorry for all of the harm I have caused."
"Oh, son. It's not me you should be apologising to."
He glances over at his wife, who is talking with her friends, and Aapo runs over and hugs her tightly.
"I'm so sorry ma! For all the pain I've caused. I will be more careful in the future. And next time, I will pray for you, just as you pray for me!"
His mother smiles subtly, and kisses his forehead.
"I love you, son."
"I love you too, ma."
Aapo's mother glanced up to his father, and mouthed the words, 'Thank you.'
When she looked back down to adore her son, she realised he was gone.
"Aapo?!" She called out, "Aapo!"
As she went by the ancestral circle, she found out that Aapo had kept the stones back in its place, and found him on the ground. Praying.