In a small village, separate from the neighborhood but not that far. There was a single house where only mother and son lived. The mother has reasons for living not to be in a crowded place where she only sought peaceful living.
2-month-old Marlon was found crying in the woods under the tree. As if his biological mother wanted him to die there, leaving him defenseless. It was then Maria who was searching for firewood heard a baby boy crying. She couldn't believe it at first, didn't believe there would be a child lost. She ignored it at first but the crying baby deafening her. She then believed that there was a lost child. Carefully, being mindful of the surroundings while searching where that voice came from.
For over an hour searching, she found a baby covered with just white clothes lying and surrounded with grasses under the tree. She slowly walked towards that child while making sure no one would be around.
Her heart melted as soon she saw a poor baby crying. She cried and felt pity for that child left alone in the woods. She caressed him, wiped his face, and carried him into her arms. As a woman who always dreamed of having a baby, she teared up from happiness. Still, she checked if no one would be looking with that child.
Smiling, staring at the baby for an hour while waiting if someone would pick that baby. She was hoping that there would be none to come but she considered the feeling of that mother she was still conscious.
2 hours passed, and she decided to bring that child with her. Like a mother who was excited to see her baby, that was Maria's reaction. She carried the baby into her small house but made sure she brought firewood to cook food for that baby. She was not innocent of raising a child because long ago she took care of her younger siblings back then.
Her problem started when she realized she didn't have milk to breastfeed the baby. She was very troubled, she was so afraid of what might happen to the baby if there would be no milk to drink. She realized there was a way to create artificial milk that she didn't need to buy.
She called it "duma", which can be found from boiling rice. Before the rice gets dry she removed that sticky water with color white that could be found above the rice. She immediately got it, blew it up until it turned cold, and let the baby drink it.
It was not easy to raise that baby alone but she ignored the hardships because what's important was her happiness taking care of Marlon. She named that child based on her late father who loved her so much. Unlike her mother and siblings cast her away when her father died.
12 years passed, Marlon grew up well and was full of love from his mother. When grew older he started to wonder why he couldn't see anyone like them in their place. His mother told him that she decided not to be in the crowd where bad people could have hurt them. It's not that his mother was not enough but Marlon just thought to see the outside world more. Then his mother promised him to go into the village where a lot of people were there.
That day came, Maria and Marlon went together to the village. Marlon was very excited but not Maria, she forced herself to be happy for her child. Maria covered her face with clothing and added more clothes to her back so as not to be obvious she's a hunchback.
They started walking to the town. Marlon was like a chicken who just came out from a cell, jumping, smiling, and kept talking about how amazing what he's seeing. People started looking at him, some of them started laughing at him because they knew that Marlon was a mountain boy. Marlon didn't notice it because he was just not well aware enough to realize what's going on.
Marlon kept walking around as he enjoyed the time being in the village so much. He started pulling his mother to walk around and his mother began to smile and enjoy the time they're spending in the village. It was her first time to enjoy being in the village and it's because of her son, Marlon.
Accidentally, something in the road made Maria fall down. There was nothing there but I guess it was just a fork in the road to pierce their hearts. The clothing that covered the face of Maria was removed when she fell and a strong wind blew. She stood up but she looked down because she knew how the people would look at her.
"Mom, what's wrong?"
Innocent Marlon didn't realize what's going on.
Some children shouted as soon as they saw what Maria looked like. Her face was dark like being burned and one of her eyes got swollen. The people were now looking at her with a feeling of biting her or killing her.
"Mom, what are they saying?"
Poor Marlon still didn't understand what's going on. She immediately hugged her son because she saw some people were getting rocks and stones. She covered her son to defend her from being hurt. Maria didn't cry but Marlon started crying when he saw blood flowing in her mother's face while smiling.
"Mom? Why do you let them hurt you."
Even a young Marlon understood what's going on now. She wanted to let go to protect her mother but Maria held her to stay still.
"Hey, you could hurt that young boy, enough that."
The throwing of stones and rocks stopped when someone said it. They started walking away and went back to their house. Marlon was very disappointed, he was so mad at her mother for him to shout.
Maria just smiled while her tears continued falling.
"I'm sorry son I'm a monster."
Marlon felt pity for her mother from the time he heard it. His madness suddenly replaced it with love. He hugged her mother tightly and said.
"You're not mom, you are more human compared to them. You loved me so much even though you were not my biological mother. I didn't even think a single time to search for my real mother when you told me about it."
He continued hugging his mother tightly.
"They're the monster's mom, not you. I love you so much, Mom Maria."
Maria couldn't control her emotions after what she heard from her loving son. She even cried harder because of happiness.
"Thank you, son. I was just afraid they'd hurt you because of me. I love you so much son and I will do everything for you."
Marlon wiped the tears off her mother while smiling. He was like an adult while rubbing the head of her mother and said.
"I will always be there for you, mom? I will never leave you, I will stay with you forever."