To the eyes of a group people I grew up with, I am deeply missed.
They have articulated this message to my brother and my mom many times over, so finally with an open heart and zero baggage I went to see them again yesterday.
First, a text message was sent (I did not intend to barge at their doors unannounced) then we made arrangements on our schedules. A day later, at an old neighborhood all too familiar and strange to me and a place I haven’t visited for more than four years, the people missing me made me feel how important I am and how hurt they are for the distance I gravely created.
They are all my good friends (thank you Lord for blessing me with them) and somehow the years, the missed birthdays, the lost Holidays and casual get together was paid with such bravado, enthusiasm, story-swappings and tons of laughter. I felt warm in every nook and cranny of my being.
I promise I won’t stay away again. Never. Ever.
When I got home, I knew something was different again.
I walked around trying to find what’s missing, trying to identify the void to get it filled. As I moved around the living room, I saw that some shoes were missing. Where was her sensible white flats she loved to wear? In the corner, where my family leaves our footwear, only three representations of its owner were there. Me, my mom and my brother … one is definitely absent. When I paced to the other room, I moved my eyes to where she hanged her clothes to dry and sometimes absentmindedly leave her used towel. There was nothing there.
The void is definite now; absolute and strong.
I went up to check the room where she stayed. Her luggage was gone, her bed made and her yellow Dell laptop, no where to be found. This is really happening, she has left again. After a short uneventful visit, she felt the need to leave again. The house slowly faded to become a little less of a home for me once more. The lights are darker, the colors a little dull and the the place bigger. Not that it was every the same as before when Papa was around, but her leaving made it more profound.
I walked to my room, my shoulders heavy and my feet weary, wanting to cry but didn’t. My sister is gone again. When I’ll see her next, I don’t know. I am not holding to her last promise that she will be around for Christmas. She said she’ll try, so that means almost always close to impossible. We’ll see.
Late that evening I watched her favourite movies, the couch half empty, until I finally fell asleep … still feeling aweful.