Kickoff written by Francys Wagner

Tomorrow is another day

A bachelor business man looking for love

There was a time when that rain falling outside had been a threat. A reason to worry.
A fear that the poor houses on the outskirts would be flooded if the nearby stream overflowed, invading the houses with its dirty water, destroying the few modest belongings of its residents. 
Sitting comfortably in the living room, watching the rain through the large window, with a drink in his hand, his thoughts travel back in time. It comes in his mind, the memory of her mother's suffering face, with early wrinkles, accentuated even more by the concern for the three children she was raising alone.
His alcoholic father had gone out one night and never come back. His body was found lying in the gutter. Over a long time, he had developed hepatic cirrhosis, but did not give up drinking.
She struggled daily, cleaning other people's houses while her elder brother took care of the younger ones. The money she earned covered only basic expenses, with no rights to perks.
At the end of the year, she managed
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to perform a miracle by giving each of the three children a simple little gift, but it was given with so much love, in a caring and selfless attitude, to maintain their childish illusion.
Austin smiled sadly... 
He would give anything to go back in time.
The boy, he was, bare feet, playing ball with his older brothers in an open field near the row of shacks, in an unpaved street where they lived.
The afternoon rain transformed the soil into mud and then when the sun came up and everything dried out, it turned to dust...
At the end of the day, the mother would return home, tired from her daily toil, but trying not to show it to her children. She would prepare dinner and food for the next day, then find some time to see how they had been at school.
Looking at their notebooks and their homework. Everyone already showered, fed, bedded.
To feel the hand of his mother as she stroked his hair. To hear her voice, although she was tired, taking the time to tell them stories. 
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How he missed those moments...
Her sweet voice, sometimes, could be energetic, when she needed to scold them for some mischief.
Most of the time, she smiled, even when things weren't going so well. She never complained, not to them, but Austin heard a few times when she would say something to a neighbour.
He, being the youngest, was the most attentive and even when his mother hummed, repeating the words of a song that played on the old radio, which sometimes crackled, he could see in her eyes a glimmer of sadness.
Like the lightning that streaks the sky and disappears, and soon the rain pours down...
Few times, he saw the tears streaming down her face.
Like the rain that falls outside. It transports him to a time ago, when, even with so many hardships, he had been happy.
His mother was a strong woman. She always had a word of encouragement for them. 
She always would say "one day everything will be better for us, we can't stop believing in ourselves...".
How he wishes she was alive right
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now to tell her that she was always right...
Tears running down his face, while the whisky goes down burning his throat ...
She could live with him. No longer in the shack anymore, but in his modern house, built in a middle-class neighbourhood, with boasting beautiful gardens. Without the dusty or when it rained, muddy street. She would have all the comfort he could provide for her. In gratitude for the hard times she had faced so that he would have the determination to get where he was now.
But the past is becoming more and more distant, though it still resides in his heart and mind.
The boyish face has given way to lines of expression that became more pronounced as the years went by.
He was eighteen when the pancreatic cancer took his mother away. After discovering the disease, she survived less than six months.
He remembers the night his mother was crying in pain…
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